So I’ve shared my fitness & health story & answered questions here & here, but lately I’ve been receiving one question, over & over again.
The most FAQ in my inbox is “how do I start a blog?!” Some of you have asked for any tips/advice/tricks/etc. for beginning bloggers. And for this reason, I’ve put together a little posty-post for all the babes who are thinking of starting ( or enhancing ) a blog. Here ya go:
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The idea of The Skinny Confidential came to me four years ago. Instead of immediately running to a computer & creating the blog the second the idea developed, I waited. And honestly? I waited because I’m an OCD, psycho, bat-shit crazy perfectionist.
This might be an advantage. Or perhaps it’s a disadvantage…if I had started it four years ago, I’d be farther along.
But I chose to practice patience because I wanted to execute the blog to the best of my ability. My goal was to launch it exactly how I visualized the idea.
Not a half ass version.
100%, balls to the walls, on my terms.
So here’s what I did: first & foremost I purchased the domain ( www.TheSkinnyConfidential.com ) off GoDaddy. Then I trademarked ‘The Skinny Confidential’ through a lawyer.
After that I bought a GIANT poster board & headed to the scrapbook store.
Yes, you heard right- the scrapbook store.
I pulled inspiration from stickers, colored paper, die-cuts, shapes, textures, colors, photographs, etc.
And then I got my ass to work.
I took all the materials & literally built the site on a poster board ( it’s so fun to get all nostalgic ).
After my “site” was built on paper, I began some major research. Keep in mind this was now a year & half into the two year span it took to build the site. I signed up for classes on nutrition, read everything I could on diet/health/fitness/balance/beauty/hair/etc., ripped out magazine articles, built a huge binder full of recipes, invested in a quality camera, & became certified in teaching fitness. I saved every dollar & put it towards ‘The Skinny Confidential fund.’
I meticulously planned the above actions to prepare for the site’s launch. It was my goal to become immersed in a healthy lifestyle before I spoke openly on the Internet. I also began teaching myself tips on photography.
I mean, a large part of blogging is photography so I didn’t want to look like a six year old with a camera. Turns out, studying photography not only enhanced the quality of my blog, but it also opened my eyes to something I never knew to be enjoyable: taking pictures!
Anyway, after teaching Pure Barre for a year & half, I hired an amaze balls HTML specialist to build the backend of the blog after showing him my poster board & sharing my ideas.
I was completely hands on. Every detail, every inch of the site, everything had to be perfect ( at least in my eyes ).
The idea was cultivated in 2009.
The site launched at the end of 2011.
& now, here we are in 2013.
Blogging has opened so many doors I never knew existed. I’ve made ‘Internet friends’ with fellow bloggers & on a daily basis I’m able to connect with the world. Not just San Diego, not just the USA, but the world. China. Holland. Australia. London. Norway.
So much fun, right?!
It’s been SO much work. But SO worth it. I work on my site seven days a week. BUT! I don’t care. It’s my absolute passion & a job that doesn’t feel like a job…& when work doesn’t feel like work, it’s a pretty rad feeling.
Ok, so. Let’s talk about you.
Say you’re an aspiring blogger. Here’s my advice: use WordPress, find your voice, be consistent, quality over quantity, take beautiful photos that are your own, & be YOURSELF.
Because really, everyone else is taken.
Let’s break it down:
WordPress: this is used as a platform for bloggers. I am not a fan of Blogspot &/or Blogger, but to each its own. WordPress is user-friendly- I love it.
Find your voice: when I first started blogging I was nervous. I feel like I didn’t really let my guard down; I wasn’t 100% myself. About six months into blogging, I began to find my voice. Now I talk like I talk in real life. Sometimes finding your voice takes a while- hang in there. Copying other people’s style of writing is inauthentic.
Be consistent: if you post every afternoon for a week, don’t go & change up the time the next week. If you post Monday, Wednesday, Friday’s, then make it a pact to post those days.
Quality over quantity: this is easy— keep your posts interesting. Don’t post just to post.
Beautiful photos: no one wants to look at crappy, sick-o pictures. Make sure you’re using vibrant colors in proper lighting. Keep it interesting, peeps!
Be yourself: because everyone’s interesting in their own way. Find your own niche.
Oh! And obviously utilize any social media platforms ( i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, etc. ) to build traffic too!
I guess I’ll leave you with this: if you build interesting content & maintain consistency, the readers will come. And they’ll stay.
I’m not saying my way is the right way. It worked for me. Do what works for you.
