5 Blogging Mistakes To Avoid..
When I initially started blogging, it was abut 8 years or so ago & it was a completely accidental result. I ended up on the blogosphere when a friend of mine introduced me to it, & I thought it was cool. So of course, I wanted in. But my idea of blogging was rather vague and I used it as a venting platform to whoever was listening. However, as I became more expressive in the virtual world, my writing improved and I absolutely loved it.
Now let's fast forward a bit a few years where I grew up, and so did my mind, and so I wanted to erase the negative slate of venting and clean up. I made the decision to delete all my posts, then my blog and thanked the blogging world for its support. But I missed it. I missed sharing and I missed writing; so again I ventured back into the world of fascination a couple years later and this is when all the learning began. This was when I really started to sync with the social world and learnt about fashion blogging. I became fascinated with the likes of Chiara from "The Blonde Salad", & Kristina of "Kayture" initially; and my initial thought was wow.. they make money doing that. My first mistake; "but I'll leave it for the last".
These two women opened my eyes and my way to a wavelength of other fashion bloggers which led me to create my first WordPress blog.. which I then deleted again because of cost, and my now Personal Style Blog Nothing But Velvet. Today it is my most cherished masterpiece as I call it my successful experimental blog where I learnt, made mistakes, trialed and errored everything I know today.And I wanna share 5 of these mistakes with you.
1. Having No Direction.
What I did not know initially was that Kayture and The Blonde Salad were longstanding blogs which also went through the process before becoming what they are today. After my marvelous stumble, I became somewhat obsessed with every single niche in the blogging world and that was mistake number 1. I had no direction and everyone has 100 categories or more on their site, so I thought it was the normal & right thing to do.
Before starting a blog, find your niche. I know that you are "supposed" to experiment with different ones, but it will save you so much time, edit and headache if you focus your energy solely on what YOU are interested in and NOT what's the rave. My 100 category Nothing But Velvet today is now centered mainly around my personal style, which has made my purpose and direction clearer. My aim for it is to present it as a go to minimalist outfit den, where I portray my simple style to readers sharing the same. By having a direction, you allow yourself to focus on the aim and prevent distractions of what everyone else is doing to sneak in; and by choosing a niche or 2, you allow yourself to create better quality content over quantity.
2. Posting Too Much.
Speaking of quantity, I wanted traffic. The numbers I paid attention to at the time, but what I wasn't paying attention to was how many useless posts I was creating. My bloggers drive soon felt like a chore, and I was experiencing burnout. Until I listened to a podcast by Jenny Purr and learnt of slow blogging. What I didn't know was that these top bloggers don't do it all on their own. They are a team, with distributed posts, work etc. So I started cutting out of the number of posts I published per week from 3 - 1 and ventured into projects.
Create an editorial or posting calendar. This will allow you to schedule your posts according to your life, your purpose and give you room to create quality content. If you don't have a team of writers, open your blog to guest posts. When I started slow blogging I launched the "Feature Bloggers Project" where I invited other bloggers to write for me and I vice versa. I have worked with Life x Ari, We Are The Clique, The Ever Glitter, to name a few. Bonus 1-you boost your site rank by linking, bonus 2 - you open your site to networks and growth.
3. Networking.. or the lack thereof
Before I launched feature bloggers I rarely networked. I was a bit intimidated by the number of comments, engagement et al on other bloggers pages. I wondered HOW did they get all that traffic. One word "networking". So I googled some basic how to, started off by launching the project THEN picked out some bloggers whose content I enjoyed and asked to swap guest posts. The key purpose of networking is to grow your traffic, grow your site rank, and grow your blog.
Start swapping guest posts. BUT create rules. Just because someone asks you to swap, doesn't mean you say yes. If the content does not sync with your niche or your site's message, kindly decline in a respectable manner. Learn to say no, or else your blog will be a hot mess of a virtual magazine. On the contrary, seek great content, as this will open your site to new readers, and new opportunities. Also, refrain from joining every single blogger group on Facebook, as your timeline will feel spammed. If it benefits you, go for it. if not stay away.
4. Trying to Monetize TOO Early
I left this one for almost last. This was one of ultimate worst mistakes. Trying to monetize too early. I think many persons get into the blogging game nowadays on the basis of making money only. Which is kinda sad, but true. When I created my style blog, becoming an affiliate marketer was one of the raving tips, but it was one of the worst I personally think. I first tried with Adsense "which you will get only after a certain number of hits" but I thought the banners made my page look spammy. So I started to research and came across a YouTube video by Patricia Bright on how to make money blogging. What she didn't tell you is start when it's the right time; so I took it and run. Because you see, the chances of your blog becoming approved to work with top brands are slim to none if you have no authority, and the chances of persons buying something you recommend when your page looks spammy or is from a low "and I mean low" ranked company is slimmer.
Only monetise when you have good traffic flow, gained some authority, and you will genuinely use the product that you are recommending. And the best part is when you have done that companies will begin to reach out to YOU to advertise on their behalf. Currently, Nothing But Velvet is monetized by Shopstyle, Rakuten Network and Commission Junction, but I needed to grow it first.
5. Crappy Photos.
Sorry guys but t'is the truth guys and I've been there. you know the saying a picture is worth a thousand words? Visuals make soooo much of a difference to a site. Even if you are a newbie blogger, having the right photos can make you blog look richer, cleaner and more professional. I think by now we are all proud owners of smartphones with decent cameras, but if you can afford to buy an entry-level camera, buy it. I currently use a Nikon L830, but my first blog photos were from a Samsung or a blackberry, and since making that investment ,I can confidently say that it has improved. Here is a quick beginner's photography tip for you.
These are just 5 of the many mistakes I made when I started blogging. So tell me, can you resonate with any of these or what other mistakes did you make when you first started?