You Seriously Want My Advice?

Here I am doing a post I thought I’d never do. But in all seriousness, I still feel like a beginner in the blogging world, so when people ask me for MY advice on blogging, I was extremely confused. When I look to advice I read posts from Olivia Blake or Pooja. I feel like I don’t deserve to make a post like this. You asked for it though & I’m here to serve. So here’s some advice from a beginner blogger.

If you are new to my page, Hi! Welcome to Mind.Beauty.Simplicity where we talk about all things minimalism, saving that coin & learning to live with less. I also dabble in other lifestyle topics such as makeup, fashion, home decor & apparently self help & advice. Hope you enjoy my perspective on things.

The reason I call myself a beginner blogger is because I’ve only been in the game since the end of July. Granted I’ve had the idea in my head for years (but that’s another story). But in this short amount of time, I’ve definitely learned a lot so far. So I want to make this post a discussion. Comment your blogging stories & your advice & let’s support our fellow bloggers. Let’s get started.

Find Your Niche

What is it you want to write about & share with other people? What are YOU interested in? Figure out your initial direction of your blog. You can always tweak it & try other avenues later. But determining what you want to write about will help lead you to the audience you want & fuel your passion even more. And when you are figuring out the topics you want to cover, always listen to yourself & not what others think you should do. It’s your blog anyway. You are the writer, editor & business person to this platform so what you say goes.

Brand Yourself

Now, I’m no marketing guru. But I do know one thing. Whether it’s creating a unique name for your blog, making thumbnails for your posts or logos for your social media platforms, you MUST design it in a way that fits your personality & what you want to portray on your site. This allows people to spot you out of the crowd of other blogs & place an aesthetic to a face & name.

Take Advice With a Grain of Salt

I’m not talking about constructive criticism. This type of advice is helpful. I’m talking about when people give you topic suggestions or directions that are different from your purpose. Never feel obligated to write about a topic you were requested. If it doesn’t interest you, you shouldn’t waste your precious time writing it. It’s so easy to get in the habits of pleasing your entire audience. And you never will. So write what you want to write about & the loyal audience will keep coming back.

Gain Traffic Through Multiple Platforms

I started off merely focusing on WordPress & other pages. After about a month, I realized I needed to expand to other social media if I wanted to reach a bigger audience. So, I joined Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest to share my writing. My main focus is Instagram though as I love adding visual effects to my blog posts. Pinterest is something I am still figuring out. And Twitter is so useful as you can tweet numerous times a day with hashtags such as #writerslift & #selfpromo(day of the week).

Network With Other Bloggers & Brands

Blogging is a two way street. If you want other people to read your stuff, you should really return the favor. Supporting other bloggers & engaging in genuine conversation is the reason I have the following I do. You want to have a circle of bloggers who have your back, can give you advice & cheer you on. And you should do the same for them. I love shouting out different bloggers & showing my support. This shouldn’t be a competition.

Don’t Spam Comment

In the beginning of my blogging journey, I was guilty of this. I thought the only way to get people to read my page was to link my posts on numerous comments. It wasn’t until I read some blogging advice posts when I got really embarrassed & realized what I was doing was annoying. Now, I don’t see harm in linking your information in comments if you do it in the right way. If you genuinely read someone’s post & comment something nice & relevant, you can easily end your comment with your links. But never force people to click your links. That won’t really work for the long haul.

Guest Post & Collaborate

I did this early in the game & it honestly really helped me become one with this community quickly. I think it’s a great way to support multiple writers & expand your audience. Choose people with the same interests / niche as you as well. This will help you build solid networking relationships.

Be Authentic

Never try to be like anyone else. There’s a difference between inspiration & completely copying someone. I think the reason I am successful (& I say that loosely because defining success is arbitrary) is for my authenticity & realness. Your audience follows for your writing & stays if they feel connected to the writer behind the blog.

Don’t Worry About Follower Count

These milestones are accomplishments for sure & setting goals are important. But never base your talent & self worth on number of followers. It can be easy to get down on yourself about this, but I’ve learned if you stay true to yourself, the following will come. You just can’t let it rule your life.

