MY SEVEN GREATEST BLOGGING SINS (TO DATE)

A FEW days ago I delivered my first ever workshop!

A 2.5hr blogging workshop bonanza in my home town of Barnsley to an eager, enthusiastic and absolutely lovely group.

During it I chatted about my personal experience as a blogger, how I’ve made it to the level of ‘professional blogger’ (by that I mean, I do it professionally as a living) and talked about the importance of creating great content, getting involved with the blogging community and other such things.

I’m still very much getting used to public speaking (this was my fourth go!) and so prior to the workshop I was a little nervous.

However, once in full swing, I absolutely loved it!

It helped that I had a smashing crowd. And a few days on, after receiving a number of kind tweets and emails, I kinda feel like I could conquer the world.

(This is what happens when you push yourself out of your comfort zone, isn’t it?!)

But, last night, as I was sat eating my tea, I suddenly thought of all the things that I should never have done as a blogger.

All the mistakes I’ve made. The stuff I’ve learnt the hard way.

Because although I’m doing well with this blogging malarkey and as much as there’s stuff I do know that works, I’ve also made some real whoppers of mistakes!

Today, I’m sharing some of them, in the hope, that they may stop you making them yourself.

And it’s proof that all of us, regardless of what blogging level we are at, are learning as we go and doing the best we can.


 

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I THOUGHT I COULD GO IT ALONE

I mentioned this in my workshop, how I thought when I first started, that I could just do my blogging thang, pop on social media a bit and all the goodies of the blogging universe would come to me.

But the truth is, when it comes to blogging, you can’t just go it alone. You need friends, support, advice and encouragement.

You need to work with other bloggers, collaborate, help them out and bounce ideas of each other.

You need to live and breathe the blogging world, as much as you can. For your own sanity, to keep up to date with developments and just because, it’s a brilliant thing to be part of.

Successful bloggers do NOT go it alone. (And neither should you.)

 

I DIDN’T TAKE IT SERIOUSLY

I got the ‘blogging bug’ very quickly and I loved it! The thrill of people enjoying your work, the feeling of putting something out there into the world and contributing.

As a writer, there’s just no comparison really. The joy that having a blog can bring is wonderful.

But I didn’t take it seriously.

I didn’t work hard enough. I didn’t go in there all guns blazing, ready to set the blogging world alight.

For two years or so, I dabbled. I bitted and batted. I would blog for days at a time and then disappear for a few months.

Big mistake. Huge.

Want your blog to reach the lofty heights? Then take it seriously. Because if you don’t, you can bet your bottom dollar, no one else will.

 

I POSTED ‘CRAP’ STUFF (SOMETIMES!)

We’ve all done it. I know I’m not alone in this, but blimey, sometimes when I look back at some of my old posts, I could hang my head in shame.

The crap posts. The stuff that doesn’t deliver. The pieces I wrote that didn’t offer or provide anything of value.

It’s tough to churn out regular content of a consistently high standard. Some posts will naturally be better than others. And it takes time to find your blogging feet.

But the key, where possible, is to opt for value. For quality over quantity. For the profound over the shallow.

Give something to people of value and you’ll get the return.

 

I FELL FOR FLATTERY

Yep, that ol’ chestnut.

The blogging community, in the main, is a great place to hangout. A fantastic place to meet new people and make new chums.

But there’s also a level of fakery that exists. Of false compliments, of ‘pretend-ship’, of insincerity.

And I fell for this. I fell for the insincere words of a few people, who weren’t looking for genuine friendship, but endorsement and unflinching support.

I gave too much time away. I believed lies and I allowed myself to be swept along by insincerity, even when I knew it was there. I spent more time focusing on helping people with their blogs than I did working on my own stuff.

And I could kick myself now. But it’s been a powerful lesson to learn.

Seek genuine people, nurture real friendships slowly and respectfully and don’t ‘play the game’.

 

SOMETIMES, I’VE PLAYED IT TOO SAFE

Not often, but there have been times when I’ve hung back with a post because I’ve been scared of the reaction or fearful of being judged.

And it never ever pays.

As a writer, as a communicator, as a blogger, it’s our duty to share and talk about stuff that other people won’t or can’t.

That’s what I believe. That’s why blogs are becoming so successful and much loved. And in my experience, it’s always the posts that I’m nervous about, which do really well.

On the world wide web, in which there are millions of blogs, playing it safe will not make you successful or memorable.

But being brave? Being different? Trying something new?

These can lead you to greatness.

 

I DIDN’T THINK I NEEDED TO LEARN MUCH

Oh, how wrong I was!

Because if there’s anything that tests your mettle, it is blogging.

There’s a reason so many blogs disappear after being around less than a year and it’s because of two things:

  1. Blogs require LOTS of hard work
  2. The work NEVER ends

When I first started, I thought writing posts and sharing on social media was enough. But it isn’t.

There’s always so much to learn. Photography, coding and PR. Marketing, newsletters and working with brands. Finding your voice and creating your own identity.

The work goes on and on.

Successful bloggers know this and make sure they find the time to learn stuff and implement their new skills and knowledge.

 

FINALLY, I HAD NO EXPECTATIONS FROM IT

When I wrote my first piece in 2012, I had no expectations what would come from my blog.

A few hopes yes, but no expectations.

But when it comes to blogging, really, you should expect things to happen. You should expect for doors to start opening and magic to begin.

You should expect that it will change your life or your business. Otherwise, why on earth would you start? Why should you bother?

Blogging demands the very best from you, continually, so surely it’s only right – and necessary – that we all demand the same from IT too?

 


Many thanks to all  the people who came to my workshop this week and made me feel fantastic. What are the biggest mistakes you’ve made as a blogger?! 

