So You Want To Start a Blog? | Where to Start.

Blogging is the single greatest thing I have ever done in my life and I think I will feel that way until I have children. I encourage everyone to start one, but how do you do that? How do you pick a niche? How do you know what you want it to look like? Where do you look for pictures that won’t get you sued? And most importantly how do you consistently come up with content. Well, welcome to my new series where we will explore all of that.

Today we’re going to start at the beginning: how do you start a blog? Well, my friends, my advice would be to pick a host site you’re comfortable with. I chose WordPress because I liked that it was really easy to follow other bloggers, something I could never figure out on Blogger, however that is a very popular platform that I’m sure has its benefits. I am extremely partial to WordPress so I would say go for that, but if you’re more comfortable somewhere else, by all means, do that too.

Then you have to pick a domain. It can be related to what you want to blog about, but not necessarily. Some people go for a username for titles, other a general theme, find something that speaks to you, anything that speaks to you. My good friend from high school called her 9to5 which I really like. It can be as simple or complex as you want within the character limit. After you have your name for your site, you need to decide whether or not you want to register it. Personally, I registered mine after I was one-hundred percent certain blogging was something I was sticking with. Some people do it right off the bat, the only thing with that is you pay for the year– so if you forget about it, you lost some money.

If you decide to take the leap first thing, I would highly recommend paying the yearly $99 for the all access WordPress site. It allows you to have complete control of your content but also the benefits of WordPress hosting. This means your followers will still get updates when you post, you have a really good support team to help you with any problems, and your phone number and address can’t be found through your web address. You can purchase cheaper WordPress plans but honestly, I think the money is worth it.

Once you figure out all of that it’s time for a layout! Back in the early days of my blog, I was constantly changing the layout because it’s really fun. However, not always the best idea for consistency purposes. Find one you like, and what I like to do is make it so it’s something I would want to read. If you aren’t having an easy time reading it no one will.

Now your blog is all set up and it’s time to move on to picking your niche (or maybe not!)

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The One-Size-Fits-All Blogging Method

I’m sure you’ve seen it, heck, maybe even my click bait title got you here, but here’s the thing: There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to blogging. According to the “experts”, I’m a failure. I’ve yet to make a dime off of this corner of the internet, so if that’s why you’re here you can click off this page.

Let’s be real, everyone wants to their blog to be successful. Most people would love to quit their job to work from home and make ridiculous amounts of money by blogging, here’s the thing: that’s not the reality.

If you get on Pinterest and look for “blogging tips” or really just anything to do with blogging, it’s all about trying to make $20,000 in the first month. Quite frankly unless you already have a huge online following, like Poppy Dayes, it’s not going to be your reality, well, unless you get super lucky.

So here’s my question: why do so many of those posts exist? How are there blogs dedicated to making money via blogging?

Personally, I believe that it’s because there are a handful of people in the “public” eye making buckets of money via social media, blogging, YouTube, etc. That’s not why people started doing those things though, they did them because they liked it. They fell into the money and now people see it as a get-rich-quick scheme.

It drives me crazy the number of posts I see on how to make $8,000 your first month blogging, or $20,000 your first three, or even “How I quit my six-figure salary full-time job to become a stay at home mom and blogger.” That’s not how it works for everyone. You need your blog to be filled with passion, good content, and it to be what you want it to be. If you formulate your whole blog around someone else’s definition of what a successful blog is, how does that make it any different from the 9-5 job you hate? You still aren’t doing what you love.

There isn’t a one-size fits all blogging method. Plain and simple. If it worked like that we would all be rich. While your content, SEO optimization, keywords, pictures, and outlook is all extremely important to blogging and striving to make money from it, there is an element of luck. The right people need to see your blog and think it’s good enough to be successful. At the end of the day, make it something you love and you’re proud of. Don’t worry if it translates into money or not, don’t count on it is my advice. If it happens, think of it as a happy surprise. If you’re going into it looking to be rich, I just don’t know how successful you will be.

I would be lying if I said that blogging full time isn’t my dream career because it is. There are a few things in life I’m passionate about and blogging is the biggest one. I’ve been doing this for almost four years and I’ve made microscopic amounts of money from it, but it doesn’t matter. I love every second that I’ve poured into my corner of the internet. I treasure every person that I can call a friend because I decided to write a blog. I have a job with benefits because this blog is what made me passionate about the internet. Take those things into account if your blog isn’t literally paying off because psychologically it probably is. There’s no way I would be where I am today without this site.

Blog because you love it. Blog because it will change your life. Blog because you want to. Don’t blog to make six-figures a year.

What do you think?

The Social Media Game

Recently, I read this article, maybe not so recent once this goes up as I’m scheduling while I’m still in Ireland, but it’s going up in the New Year, but that’s besides the point. However, while it was slightly disheartening, giving me that little bit of a reality check that social media doesn’t work out for everyone, it was extremely upsetting for me to see that people who should already be at that place of having an audience and viewers are losing money to those who are sitting on half the numbers they are, just further proving to me that you need to understand the social media game.

I’m a little obsessed with this article, probably because I’m a little obsessed with social media and how it works. Up until reading this I assumed that it was a numbers game. I thought the more people you had the more money you would make, that’s what makes sense. I mean I knew you had to have the right audience before people would contact you, but I didn’t realize that even if you have the right audience you hit this awkward point where no one will help you and you have to work 9-5 but it’s also not necessarily safe for you to be working a 9-5 when you have viewers come and find you. Imagine having hundreds of thousands of people know who you are but being afraid of not making rent, that concept has to be scary.

