You have decided to start a blog, get on Youtube or take up twitter. It’s a minefield out there so I as a connoisseur of many of these platforms and an amateur blogger and Youtuber I though I would put together some tips to help you survive in the world of Social Media.
1. Jump right in – One of the most important things to understand is we all have to start somewhere. Nobody expects your first posts or videos to be fantastic and it will take you a while to get into the swing of things but once you start to feel comfortable and build some content you can go public with your uploads.
2. Be honest – The internet is like a heat seeking missile towards liars. Everyone embellishes a little when telling a story that’s normal but if you say you own things you don’t or can do things you can’t then you will get found out. If you are successful enough to get noticed by PR companies they will send you free goodies and ask for endorsements. My advice would be very transparent about what you have been given and never feel pressured into doing a sponsored post or video.
4. Write what you know – Now that isn’t to say if you find a subject you are interested in you can’t research it and do some excellent pieces on it but I find blog posts are better received when the writer is knowledgable about their subject matter. I would rather read a post about a subject I am not interested in by someone who has a passion for it than a post about something I love written by a person who has no grasp of the subject matter.
5. Be yourself – Or at least be consistent. Many bloggers and vloggers create an on camera persona for themselves and that is fine as long as you make it clear it’s a persona and you can be consistent with it. If you don’t feel you can keep up a persona then be yourself your audience will respond better to you being you than you trying to be someone else.
6. Start small – Of course quality is important, clear pictures and videos are a credit to any social media site but I would say don’t rush into expensive equipment unless you are sure you are going to use it. I have known many a blogger buy an expensive and fancy SLR camera with no idea how to use it. Millions of people watch videos on the web recorded on smart phones, webcams and basic cameras and if the content is good then the image quality is not such a worry. It’s ok for you equipment to be proportional to your following hollywood production values are something to aspire to rather than begin with.
7. Find your niche – Don’t worry it is perfectly acceptable for that niche to be you but most bloggers and vloggers find themselves aligned to a particular category and this can be helpful in growing your audience. Figuring out where you fit can be tricky but once you have decided whether you are a mommy, beauty, tech, fashion, photography, travel or lifestyle blogger (or any combination of the above it can help you find like-minded people within the community and get socialising.
8. Make friends – Social Media is exactly that Social. If you want people to follow your blog you need to get out there and start following other people, read as much as you can and get to know people. Blogger friends can be a great source of inspiration and advice once you make some good connections you can all learn from each other and it can take the blogging experience from a very lonely one to a very social one.
9. Be prepared for criticism – The blogosphere can be a brutal place where people will insult you very easily with thinks that they would never say to you face to face. You need to be quite thick-skinned and comfortable with yourself so you can deal with the insults and jealousy that have become the norm when you put yourself out there. You should however not stand for any kind of abuse and if you feel someone has said something to you that contravenes the rules of s site then make sure you report it through the proper channels. This is why community is important so you can turn to your friends for advice and support, we have all been there and sometimes even with your most sensible head on it is hard not to take things personally.
10. Have fun – This is the most important to me. Blog, Vlog, Post and share pictures because you want to, it should make you happy and not feel like a chore and (if it does your not doing it right). So Tell stories, laugh at your mistakes, share your special memories, spread happy news stories and enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy writing it or filming it chances are people won’t enjoy watching or reading it. Of course I need to put a little disclaimer here about context. Some blogs aren’t about happy subject matters and might be difficult to read or distressing to watch but the purpose is generally to shine a light on an issue and try to make the world a better place through understanding.