Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Advice on Blogging

Hi everyone,

Today's post is somewhat personal to me. As much as I try not to write a blog about blogging, through the years I have people asking me for advice about this particular topic. However, in light of the fact that I just spent 2 days renovating my blog, I believe it is apt to write something about blogging with hope that it answer some questions that you may have about blogging.

1. Take money out of the equation

Believe me when I say this: a lot of people blog but not many people make money out of it. Therefore, don't blog with hope that it will bring you money. Instead, write because you want to and you love to. Your passion will shine through and it is better that way in the long run. Also, when you do something well enough, people may want to pay you to do it again and again. Just think of money as a reward, not an incentive for blogging.

2. Write what you love and love what you write

Before I ended up being a beauty blogger, I had a couple of blogs. All died because I was not focused. On top of that, I was not invested in blogging as I am now. The lifestyle blog came to an abrupt end as I realized how boring my life was. The crochet and knitting blog also died because it cost so much to buy yarn. In the end, beauty blogging stucks with me: I love makeup enough to write about it and after all these years, I still love it.

3. Invest in a good camera

Looking back at the earlier posts makes me cringe sometimes. The quality of the photos were abysmal. I didn't even have my own camera back then and I didn't know how to do a white balance for the photos. As a result, most of my photos looked yellow due to the fact that I used light bulbs in the bath room to take pictures. Then, I graduated to my Canon A590 camera. It was a low-end point and shoot that required flash in order for things to show. I got so many wash out photos out of it. It was until I finally braved up and paid for my current camera, the Canon G12, that blogging finally looked beautiful again. Therefore, I highly recommend a good camera that can take pictures in low light and in the shades during cloudy days. Investing in your camera is a good way to boost the aesthetic aspect of your blog.

4. Grammar and punctuation

While there are many aspects about this particular subject, to me it all boils down to how you show your respect to the readers. Do you want to incur them into posts full of grammatical errors and punctuation mistakes? It's like a torture when that happened to me. While I don't ask you (or force myself) to be a prolific writer with a tendency of being a grammar and punctuation purist, I do believe to keep the posts as clean as possible.

5. Engage with your audience

The blog can be a busy business sometimes with so much planning and orchestrations. However, whenever I receive a comment or a question via email, I would do my best to reply. I guess it's just better that way because I know it always makes my day when one of my favorite bloggers replies to my comment.

6. Grow with your blog

Looking back at the 4 years I have been blogging, I have come to a conclusion that the blog is a good opportunity for me to learn. Back then, I knew nothing about HTML/CSS/XML. I remember it took me a very, very long time to change my blog skin and it wasn't nearly beautiful. Also, I relied heavily on Paint for all things and everything related to photo editing then. Now, it's Photoshop, baby! (Although I am still in my learning stage.)

The same thing happens to photography, too. From a person who knew nothing about photography, I am now proud to say that I can take some decent photos. With a lot of blessing, I am going to get my first D-SLR by the end of this year.

Yes, I have had a blast with my blog during the last 4 years. I have come to know you guys and learned so many things from this blog. Of course, there have been ups and downs but knowing that's how life is makes it easier to get through.

I hope today's post answers some of your questions about blogging. It took a small push from a friend back in 2008 to make this blog a reality. I hope this post is a gentle push to those who always want to try their hands in blogging but are still afraid. Come on, just go ahead and do it already! Blogging is fun!

With love,
Dao xoxo

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