Since starting my blog in 2014, I have had big ideas and dreams for it, ignored it, loved it, been disinterested in it, changed its direction and so much more. Here are some of the blogging mistakes I’ve made along the way. Maybe you’ll relate, maybe you’ll learn from them.
1. Not using stock images.
It seemed like bad practice to use stock images and less authentic. People would comment on it years ago, about how people should be taking their own photos. For product reviews, I definitely think it’s worth it or for anything you want to share authentically.
However, spending 3 hours taking photos and editing them for a discussion post on a random topic is a huge time suck, where I could have been writing, working on my craft and actually building up the website. People don’t come to this type of blog for the images. Some of them are good though and I did improve my photography skills so that’s something.
2. Didn’t share posts enough.
Once I write a post, I publish and kind of forget about it. I get my thoughts down and run. I have been through stages of sharing my posts on social media, and the traffic increases so much when I do. It’s something I would like to get back to.
3. Not treating it like a business or a hobby.
I was going to say just business. But this blog was never started as a business. There was a time when I was being sent a lot and was constantly writing content for others rather than just myself. I started treating it more transactionally, but not as a business still. I’m a marketer in my day job, but I wouldn’t market myself in the same way I would for others.
Because I was only writing content about things I had been sent, it become almost a chore – getting photos, editing, writing, linking, sending emails to PR companies. Don’t get me wrong, I still love these opportunities, but I had so many at once that I wasn’t treating the blog purely as a hobby either.
4. Held myself back.
It can seem a bit cringe when people talk about being their authentic selves, but I truly believe in being so. Over the last 3 years especially, opinion seems to be met with not just criticism and discussion, but threats, witch hunts and more. I held back writing the discussion posts that people always loved here because I didn’t want to get involved with any of that.
I’m up for a discussion on absolutely any topic, but I prefer to have logical and open discussions and it felt more difficult to have those. There are unpopular opinions that now seem taboo, but I don’t believe anything should be off limits for discussion. It’s how we learn and grow.
I held back from showing my true self and hid, because I didn’t want people knowing all of me – I’m pretty private for a blogger – but also I have enough battles in my life without adding to them online! Unless you follow my Twitter account where I will fight to the death for what I believe in! (in sporadic ‘Kanye moment’ tweets before disappearing again!)
I didn’t go quiet because I might lose readers, but because I didn’t want to deal with backlash and felt less inspired to have the discussions. I never used to care, but in the last few years I’ve had enough and protected myself I suppose. Read more about that here and welcome back discussion posts!
5. Didn’t share my platform enough.
Guest posts are a great way to boost your posts and cross-market your blog. However, I liked everything on here being mine and only accepted the odd blog post. I did this mostly to ensure that all content fit with the blog, but also because I like to have the control over it.
Letting go of that control is definitely something that could have helped over the years to boost the readership of the blog and allow others a platform. So if anyone wants to add a wellbeing/lifestyle guest post, just contact me and we can chat! Promise I won’t take control of it!
6. Working badly with deadlines.
This one amazes me. I work to deadlines all the time, but when it came to my own platform, I was so late or last minute that I’m surprised PRs ever came back. Thankfully they did and I’m so grateful for that, but I have learned over the past year or so to be much stricter with my time (upcoming post!). I tend to put everyone before myself, and when it feels like I’m just doing it for my own gain, I feel selfish. It’s not selfish, it’s knowing your worth and that your own time is precious.
I’m not going to ignore everyone so I can write blog posts, but I am going to ensure I have time set out to embrace my hobbies, spend on my studies and so on.
7. Monetising without thought.
A few years ago, there was talk about monetising blogs and I tried a few half-arsed things, but never did it properly. There is no point spending time monetising a great post, but never sharing it, for example.
8. Lack of consistency.
The absolute bane of my life is my lack of consistency. I’m really trying to be more consistent by building better habits and I’m hoping this will filter into other aspects of my life.
Some people use blog schedules, etc. to stay on track, but that always felt too restrictive to me. However, consistent content, consistent posting days, help your audience to know what to expect. People just get a random email from me when I decide to write and post – still WordPress style – I’ll sort that one day!
As above. I have been meaning to sort my email marketing for a long time. For a while I had some lovely styled emails going out to people, but I never built that list and also failed on quite a few occasions to get it out to people. I have a list of things I want to sort on this blog that sit on a list and in the back of my mind.
It doesn’t seem important, it’s just for me, and just a blog, but I know it will make all the difference and will help to make me a more accountable person overall.
If you read this in a year’s time and I’m still sending you WordPress style emails and have only written 5 posts, please capital letter shout at me in the comments.
10. No planning.
I love planning, but with writing, it’s always been just freely done and flowing. This means I barely plan any blog posts, I just have some thoughts and go for it. I thought of this post about 30 minutes ago while thinking of something I should have done while blogging and here we are!
I sort of love that it happens this way, so organically, but I think planning can be massively beneficial and might help with being more consistent.
Have you found any of these hinder your progress with your blog? Or have they prevented you from starting one? Let me know if you can relate or any tips for myself and others on how to overcome them.