The girls have been talking about starting a blog together for a while now. Not just fashion, but just chatting and showing stuff they like. I am totally supportive of this because it means I have another blog to read! :) So as we were talking, I started thinking of people out there who might want to start a blog but aren't really sure where to start. It was easy enough for me when I started this one. I just...started talking. I was bored, I had an idea, and I just went for it. I never even thought anyone would READ it, much less stick around for years with my babbling. :-p But that was a different time in SL blogging. There were many SL blogs where people talked about their lives and about things they did in SL and stuff like that. Now it's mostly fashion, and if it's not fashion, it's tech blogs. I miss all of the personal blogs.
I digress. :) I enjoy fashion blogging and showing things that I like as much as I enjoy my personal blog. But a lot of people who start blogs really don't get a lot of advice when starting out. So let me break some stuff down for you. It's just random advice, take it however you'd like.
1. Feeds are important, but not at first. It's good to be on feeds. You get a little more exposure that way and if you're applying to blog for some events/stores, it's inevitable that they will ask what feeds you're on. But most feeds have a pretty strict rule about not accepting blogs that haven't been active for at least 3 months. Some want you to have been active for 6 months. Don't be discouraged, it's just the way things are. A lot of people make a blog and forget it in a week and the feed owner has to go through deleting inactives. If you've been blogging consistently for 3 months, chances are you're sticking around. So how do you get readers? You're going to have to kick it old school. YOU have to market yourself. Post your blog links on Flickr, Plurk, Facebook, and tell your friends. Don't be annoying with it. No one will want to read you if you force yourself upon everyone, but just make your blog posts easily accessible.
2. Be prepared to spend money. Probably a lot of it. Blogging isn't a cheap hobby unless you're blogging nothing but freebies. Don't expect to be showered in cash and prizes just because you opened a blog. I cannot stress this enough - Do NOT expect anyone to give you anything, invite you to blogger preview days, nothing. If they do, as a new blogger, be grateful!!! In fact, even as an old blogger, be grateful if anyone is kind enough to give you things or invite you to events. They don't have to and you can find yourself out of a group as quickly as you found yourself in it.
3. But not all stores/events are worth applying to blog for, even if you like their stuff. I'll just say it. Some store owners and event coordinators have ridiculous blogger rules. They want you to put a big logo on your blog, they want you to do press releases days before an event even if you have nothing to show from that event, they want you to blog every new release within a day of receiving it. Generally, the newer the store or event, the crazier the blogger rules will be. Long time stores are usually like, cool, thanks for blogging this stuff in your own way, I appreciate it. New stores are usually all "OMG WHY DIDN'T YOU BLOG ME WITHIN 22.3 HOURS OF MY NEW RELEASE?!? WHY DIDN'T YOU BLOG ME THE WAY I TOLD YOU TO?!" Some events want you blog within a day of opening and make sure you use 17 items from that event in every post and you better make 5 posts about that event. Unless you have a GREAT deal of time to devote to blogging and/or the ability to put a look and photo together quickly, avoid applying for these stores and events, no matter how much you like what they have. You're better off buying what you want and blogging within your own time frame when they get nuts like that. Because I promise you, you will never blog fast enough or good enough for them.
4. Don't call them sponsors. Just...don't. Unless they are paying you in cash in return for a blog post, or you have some kind of exclusivity contract with them, they are not your sponsors. They are creators who are nice enough to send you things in the hopes that you will blog them. You will see long term bloggers snickering every time someone is crying about their sponsors [because "sponsors" usually have crazy blogger rules], or posting Flickr pics saying that they're "accepting sponsors." Btw, never do that either. That's awful.
5. Use your words. Believe it or not, despite what people will tell you, you will have readers. Not just people who look at your pretty pictures, but readers. Your words make your blog personable. You will keep an audience of people who grow to feel like they know you and that is SO worth it. I have some of the best readers out there who have reached out to me in many ways and I love it!
6. It should always be fun, even if you stress about it sometimes. I won't say that you will never stress about your blog. You will. You'll hurry to blog something before an event is over. You'll compare yourself to every other blogger you see. You'll groan when you finish a picture and realize something didn't rez properly. But it should STILL be fun. You should always enjoy it! It should never feel like a chore, or work, or an obligation. You don't have to blog daily unless that is your personal goal. You should always do it because you love it.
Anyway, there are some tips for you. I'm just one blogger, so really, most of this is just opinions based on experiences that I've had over the past 6 or so years that I've been blogging about SL stuff. Other bloggers might have other thoughts. In fact, I'm sure they do. We're a notoriously opinionated bunch, even if those opinions never actually see the light of day on our blogs.
And just so this is not totally without photos... hey, it's us having movie night! Woo!