Do you know how many times someone asks me a question and starts things off with:
“I know this might sound stupid but …”
All the time. Like, all the time. It seems to me that there are quite a lot of people out there — potential new bloggers — who aren’t blogging because they don’t know who to ask those questions.
I’m the person to ask those questions.
Do you want to know why?
Because I need to know the answers to EVERYTHING. (My boyfriend has referred to me as Sheldon-Cooper-esque a few times … I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing?!)
Also: if I do know the answer, I’ll share everything I know. And then, when you think I’ve told you how much I know, I’ll keep talking some more. I’m one of *those* people … the never-stop-talking people.
I decided to answer some of the most commonly asked “stupid” questions about blogging that aren’t actually stupid at all.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin.
10 Stupid Questions About Blogging That Aren’t Actually Stupid At All
1 – How do you get people to read your blog?
There are a million and one answers to this question. I’m going to try and avoid bombarding you with a whole bunch of stuff you don’t understand. Here are a few ways you can get people to read your blog:
- Tell your friends, family, work colleagues, and entire social circle about your blog.
- Add your blog URL to your email signature.
- Share your blog and new blog posts on social media.
- Re-share your blog posts on social media.
- Put basic SEO steps in place to appear higher up in the list of search engine results.
- Plan and use a social media promotional strategy.
There are so many different ways to share and promote the crap out of your blog post. I personally suggest doing more than just one or two of them. Create Pinterest graphics for the posts and then share the new, pinnable images to the image-based platform. Why? Because Pinterest is the number two source of traffic for my blog …
It might just be the number one source of traffic for yours.
At the same time, share new blog post links to Facebook and Twitter, and make sure that you’re shouting about those new posts on Instagram, too. You could go as far as looking at social media advertising to really get those reader numbers boosted higher, but I definitely recommend getting to grips with the basics first.
You don’t have anything to share until you actually start blogging, and every single blogger started somewhere — we all had that scary and new first blog post. (For most of us, it’s utter crap, too.) Blogging is definitely a journey and you’ll pick a lot of the stuff up that you need to know, as you go. There’s a big community just waiting to answer any questions you have, too, and you can always go searching for answers to your questions in Google or Pinterest. You’d be surprised by just how helpful the latter can be for finding solutions to problems.
You gotta start blogging, though.
Like, actually start.
2 – How do you know what to write about on your blog?
Write whatever you want to write. There are a lot of people out there who will tell you to stay within a particular niche, but I say: screw that.
It’s YOUR blog. YOUR little space. YOUR place to say whatever it is you gotta say.
What do I write about? Well, I write about social media stuff — the kind of advice I’ve been giving to website owners, small business owners, and other bloggers, for close to a decade. I also write about makeup stuff because I love makeup. No doubt the occasional fashion post will come up, and I’m betting there’ll be more than a few blog posts about shoes. Seriously, I cannot tell you how much I love shoes.
To be honest, I like to think that I write about the things I want to write about on my blog. I keep within those “invisible lines” for the most part, but there will always be times that I want to talk about something entirely different. The beauty of blogging, of course, is that you have your own little space to express yourself.
So, get expressin’!
💄 If you want to be a beauty blogger, write about beauty stuff. Use your blog as a way to show off all the makeup looks you can put together.
👗 If you’re a fashion blogger, write about your favourite looks. Your worst looks. Looks you wished you could afford. Looks that other people are rocking right now, giving you all the inspo you could ever need.
🌿 If you’re a lifestyle blogger, blog about your lifestyle.
🔨 If you’re a DIY blogger, blog about how you DIY stuff.
🌶 Food blogger? Yep, you guessed it: blog about food.
If you don’t know what kind of blogger you are, just start blogging. Write down whatever comes into your head. You might just find that you enjoy writing about one thing more than another, or that you have a particular audience for a certain thing.
You won’t ever know what kind of blogger you are until you start.
What are you waiting for?
3 – How do you start a blog?
There are so many ways to start a blog, just like there are many answers to most of these questions. You must also ask yourself a few questions to help make life easier.
💷 Do you want a free blog or a paid-for blog? (You usually can’t earn money easily from a free blog.)
💻 If you want a paid-for blog, you’ll need to look at services provided by SiteGround, GoDaddy, etc. I’ve used all the ones I just mentioned, and they’re all pretty decent and easy-to-use services. Things have gone wrong with a few of them, and I’ve needed to call upon help services. The problem has always been resolved and I’ve had no real complaints. I do feel like GoDaddy is sometimes the most expensive option, and their customer services can be based on making money rather than solving issues, but with each of the sites, you’ll find problems. They’ll just be different problems each time. (Just like mobile phone network providers for that matter.)
You’ll need a domain name, which will cost you. This has cost me as little as £1, and they usually belong to you for a set period of time — a year, two, five, etc.