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FYI: the first person I told about my blog was my girlfriend ( & longtime blogger ), Erica- she’s been a huge help. Anyway, we are in the midst of building a blog consulting company called Blog-Doo ( << so excited! ). All the deets will be up in the next month. Basically her & I will work with each client, personally- on the phone & through e-mail. A blog facelift? No problem-o. We can do it all: Photoshop, blog design, business cards, building the site, inside advice, & social media tips. Maybe you’re interested in starting a blog & don’t know where to begin? We’re your gurrllls.
Since we can only take a certain amount of clients at one time, if interested make sure to e-mail me ASAP at Lauryn@TheSkinnyConfidential.com so I can add you to the list.
If you have any questions in regards to blogging, write them below, & I’ll get back to every.single.one.of.you.sex.kittens.
To purchase a thumb drive of all Blog-Doo’s secret blogging tips & tricks, e-mail Babes@Blog-Doo.com.
ton&tons of <3.L
LEAVE A COMMENT
97 replies to “Blogging Tips <3”
You are AMAZING! Love the way you shared this information and the authenticity of your voice. I am also someone who wants what I do to be as close to perfect as I can get it-from the git go. Follow your gut. You waited until you were ready and created a fabulous blog! Congratulations! I am inspired <3
Thanks Kathleen : ))). Thank you for reading too! I’m flattered you like the blog! x.
Thanks so much for sharing your tips!! I just started blogging, and though I spent some months thinking about it before jumping in, I probably should have planned ahead more the way you did! Too late now though 🙂 Depending on how things go, I may be emailing you about consulting on the design things I should have done in advance!!
No worries! Keep me updated!
Congrats on all the success! Thanks for all the great tips – even for a blogger since 2010!
hi lauryn! i’m having some trouble finding enough pictures for my blog. i have some of my own, but not enough. do you have any suggestions for sites where you can get good quality pictures that are okay to post, legally wise? i am so scared of not sourcing something right, and getting in trouble for it. thanks! 🙂
I don’t! I would take your own photos even if they’re with an iPhone camera. At least they’re authentic that way ; ). The more organic, the better! Hope that helps babe!
Such a helpful post. && I love your site. What an inspiration 🙂
Thanks babe ; )!
Great post! Love your tips – when I first started blogging a while ago, I was worried that people wouldn’t “get me” so I tried to “water myself down” if you will. I actually got sick of not being myself, so I deleted the whole thing and started over again. I still don’t know if people get me (haha) but at least I know I’m being me!
YESSS! Love this!
Thank you for sharing your tips with us, Lauryn! Wishing you much continued success!! 🙂
Thanks Jeanette- you too! x.
What type of camera/model do you recommend Lauryn??? Thank you!!!!! 🙂
I use my iPhone a lot but for food shots I love my Canon camera!
Scrapbooking? What an awesome idea 🙂 thanks for this im still a newbie!
So fun! You’ll love it <3.
Great post!!! That was so kind of you to share all of your start-up information. Behind the scenes stuff is always interesting. My blog is in desperate need of help!!!!!! I may be in touch;) I love what you do.
Thanks Sue! You’re a doll; good luck!
Can you please share a tutorial on how you do your graphics? Your main photo usually has a thick line going through it with the title written on it then you make the whole photo not clear (like today’s photo). Just wondering what effects you use to do all of that. Thanks.
I design them and then hire someone who is savvy in Photoshop to do them! E-mail me for more of an explanation. Lauryn@TheSkinnyConfidential.com. x.
What a great list! Did you set out with the mindset that SC would turn into your full time job? You’ve come so far in such a (relatively) short time and I think it’s awesome! xo
Yes- I definitely envisioned it as that! My goal was to brand it organically. ; ). xx.
Thank you for this! I am an aspiring fitness blogger and I take so much inspiration from your site. 🙂
This post was so helpful! One question – what was your process like for finding the “voice” of your blog? Did you come up with a mission statement or a set of guidelines? I’m having trouble in my own blogging deciding a main focus and how to stick by that on a consistent basis.
It’s honestly SO organic. It starts off feeling fake and forced but now it flows. My advice: blog daily and consistently; if you do you’ll find your voice quickly and effortlessly! x.
Great post! Can’t wait to hear more about blog consulting company!
: ) x
Great post, thanks for the info. Looking forward to hearing more about the blog consulting!
