Sunday, January 28, 2018

How to Start Blogging
Want to become a blogger this 2018? You got to start NOW because you have to! 
I have been blogging for almost 1 year now. I will celebrate my 1st-year anniversary this February 13! In that 1 year, I discovered that I have friends who also want to blog- if not- want to have a website. In this post, I will let you guys know how I started my blogging journey.
(Photo from: PINTEREST | CTTO)

Backstory:

I've always wanted to write. I started writing way back high school and during that time, writing "fan fictions" is the "in" thing. I wrote Rom-Com stories in Asian Fan Fics as "LittlemissBlue" and I am confident to say that my writings- if not all- on that site were hits! I stopped writing fanfictions when I reached college. I stopped writing fan fictions after graduating high school (writer's block may be the cause of this). My writing inspirations changed from Rom Com genre to Lifestyle blog genre. That is when I started doing blogs. 

How I started...

I actually started writing blogs when I was a sophomore in college. However, my blog is not a public blog- just a private one where I can write anything I want. I wanted to use blogging as a way for me to express what I feel, what I want to do, what I plan to do and what I hope to do. I did it privately because I was a bit scared of what others would say if/when they read my entries. "Pablogger", "Social climber", "feelingera", those were the things I was afraid to hear from others. But then I realized, "bakit ba?" as long as I am not doing anything wrong, then I should not be afraid at all. And then I blogged publicly. 

Here's how:

1. Choose a Niche
Pick a genre. Just like in books, blogging also has genres, however you can mix and match genres when you blog. You can do Travel + Fashion, you can do Food and Lifestyle, and many many more. It's actually up to you. Establishing your own niche will make your readers know what kind of blog you have and will definitely come back (follow) to your blog whenever they feel like reading a topic of a particular niche. Make sure that you love writing about the niche that you will choose because if not, you will end up not writing entries at all. 

2. Pick the Perfect Blog Name
It would be better if you chose a flexible name for your blog so when you decide to change your niche, you don't have to change your blog name too- especially if your blog gets to be noticed and remembered by the people already. As much as possible, avoid using vague names with unnecessary characters. Readers might have a hard time remembering your blogs name and they might not come back to read other entries from your blog.

3. Domain? Yes or No?
You do not really need to own a domain if you are still starting. I started with Wordpress and everything went well even if I did not own a domain. People are still reading my entries and I did have a number of followers. There's nothing wrong with not owning a domain. However, your blog's credibility will definitely increase once you get to have your own domain. After owning my domain, sponsorships came in. Brands started noticing my blog and my blog started to be indexed in Google's search engine. If you try to search my blog's name "Pacific Bella", my website will be the 1st one on the list. 



4. How to Buy a Domain?
This question has been asked to me by a number of friends already. Here's the answer. I bought my domain from Pangalan.com. Only the domain. I did not avail of their web hosting service because BLOGSPOT hosts for free as long as you have your own domain. I knew about this from Pangalan.com as well. You may or may not avail of their web hosting if you are okay with blogspot hosting your website. I just encoded my newly registered domain in blogspot and violaaa~ I have my blog with its own domain. You may pay via PayPal, banks and credit cards. I paid mine via DragonPay on the 1st year and on my 2nd year I paid via PayPal. You may click Pangalan.com from my sidebar. If you are interested to purchase from them.

5. Make QUALITY POST
Many bloggers who are just starting think many blog posts will make them become well known by readers. No. That is a BIG no-no! Readers will love you if you post high-quality posts even if you do not update regularly. I do not post weekly, that's for sure and readers still come back to read and check if I did post something. Quality post means that your readers should be able to learn something from your post or experience. Avoid posting too much press release articles especially if you know that your readers will not really appreciate the post if the PR's focus is definitely far from your blog's focus. Filter your post as much as possible. Make sure that you do not go further from your niche.

6. Choose your partner Social Media
I always do a Blog-IG partnership with my blog. Whenever I post something in my blog, I make sure I inform my followers on Instagram. I am doing that ever since I started blogging. Now, I am doing a FB Page- Blog- IG partnership in order to reach more people. It would be better to post IG-Worthy pictures such as flatlays, landscapes, and the likes. But it is not a requirement. May I just plug my IG here? Follow me: @phoemponce_

7. Do not be Afraid
This one I've got to tell myself even up to now. Up until now, I am feeling shy whenever I post something. "Will my readers like it?", "Will others think differently of me?" are some of the questions I asked myself when I post something. But then, there's a part of me that says, as long as you are not doing anything wrong, as long as you are not giving false statements, as long as you are not hurting anyone with what you are writing, then go for it. This is my "Think before you click" part. Always remember to think before saying something. Sometimes, it's not about what the message is, it's about how you say the message.

Take note:

1. Give credits where credits are due. 
If you have to cite, then go for it. You will not become less of a person if you cite another blog. If you post a photo owned by another blogger, then give the credits where it is due. Do not claim anything that is not yours. I've been a victim of plagiarism (one of my fanfictions got plagiarized by someone from WATTPAD and posted it as if it was hers. She got reported tho.) and it hurts so bad to have your work copied by an individual and she received praises from readers even if the ideas and the work is not hers.

2. Join BLOGGER Groups
Blogger groups made my blogging experience go to a whole new level. I met different people and learned from them as well. It is from groups where I had been discovered by brands and got my very first sponsorship. You can also be notified by blogger events from blogging groups. So this is really a must. 

3. Determine your blog's goal and make sure that you abide by it.
If you did blogging for fame and money, then blogging is probably not right for you. Yes, blogging has these perks but just like what I said, they are PERKS. I blogged because I wanted to other people to learn from me and be inspired by my experiences.

4. Always remember that OTHER BLOGGERS are not your competition.
The only competition you'll have in this industry is yourself. Remember your goals why you started blogging. You have to make other bloggers as your inspiration because that's what bloggers are. They are an inspiration, you are an inspiration. 




Pacific Bella, is a lifestyle blog and portfolio owned by Phoem Ponce. An engineering student who loves capturing life in an infinitely beautiful persona. Join the Bella uncover the Pacific!

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