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Someone recently commented on my IG asking ‘how do you really start?’ [a blog] and I totally know what she meant. Sure, I’ve covered How I Started My Blog, and Tips For Starting a Blog, but I’m sure if you’ve done a thorough search on these topics, you’ve likely heard all of this already. Motivational speeches aside, there’s a lot of technicalities involved in actually starting a blog. Today I’m going to cover 5 important steps in beginning your blogging career.

Before I dive in, I do recommend glancing through my Blogging Tips section in case you have other questions that I don’t answer today. While my advice today is more geared towards execution, some of the previous posts will help you refine your goals before taking action.

Another sidenote. The below tips are for anyone looking to blog as a business. So while you may disagree with some of my advice, it is all coming from the perspective of someone who started blogging for fun and has evolved into a business.

Read on for my 5 tips on how to actually start blogging.

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-Hire a web developer. There are many platforms that are making designing a website super easy these days (my personal fave is Square Space), but a blog should be viewed as a publication. The quality needs to be conveyed in the aesthetics before a post is even read. Unless you understand back-end coding, I recommend hiring a professional who can execute your vision.

Before interviewing developers (aim to meet with 3-4), have visuals prepared. Screen shot other sites you like and be specific–I like this site’s search bar, I like this site’s menu, I like this site’s layout, etc. From there, once you’ve found your match, work together to create your dream site. Don’t launch until everything is exactly how you want it. You truly only get one shot for someone to come to your site and make a decision (within seconds) if it’s a site they want to stay on or leave.

-Sign up for Affiliate programs. Shop Style, Reward Style, and Share A Share are probably the most well-known affiliate programs. What are affiliate programs? Good question.

Affiliate programs act as the “middle man” between Influencers and Brands. They will be responsible for some of your very first income, as they generate special links for you to use to collect commission. Some are strictly for conversion codes and affiliate links, and others offer brand partnerships as well.

-Find a photographer. Well that should be fairly easy in today’s world. But I suggest trying 2-3 different photographers to really make sure you know which direction (visually) you want to go. Are you bright and clean? Dark and moody? Editorial? Candid? Different photographers obviously have their own style and edit so it’s important to work with someone who understands your needs / vision.

With that being said, I believe in continuity once you’ve nailed it. If you’ve discovered what works for your blog and audience, be loyal to your photographer. And from a branding perspective, it’s good to keep your content pretty consistent aesthetically. Any noticeable changes should be treated like a business decision and taken very seriously.

-Map out content. I’ll be totally honest here. Mapping out content is my biggest struggle. I just can’t seem to get it together and think so far in advance. But it’s very important to do so. A blog should have a narrative, a story, and if you’re not planning in advance, it’s pretty tough to achieve.

I’m not a novelist (obviously) but I can only imagine that a timeline is created before a writer just sits down and busts out a novel. Could be wrong, but I feel fairly confident in my assumption.

-Be proactive. If you’re just starting out and don’t have much of a following be prepared to shamelessly promote yourself. I was that annoying person on Facebook who harassed all my friends to follow me, and then made them post about me to reach their network. I was very active on all social media platforms, always liking and commenting on other people’s accounts (still do), cross promoting my own content on Pinterest, etc. It’s a hustle, and it kind of never stops.

I hope you find this post helpful. If you have any other questions feel free to leave them below in the comments and I’ll either elaborate with another blog post or answer you direct :)



  1. Great post! I love following along your social media and blog; I think you’re very genuine and also hilarious.

    A few questions relating to above – when you’re travelling do you also hire a photographer? What sort of camera do you use personally when not with photographer? How long did it take to really figure out your aesthetic feel? This for me is the hardest because I love the look of so many ‘themes’!

    Carling x

    • Sivan Ayla says:


      Thank you for your sweet comment :)

      When I travel for fun with my husband I do not hire a photographer. We just use my iphone or Sony 5100, which is a point & shoot. When I’m shooting at home I use my Canon T3i.

      Hope that helps!


  2. Demi says:

    Thank you so much for these great tips! I was so excited to hear your announcement for this post on your Instagram story. I just started my own blog (demiduzit.com), and so appreciate you being willing to share your advice and personal experiences. I really look up to you and just love all the content you create!

    Did you deal with your own site analytics when you started out? I’ve been overwhelmed trying to figure out Google Analytics and how I should be using that information. Also, did you create your own media kit? There isn’t a ton of info out there on creating those– not that I am at that stage yet, haha. Hopefully one day :-)

    Last question: what are your thoughts on using a ton of hashtags (in a comment) on Instagram photos when you are first starting out to gain a larger following?

    Thanks again for your openness with your followers, that’s why we love to follow you! Plus your amazing style and perfect aesthetics, duh.

    – Demi

    • Sivan Ayla says:

      Hi Demi,

      When I first started out I did everything on my own. It is super overwhelming at first, but once you become familiar with the dashboards it will get easier. As for my site, I worked with a design firm to get it looking the way I wanted.

      As for hashtags, I think using relevant ones are good. I see people using a ton just for the instant likes, but those don’t really convert to genuine followers so I wouldn’t bother with that.

      Hope that helps :)


  3. Sabrina Hand says:

    Thank you for this post! I have always thought about starting a blog and now am building the finances to do so. How much do you spend on hiring a photographer to shoot you? How does someone new to the blogging world fund that? Thanks for the advice!

    • Sivan Ayla says:

      Hi Sabrina,

      How exciting! Blogging does take a financial investment and it’s not exactly cheap. However, in the beginning I was having my husband take my photos to save money. Once I gained some momentum I started working with a photographer regularly.


  4. Lena says:

    I love your blog Sivan, I really really do! But you should play with color more in your outfits. I have noticed that you’re in black in almost every outfit post. I get that black is easy so it’s hard to go “wrong” with black but you’re still young (and a blogger!) — don’t be afraid to play with color to bring out that olive skin and keep things fresh :) xo

  5. Olivia says:

    I’ve been following your blog for a few months now and you’re easily my favorite blogger right now also these tips are awesome! I started my blog about a year and a half ago and I’m still getting the hang of things. Mapping out content has been the hardest for me but I know I have to be more consistent if I want to gain a following. Thanks for the advice and always keeping it real!


  6. Jasmin Soroush says:

    Hi Sivan!

    I love your blog and how refreshingly genuine and funny it is. I find I actually read your posts than just scrolling though the photos. I really want to put together my own blog. I think finding a photographer aside, I am struggling with creating the actual site. How do you go about finding a web developer to hire? Did you just google yours?

    – Jasmin

  7. Nicole says:

    I’m having a hard time finding a web developer/am confused about how to find one. Do you have any advice about that?

    Thank you so much,

  8. Hanna says:

    This was infinitely helpful. Thank you!! I found you via our mutual love for Beach Riot suits, and so glad I did. Thanks for the tips, they’re very helpful for someone is starting their own blog as well.

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