Thank you so much for this! I’ve been planning on writing a blog for a few months now and I’ve been going slow because I want to make sure everything gets done right the first time. It’s so encouraging to see that someone so successful started out very slowly also. You’re such an inspiration!
Thank you Carmella! Good luck : ). xx.
Wow, what a task! Blogging has never been something I’ve desired to do myself but I SO appreciate the bloggers out there who take time to entertain and educate me! The Skinny Confidential is so well done, it’s my fave blog and I look forward to checking in almost daily. Thanks for all that you put into it, you are such an inspiration! Xo 🙂
Thank you so much! I’m so flattered you like it! : ))). xo.
Lovely tips! I think they really help
I love love love your blog! And wanted to know how you create these fabulous “text on photo” photos!!
Or if anyone knows how to, please please please let me know!!
I designed it and had a girl do the background on Photoshop. E-mail me for details Lauryn@TheSkinnyConfidential.com. xx.
Thanks for sharing your story, Lauryn, so interesting how you built your blog in such a well-thought out, top-down way. Trademarking your name right off the bat? I’m impressed!
; ) thanks Mary!
Hi Lauryn! I’ve been reading TSC from the very beginning and I know you can help me with my little problem: I eat too much (of anything, even healthy foods) during the weekends… how can I break the habit??? Thank you so much in advance! I love TSC! X
E-mail me for diet tips babe: Lauryn@TheSkinnyConfidential.com. x.
thank you so much for your precious advice!!! will make good use of it!
Thanks so much for the tips Lauryn! Would love it if you could do a post on blog photography – what equipment you use, how you set up shots, lighting etc. Also any tips? I have a beauty blog and photography is something I really find can be tricky… Xo
I will definitely do a photography post soon : ). Great idea! xx.
Hey Lauryn! It’s so funny that you posted this last week since I have just launched my new blog! It is such a learning process but I am loving it so far. Please check out my blog! I welcome any feedback. XOXO
Will do ; ). x.
Thanks for such a very informative and great blog just begun blogging myself and your blog is inspiration
Good luck! x.
I just stumbled upon your blog and I’m already in love. I just started a blog of my own and your post was just the motivation I needed to turn my blogging goals into reality. Thanks Lauryn! 🙂
Yay! So glad you like it! Good luck babe!
Great article here Lauryn,It’s my first time to be here and I’m really amazed not just by your article but also to the design of your site.
For me successful blogging all comes down to be yourself, being unique and also enjoying and having passion for what you do.
Thanks Barbara! I’m flattered you like the design ; ).
Finding your voice does take time!! I totally agree! I am in the process of building my health & fitness blog, (it’s almost been a year) and I feel like the true me is just coming out!
Love this post! Thanks Lauryn!
Good luck! I’m sure you blog will be fab ; ). Sounds like you’re spending the right amount of time on planning. xx.
These tips are soo helpful, thank you for sharing! I recently launched my blog after spending a few years researching and planning it. I was wondering what is the best way to connect and network with other bloggers?
Definitely reach out through e-mail, Twitter, Instagram, and comments. All the bloggers I’ve talked to have been super friendly. Good luck, Kelsey! xx.
I find it very admirable how much sweat you put into the preparation of your blog. Great advice.
Out of curiosity, how much on average does an HTML specialist cost? I started my blog not too long ago and I know eventually (when I’m not a poor college student) I will want it revamped.
We charge $600 for a re-vamp! Check out our packages here babe: http://www.Blog-Doo.com. X.
Wow this came at the perfect time! I just launched my blog last week and I’ve been using your blog as a go-to for how to do things RIGHT. Thanks for being a fitness/health/blog inspiration! I might just be emailing you soon…
Love love love your blog, in the process of starting my own. Like you, I am taking things very slow – step by step. What kind of camera do you have? Need to invest in one, any suggestions?
Thanks lady! I use a Canon Rebel :-)! X.
I absolutely LOVE your blog! I was wondering what you use to write over your photos and to edit them. Also, I am thinking of creating my own blog, so I hope we can work together in the future!
I just ran across this post and it was EXACTLY what i was looking for! The tips- ALL helpful! I have a portfolio blog which is, of course, strictly for my graphic design work. However, I have wanted to start a blog since forever but I also felt like planning Everything (well, i almost) BEFORE i immediately buy a domain (or sign-up for a free one). This was the first, honest post i came across about starting a blog! Thank you for sharing a piece of yourself with us 🙂
Thank you soooo much for this! Im just starting off…but have had making a blog in my head for a while now and it can really be so intimidating. Love your blog girl! XO
Hi Lauryn! Thanks so much for such a helpful post and an insightful blog! I was reading through it with so much relief because I’m currently on the same track trying to start up a successful blog/site. Furthermore, I realized you mentioned Pure Barre- love that place! I’m a recent SDSU grad, and am totally inspired by what you’re doing 🙂 Congrats with your success!
