Monday, January 31, 2011

Reader corner: How did i start blogging?

I recently got an email from a sweet reader:
Hi, I love your blog and follow it DAILY... I've always wanted to start a blog of my own..but I am way too chicken to start (I'm at not computer savvy at all). I was wondering how you got started and do you have any tips for me, or are there any helpful tools you used when you started. Thanks so much!
How did I start blogging?
I am sure my story is quite similar to some of the others. It all started with one Google search for “petite fashion”. The search has brought me to ExtraPetite's then AlterationsNeeded's. Next thing I know, there is a whole petite community online. These blogs provide me with an overwhelming useful amount of information. The petite blogger community has grown tremendously for the past several months. It took me probably about a month to finally decided to start my own blog and the rest is history. I enjoy blogging as much as interacting with other petite ladies on a regular basis. Continue reading..

Before deciding whether you should start your own blog or not, let’s me point out some of the advantages as well as the disadvantages of blogging. I assumed you’re interested in a fashion blog?

The relationship with fellow bloggers: I simply enjoy the e-friendship I have with them. They have shown me tremendous support and shout outs. I've learned so much over the course of 7 months I've been part of the petite community.
Share my interests: It’s a great feeling to be able to share the love for fashion with those who shares the same interests. This blog is a place for me to express my love for fashion and shopping.
Finding my personal style: My style has slowly changed since I started blogging (for the better). I find most of my inspirations from many stylish bloggers.
Getting educated: Many of the petite bloggers are very knowledgeable about what they blogged. I’ve learned so much in the past few months about the fit, the style and of course the deals by reading the fashion blogs.

Time-consuming: Blogging is fun but it's also time-consuming. I spent at least 8 hours per week writing posts, taking pictures, commenting and responding to emails etc. I put a lot of effort into each post and I am sure everyone else does too.
Blogs influence purchases: It’s hard to resist a purchase when an item looked so good on a fellow blogger. Believe me, they all look fabulous! You just have use your own judgment to determine whether you should make a purchase or not.

If you decide to start your own blog. Follow the 5 simple steps below:

Step 1: Decide on the type of free blogging platform you will use (blogger, typepad, wordpress…). Blogger probably is the most popular one. It’s super easy to use and literary, it takes 10 seconds to sign up.
Step 2: Decide on a blog template that suitable for your readers. You can Google for “free blogger templates”. All you have to do is copy/paste the HTML codes to your template. You can also use the build-in template that Blogger provides.
Step 3: Write up your content and have the pictures taken. This is probably the hardest part of blogging. If you have someone who can take pictures for you, that would be very helpful. Otherwise, you might have to consider getting a tripod and a remote for your camera.
Step 4: Publish your content!
Step 5: Let’s the audience know you have a blog.

Having a background in computer programming, HTML codes become an easy piece for me. I used to code my own website from scratch. Getting familiar with Blogger was super duper easy for me. I suggested you use Flickr for your blog photos instead of Blogger. The quality is 10 times better. Once you’re familiar with the setting, you can make some improvements to your blog such as get your own domain, custom layout, incorporate links to your blog to make a little money (when I say little, I really meant little)

Join a fashion forum: I can’t say enough good things about the AlterationsNeeded forum. It is the biggest petite forum online. Click here to join if you haven’t. Being a part of the community, get to know other petite ladies and let’s others know your blog. If your main audience is petites, I am sure you’ll get a great support from us.
Stay focused: Don’t concentrate too much on how to make your blog bigger and more popular. It’s not about how many followers/comments you get, it’s about how much you enjoy your little blog and the relationship with fellow bloggers. Do not blog for popularity.

I hope I answered all your questions. The most important thing is to set your own rules and enjoy what you’re doing. Please feel free to contact me via email or Twitter if you have any technical questions. If you decided to start your own blog, I’ll be your first follower.


Erin said...

Great post Sydney!! Totally agree with you on every point! I'd love to get to know new petite bloggers :) (and non-petite too!)

PetiteXXS said...

Nice post! I'm sure a lot of people will find this helpful. I definitely agree with a lot of the things you said above, especially the "disadvantages"... I actually wonder what I used to do with all my free time before I started blogging!

Jean said...

I love this post! You have shared some great tips here for new bloggers. And I agree..I can't emphasize enough how great the AN forum is. New bloggers should definitely use it as a means to get to know the community (and if they are a petite fashion blogger...get to know their audience).

I also agree with your +'s and -'s. Kelly inspired me to start blogging and the wonderful community like you and fellow bloggers is what encourages me to continue. But it can surely be time consuming, and my purchases definitely spiked with the growth of the online petite community. The benefit of getting reader opinion and critique though has kind of balanced that out. You guys keep me in check with the "nay" votes : )

Kileen said...

very well said!! i'm also always curious about how people get started into blogging. i agree that blogging is a time-consuming but it's totally worth it. and thank goodness there's such a great petite blogging community!

cute and little

Unknown said...

I also was inspired by Kelly and Jean:) And the AN forum rocks! I can't get enough! That really helped me when I first started blogging.

And you are so right about how time consuming blogging is but well worth it. I use it to de-stress from my business and I find it so helpful when I get the advice/opinions from fellow petites/readers.

My style has changed dramatically since last March and def for the better too:)

Thanks for sharing- great post!

B said...