🏠 You will also need hosting. The free blogs are hosted for you, but will usually come with a domain name such as [yourname . wordpress . com] rather than just [yourname . com]. You will need to pay to cut out the middle bit if you opt for a free blog.
💰 When you buy your own domain name and hosting, you have control over the URL itself, as well as how you run your blog. You can earn money on this paid-for type, using affiliates, advertisements, sponsored posts, etc.
(A free WordPress blog doesn’t allow for affiliates or ads … I learned this the hard way by trying to ignore the terms and conditions, many years ago. The entire site was deleted and I never got it back.)
🎨 Once you’ve got your blog set up with a domain name and hosting, you’re then left to install a theme. There are a whole bunch of themes that you can pick from, both free and paid for, and you can even pay a designer to come up with something absolutely unique for you. Again, there’s nothing wrong with getting started with a freebie and learning the basics, before upgrading later on to something slightly more customised and unique. You’ll want to master the basics of actually blogging before you go playing around with code and trying to make it do things it doesn’t already do.
4 – How long does it take to write a blog post?
How long is a piece of string?
⏰ On a good day, a 1,000-word blog post can take me half an hour to write from start to finish.
⏱ Other, more in-depth blog posts can take me weeks to complete. It depends on the blog post itself, the kind of research you’ll need to do to write it, and how fast your equipment is, as to how long it takes to write and publish a blog post.
⏳ My Mac is old and slowly giving up the ghost, so formatting tends to take me a lot longer than it would do other people, with faster laptops, etc. You will also need to take a bunch of other things into consideration — finding stock photos, taking and editing photos, adding essential SEO steps, proofreading, social media planning and scheduling, maintaining, etc. The job isn’t quite finished when you’re done writing the blog, and you’ll more than likely find that all the other stuff takes up the most time.
⏲ This blog post took me just over an hour to write, half an hour to find photos for, and then about the same again to format and get everything looking as I want it to.
Just in case you wondered.
5 – How often should you publish blog posts?
If you think you can write a high-quality blog post every day, do it. For many bloggers, however, publishing blog posts on the daily is a hard task. That’s why we have seasonal events, such as Blogtober or Blogmas. For those months — October and December — bloggers will publish every day … or plan to. (I planned to last year and failed miserably.)
If you can only write one blog post per week, write and publish just one blog post per week. Just make it a really good one.
There are no rules when it comes to blogging, but there are things you can do if you’re interested in getting readers and crunching the numbers. Blogging every day can help to boost traffic, especially when you’re using social media marketing and promotion as well as search engine optimization hacks. If you’re blogging a bunch of crap every day, however, people are not going to read what you have to say.
Quality over quantity.
Just try to be as regular as you can. If you blog once a week, make it the same day every week so that your readers can get into a routine with you.
6 – How do bloggers get paid from their blog?
Bloggers can earn from their blog in a number of ways. Some may get freebie products, which aren’t really payment but are somewhat classed as payment. You’d need to let the taxman know you’re getting the free stuff.
Other bloggers will get freebies plus a fee for writing the blog post or coming up with content for Youtube/social media. As you can probably imagine, the more readers or followers you have, the larger your fee is likely to be.
Sponsored posts …
… are posts that bloggers are PAID to write. It might be to promote a particular product, service, or location, but it’s essentially paid advertising. Paying a blogger (or influencer) to advertise and promote a product is no different from creating a TV commercial or newspaper advertisement. In some cases, the blogger might even get more views than the TV commercial will!
Affiliate schemes …
Bloggers can also earn money through affiliates. This is how my vaping website (best-ecig.co.uk) is monetized — I earn when people click certain links and make a purchase, or if they use certain discount codes during checkout. This is a commission-based role really, so the more sales you make, the more money you’ll make. You’ll usually find that more sales mean a higher commission rate, too, although the terms and conditions will change greatly from program to program.
In my experience, the more HONEST you are about your earnings from affiliates, the more money you’ll make. I’m honest about every single affiliate link I have on my website, and also the ones I promote via social media. You must legally disclose paid ventures, by law, but it’s quite amazing how many people don’t.
… are another way that bloggers can earn money from their blog. I’m going to use Google Adsense as one example, but it’s one of many programs that bloggers are using. We’ve all seen Google ads, right? Well, when you have Google ads on your site and someone clicks on it, you’ll earn. If you only have a few visitors to your blog, you’ll find these earnings are barely even worth looking at, but the higher your traffic, the higher the earning potential.
There is a second way of earning money through ads — companies paying to have an advertisement on your blog. The fee for this will usually be dependant on the kind of traffic you have but will result in a contract that states you must have that ad in a certain place for so many months, at which point it’s time to renew or change.
7 – What social media platforms do you need to promote a blog?
