BEING a blogger is wonderful.
Life changing, confidence building and a hell of a lot of fun too.
It helps you learn new skills, it pulls out of you talents that you never knew you had and it forces you to up your game.
But. (There’s always a but right?!)
It’s hard. Like seriously hard.
I know of many people who think being a blogger is a walk in the park. And oh how I laugh! (In the nicest, possible way naturally).
But it does come as a surprise to most people not in the know, that the life of a blogger isn’t so glamorous or as easy as they perhaps believe.
To succeed in the blogging world (I view success as whatever that means for you), you need to do lots of things. And to be able to do them well.
But today, I want to talk about the stuff you should never do.
The stuff that will – if you’re not careful – trip you up, put you in a tail spin or leave you feeling deflated.
Why you ask? Because it’s for your own good.
Here are 10 big ol’ blogging bonanzas of mistakes, that (ideally) you should never, ever do.
(And I must warn you, it’s pretty epic so you might want to pop the kettle on first…)
Trying or pretending to be someone you are not
It can be very tempting when you create an online world to want to create an online persona to match. To become someone else.
But if you think this will draw people to you like moths to a flame, then you are wrong, wrong, wrong.
Want to entice readers? Want to keep them?
Then just be yourself.
This is what people want. The real, authentic and genuine you. Not a pretend one.
Just you. Warts, wrinkles, bedhead an’ all.
Trying to be someone you’re not or worse still, pretending to people that you are something which you’re not, may work in the short term, but it’s never really a good idea. Even the best liars get caught out eventually so just keep things real.
Trust me, in the blogging world (as in the real world) you are enough.
Comparing yourself to other bloggers (in an unhealthy way)
Want to p**s all over you own blogging parade?! Then do this.
Seriously go ahead but mark my words, it will ruin you.
Comparison is natural, we all do it but if you find yourself doing it on a regular and unhealthy basis, watch out. Because constant comparison-making will only ever be detrimental to you and your blog.
There are millions of blogs out there, both good and bad. So comparing your blog to someone else’s is pretty futile really.
As my Dad once wisely said to me, “there will always be someone bigger and better than you.”
So don’t compare your blog to anyone else’s. Don’t visit other blogs if you leave feeling miserable. And stop fretting over numbers, comparing yours with other bloggers.
Save your energy, keep your sanity and use the time you’d spend comparison making working on your own blog instead.
Not being wary of unsolicited ‘advice’
When you’ve been blogging for a while, you’ll soon find that people start to have an opinion about you and your blog.
Which is fine, in fact better than fine, it’s great!
But what isn’t so great is when other bloggers start to offer unsolicited advice or give you their ‘feedback’.
There’s a huge difference between asking for help or advice and people just offering it, so be wary of those who come out of the woodwork to point out one of your flaws or tell you you’re doing something ‘wrong’.
The blogging community is incredibly supportive, encouraging and kind as a whole but just be aware that you may sometimes find yourself receiving unwanted attention from a few bloggers desperate to burst your bubble.
If twenty people tell you the same thing, you might want to pay attention. But if it’s just one or two, take it all with a pinch of salt.
Letting fear get in the way of your greatness
Months ago, I had a post in me, that I knew I had to write.
My instinct told me it would be popular, that it would help people whilst also being cathartic for me to ‘get it out’ of my system.
But even though I knew this, I was a blogging scaredy cat.
Eventually however I took the plunge, sat down, poured my soul out and hit that publish button and guess what?
Yep low and behold it proved to be my biggest post to date.
Don’t let fear get in the way of your blogging greatness. Don’t let it stop you achieving big things.
Playing it safe may make you feel comfortable, but I ask you, will it make you memorable?
Want to achieve greatness with your blog?
Ignore your fears, push that publish button on posts that make you nervous (always a great sign in my book) and step out of your comfort zone.
Delivering the same ol’ content over & over again
Don’t do it. Just don’t.
Online readers are the fussiest readers around, giving you mere seconds to grab their attention if you’re lucky.
You gotta shake things up, get creative, experiment and have some fun!
Throw in an occasional vlog, collaborate with other bloggers, write about something totally different or change your writing style.
Tiring yourself out
Ah blogger burnout. Hands up who’s been there? Yep, me too.
You cannot work at your blog full throttle, all of the time. You just can’t.
You may think you can, but let me tell you, eventually it will catch up with you and leave you frazzled.
It’s your blog. You are the gaffer. You’re in control so make it work for you!
Be kind to yourself, work at your best pace, be choosy over which brands you work with and think about where you are putting your energy and spending your time.
And if you feel like you’re overwhelmed or stressed out?
Then for the love of all of us, please just stop.
Take a break, (have a biscuit) and only come back when you’ve got something left in the pot to give.
Being a perfectionist
I hate to break it to you, especially to all the perfectionists out there, but your blog will never, ever be good enough. (To you).
It will never have enough readers. It will never look exactly as you want it too. It will never be ‘perfect’.
So accept this now and save yourself months of heartache.
Blogging is an evolving world and the work never ends.
Every hour, every day, every week, we’re all sat working our blogger butts off to make our blogs bigger and better.
And that’s OK.
But what isn’t ok, is driving yourself into the ground or having a breakdown because you haven’t achieved everything yet.
Slow down, have faith, be patient and keep on working hard and let me tell you, good things will come.
Thinking that your blog is not good enough
I never thought I’d say this, but confidence has played a huge part in my blogging career.
And it will in yours too.
It is, I think, the key to success. That and self belief.
Because I’ve learned over the years that if you treat your blog as just ‘some little thing’ or act like it’s not so important, other people will treat it as such.
You have to believe that your blog is good enough. Whether you’ve got five readers or five million.
Never downplay your work. Never be afraid of sharing your posts. Never forget that your voice matters.
Always talk about your blog positively and never, ever work for brands for free (unless you really, really want to.)
Believe in your blog. Believe in what you are creating. And believe in yourself.
For if you don’t, no one else will.
Keeping yourself to yourself
If you think your blog will flourish on it’s own, without you having to engage with, support or chat to other bloggers, then you are wrong.
You don’t have to of course. You don’t have to speak to other bloggers in your field. You don’t have to read other blogs and leave comments. You don’t have to go to blogging events and make new friends.
But I highly recommend that you do.
Blogs and the blogging community are a bit like communal gardens. The more love we put into them all, the more they will all bloom.
Falling out of love with your blog (long term)
You might not think so at the beginning, but if you’re not careful, the initial flush of love you feel for your blog can very quickly fade.
So you need to do everything in your power to stop the rot.
Why? Because blogging requires LOVE.
Your blog needs your love to improve and attract a larger audience. Other bloggers need your love to know that they’re doing a good job. The blogging community needs love to grow bigger, better and stronger.
To put it simply, blogs cannot survive without it.
You can always tell the blogs that aren’t loved. They’re the ones which look outdated. They’re the ones that lack regular content. They’re the ones written by miserable bloggers who feel as if they are failing.
Want a successful blog? Then show it love!
There really is no other way.
Love your blog. Love what you do.
(Or move on with your life and create something new.)
Blogger friends, as always, I would love (get it?!) to hear more from you all on this. Which are your biggest blogging sins and how we can all avoid them? x