Blog Startup

Everything is coming along well! I have learned the effects of some of the plugins on the site, and am only still trying to tune the aesthetics and figure out my actual plan of posting. I know that I’d like to talk about the outdoors, specifically products (like the car-roof tent and a variety of tools), trail advice, and travel tips. How to approach these topics and where to advertise my blog are the most intimidating question.

I could not have gotten this far by now without the information found on fellow blogs, (which I discovered on Pinterest). Here they are, in all their glory- I just hope the links work the first time I try and put them on here. (This whole post is basically a link and image embedding exercise.)

Every blog that I read about beginning to blog said one thing: building a successful takes time, dedication, and determination. However, these authors each had something unique to say as well.

Make It Functional

One source I found, Pro Blogging Tips for Beginners, has all sorts of tips and tricks together in one long list. I did not get to reading every word, but what I did soak up was fairly beneficial for me.

 

Although I did not go to the host of Raelyn Tan’s choice or pay any money just yet, her suggestions are a good place to start. She outlines the importance of acquiring hosting, a domain name, a theme, and gives inspiration for that impending first post.

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This link for the Wonderlass blog does not actually attach to the post where this infographic originated- in fact, I’m not sure if that post is still even up. However, ‘Lady Boss Allison’ has other blurbs throughout her site that are immensely helpful, as well as courses (free and otherwise), an e-mail newsletter, and inspiration galore!

BlogChecklist

 

I found this infographic on Pinterest, but the site that it leads to is down for the moment. Despite that, this graphic itself is pretty helpful, with advice for essential plugins (which mostly come built in on wordpress.com, my host of choice) and crucial actions to take when starting up.

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Make It Pretty

Along with startup assistance, I found some crucial information for how to take actual decent photos that people will enjoy and trust, because “it’s easy to trust big, clear photographs of what you’re selling (Billmeier)”.

 

Have you ever wondered why your pictures never come out as nicely as they do for the ‘big guys’ on Instagram and in advertising? I’ve always been on the hunt for ways to improve my photography, though I don’t have any tools other than my phone, a galaxy fish-eye cam, and a dingy video camera. At least, I thought those were all the tools I had, til I started to read about DIY lighting and background effects.

At Crutchfield.com, Billmeier demonstrates the ease at which a simple light box can be created.

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All this guy used to make it is poster board, tissue paper, and lamplight. I plan to try it as soon as I get back home to Virginia next week.

 

Like Billmeier, a post on the blog fstoppers describes the importance and ease of a seamless background, but fstoppers emphasizes the variety of ‘sweeps’ that you can use, rather than the basics of a light-box. Who knew that two foam boards and a piece of paper could create such beautiful effects?

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My favorite source that has helped me with my photos is on the blog “Helene in Between”. I obtained two of my best apps ever, Snapseed and Afterlight, thanks to Helene’s post about how to create a perfect picture:

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I confess, since reading Helene’s posts I have been editing every one of my photos on the apps she suggests. It’s really fun, albeit time consuming. I’ll even bounce a photo from one app to another because each app has its own perks. I’m definitely overdoing it, but I won’t stop until I use every last effect at least once.

 

Most of the other photo-related resources I glazed over mentioned to:

  1. Keep it light
  2. Keep it simple
  3. Keep it consistent
  4. Try a textured background (I have noticed that wood or marble backgrounds are popular)
I will be leaving these beginning posts up on the blog for the rest of its life, because I think it’s important for people to know that everyone starts somewhere. Also, I figure that if I found these resources so helpful, they could probably help you all a lot, too, if you’re starting out like me.
My first relevant outdoorsy post will be up next week or the week after that.
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