With love,

Kate

Lips

 

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38 Discussions on
“MY SEVEN GREATEST BLOGGING SINS (TO DATE)”
  • And what a fantastic workshop it was, too. I wish I had your confidence in front of a large group! Cool, calm and collected – and VERY credible.

  • I missed it I was at your presentation a few months ago – no idea how I missed the workshop, I would have loved to have attended. Shame but thanks for the hints and tips love the pic at Elsecar? too

    • Oh no! Nevermind Elaine, hopefully there will be other times! :) And yes, well spotted, it was taken at Elsecar :) x

  • Great post. Some really valid points, I get the whole flattery bit but am quite guarded when forming friendships online. I also think that posting anything, to ensure you meet your schedule, when you know the content is rubbish is a great point. Much better to have quality over quantity. I enjoy your posts and that’s because you genuinely engage with the reader, I value honesty and there is a fine line between holding back beacause you’re not one hundred percent about the post to stick your neck out and playing it safe. I too have found when I’ve opened up my readers connect more readily with me. Great post, especially for newbies.

    • Ah Sammie, thanks ever so much. That means a lot you saying that. Sounds to me, like you know exactly what you’re doing. ;-) X

  • I really wanted to come to your workshop, despite not being particularly ‘local’ other than ‘the north’ as a whole, but I just couldn’t get childcare unfortunately!
    Are you going to BritMums? (presuming that you are?) :)
    Thanks for sharing your wisdom, I definitely need to expect more and stop dabbling some days and going all guns blazing others. It’s hard to fit in with a toddler and sometimes I live and breathe it and sometimes I don’t, it depends what sort of day I’m having! Great tips, I’ll certainly take these on board. Lovely read, as always.
    X

    • Lovely Lucy, yes I should be at BritMums! Would love to say hello. There may be other workshops in the future, so I’ll keep you posted! And I completely understand the ‘fitting it all in’ bit. It’s tough! I think you’ve just got to remember, you can only do what you can do. x

  • Great post lovely Kate. I’m guilty of almost all of these! I’d add ‘listening to negative comments ‘ to the list too. I got trolled once by a jackass and it totally knocked my confidence and I’m still afraid to write what I want to just because one miserable git didn’t have a sense of humour. Sigh.
    Love this post. It’s a cracker!x

    • Nooo! Bloody trolls! (You do know that once you get a troll, you’ve made it right?!?!) Glad you loved it, love. Do not let one miserable, nasty git stop your talent. x

  • So it’s a bit like life really. Good advice for blogging and life in general I would say! Spot on Katy as always xx

  • This is so inspiring.

    I know what you mean about the “pretend-ships” and am learning from those mistakes.

    I would LOVE to see one of your workshops, it’s such a shame I’m so far away. I remember I spotted you at blogfest (in a non stalker way) and wished I could’ve come over to say hi.

    • Oh Clare, you should have said Hi! :) If you ever see me again, grab me! Would love to have a natter. Maybe I can go on tour with the workshops…hmmm x

  • Brilliant post – exactly what I needed to hear this morning plus more! You are right – if you don’t “expect” and have a plan, then your blog would just be floating aimlessly here and there. When you plan, I try to remember to plan (well as much as you can) for the unexpected as well!

  • This is a great post and I think I have been guilty for to long of not really taking it seriously, dipping in and out when the mood takes me. I’m trying to focus myself a little bit more with my blog and finally feel (after 2 and a half years) that I’m starting to get a little bit more organised. xx

    • Thank you and yep I can understand that. Consistency really helps a blogs success, so try and stick at it! :) x

  • This is a great post, we’re massive believers in quality over quantity (don’t always get it right, but we try!!). Our big thing is ever-green content with a great pinnable image as well, makes all the difference for continually driving traffic to a post. Speaking of which, I’ve pinned this to our Blogging and Social Media board xx

    • Thanks Luci. You’re spot on about the Pinterest thing too. I’m rubbish with this, but you are brilliant at it! Thanks so much for adding my pin. x

  • Hurray congrats on your workshop – that is SO awesome! I can relate to quite a bit of the above – especially about playing it safe. I’m starting to realise that I get a lot more personal satisfaction from the posts where I bare my soul. Also, in real-life, I’m probably the most opinionated person I know, I don’t hold back. Yet sometimes I do this on my blog or I steer clear of the hard subjects. I’d like to be braver and your post has given me another little kick in this direction :) Keep going lovely – and don’t forget to bring your roadshow to Australia one day! x x

    • Ah Mim, I love this! Thank you. And we are actually thinking of coming to Oz soon, so I might just do that! ;-)

  • Great post – and glad the workshop was a success.

    I think the biggest mistake I’ve made is to occasionally lose sight of why I started blogging in the first place. It’s easy to get swept up in this world of stats and rankings and monetisation. Every now and then I’ve had to remind myself that, while these things are important to many bloggers, they’re not important to me. It’s reminded me to focus on writing the things that make me happy rather than writing things that I think may be popular.

    • Thanks Tim. Love your comment too. Spot on (as always!). Stats and rankings etc are good things to aim for, but essentially the beating heart of a blog should be about our passion for it. Nothing less.

  • Dang this is one of the few times when living in Malta is a drag. I’d love to have been at that workshop. I definitely recognise some of these but I think for me the main setback has always been not having a ‘business brain’ (not great if you want to monetise your blog) and just not managing to find the time to apply myself to it properly without my house/kids/health being dreadfully neglected.

    • Hmmm maybe I should try and organise one in your neck of the woods? Sounds much more glamorous! ;-) Completely get the business brain thing and of course finding the time! (There’s never enough of it as a blogger, is there?!) x

  • I would have loved this. Great tips and advice as always darling. You are so confident and collected I love it and gorgeous capture of you look amazing.

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