I started Twenty & To just over six months ago and am honored to have had such a positive response from friends, family and of course you, the readers. So before I go any further I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for being such an incredibly loyal community. Thank you for reading, commenting, sharing and emailing me, it has meant the world.
P.S. I love hearing from you, so if you ever feel like saying hello or suggesting an article topic feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @itsashleyperez.
That being said the most common question I get from friends and followers is, "how do I become a blogger"? And so in the spirit of paying it forward I thought I'd share with you the basics of blogging from my own personal experience.
So you want to be a blogger? Yes, I'm so excited for you. You can do it! It's not always easy, but it's worth it and here's why. You wanting to start a blog immediately lets me know two things about you:
- You have something to say
- You believe other people should hear it
The problem is how do you make yourself known? How do you get heard? You may be the world's best writer but if the only person who knows your blog exists is the woman who gave birth to you, then chances are you aren't making the impact you hoped for. Don't worry, you'll get there. Success rarely comes easily, but persistence is usually rewarded, so keep it up.
And now what you've been waiting for, how to be a blogger in three simple steps.
- [one] Start a blog: This may seem a little obvious, but really it is key. To get somewhere, you have to start somewhere. Jump in, start writing even if no one is listening. Don't go overboard— buying domains and hiring graphic designers to make your header— just write. The more you write, the clearer the vision of what you are trying to create becomes. This blog was created using Blogger. However Tumblr and WordPress also offer a free, relatively easy start to blogging.
- [two] Use social media: The best place to start building a following is where the foundation has already been laid, your friends and family. Use the social networks you already have (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) to share what you are creating with those who care about you most. A word to the wise: more is less. No one likes spam, even your best friends, so post sparingly. Finally make sure to reach out and thank the friends who take the time to share your blog, this goes a long way.
- [three] Submit, submit, submit: Once you've created something worth sharing, it's time to go global. The quickest way to gain exposure is through mutual partnerships. This means guest blogging, becoming a regular contributor to content aggregators (BuzzFeed, HelloGiggles, The Conversation) or even just sending a friendly tweet to one of your favorite bloggers. With each post written or email sent make sure to include the information to your blog, so they can link their readers back to you. This step takes a lot of time and effort and will surely result in some rejection, but just keep submitting and eventually someone will take the bait.
So there you have it, it's not everything but it's a start. Again my biggest piece of advice is simply to get started, start thinking, exploring and writing. Don't worry about all the details (site design, domain name, etc.) all that will come in good time. For now get going because you're sure to fail a few times before you get it right, but the sooner you fall down, the sooner you can get back up.
Good luck! The future is bright.
For those of you looking for a more in-depth peek into the world of starting a blog, might I recommend Blog, Inc. by Joy Cho, a seasoned blogger. The book goes into all the details of starting and managing a successful blog in a 100% accessible way. Enjoy.