Blogging – Everything I’ve Learned In 3 Years
Blogging – Feast On Fashion
Three years ago I started a fashion and beauty blog – Feast On Fashion. I had no idea what I was doing while blogging and felt completely silly throwing my own content out to the world. I had a corporate day job and felt something missing. I’ve always been into fashion and beauty since I was a little girl. When I was younger, I remember playing with my mom’s makeup and trying on her high heels and jewelry. You could catch me stumble down the street in heels that were way too big while neighbors mentioned how cute (or awkward?) I looked.
I wrote 10 blog posts before I made Feast On Fashion public. I remember being terrified the moment I launched it because most people in my life then knew me from my corporate job, which was not at all related to fashion or beauty. Then, readers caught on and it grew like crazy to 12,000 subscribers overnight (ok, a year). YAY! Fast forward to two site versions and countless blog posts (I blogged every single day for long time) and BOOM – hacked. The whole site came down.
I called my web hosting provider and struggled through patching everything back together, this is any bloggers WORST nightmare. Not to mention people asking you what happened. Fast forward a few agonizing months and life changing moments ahead (and a great friend that owns the company Digitist to help me through) and I decided I would start over with this whole blogging thing.
Boss Gal – Blogging with Purpose
Boss Gal is the evolution of a much more powerful Feast On Fashion. FOF taught me so much about myself, the blogging industry and sigh…hackers. Through blogging I learned that fashion is a way of life – your way of life. It’s the way you carry yourself, make decisions and ultimately the way you decide to live your life. Boss Gal is still about fashion and beauty but it is also about empowering women to be you, break free and break through. To have the courage to be yourself and express yourself. I don’t want you to feel stuck like I was. I’m here to help!
Blogging – What is it and How does it Work?
So, how did I get started blogging? I spent countless hours looking for some outlet to fulfill what I felt was missing from my day job. Everything I landed on reinforced that I didn’t quite fit the mold but for some reason they were all blogs. I decided if others could do blog, why couldn’t I?! A blog! How perfect to feel like I could express myself authentically and help the world while doing so. A blog is essentially a website that is regularly updated with personalized content written by a single person or groups of people.
I’m going to share the tools I’ve used to blog over the last three years with you. They are by no means the only tools out there – just the blogging tools I prefer.
WordPress is one of the top blogging platforms out there. If you’re a beginner, or would like to start the basic route, you can use wordpress.com. If you go this route your domain name will read something like this – bossgal.wordpress.com. If you’d like to dive right in (I’m sort of a techy nerd on the side) you can use the do it yourself platform at wordpress.org. This allows you to have a custom domain name like bossgal.net and configure the entire site design and layout on your own. I would suggest wordpress.org if you want to take full creative control and aren’t afraid to dive in and get your hands messy. WordPress offers countless amounts of plugins/widgets that allow you to fully customize your site. I would suggest only using reputable plugins to avoid hackers!
Did someone say .99 domain names? If you’ll be blogging in the future you’ll need your own domain name (i.e. bossgal.net). Don’t pay full price for a domain! GoDaddy has several options available for .99 for the first year. Use this link here to grab yours! All you have to do is search your domain to see if it’s available. I would suggest paying the additional cost for privacy protection (I think it was around $7.99 when I did it) so your phone number and information isn’t publicized for every telemarketer to call, email and mail info to you non stop. I made that mistake in 2015 – it wasn’t fun.
So you have WordPress setup but now you need to publish your blog online. Let me guess – you didn’t realize wordpress wouldn’t just throw you out there onto the world wide web? You have to use a web hosting company. There are several out there that all offer slightly different packages but BlueHost is top of the market. Ive used them off and on for three years. Once you sign up with BlueHost you can actually perform all your blog editing (and much more) from there if you’d like, although it is more technical than editing through WordPress.
Let’s talk social media! I won’t spend much time here since this post is dedicated to blogging but I use HootSuite to publish my Instagram and Facebook content. It’s a great, super simple auto scheduler. I set aside time and schedule all my posts for the next day (or several days) at once. It allows you to upload your own photos, their stock photos, hashtags and schedule a time/day to auto post. HootSuite also has a photo editor built right into their tool. It’s saved me a ton of time and hassle for posting to social media!
Blogging Wrap Up
I’ve always loved to discover other bloggers’ behind the scenes tools. This post will certainly get you started on your blogging journey. The above blogging tools are the essentials and you can build from there. I love to help other bloggers as they start out on their journey so please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask questions via the contact form or in the comments on this post!
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