A few weeks ago I wrote about 25 mistakes I made as a new blogger. Your comments and some after thought made me realize that there were plenty more mistakes that I made. But instead of adding to the list of things I shouldn’t have done, I figured I would help out those who made or are making the same mistakes I am by giving some fixes for these mistakes.
- Blogging about things that were trendy even though I had little to zero interest in them - I think every blogger is guilty of this at one time or another. And the only real way to fix this is to not to it. It goes back to question #4 in part 1 and accepting yourself for who you are, what you like, what you do, how you live, etc. Embrace yourself and talk about what makes you you. Give people a real look at who you are and you’re bound to find others with similar interests, ideas, or beliefs. It may be scary, but it’s worth it.
- Holding myself to everyone else’s rules or standards even though they didn’t work for me - Out of all my mistakes, this is the one I struggled with the most. I figured out how to embrace who I was, but still found myself battling how to accurately portray it on my blog and seem interesting to people. I didn’t want to post too much or too little, I didn’t want to write posts without photos because no one else was – I didn’t want to blog the way I wanted to because it broke the unspoken rules of blogging. AKA: the rules that don’t even exist. Figure out your standards. Write long posts if you want to. Only post pictures if you want to. Post 10 times a day or 10 times a month. I don’t care what it is – make sure it’s what works for you. And if that works for others, great. If not? Their loss.
- Not taking the time to know what my voice was or understanding that it’s an ongoing thing - I thought I knew what my voice was at least ten different times. Little did I know was that I did know what my voice was, but it was always going to change as I continued to grow. As my tastes, preferences, mood, ideas, and beliefs changed . . . my voice did, too. And instead of having an epic internal throw down every single time that happened, I should have accepted it and accepting it as always evolving. It would have saved me a lot of time, frustration, inner struggle, and writer’s block. Your voice will continue to evolve the longer you blog so know that what you were doing a year ago may not work anymore – and that’s okay. And if you’re struggling to find your voice in the first place, it comes with acceptance of who you are. So work on embracing yourself, knowing what makes you tick, and finding a way to add a different twist on it to make your voice unique.
- Offering ad swaps and sponsorships before I really felt comfortable with my own blog - This one is really self-explanatory. I jumped in the deep end without knowing how to swim and well, it turned out okay for the most part but left me with struggling to stay afloat at times. Sponsorships – free or paid – are hard work if you’re doing it right. And if it’s not hard work, my guess is that you aren’t doing it right. It takes time, patience, perseverance, understanding, organization, timeliness, responsibility, and friendliness. And then about a dozen more things. Start slow. Slower than snail speed slow. Work out the kinks before you start offering a zillion things that you’re never going to be able to keep up with. And by all means - make sure your are comfortable with your blog before you start swapping, paying for ad space, or offering paid space on your blog. If you aren’t, you may not be able to fulfill your responsibilities as a blogger or your money may be wasted on ad space for a blog you’re trying to constantly change while it’s being promoted.
- Thinking that people would read my blog without me dedicating time and effort to marketing it - In the beginning I was convinced the views would just roll in, people would find my blog automagically, and I’d be swimming in page views in weeks, maybe months. Wrong. Wrong. Oh and wrong again. I didn’t put time into commenting, emailing bloggers, engaging people on my blog or in social media, or really doing anything other than writing all of the wrong things on my blog in hopes I’d find the key to popularity somewhere in my non-heartfelt words. I was mistaken. Once your blog is all warm and snuggly – great content, decent layout, and a fabulous reflection of yourself – PROMOTE THE CRAP OUT OF IT AND YOURSELF. Organically, of course. Network with people. Comment on blogs. Send people sweet emails. Ask questions. Join link-up parties. Join communities. Chat on forums. Collaborate with other bloggers. Do something. Because views don’t happen automagically. They happen because you worked your butt off.
Check out part 1 here. Part 3 coming next week!