Gaby was right when she wrote the title of the article “Get rich or die vlogging: The sad economics of internet fame”. The thing is, even if these internet celebrities get their brand deals, people aren’t supportive of that. The comments on videos that are sponsored are highly criticized. The UK now has laws that it has to be clearly stated if a posts in someway is an advertisement, Instagram pictures and tweets are usually done with a “#ad” and AD is typically written in the title of videos, however, I’ve noticed that some people are getting away with it in the top line of the description. This however, has sparked more debate about how much money YouTubers make and how they should make.

In my opinion, whenever, I end up on Twitter for too long creeping hashtags about YouTube fandoms I see a lot of discussion among younger viewers who don’t seem to understand that the income of a YouTuber, or even Internet personalities depend on brand deals and companies that support them. I can’t seem to grasp why people would complain about branded videos, if there are no branded videos there couldn’t be any videos.

The thing that everything comes down to it seems in this debate is whether or not YouTubers and other Internet personalities can make a living and what that  magic number is to do so. For some, it seems like one million subscribers can’t be enough and for others, it could be 10,000- the magic monetization number. I guess it depends on how often and willing you are to accept brand deals and sponsorships. I don’t have room to talk because the one time I sent a media kit I never heard back, people don’t want to pay the girl with 400 followers, they want her to write for free, but the numbers game is highly interesting to me.

However, it is not what should be asked in interviews as apparently it has been to several YouTubers, in the past, you don’t ask people how much they make, plain and simple.  If you want to know, do your research!

Do  you have any thoughts on the subject/article?

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Late Night Blogging with Mary: Part 16

late night blogging with mary

I hate the number 16 so this post is just giving me the chills.

So I guess I went a little MIA for a little bit there. I got a pretty bad cold and was in bed by 10 almost every night this week after taking my time on assignments and such blogging just fell at the wayside. Since my last blog post, I’ve been to Paris! My dad was there for work so I went along for the weekend. It was a lot of fun, but my cold started right before so by the time I got back to Ireland, I hardly had a voice.

Okay here’s a little political rant I have right now, I’m so pissed off about all of the shootings going on back in the States. Currently I’m living in a country where the police don’t even have guns, and since I’ve been here there have been no gun crimes that I have heard of being reported, however, there have been at least three shootings at colleges in the same time period. It just makes me angry, I feel like no one is taking action and it drives me crazy. I get that Americans have the right to bear arms, but please someone make it harder to get guns, I shouldn’t be able to go into Walmart and buy a gun. It’s a sick world, let’s try to make it better.

Anyway, on a lighter note, I went shopping today! I’ve been trying not to shop while I’ve been here because I would rather spend  money on travel and things like that, but I just felt like it today, and I actually got two sweaters. The one I’m sure will be in pictures from probably both this weekend and next weekend. Sunday to Monday I’m going to Galway, since it’s a bank holiday weekend so we have no classes, then next weekend I’m going to London, and then I have a week off and I have bunch of stuff planned. Life is about to get crazy and my time here is about to go by in the blink of an eye. I think that’s exciting and scary. While part of me never wants to leave this adventure, another part of me really, really misses everyone at home.  That’s my thing, I never get homesick, I never miss my bed or my house (maybe my shower with how weird these ones are) but I just really miss the people. And IHOP.

So yeah, that’s what you’ve missed. Hopefully I can get back to my schedule now, that’s the goal at least!

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Almost Done.

I can’t believe that break is almost over and I didn’t even do half the things I wanted to do.  I didn’t have nearly as many sleepovers or good times with my friends, about halfway through break I realized that I wouldn’t be able to read all the Harry Potter book I had to settle with the last one, I didn’t crochet at all, and I didn’t film nearly as many videos as I wanted to. I thought maybe the anxiety attacks would stop, but they didn’t, so that’s another stress to go back to. I can honestly say I don’t want to go back to school. There are some benefits of returning, like no work, but I kind of want a job because the money would be nice. It’s also nice to be away from home, like the town. I feel like when I go back this time I’m going to be a lot more homesick just because I don’t want to be there. I feel like this semester is going to be super crazy and stressful with a full class load, along with a four day trip to NYC (hopefully) with MUN, a long weekend visit to Boston to see Lindsay and obviously several visits home for not just work but occasions like my sister’s birthday, a wiffle-ball tournament, Easter and spring break (is now an appropriate time to start the count down?) so hopefully all of these exciting things will help the semester will go quickly and May 9 will come quickly and I will be home for a good three, almost four months. So next will be here soon sadly and I hope I will have a post, but I will also be getting settled into my dorm once again so it might be a little bit harder to blog but then I will hopefully be able to make it up hopefully.

So a little idea I just thought up for tomorrow’s tag Tuesday, would anyone be up for a question and answer? If so ask any questions you may have for me in the comments and whether or not tomorrow is long enough to be a Q and A I’ll answer it!

XOXO

Mary

Answer

January 12: “Little Monsters”

Question

January 13: What strange Southeast Asian mammal smells like a fresh, hot buttered popcorn?