Do you need all social media platforms in order to successfully promote a blog?
What are the best social media platforms to promote a blog?
That very much depends on the blog.
Should you focus your attention on all social media platforms?
This is your call, but I personally recommend picking one or two and focusing your attention on them.
Instagram will take up an awful lot of your time if you want to see your follower numbers rise quickly. Pinterest, on the other hand, is slightly slower to get going but can result in MILLIONS of page views when used properly. Twitter only gives you the shortest space to say what you gotta say, but Facebook gives you all the space in the world to ramble on …
You’ll need to have different marketing strategies for the different social media platforms if you want to SERIOUSLY market/promote your blog that way, and by choosing them all you’ll be drowning yourself in work.
(You can look at scheduling social media content, but this is something that will likely cost you money. You’ll still need to plan slightly different strategies for the different platforms.)
8 – Can you start a blog if you’re not a good writer?
Some might say I’m a terrible writer. I certainly don’t always know where to put a comma, or whether I should use a semi-colon or a colon. There was a huge period in my life where I didn’t publish anything on my blog, simply because I didn’t think I was good enough for people to actually read my words.
I love writing, and I love blogging. I find it easier to sit down and type out a 1,000-word blog post than I do trying to have a conversation with someone. I’m never happier than when I’m sat at my laptop, usually having an opinion about something or other.
Blogging is very much a learning curve. You’ll learn how to write YOUR way, what kind of stuff your readers actually enjoy reading, and how to “be” a blogger, all as you go along. You will NEVER find out any of that stuff if you don’t take the first step — start a blog and write your first blog post.
9 – Do you need to actually have a blog to be a blogger?
This is a question that always gets quite the diverse response when asked on social media. Do you really need to have an actual blog to be classed as a blogger?
You can be a blogger on Instagram.
Instagram captions are 2,200 characters long. I just checked over a chunk of text from this blog post — 2,177 characters = 401 words.
If you fill the Instagram caption, you’ve essentially written a 400-word blog post.
If you post to Instagram twice in one day, filling the caption each time (or close to), you’ve essentially written an 800-word blog post.
It might not be an ACTUAL blog, but that’s still quite a lot of blog-esque content.
You can be a blogger on Facebook, too.
Facebook’s caption limit is 63,206 characters. That’s a ridiculous amount of words. Over 11,000 of them if we take my earlier snippet as an average. That’s basically a book.
You could probably be a blogger on Twitter …
280 characters doesn’t actually give you that much space on Twitter, but hilarious threads are all the rage these days. I’ve seen Twitter threads that tell better stories than some of the books I’ve read.
The point I’m trying to make here is that you can be a blogger on whatever platform you want. Don’t forget: influencers and micro-bloggers are very popular people right now. A whopping number of them don’t even have the slightest hint of a blog.
Just do you, however you want to do it.
Don’t worry about the label.
10 – Where do you find pictures to go with your blog posts?
Another excellent question, and one that I have a few answers for! Pictures can come in many forms for a blog.
Image Source: colorubold.blogspot.com
You could use stock images.
These come in both free and paid-for types, all of which can be used on your blog. You’ll need to check the terms and conditions for your source as some of them will require credit, usually in the form of a name and/or link. As a general rule, though, paying for usage does not require attribution (credit), and there are sites that offer pay-as-you-go, monthly, yearly, and even batch-photo plans.
I listed a whole bunch of places to find free stock photos and you’ll find them here:
You could always take your own blog photos, too. It’s easier than you’d think, and you really don’t need a great, expensive camera with a whole bunch of editing equipment to manage it.
Adobe Lightroom is an amazing app for phones, tablets and desktops, and there’s a free version that does a great job. You can also upgrade if you want to use some of the additional, more advanced features.
This seems to be the norm with most editing software and websites — there is a freebie version as well as a paid-for version. With a few quick tweaks, your dull photo could look like an epic blog photo, and that’s even more so the case with amazing cameras on mobile phones.
A few resources:
I’m not a photographer, but I’ve put together some of my own blog posts on the subject of blog images. You’ll find those here:
I’ve also found some AMAZING blog posts on other blogs. Here are a few that I think might be helpful:
- A beginners guide to Blog Photography & Styling [citygirlsearching]
- Flatlay Props You Already Own [kaylagraphics]
- 11 Tips for Taking Brighter Blog Photos this Winter [barelytherebeauty]
Do you have blogging questions that you can’t find the answers to here? Feel free to ask them! You can leave them in the space for comments below this blog post, or you can get in touch via email or social media. No question is a stupid question when you don’t know the answer to it. If those questions are the one thing holding you back from starting a blog, perhaps it’s about time to ask them, get the answers you need, and finally publish your very first blog post!
Thanks so much for reading! I hope the rest of your day is awesome!