A Beginner's Guide to Social Media, Blogging, and Branding

Today, many people blog. Whether about life experiences, cooking recipes, DIY projects for the home, or wedding inspirations, blogging can take form of anything you want to share your knowledge about. Six years ago, my New Year's Eve resolution was to write more and to stick to a plan. Always finding a release through writing, I wanted to capture my insight on things I was passionate about. Throughout the years, many people have asked me for recommendations on how they should start. Should they keep their social media separate from personal and private? How should they market themselves? Blogging is really simple, but can be complicated if you don't build your foundation right! After reading Huffington Post writer Kelsey Ngyugen's fashion blogging tips I was inspired to write important tips for any blog. Take these tips into consideration and start writing!

Start Slow
The worst thing you can do for your reputation as a blogger is set high goals and not be able to complete them. That not only makes you disappointed, but your readership will slow down because of your inconsistency. Stick to a smaller goal like writing once a month or a week, and a specific day of the week always offers new content.

Choosing the Right Blogging Platforms
Your blogging platform should depend on your comfort or ease of technology. Websites such as On Blast Blog or Wordpress offer tutorials and are user friendly for beginners, while hosting platforms are bare bones and may need coding. If you want to potentially have writers blogging on the site as well, make sure the site offers additional logins. Do your research!

Keep Your Branding Strong
Once you choose your topic, make sure you are staying in brand with your ideas and your social media posts. Your readers will follow your word and your site because of what they like to read. If you change your branding and reflect other views, the inconsistencies will cause you to lose readers and your credibility.

Reputation is Key
If you're thinking about getting into blogging seriously, you may want to search yourself, and clear any incriminating or "non brand" information. In other words, if you are writing a wholesome mommy blog, your Spring Break '99 photos have to go. If you are unsure of how to go about doing this, companies such as Reputation Rhino manage your online reputation for you and eliminate anything that you don't want online. If your blog becomes popular, cleaning up before comes in handy!

Stick to Your Passion
With so many bloggers out there, sticking to your passion and what you are most knowledgable about will keep you interested and relevant. If you spread yourself too thin, your work won't be as credible. Do you like to cook? Do you want to talk about the latest or most coveted exotic cars? Do you want to build furniture out of palettes? Think about what you love, what you're good at, or what you want to try. There are so many of us that want to try new things, and getting a personal take on that experiment is always a fun concept.

Take all of these tips into consideration, and build your blog slowly. A house built on sand isn't the most sound, and neither is a blog spread too thin! Do what you love and stick to it. My best advice is to keep on learning and trying. The worst thing that can happen is you learned something new and you broadened your horizons! Most of all, don't expect to be paid instantly for what you do. If you do, you're doing it for the wrong reason.