I’ve been blogging for just over a year now and I’ve learned SO much in these past 12 months. When I first started blogging I honestly thought it’d be easy. That I could write blog posts on the fly, create content effortlessly and just get through the blogging world without breaking a sweat! Looking back in retrospect I can see how naive I was. But you live and you learn, and you just keep blogging!
So here we go!
10 Blogging Mistakes I Made My First Year + How To Avoid Them!
1. Hiding my blog from others
I think many new bloggers do this! When I first started my blog back in the Summer of 2016 I kept it a major secret. I didn’t want anyone who knew me to see it and I even kept it a secret from my mom (lol). I just couldn’t bear the thought of people who knew me in “real life” see my attempt to become a blogger. I thought it was better to keep it a secret just in case I failed.
So I stopped blogging until December of 2016. I just decided if I was going to blog, then I was going to be real and share it with the whole world! So I re-posted on basicbabelauren.com and posted all my blogging pictures to my personal Instagram account. I just went for it. And guess what, it was the best decision I ever made!
How to avoid this: Just like Nike’s famous saying. Just do it. Just put yourself out there. Don’t stop and think “what if I fail” or “what if people I know judge me“. Your blog is an extension of you. So hiding your blog makes no sense and it will make you feel like you have something to hide! You have nothing to hide as a blogger, so just hit the publish button and do it!
2. Letting fear stop me
This mistake ties into #1 too. I let fear stop me when I initially started blogging. I let the fear of others judging me stop me. I let the fear of not creating good enough content stop me. I had a fear of failure stop me. This list just goes on and on. My fear of blogging and putting myself out there really rooted from what I thought others would think of me. And comparing myself to other bloggers. This fear almost stopped me from blogging altogether. But I decided to push through it and not worry what others would think.
How to avoid this: Stop comparing yourself to other bloggers. If that means zeroing into your blog and avoid scrolling through Instagram looking at bloggers. Do it. Your value doesn’t come from how many likes you get on your picture. Or how many followers you have on Instagram. Your value has nothing to do with the blogging world, to be honest. Don’t worry about what others will say about you. There will always be haters, rude comments and jealous people! I mean, haters gonna hate!
3. Not blogging with a plan
Okay, when I first started blogging I honestly winged it. I’m embarrassed to admit it but it’s true! My personality has always been to do thing’s last minute and to wing it, so it came naturally. But after blogging for a year I’ve learned planning your posts out and your social media is key. It’s so much easier to have a vision for your blog and stay on brand with a plan.
How to avoid this: Plan out your blog posts monthly or even weekly. Set a date to write them and a date to create the content. Use schedulers for your social media and pre-write all the verbiage.
4. Not interacting with my followers
So this one is one of my MAJOR goals for 2018. Sometimes life get’s so busy and you forget to interact with the people who helped you get to where you are today! My goal is to really engage with my Instafam and my blog readers. I think it’s so important to get to know the people who follow you. Because without them, I’d be nowhere!
How to avoid this: Don’t take for granted your followers no matter how big or small your following is. If you have 5oo followers then be extra engaged, it’s even easier to keep up with that many! If you have 100’s of thousands of followers, take the extra time to comment back (I appreciate it when the bigger bloggers I follow answer back)! Try your best to answer every comment, email and DM!
5. Not utilizing Pinterest
This is still a challenge for me. But, I wish I started planning a pinning strategy sooner. Pinterest just seemed so hard to utilize that I left it on the back burner. But I’m back now, with a vengeance, and willingness to learn and become a pro-pinner!
How to avoid this: First, download Tailwind right NOW! This app will be your saving grace of time and effort. Second, work on creating a beautiful Pinterest (I’m still working on mine here). Dedicate at least 20 mins a day pinning other peoples pins. Pinterest is a search engine and has so much potential to grow your blog so keep on pinning!
6. Not saying no to brands that don’t align with my blog
This mistake is one I could have avoided by listening to other bloggers, but I had to learn the hard way! When I first started blogging I felt so humbled that any brand would want to work with me. And because of that, I said yes to a few too many brands that didn’t fit MY brand. I learned quickly though and realized if I wouldn’t purchase it myself then it is a definite no. No matter how much $$ they were willing to pay me or the value of the product. If it doesn’t fit my brand now I’ll just say no and recommend other bloggers that it might work better with!
How to avoid this: Go with your gut and stay on brand. If your initial instinct is “hmmm this probably isn’t me but I could maybe make it work” then your answer should be no. You should be excited when you open an email with a potential partnership and know in your gut “yes, this is so me!”. Don’t dimish your brand to get paid or to get free stuff. Your followers will be able to see right through it too, so it’s totally not worth it!
7. Not learning how to properly edit
I have a blog post on the basics of editing here. But I really wish I learned the basics of editing before I started blogging. I have so many cringe-worthy pictures on here and on my Instagram of over editing. Seriously, I had no idea what I was doing and clearly should have taken the initiative to understand the basics of editing at the very least!
How to avoid this: Take some time to learn the basics of popular apps like Lightroom and Photoshop. You don’t have to become a pro. But understanding how to edit will help your blog appear more professional! It will also help your social media and help keep a consistent branding.
8. Not creating a schedule for myself
Bloggers are busy people, as you probably know. Even when your blog is small and growing there is so much to do! I didn’t realize how much work and effort I’d have to put in my blog, #keepingitreal. I didn’t realize I’d spend 40+ hours on my blog and social media. Some weeks I work 80 hours on my blog and social media alone! So this year I’ve created a very detailed schedule to keep me on track and to keep my sanity. I even scheduled in rest, cause otherwise I literally won’t take a break!
How to avoid this: Even if you haven’t started blogging but want to start, then write a schedule. I printed a blog planner to help me keep narrowed in and focused on everything I need to get accomplished. Write down everything from what day’s your going to write posts, shoot content, organize your inbox, etc. Every little detail helps.
9. Not incorporating my personal life
This one is also a work in progress as well. When I first started my blog I wanted to keep it private and professional. Which is honestly fine, if that’s what you want! But I noticed as I grew my followers were interested in my personal life. At first, I wasn’t really willing to share. But I’ve realized there is nothing wrong showing the “real” you and incorporating more of your life into your blog!
How to avoid this: Well this one is completely up to you! If you’re a private gal, stay private! But if you want to share more of your life be more raw and open. Show yourself not always at your “Insta-best”. Talk to your followers like your friends. And definitely, utilize Instagram stories in your day-to-day life.
10. Not incorporating rest into my routine
And last but definitely not least, rest! When I want something I just go, go, go to get it. And this can be a great attitude in some aspects. But it can also be extremely draining! This year I’m going to take more time to rest. To shut off. To pray. To lean on the Lord. And just rest. I even set one day a week where I restrict myself from working! Unless there are Shop Basic Babe orders to pack and ship out, lol! That’s the only thing I’ll break out of my rest day to do! But seriously, don’t forget to take time to rest and rejuvenate.
How to avoid this: Incorporate rest into your daily schedule. Even if it’s 5 minutes of sitting down for a moment and mediating. Or if it’s at the end of the evening with a Yoga class or a glass of wine. Just spend time resting. Whatever and however that looks for you!
What are some mistakes you made your first year blogging and how did you fix them? Let me know in the comments below!