Keeping It Caitlin has been around for almost three years, so I thought it was probably time that I shared what I’ve learned so far on this blogging journey. I get asked often for advice on how to start a blog, and while I still have a lot to learn, I have already learned so much through the highs and lows of the past couple years. So, I’m sharing my experience and advice on How to Start a Blog part one. In part two, I’ll be sharing more advice, how to brand yourself, and anything else I think of haha. DM me if you have a specific question you want me to answer.
I get asked this question the most. “How did you come up with your blog name?” For me, it just came naturally. I thought about what I wanted to share, who I wanted to be for my audience, and my personality. I knew keeping it real would always be a huge part of my blog and I know I’m definitely a character, so I came up with Keeping It Caitlin. Which to me, is a combination of keeping it real, funny, body positive, lighthearted, and fashionable. And that’s what my whole brand is about.
So, go with something that represents yourself if you’re wanting to come up with a more creative name. I would suggest always including your real name in your blog name. It just leaves less room for confusion and makes it easy for your readers to identity you.
Write down your name ideas and search them on different sites. Make sure nobody already has your domain (website name) or has the same name on Instagram.
Speaking of domain, the whole process of building your blog can definitely be overwhelming. However, I HIGHLY suggest you create a site and not just have a presence on Instagram or other social media. If anything happens to Instagram (knock on wood), all your hard work would be gone. If you have a blog/website, that’s always going to be there and you have 100% control of it.
Okay, it gets really technical, but you want to buy your domain and register it through a domain host. Then you’ll want to link that to whatever site you build your blog through. My advice: use Bluehost. They are a web host and you can keep your domain and link your WordPress through them. They have really good customer service too.
When you first start, you probably won’t have the budget for a super fancy site, and that’s totally okay. As long as it fits your aesthetic and is easy to navigate, you’re good. If you’re completely lost, YouTube is going to be your best friend. Just take it one step at a time.
I saw something on a blog post when I first started this and it’s been my guide through this whole thing. Do NOT go into this thinking you will make money within the first two years. There are definitely exceptions to that rule, but for the majority it takes a while to see return. And if you’re thinking that having a certain number of followers equals success, it’s so much more than that. Your engagement rate, the quality of your content, and your following all put together really sums up your worth to brands.
Another financial lesson I’ve learned: when you’re negotiating pay, tell the brand double what you’d be comfortable with. That allows room for negotiation and you never know what budget they’re working with. I’ve been paid by small businesses and told by huge retailers they have no budget. So don’t count anyone out.
media kit must haves
A lot of people don’t know what a media kit is, but once your blog gets going, it’s crucial. It’s hard to do when you first start a blog because you won’t have much stats yet. Basically, it’s a creative run down of your blog/social media stats, your previous work, and a summary of your blog and vibe. When you’re pitching brands, it helps you stand out and gives them all the information they need to get to know you.
P.S. if you missed yesterdays try on, click HERE.