What a helpful post! I recently started a blog after reading so many lovely ladies' blogs in the petite community. Would really appreciate if you paid it a visit! Still a work in progress but I am a dedicated reader and look forward to being more involved with petite fashion.

Lani said...

Thanks for the great advice!

Anonymous said...

I love this post and I couldn't agree more with everything you said. Another negative that I experienced for the first time was getting a rude anonymous comment! A new blogger should be prepared for any negativity, if any.

Like you, I'm so glad to have met so many wonderful bloggers and readers. : )

xx The Little Dust Princess

C said...

Agree with every single one of your points, Sydney. Couldn't have said it better myself (actually you said it much better than I could have). Discovering the petite community has opened up my eyes and I've met sooo many wonderful people. It truly has made blogging a lot more fun :)

curls-and-pearls said...

Excellent post Sydney! I agree with absolutely all of your points. You also have to make blogging FUN! Once it becomes a "chore" you should take a break for a bit. the Alterations Needed Forum is AMAZING!!! I wish I could log on more often, but it's a great resource. And I appreciate all the effort my fellow bloggers put into their posts so I try to comment as often as I can :)

Sydney's Fashion Diary said...

@PetiteXXS LOL. I was wondering about the same thing.

@PetiteAsianGirl Thanks, Jean. You were the reason I started blogging. I have enjoyed this little blog since then. You guys definitely help me to improve my personal style

@kileen @Really Petite Thanks, ladies. The petite community is definitely a great thing for us petites.

@B Thanks for stopping by. I just checked out your blog. My only tip to you is adding more photos to your blog. Often times, readers are interested in seeing than reading :) Otherwise, great start!

@The Little Dust Princess Another great tip, Jessy! Thanks for pointing it out.

@Cee @curls-and-pearls I agree with you ladies that the AN forum is such a wonderful resource.

Alterations Needed said...

Yay! Thanks for the AN Forum love! =)

Blogging has been so enriching to my life. From the joy I get out of writing posts, to getting letters from readers, to making new "e-friends". It's very very time consuming, but I love it. Great tips, and I hope you inspire a few new members of our little community to start a blog!

Elle said...

Yes! Great post, this is such a great resource for new bloggers and I can't agree more. :) I am relatively new and still learn something everyday about blogging etiquette and whatnot but I heart this community of petite ladies. :)

SewPetiteGal said...

Great post! I heart the petite community and have learned so much from every single person. And I definitely agree about purchase influence - sometimes it's good because I learn about a great item that I wouldn't have otherwise found, but bad because it makes me yearn for things I probably don't need. All in all, I've found blogging to be such a great outlet to connect with others and I truly love it :)

Danielle's Blog said...

Hey Sydney, I recently found the petite forum community and also found it quite helpful there too : ) It's good to get advice from all the petites out there since I was never quite a shopper/stylist to begin with. I've been trying to find my own style and glad to say I'm almost there!! Thanks for sharing about your blog journey.

Anonymous said...

This was such a helpful post! I started my blog a little less than 3 months ago and am still new to everything. I participated in the last two petite fashion challenges and it was a great experience. Everyone from the petite community (including you!) has been so nice and supportive. I have learned so much in the time that I started my blog. Originally, it was just a teen fashion blog because being 15, I thought that was it's main focus. Recently though, it has become more of a petite fashion blog as well, since I'm petite too and have been reading petite fashion blogs long before I actually started blogging. I will admit, I do tend to get too focused on the amount of viewers my blog gets, but I think it really matters most that I'm having fun and getting to meet other bloggers. Reading and responding to comments has been great! I can't believe that I haven't joined the Alterations Needed form (I read Kelly's blog almost every day!). I will definitely have to join now:)

Also, do you think it would be beneficial to switch to blogger? I'm currently on wordpress and it seems like all of the other petite bloggers are on blogger? You seem to really like it, maybe I will make the switch. I like wordpress but I think it would be easier to be on blogger for commenting, etc.
Thanks so much,

Ski Petite said...

This post came at the perfect time for me. I started a blog on Monday, so your tips will help out. I'll probably start on Flickr soon.

I found the petite online community around November and have really enjoyed following all the blogs, including yours.

Mindy said...

Thanks for the post on starting a blog. I'm a newbie and I appreciate it!

Sydney's Fashion Diary said...

@Danielle C I am glad that you found the petite forum community is quite helpful for you. There is no doubt about it. I feel the same way.

@fashionforteens I am glad you decided to have your own blog. The PFCs are so much fun. You’re only 15? LOL :) The AN forum is a very useful and wonderful resource. I don’t have any experiences with wordpress so I can’t tell you much about it. It’s all about your personal preference. I decided to go with blogger because I’ve heard it’s much easier to set up a blog with blogger than wordpress. Most of the petite fashion blogs that I followed are on blogger platform. The blogs that aren’t on blogger platform do not show up on my Google reader for some reasons. If you already had a blog with wordpress (and you like it), I’ll say stick with it for a little while. Switching can be painful. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

@Ski Petite Thanks for following my blog. I am glad to see there are more petites joining the community. I switched to Flickr last month and the photo quality has improved tremendously. Let me know if you have any technical questions. I am glad to help.

@Mindy You’re welcome, Mindy. I am glad you found this post helpful.

Bhushavali said...

Interesting post!!!
Nice to know about your blogging history!!!
An award and a Cheetah Outfit