I hope you are all having a lovely Friday evening! I have had a brilliant Friday because I have just spent the day with my gorgeous Mum and we enjoyed a relaxing spa day (which was well bloody needed!)
With todays post I wanted to share with you a few things I’ve learnt in my short time blogging with bexfaye as I actually took a step back and realised how far I’ve actually come doing this!
I only started this blog because I wanted to do something extra for myself and have it behind me when I apply for jobs etc going forward in my career. I never anticipated getting this ‘into’ it if you like, but I think many other blogger out there would agree when I say – it’s ridiculously addictive this whole blogging thing!
So I’ll start at the beginning…
When I started I go on the WordPress bandwagon, somehow figured out how to create the initial blog and kicked off with a few random posts that I enjoyed writing about. At this point I wasn’t self hosted as I didn’t want to invest any money in something I had absolutely no clue about so I plodded along for a month or so with a really basic blog.
In the first month of blogging I realised interaction was KEY! I found a lot of other blogs via the wordpress reader and started commenting on post that I really enjoyed and it really gave me a good idea about other types of content as well. I started to interact with a few of the same people time and time again and I almost felt supported by them.
I remember hitting milestones like 50 likes on one post and it made me feel really good. The support of the wordpress reader really kicked things off for me because I started to realise people were actually interested in my content so it gave me a bit of a push to take this a little more seriously.
When I started bexfaye I decided I also needed a presence on social media. So I set up a separate Instagram account (Check me out if you haven’t already ;)) and started from scratch. I searched around and followed loads of accounts I thought could inspire me and that I was interested in, and by the time I knew it I was started to gain a good stable following.
The same with Twitter! I had Twitter when I was at School, back in the day, but I kind of went off it because I think Instagram took it over and I wasn’t really bothered by it anymore.
HOWEVER…. Now, this is a different story! Twitter is everything for blogging. It has been my biggest platform since the start and I am so glad I decided to take to Twitter early on!
I found that joining blogger chats once a week or so is such a good way to interact with other bloggers and find out more information about the blogging world! There are a few I like to join, some for example are: @thebloggershub_ (TBHCHAT) and @GRLPOWRCHAT .
After a couple of months, I then joined Pinterest. I’m still getting to grips with Pinterest to be honest, but I do really enjoy going on there. I pin lots of things raging from blog tips, to healthy baking and food recipes! I think it is worth being on as many social media platforms as you can to distribute and share your content!
So after a month as I mentioned, I decided to go self hosted and I invested about £120 on a year for my domain and then also the theme I use which is linked at the footer of this page. I really wasn’t sure at first when I went self hosted because I felt my engagement went down and people just couldn’t see my posts! I was getting really stressed and panicking and thought I had made such a mistake and wasted this money on nothing. The thing I didn’t realise is that by going self hosted people who search in the reader on wordpress will not see your posts because you are not hosted by them anymore. Only unless they follow you, will people then see your posts. My likes literally went from 50+ – 10 or so!
However, this really urged me to get my blog out there more through social media and interacting with other bloggers. This way people then follow your blog if they are interested in your content.
Now, going self hosted was the best thing I did, because it allowed me to have my own unique theme which I could customise myself and I was just more content with the way it looked. The problem with being hosted by wordpress is that you are limited to the themes you can have and this essentially limits the way your blog looks and feels – something that I was getting frustrated with before which made me move.
Groups and pods
If you’ve been in this game for a while you will probably be aware the algorithms of feeds such as Instagram has had a massive impact in the blogging world. Now you will not necessarily see the most recent posts on your feed, instead it ‘cleverly’ works out the posts it thinks you would want to this and this is often to more liked and commented on posts. So what does this mean, if your post doesn’t receive the engagement you want, it might slip the net and your followers may not see the beautiful image you worked hard on and this can be frustrating.
I decided to join a couple of Instagram pods which is like a group chat on Instagram where everyone supports each other and it is a great way to find new content and make friends as well!
I really think this is what’s changed everything for me. I have really upped my photography game since I first started. Purely because I had no idea what I was doing at the start, but also I guess it’s because I care more now and I think more about what I’m doing. I’m a very visual person – one of those who flicks through a magazine but only really takes notice of the pictures, same with Facebook. This is why I think image is so important and that’s how you might capture people in the first instance!
So where am I now?
Now, I am nowhere near a big blogger or have anywhere near most people in terms of blog views and Instagram followers, but I have only been doing this for 4 months. So if you’re a ‘baby blogger’ like me then this may help. Although, I am quite proud of where I am so far, and I’m just going to keep enjoying it and posting when I want without any pressure. I have some exciting content coming soon, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled!
So as I mentioned, I started Instagram with 0 followers, I now have nearly 1.1K. With Twitter, I started with 0 followers 4 months ago, and now I have just under 2K.
I don’t get as many views on my blog as I’d like so I’m going to work on that from now on, as social media has kind of taken over (as it’s something I really enjoy).
Hope you have found this useful, and I am so grateful to be sharing this journey with all of you! Also, thank you to every beauty out there who has supported me in each and every way. YOU ARE FAB!