Be Consistent

I don’t care if it’s once a week, once a month or once every hour (ok…maybe not the last one) but having a schedule to my blogs has created structure for myself. I personally post MWF but at any point I need to cutback, I will. It all depends on my stress levels & my other obligations. When you have a schedule, your audience will learn when to look forward to your posts. I hate when I read a blog post & they haven’t written anything new for 6 months. It’s like, “hellooo I love your work, I need more from you!”

Have Fun With It

The sole reason I created this blog was for my own entertainment. Everything else is just bonus. I needed a creative outlet for myself & love writing THAT much. And for those who don’t think blogging is a job…BOY ARE YOU WRONG. There is so much work that goes into a single post. It’s the aftermath of posting that really is the kicker. SEO [ search engine optimization ], I still don’t understand you! But never get yourself so stressed out over the blogging world. Keep working hard, be creative & be patient.

I hope what I shared here was helpful to you. In the comments, share your blogging story & a few tips you’d like to share.

-B

Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest

Social Media Detoxes Are Good For The Soul

In the world of blogging, if you don’t market yourself properly, you won’t get the following you deserve. In my personal life, I let go of social media (minus Facebook) because the battle of comparison was way too much. Not only that, but my life didn’t feel like my own. Nothing was left to mystery but I also liked the attention. It was a vicious cycle & I wanted to be free of it.

Once I started blogging, I saw the benefits to having different platforms to share my work. All the advice articles to blogging say it’s the best way to increase traffic. But to what cost? I felt myself slipping into the habits of wanting to look perfect on Instagram & take the best photographs. Everyone else makes it look effortless. But I find it to be a waste of time. As a minimalist, I want to live in the moment more. Constantly browsing through social media sucks that time from you. So I had to reevaluate my purpose for these platforms & be my authentic self.

You Might Also Like: Why I Only Use Social Media For Blogging

Instead of feeling the need to post photos of my day, I want to solely stick to the blog posts I write & inspirational quotes. If that means I lose followers, it is what it is. I’d hope people would enjoy the authenticity and stay around. But my main goal is to share my writing. Twitter has been a good way to do that. It’s just my link & no other extra fluff to it.

Take a Step Back

When I deleted most of my personal social media in 2016, I felt free. It became annoying when I would go out, friends would Snapchat me without me knowing. I didn’t want that to be out there. I wanted to enjoy the night unplugged. The best parties & events are the ones where you take no photos. The times where you are so engaged in the moment, the thought of documenting doesn’t even cross your mind. I love to take photos. But I know I have a great life. I don’t need to prove it to anyone.

The Comparison Battle is Ruthless

It’s so easy to look at other people’s lives & highlight reels & think you aren’t enough. This is why stepping away from social media some is healthy. You can then connect with yourself better & know your true worth. It’s good to be different. I’ve seen this even in the blogging world. There’s so many blogs out there. Everyone is unique & I think the ones that are truly successful are the ones that stay true to themselves. It shouldn’t be about follower count. It should be fun & inspiring. Readers see though fake content. Eventually you have to be real. Might as well start that way.

I Gained A Happier Mindset

When you let go of technology you let go of the unnecessary distractions. Minimalism is much more than decluttering. It’s a mindset shift into living with intention & appreciating the people around you. Social media seems to keep you connected. But how many of those “friendships” are real? It’s superficial in the grand scheme of things. I promise you when you look up from your phone, you realize all the precious time you are wasting. So log off. You’ll be happier.

The Toxicity of Influencer Culture

The average American throws away 65 pounds of clothing per year. There is this constant urge for MORE and NEW where it just becomes an endless cycle of overconsumption. And with the age of social media & influencers, this trend isn’t leaving us anytime soon.

If I was younger in this generation, I’d be a complete mess. With items being just a click away & a saturated amount of photos & videos depicting these “so called perfect lives” at your finger tips, how isn’t this lifestyle affecting people’s wellbeing?