So I recently discovered your blog and consulting service and love your vibe!! I was wondering if you have any tips about monetizing blogs or if you’ve talked about this part of your experience as a professional blogger?
are your packages recommended for someone who is already an established blogger, or are you also interested in building for someone who is just starting out?
Ok, this may sound silly but it’s something I think of every time I see the super cute outfit pics of any blog. How do you get those “this is candid but it’s really not” photos and WHO is taking them!?
My lifestyle my new baby and I was so happy to have found your blog. I just made the switch to WordPress and THANK GOD I did! Your blog is such an inspiration, I hope in a couple years I can do what you do! Thank you for posting 🙂
You’ve been an inspiration for me for a while! After I stopped doing hair on a daily basis, I felt like a part of me was missing–but I found myself in another career op. I thought a good way to incorporate hair and beauty back into my life is through blogging–so i spent days upon days upon months coming up for an idea for a blog and how i would execute it. Now I have http://www.theambitiousqueen.com so far, I’m in love. I just posted everything today (finally) so if you want to have a boo, please do! Youre one of my idols, so hopefully one day we can do a collab of some kind. 🙂
Marija – TheAmbitiousQueen
Love it! I’ll check it out today! x
This was so great to read, I just started my blog a month ago a I love reading how successful bloggers started. This blog is so great and I stop by daily for new posts. Thank you! <3
Thanks for this post – really enjoyed your take on blogging and especially this line ‘if you build interesting content & maintain consistency, the readers will come. And they’ll stay.’ Appreciate the tips, from someone who is new and hungry to the lifestyle blogging world!
I agree that with every content that you create it should be quality over quantity. It is better to have a few, but interesting content rather than many nonsense contents.
Awesome tips for blogging. I have to add that never being afraid to put personal content and discussing issues that are subjectively relevant to you can also help.
Hey Lauren… whoa throwback! But I am in the process of blogging so I wanted to read up on this!
I am curious how you create those graphics that are collages of some of your favorite things. Example. The one you recently did on Christmas gifts for her.
Great motivation and tips here. Your advice on being consistent is most important…it may seem like nothing is happening but keep at it and the results will come!
I hate the fact that most people really don’t realize how much work goes into creating a great blog. It’s frustrating. But you definitely showed through this post how much hard work and dedication goes on behind the scenes. Nice article!
I remembered reading this post back when you first wrote it, and so I had to look it up again because I am finally preparing to start a blog of my own like I have always wanted. Yours has been an inspiration. 🙂 Quick question if you happen to see this, I was curious whether you use WordPress.com or WordPress.org? Thanks chica!
.org is WAY better! XO
Thank you so much for posting this, it’s super helpful.
My question is how did you prepare for your very first blog post? I know you said it felt super awkward in the beginning while you were finding your voice, so I’m curious to know how you decided on your content in the very beginning.
I feel like the first post may be the hardest, it seems like it gets easier over time!
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Thanks you for sharing this post, i will try your tips in handling my blog, very lucky i found your blog post
Hi Lauryn! I’m brand new to your blog, a friend recommended it to me because I’ve been trying to get my own blog off the ground and she thought it would help. It totally did, I really appreciated reading your journey and process in getting this started! I have a few more specific questions I’d like to ask — I could leave a comment but I was wondering if you’d be open to me emailing you directly. Let me know, I’ll leave my information as well!
Another excellent post from laury, i am one of the follower that often check your blog, some of the tips are new to me that is why im impress with your work. Good job and great post
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Hey Lauryn!! I am a new blogger and I am trying to get more followers on Instagram and more traffic to my blog!! How do I do that?!?! Every website says the same things: use hashtags!? What’s the proper way to do that, or do you even need to use them??? Send help!!! Also, it would mean so much if you could take a look at my blog and let me know what you think!!
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OMG this is effing brilliant!! I totally relate to this. I was in a similar situation of not wanting to launch until I could execute my vision as precisely as possible. Sometimes I feel bad about it like oh, I’m taking too long, but reading this post makes me feel so validated <3 Love your blog posts about entrepreneurship!
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