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SOLVED: Your Top Five Newbie Blogger Problems #AD

Lockdown has provided the perfect opportunity for many people to take their first leaps into the blogging world. But the blogosphere can seem pretty intimidating for the new kids on the block. Experienced bloggers are already killing it with their slick websites, jazzy newsletters and photography that would make a professional green with envy. But never fear, newbies! There's a place in the community for everyone and even the most seasoned full time blogger is still learning every day. To lend a hand to anyone experiencing self doubt over their new blog, I've reflected on the five biggest problems that I faced back in my early blogging days and I've tried my best to solve them for you. 

The Problem: I've got so much to say but so few photographs!

One of my least favourite elements of blogging is the photography. I love creating cute one-off images for my Instagram but when I'm tasked with pulling together a cohesive photo set featuring multiple images for use in a blog post, my stress levels often hit the roof. I sometimes find that there are so many interesting think-piece blog posts that I want to write but I just can't find the time or inclination to take the photos that I need to publish them.

The Solution: Stylish Stock Imagery

Life is so much easier when you simply opt for a stock image for your blog post. But we can’t just download any old image from the internet and slap it onto our blogs. Copyright laws exist for a reason and your fellow bloggers will be mighty annoyed if you happen to lift one of their images to illustrate your content. To avoid any awkward mishaps, you can turn to sites such as Unsplash for your stock photography needs. Their images are freely available for you to download and use under the Creative Commons Licence. You may like to provide the photographer with a simple attribution as a thank you, but it’s not compulsory. Just type the keyword for the kind of photo you’re looking for into Unsplash and you’re away! 

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The Problem: My blog feels a bit anonymous

Every man and his dog seems to have a blog these days and it can be hard to feel like you're offering something unique on your site. But don't let these negative thoughts get you down, as there's a very simple way to make your blog feel like your own. 

The Solution: Boss Your Blog Branding

Utterly unique and personal branding makes your site stand out from the crowd. When I first started blogging over five years ago (gasp), I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted my site to focus on, so I didn’t want to tie myself to a specific brand name that included keywords like “travel”, “fashion” or similar. Instead, I decided to simply base my blog branding around my name so that as my blog developed, I’d have the freedom to write about whatever I wanted! What I did know immediately was how I wanted aspects of my branding such as my header to look. My bright idea was for my header to be full of puns, with images such as the bee, loo, and rose incorporated into the branding to replace letters of my name. Five years later, I’m still totally obsessed with the branding that I chose! I worked with an indie illustrator to bring my branding ideas to life, but it’s now easier than ever to do it all yourself. You can download affordable digital products such as graphics, templates, mock ups, patterns, illustrations, craft files and so much more from Design Bundles. Quirky design elements such as an arrow svg can help you bring your dream branding to life! 

The Problem: I lack confidence in my writing 

"Does this make sense? Can anyone actually understand what I'm trying to say? Will everyone be laughing at this post?!" These are questions that can plague a new blogger who is still finding their online voice. It's all totally normal. Thankfully, some handy tools exist to help you feel more confident about the words you're putting out there. 

The Solution: Remember Readability!

A post's readability factor helps you to judge whether it is understandable and easy to digest for your audience. If you’ve chosen to set up your blog on Wordpress, the platform will give you a readability score as you type up your posts. But if, like me, you’ve opted for Blogger as your platform of choice, you’ll need an outside tool to help you perfect your readability. All you need to do is click to a Readability Test Tool and paste in the URL of your latest blog post. The tool will then scan your writing and rate it on a series of scales. You should aim for blog content to rank between grades five and eight for easy readability. If you're in the green, everything is good and your post is easily comprehensible. If any aspects are in the orange or red, you may want to re-draft as your post may not be the best it could be. The site will also give you the stats for your post, including an accurate word count and percentage of complex words used. I find this incredibly useful to check that all my posts are pitched at a similar level. If you need a little extra help with getting your posts absolutely perfect, you could even invest in copywriting services too.

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The Problem: Photography is hard! How can I up my game?

When I first started blogging, one of the biggest mistakes that I made was not editing my photos. I’d snap them on my phone or camera and upload them immediately to my site. I now look back on these older posts and cringe! I used to be completely lost with editing and found it a great source of disappointment when I couldn't get my images to look as good as my fellow bloggers', but that's until I discovered a simple solution...

The Solution: Photo Editing Perfection is at your Fingertips

During one of my photo editing crises, my wonderful blogger friend Hels suggested that I try out Adobe Lightroom. Since downloading it, I’ve never looked back! The Lightroom app is free and once you get the hang of it, it’s really easy to up your photo game. The aspect of the app that I like the most is the preset tool. If you produce an edit that you’re really happy with and want to apply it to a few other photos, you can save your edit settings as a preset and apply it to any other photo with a couple of clicks! It couldn’t be easier! You can also purchase pre-made Lightroom presets on sites such as Etsy to give you a helping hand. 

The Problem: I want to work with brands but don't know how

The prospect of collaborating with brands is something that many new bloggers find very attractive. However, you might assume that as a newbie to the blogging world with a small following, brands won’t be interested in working with you. But that’s simply not true! Although some brands do exclusively work with bigger bloggers, many recognise the benefits of working with a micro influencers. I always advise new bloggers to put their best foot forward and send a pitch email to brands that they’re interested in collaborating with – the worst they can say is no! 

The Solution: Master Your Media Kit

To ensure that you’re pitch perfect when approaching brands, I’d highly recommend putting together a media kit. You can pay someone to create this document for you, but it’s so easy to do yourself using modern and stylish templates available on sites like Canva. The media kit should include the branding we discussed earlier (typically in the form of your header image), your name and contact deets, your blog name and URL, key stats such as your social media following and domain authority score, audience demographics (the typical age, sex, and location of your viewers), a list of brands you’ve worked with previously, and (most importantly), the services that you offer. This will allow brands to get a good insight into what your blog is all about and make you a collaboration offer.

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Are there any burning new blogger questions that you'd like me to answer? Hit me up in the comments below and I'll do my best to help!