The first time you hit ‘publish’ on a fresh, new blog, is a somewhat daunting moment. Procrastinating thoughts may fill your head like,

“Will people read this?”

What if they hate it?”

Maybe I should re-write that closing paragraph and make it more philosophical? Or is that too deep for a first blog post?”

Whatever your initial thought on posting your very first article, you soon come to learn weird and wonderful things as you delve further into the blogosphere. Having launched Habibi Lifestyle over a year ago, here are 10 things I’ve learned along the way 🙂

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1. Name your blog wisely

The name of your blog should relate to you in some way. Whether it’s reflective of the type of content you’re putting out there or something you personally love, take your time when it comes to naming your blog. I was super indecisive so I left it to my friend who blurted out Habibi Lifestyle. He was pretty excited about it, which then influenced me to go and purchase the domain name without thinking twice. Since then I’ve grown to adore the name as it pretty much reflects my love for lifestyle writing.

2. It’s okay to be meticulous

…especially when it comes to design, layout etc. You want your blog to look good so taking your time to make sure you’re happy with the overall look and feel is important. Remember that sometimes, less is more and if you find yourself drooling over a particular premium theme, just purchase it.

3. Don’t underestimate the power of a good picture

Blogs should be visually appealing as well as informative. A good picture will not only attract people, but will hold them there and play on their curiosity, perhaps leading them to check out more of your blog. Don’t be afraid to jazz up pictures with the huge array of photo editing suites and tools available online either.

4. It’s all about networking!

There are thousands of bloggers around the world wanting to have their voice heard. The beauty about being a blogger is there is more than enough space for us all. It’s so important to acknowledge your peers, taking the time to read, comment and connect with them. If you have a specific niche, it’s great being able to share mutual interests and of course you could potentially make some great friends for life!

5. There will be disappointment

There have been times where I’ve been left pretty deflated but the key here is you live and you learn. There will be times where events are lacklustre or that great idea you had for a beauty haul didn’t quite pan out that way. Don’t give up! We all hit dead ends sometimes.

6. Commitment is everything

It’s easy to get side tracked or forget to blog when you add your job, family and friends into the mix. Don’t lose focus! Set yourself a goal to work towards. Whether it’s attaining a certain number of subscribers or attending specific events, commit yourself. I decided to design business cards and now my incentive is to shift them through networking, events and just people I encounter everyday. The more cards handed out, hopefully the more people will visit and like what they see.

7. Show your support

Whether it’s towards other bloggers, businesses or charities, showing support is not only a win-win situation, but helps you broaden your horizons. I never thought that I would become a blogging partner for the Urban Muslim Woman Show, but it happened through showing support and belief in the event itself. In the end, you’re bound to meet amazing people and I sure did – Saudi Arabian royalty!

8. Don’t be taken for granted

Some people have made livelihoods from their blogs, YouTube page etc. so when it comes to monetising your blog, negotiating exposure or costs with people you’re working with, don’t feel as though you’re not entitled to this. Many businesses take advantage of bloggers simply because there are so many of them and exploit them unrelentlessly. If you have a vision of making a business out of your blog then don’t be deterred.

9. Put good karma out there

I have one rule that I always adhere to when it comes to posting blogs: don’t intentionally set out to bad mouth businesses/events you’re featuring. Unless it’s going to be a fair review of both the good and bad, I’d rather not fill this space with intentional rants about something that’s not going benefit myself or readers. You may not think it, but by putting out just an ounce of good karma, you never know when you may be rewarded for it.

10. Have fun

There is absolutely no point in starting a blog if you don’t enjoy or have a passion for what you’re writing about. It took forever for me to think of a niche but once I settled on lifestyle aimed at Asians, the excitement of penning another post instantly hits me and I haven’t looked back since. Believe in what you do.