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I've been a resident of Second Life for 11 plus years and I have some kind of knowledge about Second Life. I now want to start a blog but I don't know how to go about starting one. Can anyone give any great advice on how you started blogging? What do designers look for when wanting a blogger sponsorship?

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My blog, such as it is, is written pretty much for myself.  I've never sought sponsors or advertisers, so any advice I might give is probably not going to help you much.

I use Google's Blogger engine.  It's very easy to create a blog design with it.  But most serious bloggers seem to use Wordpress.  My only other piece of advice is also in the "do as I say, not as I do" category:  Post daily.  You've got to keep the material coming to get the readership.

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To start with, there is the obvious: create a blog. Usually either WordPress or Blogger

There is the official Second Life Bloggers Network you might interested in.
Also the unofficial and popular Blogger & Vlogger Network.  This has some good info on how to run your blog and use SL to create great pics.

Get a Flickr account, join some SL groups and start posting your pictures to them.  If you want to attract sponsors you will need to promote your blog and flickr pages.  They want to see numbers.  How many followers and likes per image mean ... well, everything. You have to sell yourself to the community to get visitors and create good posts to keep them.

 

Edited by Rhonda Huntress
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2 hours ago, Raysa Jolbey said:

What do designers look for when wanting a blogger sponsorship?

A track record of good quality photography that proves the blogger knows how to showcase a product and make it look its best.

The designer who will offer sponsorship to a complete newbie to blogging is vanishingly rare, so you'll need a portfolio to show them. Every single blogger application form requests a URL where your work can be seen, so begin by building up that portfolio.

The best way to go about this is to do two things:

  • get yourself a blog set up, either on Wordpress or Blogger
  • get yourself a free Flickr account. Ideally, to keep within Flickr's guidelines (and not to annoy the pro RL photographers on the site) ensure that you go into Flickr's settings and mark your images as screenshots

Both Wordpress and Blogger have built-in image storage options. Blogger gives you 1GB and Wordpress gives you 3GB for free accounts. To maximise this - especially if you plan to include multiple images per post - ensure that you save your images at a pixel resolution no larger than they display on your blog's theme. You can save as JPG or PNG, with the latter being higher quality, but the tradeoff is that PNG files use a lot more space. If you save as JPG with a high quality resolution (I personally use 12, which is the highest quality Photoshop allows) then you can maximise your storage space.

Examples below, saved as full sized (3765px in my case, although I shoot at 5000px and had cropped that image down) and blog theme sized (750px in my case) -

922668688_imagesizes.PNG.8480988e97d8679f65ade81a1dbe8e87.PNG

This is what the resized PNG file looks like:

1205922540_03.ResizedPNG.png.dc01b09e94d837388c8a07cce0c4939c.png

That's perfectly clear enough for a blog post :)

If you plan to only have one image per blog post, then you can simply link to one that you've uploaded to Flickr, so you can safely ignore the above.

Begin posting to your blog. Upload one or two high-quality, high-resolution images to Flickr and use those to link back to your blog, so that people can go there for more info (or for your credits list, if they want to know where you got that amazing hair!). Don't overdo it on Flickr, as a free account only gives you 1000 images, so keep your best for there and put the full set (resized appropriately) on your blog.

Give full credits for what you're wearing, both on Flickr and on your blog. On Flickr, also ensure that you tag every store whose items you're wearing. Designers often search their store's tags to see what's out there.

Follow on Flickr the stores and designers and other bloggers that you're interested in (but don't expect them to always follow back. While there is a 'followback' culture on Flickr not all of us SL bloggers subscribe to it!)

Next, search on Flickr for the creators of the items you're wearing. If they have groups that you can join, do so and add your photos to their groups, but PLEASE keep it relevant. These groups receive a lot of spam from auto-adders, so only add your images to their groups if they contain items from their store. There are also many "Look of the Day" and "Avatars of Second Life" types of group on Flickr that you can add your images to. And - with all of these images - bear in mind any maturity ratings that they have, especially if any of your images contain mature content.

If you plan to participate more here on the forum, make a signature that links back to your blog and/or Flickr. Add your images to the two vanity threads that we have going on here (How Does Your Avatar Look Today, and The Vanity Thread. Black and white images can also go in the Blanc et Noir thread) and slowly you will build up your follower count. (Please ensure that you only post - at most - three images in a single post on those threads. They do move fast -  especially the first one - and people will probably get annoyed if they have to scroll past 10 images from the same person!)

