No one is perfect.
Except maybe Jude Law, but that’s neither here nor there 😉
In my last 8 months of blogging, I’ve discovered that SO much of what’s involved is purely trial and error. There’s no one “right way” to do things. Everyone is different. Different things appeal to different people, work better for different niches, etc.
But I have noticed some common trends of things that don’t help anyone. Things I’ve been guilty of and wish someone gave me the reasoning behind it so I’d know to change it up sooner!
Today I want to share 7 common mistakes we bloggers make. You don’t know until you know, right?? Or you might have been told, but never understood WHY. Let’s change that.
Mistake #1: Not having an email list, or a way for people to sign up for one.
I put this as #1 because THIS WAS SO ME. I remember reading other blogs early on and thinking “why do these people harp so hard on the email list thing? I don’t get it.” Come 3 months later I was kicking myself for not listening sooner.
The fact is, you don’t OWN your social media accounts. If your Instagram account got shut down or deleted or marked as spam somehow, how would you reach out to your followers?? I’ve actually seen this happen to people, and it’s scary for a business that relies on contact with an audience!
The way to prevent that is having an email list. Facebook could get shut down tomorrow, but there will always be email. JUST DO IT.
I know it might seem daunting. It was pretty confusing for me in the beginning but I think I’ve gotten it down a bit more now. The important thing is just to begin. Ya gotta start somewhere. Email me if you need help, I’d be happy to assist any way I can!
I recently switched from Mailchimp to MailerLite for my email list and it’s free up to 1000 subscribers, so that’s nice. No cost to start up! It’s also very user friendly.
Mistake #2, not being 100% yourself all the time and falling prey to comparing.
When I first got into blogging, I got sucked into the trap of comparison and emulating all of the fashion bloggers I follow. I tried to style myself like them and write like them in hopes that it would help me grow and that I’d be happy. I wanted so badly to be like them because their lives look so glamorous!
But inauthenticity doesn’t EVER help you grow, y’all. People can sense that ish.
It’s SO EASY to get wrapped up in that and see what others have and want that. Instead of comparing yourself, set that as a goal for yourself. “I will get to a place where I’m financially stable enough to purchase a Louis Vuitton bag and not eat Ramen for a month after”. It’s great to strive toward something, but don’t ever get down on yourself for not being where someone else is. They started somewhere, too!
The best thing about blogging is that every voice is different, an everyone’s voice carries value. It’s GOOD that you’re different. Standing out is fantastic! The world doesn’t need another little clone of a popular blogger. They need a new unique edition of you. So give it to them! Always be yourself.
Mistake #3, not treating your blog like a business.
If you want to blog as a hobby, then that’s awesome. But most people hope to monetize their blogs and have a little side hustle goin’ on. Or, like me, you want to take your blog full time!
If you want your blog to BE a business, you have to TREAT it like one. I think the first thing that goes into that is learning as much as you can to improve yourself as a blogger and to improve your page.
There are TONS of free resources out there that are dedicated to helping you make your blog better. The blogging community is nothing if not helpful and resourceful! I love it.
The next thing, probably once you’ve been going for a little while, is to invest a bit in your business.
When I decided I really wanted to take my blog full time, I switched from Blogger to WordPress and decided to self-host with Siteground per the recommendation of another blogger that I trust.
It’s literally been the best decision I’ve made so far for my blog. I love Siteground and will always, always recommend them. I’m currently working on a re-design for this site (shh that’s a secret 😉 ) and it’s a bit confusing as I’m not a technical person, they literally help me all the time. I take FULL advantage of their 24/7 chat.
So if you’re thinking of upping your game, get started self-hosting, and invest in a theme you love.
Mistake #4, not planning ahead.
Another thing that goes with treating your blog like a business! Take your posts seriously and set a schedule. Check out different editorial calendars.
Consistency is a huge part of blogging. Even in the beginning, it’s important to set yourself up for success later.
Note: you DO NOT need to post 5 posts a week. I swear every blogger thinks they need to post every day starting out. But you should focus on creating QUALITY content instead of just worrying about getting a post up every day. Really put work into what you’re writing instead of just writing to have something up.
Pick the days that you’re going to post every week, month, whatever. Tell yourself “I’m going to post on these days consistently” and make it a point to plan ahead what you’re going to write for those days. This takes so much of the stress out of blogging that can come when you’re trying to come up with ideas!
Keep a list of ideas ready to go for those days when the creative juices just aren’t flowing like normal. Trust me, you’ll have those days! Having a list of ideas to work off of is really helpful when your brain is too tired to fully function.
Mistake #5, not optimizing your blogs SEO.
What is SEO? It’s a big term for bloggers! It stands for Search Engine Optimization, meaning making sure your blog comes up in the top search results.
How do you make that happen? Keywords!!
When people search for things, they search in easy, common sense phrases. If I want a dinner recipe, that’s what I’m going to type into Google. I won’t search for “the most amazing meal for dinner”.
In this example, “dinner” is a keyword, but if I include “dinner recipe” in my blog title, it’s much more likely to pop up when people search.
It can be tempting to use a frilly, fun name for your blog posts, but the best way to get them SEEN is to name them in ways that people will search for the kind of information that’s in the post.
When naming a post, you want to title it the way you would search for the information you’re including. Resist the urge to make the title mysterious. Be as straight forward as possible!
Mistake #6, trying to be perfect.
Hey, I get it. It’s hard to show our work if we’re not 100% pleased with it. But have you heard the saying “doubt kills more dreams than failure ever did”? Your blog will never be perfect, so try to accept it now and make it easier on yourself haha.
If you don’t put it out there in it’s imperfect state, you can’t get better! I think failing is crucial to personal development and business development because you learn the way NOT to do things and make those mistakes again.
You have to let go of trying to make every detail perfect. It will hold you back!
Too much thinking means not enough doing. Just do it (Nike style) and get better as you go. We’re all a work in progress.
Mistake #7, not catering to your audience, or catering to too large of an audience.
Starting out I thought it was best to cover a whole broad range of topics. The more the merrier, right?!
It’s actually better to cater to a smaller, more specific audience. Let’s think about an example:
Let’s say you write a post about an awesome vegan brunch recipe. Someone comes across it and goes to your page to read the whole thing. They love it and decide to look around at what other vegan-related things you have, but there aren’t any. They will most likely leave your page and not come back thinking this was a one-off thing.
Now let’s say your site caters to vegan based things. Products, how-tos, recipes, beauty. That person is MUCH more likely to become a fan and come back, right? Because that’s what they’ll associate your site with.
It’s common for us bloggers to think that we can please everyone (or to try to!). But it’s better to find a target audience to try to please instead because it builds more credibility for you and more value for your audience.
Hone in on one or two topics you truly love and are passionate about and see if they can work together. This is called finding your “niche”. And I promise it’s better to have a smaller one because you gain a more loyal following that way! You become to go-to for that subject, which is what you want, isn’t it?
Also keep in mind which of your posts perform the best because THAT is what your audience wants to hear from you. Listen to them; it’s about them, not you!!
Do you have any tips or mistakes you’re familiar with that you want to share?? Or have you made any of these? I’d love to hear below!