Sometimes I miss the 90’s because to me, the pre-digital age was simple. Children still went outside to play. Now parents have to monitor screen time. People’s lives were a bit more mysterious & your past didn’t follow you as easily.

The world of technology, although is quite convenient; it can also cause a burden in the comparison battle.

Even at the age I am now, & a few years ago I would get sucked in feeling like I wanted & needed certain products to make me happy. The picture perfect life society shows online, is nothing compared to their reality. And even with this knowledge, I was quickly consumed by those worlds. Deleting my Instagram in 2016 was the best decision I ever made.

The thing that got me the most, besides the illustrated depiction of success, was the overexposed advertisements. Influencers would post a picture of themselves in an outfit against a bright pink wall & every inch of the image would have affiliate links to brands & companies.

And no, I’m not saying sponsored content is dumb & unnecessary. It’s a way to make a living. You can’t deny this. But you can’t just sit around oblivious to the fact it’s affecting the viewers decisions. Especially, these younger viewers.

I believe influencers of all platforms should keep in mind what they are promoting to their followers. They are role models after all. People trust their opinions whole heartedly. So they better really enjoy what they promote. I myself have purchased most of my makeup products on the sole fact someone [a beauty guru] recommended it.

Back in college I actually wrote a piece about how beauty influencers on YouTube negatively affect our youth. And I still find it holds a lot of truth. “Buy this makeup product, because it will enhance your beauty.” I don’t care how aware teens are about advertisement ploys & gimmicks, they still buy these products don’t they?

No wonder you have people struggling with self esteem, body image & depression. But that’s a topic for another day.

The point is, influencers push product from left to right. And it’s never enough. There will always be a new product to try or a new trend to pull off, with the majority of these products being rather luxurious & designer. Not to mention the amount of money wasted on said products. The average person can’t be dropping thousands of dollars on designer bags & clothing. But the Influencer makes it seem feasible. When most of the time, these men & women get sent these items for FREE! The change needs to come from us viewers where we say enough is enough.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good sale from time to time. The Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale for example is a favorite of mine. And Sephora’s VIB Sale? My debit card is already crying just thinking about it. But honestly, I’ve learned to put the wallet away. It’s not like anything truly different shows up on the racks. Oh boy another basic white tee! Another pair of black ankle boots! How original. And how many lipsticks does one person really need?!

For some reason when a basic girl looks out her window & notices a leaf has fallen from a tree [a sign fall season is approaching] another pair of boots or a sweater needs to be added to the wardrobe. Even though she knows she owns 10 sweaters already.

And believe me, I was that girl. Before I discovered minimalism, I thought I needed all these material items to be happy & successful. I still love fashion & expressing myself through makeup looks & outfits. But I’m more mindful of my shopping habits. I’m not against owning expensive things or spending money. The key is to ask yourself if you truly need it?

Being a blogger myself may make me sound like a hypocrite because I talk about products & clothing pieces. But to me it’s more so the concepts I talk about that hold importance to me & the reader. When I talk about my wardrobe for example, I may talk about brands & stores but the main goal is to teach people they can be happy with less of it.

As a minimalist you don’t feel the need to buy certain things to make yourself feel whole. You should feel this way without anything. Picture yourself in an empty room with only yourself & your thoughts. How do you feel? If you feel empty, there’s a problem. Your objects shouldn’t define who you are.

I think as long as you take in consideration what these companies & influencers are aiming towards, which is fueling consumerism, you can take charge & alter your perspective. It all can just be way too much sometimes.

I’d rather have less things I really love over an abundance of items that are just ok. I don’t want to keep feeling the need to declutter & send bags of things to donation centers & landfills.

The world of social media & influencers has created this idea of “bragging” & “showing off” as an acceptable way of being. And although it’s good to feel proud of what you have & accomplished, I think apps like Instagram has ruined that for people.

Instead of selling an image that is desirable, how about just live it? There’s so much wishing & wanting in this life. But nobody wants to actually get up off their phones & do it themselves.

⁃ B 🌿