Once you start to get noticed by followers, you might also start to get noticed by designers, so keep an eye on your 'People You Follow' page on Flickr and you'll occasionally see a notice that such-and-such designer is looking for bloggers. Initially you'll probably have the best success with smaller, less well-known stores. Help them out at the start of their blogger-hiring journey and you might make a good designer-friend for life ;) But don't let that stop you from applying to the bigger stores; just don't get disheartened if you get turned down.

Be aware that designers will set time limits on you, so the more sponsors you have, the more work it can be to put together a cohesive look that features enough items to fit each time limit. Always bear that in mind: each designer will ask for - for example - one post a week, or three posts per month, or something like that.

Other more practical things you'll need:

  • a good collection of poses
  • a working knowledge of Windlight settings and how to light an avatar and/or scene
  • a mesh body (and preferably a mesh head, although the latter isn't always critical) from one of the major, most created-for brands, to maximise the amount of designers whose blogging teams you can apply for
  • maybe pick a lane that's less-travelled by other bloggers. Be the 'Goth blogger' or the 'avant garde blogger' or something like that

Blogging is fun and can be rewarding (in a non-material sense) as it offers a fantastic outlet for creativity. But - and I say this to everyone who comes here with a similar question - do it for the love of it, and not for the material side of getting sponsorships. Go into it fully prepared to spend a considerable amount of money before you start getting free stuff. (That's less of an issue for female avatars than it is for us guys, as there's so much great free and cheap content out there for the ladies.)

Above all, enjoy it!

(Sorry this was so wordy, but I do like to ramble (it's a characteristic of my blog posts!) and since I'm currently furloughed from work - like many others right now - I have a lot of time on my hands ;) )

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5 hours ago, Raysa Jolbey said:

I've been a resident of Second Life for 11 plus years and I have some kind of knowledge about Second Life. I now want to start a blog but I don't know how to go about starting one. Can anyone give any great advice on how you started blogging? What do designers look for when wanting a blogger sponsorship?

every blog, like every other big journey in life , start with a simple word. Maybe the most important. Passion.

If you want to make a blog because everybody does - just don't

If you want to make a blog because bloggers get money  or fame - just don't

If you want to start a blog because something inside you want to get into the light and you feel the need to express yourself and share  your experiences to the rest of the world, you are on the right track

 

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Thanks so much for this great advice. I am very passionate about the way my avi looks and how I represent myself in Second Life and I also want to share my experiences with the rest of Second Life as well. If fame and or money comes along with it then that would be great...if not then that's cool too! But I really appreciate your advice. It gave me so much envouragment. It's nothing to it but to do it.

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UPDATE ALERT!!!!!!!!

If you guys care to want to see my new and up and coming blog you can! I really appreciate everybody's kind words and great advice. I would love to be friends inworld...just ht me up! I'm always online. Here's the link to my blog, I hope you guys follow! 😃

raysajolbeysthoughts.wordpress.com

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On 3/27/2020 at 9:24 AM, Raysa Jolbey said:

I've been a resident of Second Life for 11 plus years and I have some kind of knowledge about Second Life. I now want to start a blog but I don't know how to go about starting one. Can anyone give any great advice on how you started blogging? What do designers look for when wanting a blogger sponsorship?

I was once fortunate enough to go and hear the great poet William Stafford speak in real life in a university where I was taking a course, and where he talked about writing and also read his poetry. And he said a great thing I have remembered many times since:

"To get started, I will accept anything that occurs to me."

Too often writers censor themselves, become convulsed about what other people think, or try to be relevant or try to be popular. Just write what occurs to you and take it from there. Also, don't worry about how many people see your blog or if they write nasty comments, just keep writing.

Another great artist I know says about how children should be encouraged in art: it doesn't have to be good; it has to be a lot. That is, rather than forcing them to learn some arcane and difficult techniques at an early age, it's more important that they just keep sketching and painting happily and making a lot of works.

Skell's tutorial is excellent and could be put up on a knowledge archive somewhere to be used. I personally cannot do all the things he recommends, like take excellent pictures, but if you are doing fashion, this is important and worth studying and learning.

Edited by Prokofy Neva
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9 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

Another great artist I know says about how children should be encouraged in art: it doesn't have to be good; it has to be a lot. That is, rather than forcing them to learn some arcane and difficult techniques at an early age, it's more important that they just keep sketching and painting happily and making a lot of works.

True words.  My son is a professional artist, and he's often asked how he got so good.  He tells the questioner, "To get good at anything, do it a lot."

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