Contributed by June Blogger of the Month, Kylee Gwartney
I thought about writing a post about the reasons why I blog, but the list I came up with was pretty short. It boils down to the simple fact that blogging is fun. It’s like having an online diary only with way less “I saw a cute boy today” and more “here’s what I learned when I dated the wrong person and how you can avoid it.”
My first introduction to blogging was in 2010 in my Intro to Professional Writing class in college. I did a travel blog since I had just studied abroad in France earlier that year. We only had to post once a week, but it was by far my favorite activity our professor had us do. I didn’t pick up blogging again until 2013 when I started K, Byeee. It was a year after college graduation and I absolutely hated my first job. Blogging helped me keep my sanity! Here are a few of the main things I’ve learned over the past 2 years.
- Invest in a camera – How I wish I had taken this advice sooner! I was using my phone to take outfit pictures in the mirror when I first started out and it was kind of embarrassing. I didn’t realize how juvenile they looked at the time, but investing in a quality DSLR camera was totally worth the money. Save up and do it if you haven’t already! QVC has great deals around the holidays, which is how I was able to afford to get my Canon Rebel T3. It’s so easy to use and takes great pictures! My views for outfit posts have definitely increased since getting a new camera.
- Take advantage of free stuff – Got to love the Internet, am I right? There are so many free resources out there that bloggers can use. Since I blog about fashion and beauty a lot, I’m a huge fan of Polyvore. You can make fashion, beauty, and home décor collages using their online library of items. They have pretty much anything you could need on there. I also love ShopStyle Collective (formerly ShopSense). It’s a rewards program (that you don’t have to apply for!) where you can make embedded links and slideshows of products you like. They pay per click instead of just if someone buys something, which is nice. Another tool that is great for all bloggers, regardless of niche, is the online photo editor PicMonkey! I actually had never heard of it until April, but I’ve used it so much ever since. I do inspirational quotes on there, make my cover photos for Facebook and Twitter, and even made my own blog logo – all just using the free options on there.
- Don’t be afraid to branch out – There is somewhat of a fear in the blogging world when it comes to what topics you should cover on your blog. There’s this idea that if you’re a fashion blogger, you should only blog about clothes and if you’re a fitness blogger, you should only blog about healthy recipes and your workout routine, etc. That’s just silly! While you don’t want to cover so many topics that readers are confused by what you’re doing, I think it’s okay to have a few core subjects you write about instead of just one. Don’t get me wrong, I love blogging about clothes…but there is so much more to life than just clothes. I blog about relationships pretty frequently too and those posts always get a ton of views, a lot of times even more than my outfit posts. Moral of the story: don’t be afraid to share your personal experiences with your reader (just remember to make it relevant to them). They like feeling connected to you.
Fellow Okies, it’s been a great month! I’ve had so much fun blogging for you. Leave a comment below and share your favorite blogging tips – I’d love to hear about them!
Kylee Gwartney is the author of teen novel, Catching the Fever, and the creator of kbyeee.com where she posts about style, beauty, and inspiration. She lives in Mustang with her boyfriend and their furry cat children, Rachel McKattams and Noah Cathoun. When she’s not online shopping or eating queso, you can probably find her at a local restaurant drinking mimosas well after brunch time and pretending to be Blair Waldorf.