Hello friends! Recently, I’ve been receiving an influx of questions from people wanting to start a blog. When I started getting these questions via Instagram, e-mail, and even on Tumblr, of course I was flattered. I’m just beyond happy that these people are actually so so kind to reach out to me and let me know what their concerns are, and really want to thank them for trusting my opinion on things like this. So today, I thought it would be perfect to dedicate a full blog post to answering those questions about blogging. These are the ones I got from Tumblr, Instagram, and e-mail all thrown together in one post. Let’s get right into it!
I’m thinking of setting up my own blog, do you have any advice?
The most important thing when it comes to blogging, at least in my opinion, is that you love what you’re doing regardless of the numbers (which shouldn’t be a big deal honestly, if you’re genuine about what you’re putting out there). When picking your choice of niche, keep in mind to only write about what really matters to you. Ask yourself what you’re most passionate about—is it fashion? Books? Beauty? Travel? Food? Never mind what other bloggers have or what’s “popular” on mainstream blogging. Focus on topics that interest you the most, and then maintaining the blog will just come naturally because you enjoy what you’re writing about.
I also wrote a blog post (March 2020) on the things I’ve learned so far about blogging, you may check it out too if you want!
How do you write when you’re not in the mood to, but need to get a post up?
I read! I wish I can tell you more but sometimes when I can’t write, all I do is pick up a book and eventually I’ll want to start writing again! The beauty of words on paper really inspires me, that’s why every time I write I make sure I always have a book or two beside me, just to kind of absorb its energy, I guess! Although, I bet that’s what other writers/bloggers will tell you as well.
But another thing that always gets me is music! I like listening to certain tracks that brighten up my mood and make me feel lively in general, prior to writing. Usually I pick up songs from artists like Marian Hill, Terror Jr, Jojo, and Jesse McCartney (hint hint it’s because they’re my favorites, haha). There’s just something in their music that gets me all bubbly inside and that makes me want to create something—that’s when writing comes into the picture. And I’m on!
Hi Chia! I stumbled upon your blog and I wanted to ask you if you designed your blog alone or if someone designed it for you?
Both! First, I purchased a theme online and then installed it onto the blog, and then I did a couple of html and css coding in order to tweak some stuff and further incorporate the exact design I had in mind. Creative Market and Etsy both have really good blog themes and their designs range from minimalistic to the magazine-type ones. There’s plethora of options and I honestly had a great time trying to look for the one I wanted because there’s just soooo many good ones that are so pleasing to look at.
Hi! I’m interested in starting a blog and wanted to know which platform you would recommend for doing so?
WordPress! I’m pretty sure you’ll find a lot of articles online that would say so, too. In my opinion, WordPress is just the most convenient choice to pick, and it doesn’t really matter (well, maybe it does, but just a tiny tiny bit) whether you’re using WordPress.com or WordPress.org, because the platform is in itself highly flexible and customizable. At least, I find it to be!
Any tips for taking great photos?
Believe it or not, I’ve always struggled with photography and it used to be something that intimidated me a lot because in the beginning I didn’t really know how I wanted my photos to look like. Yet I see everyone on Instagram and I see other people’s blogs, and they have such beautiful photos but how, just how the heck am I supposed to take my photos? How do I make them pretty like that?
Before all this, I used to take photos literally whenever I wanted and it didn’t matter what time of the day it was. Obviously, because of that every single shot had a different lighting in it, and of course I didn’t know that before so I would wonder why my photos didn’t look cohesive enough and no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t get it right. And then snap, the realization hit me, ding ding ding it’s the lighting!!!
When it comes to taking photos, with product shots and flatlays like mine at least, I think the trick is to take your photos only during a specific time of the day and really put yourself on a strict schedule. This keeps the lighting uniform in all your photos and after that the editing process will just be a piece of cake. Because at the end of the day it’s true what they say: lighting changes everything.
To what extent do you plan what you’re writing about?
I come up with an editorial calendar for each month, plot my posts in advance, and try my best to follow through with that schedule. Personally, a full month-scheduling ahead works for me because it keeps me on my toes and gives me a better understanding of the kind of vibe I want to go for in a specific month.
However, I don’t necessarily beat myself up over in the head if I miss a day or two, because that takes away the fun, doesn’t it? So, I just try to catch up with the posts when I do and not get too dramatic over it. I really try to keep it light but it’s important to discipline myself as well and still try to stick to the schedule as much as I can. For me, balance really just does the job.
Hello Chia! Where do you get your inspiration from? Do you have other blogs you look at for inspo?
Of course! Here are my favorite blogs and websites:
What are your recommendations for developing more meaningful interactions between blogs?
Talk to other bloggers! That’s just it! Leave a comment every now and then and let them know you ARE reading their stuff, without expecting anything in return. But most likely, they’ll also turn up on your blog and leave a comment as well! Last October I wrote a blog post called Much Ado About Blogging and here’s what I said about it:
“Most bloggers I know invest SO MUCH of their time writing posts for their blog in order to keep up with their posting schedule. They spend hours curating the perfect piece and editing the photos they would want to show their readers to make the reading experience satisfying. It doesn’t really take much to show appreciation by quickly sliding into their comments section to say how much you enjoyed their post if you did. I promise you, they’ll appreciate the small gesture!” (Much Ado About Blogging, October 2019)
Where do you get post ideas?
Here’s the thing, even when I was a kid, magazines were the second thing I’d read the most next to books. I’ve always had an idea of how lifestyle and beauty pieces were structured and how they’re written. So, I guess my current post ideas for the blog are honestly just a culmination of all the things I’ve read in magazines since day 1. That’s where I’d draw inspiration from when it comes to what I write about and how I write these blog posts.
I’ve been blogging for a while now (3 years) but still can’t get that many readers, have you ever experienced this? And how do you cope if yes?
If I’m being honest, I’m a small blogger myself because I literally just started last year, so I’m not sure I can be of much help when it comes to that. But I guess I’ve come to the point where I can say that I’ve gained enough number of readers to say that I have at least a small audience and that I am very thankful for.
However, I have to admit that I’ve felt the exact same way before, especially last year when the blog was just starting out and nobody was reading it. Even then, I kept writing and publishing posts, and tried to shift my mindset instead—never mind the numbers. When I did, that’s when new readers started finding out about the blog and somehow, the statistics increased.
So, I suppose, and as cliche as this may sound—just keep going. Keep moving forward. Keep writing and keep posting. Blogging shouldn’t make you feel bad and when it feels right, it feels right!