So as of yesterday, I’ve officially been blogging for two years! How crazy is that? As a mini celebration, I wanted to share a few things that I learned are faux pas in the blogging world, so here are 12 things you should NOT do when you decide to call yourself a blogger.
1 // DON’T EXPECT EVERYONE TO COME TO YOU
Even though you may think you have a lot of great things you want to share in the world, you can’t expect to just publish something on the web and expect people to magically find you. You have to do the legwork and put yourself up there, especially from the beginning. There are so many ways to put your blog out there:
— Join in on link-ups: There are tons of link-up parties for you to choose from.
— Comment on other blogs: Share your blog URL so others can return the favor.
— Join a blog community (or a few): This a great way to meet other bloggers and make lasting connections.
— Share other people’s content: When someone sees you shared their content, you’re likely to become your new BFF.
— Sponsor other bloggers: Find bloggers with a niche similar to yours that have a good number of followers and commenters.
— Guest post on other blogs: Give people a preview of your blog content on other blogs.
2 // DON’T WAIT TO USE GOOGLE TOOLS
All of the important things I learned about my blog, I learned from Google Webmaster and Google Analytics. There are so many great things you can see about your blog using these tools, including which of your posts are most popular, how people are finding your blog, what keywords are bringing people to your blog, and so much more. Analyze your Google Webmaster and Google Analytics frequently so you can learn about your readers and what works and what doesn’t work for your blog.
3 // DON’T POST SPORADICALLY
If you want to get serious about blogging, you should come up with a posting schedule. Instead of posting right after you finish writing a blog post, wait to post at certain time each day. All of my blog posts are published at 8 am CT. Scheduling your blog posts will help your readers learn when to expect blog posts from you.
4 // DON’T DO IT ALONE
One of the best things I did for my blog was join a blogging community. I’ve met some of my favorite bloggers within blogging communities, and most of my blog friends are ones that I met through blog communities. If you’re looking for an awesome blogging community to join, check out more information about The Blogging Elite by clicking here!
5 // DON’T CREATE SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS AND IGNORE THEM
Having social media accounts along all avenues is super important, but if you’re going to open the accounts, make sure you utilize them. Having social media accounts for your blogs helps give people options as to how to follow your blog. If you don’t have the time to manage your social media account daily, you can use an online scheduling tool like TweetDeck, Buffer or HootSuite to schedule your posts ahead of time.
6 // DON’T FORGET ABOUT PINTEREST
When I used Pinterest, I never thought of it as a way to get traffic to my blog. I didn’t see it as a blogging tool at all in the beginning. The majority of my blog’s traffic actually comes from Pinterest, which is why it’s important to take the time to create pinnable images and share your blog’s content to Pinterest.
7 // DON’T HESITATE TO INVEST IN YOUR BLOG
If you’re thinking about blogging long-term, you shouldn’t hesitate to spend a few bucks to get your blog noticed. A few investments you can make for your blog from the beginning include:
— Giveaways: The easiest way to get multiple people to discover your blog is to participate in giveaways. Buy-ins are usually about $5 per link, but can vary.
— Sponsorships: Find a few blogs to sponsor using the tips that I mentioned above.
— Layout: Aesthetics are a big part of a having a good blog. If you’re in it for the long-run, don’t hesitate to invest in a decent blog layout. Search in your blog communities for blog designers or do a search on Etsy for blog templates or design services.
8 // DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHER BLOGGERS
The easiest way to get discouraged about your blog is to compare yourself to other bloggers. Think about why you want to blog, and focus on that instead of trying to be like everyone else.
9 // DON’T EVER ASSUME YOU KNOW IT ALL
There’s so much learn about blogging, especially because the blog world is constantly growing and changing. Learn as much as you can by seeking out advice from other bloggers, pinning blog-related posts, reading tips from blogging books, or taking some blog ecourses.
10 // DON’T FORGET ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE
I know a lot of bloggers say that they blog for themselves, but if that were the case, they wouldn’t worry about the numbers, gaining followers, or even having a blog at all. It’s so important to keep your audience in mind when you’re writing your blog posts. My favorite blog posts are those that make me say “me too” over and over again or those that I get something from, such as helpful tips or even free printables or other things.
11 // DON’T PUT YOURSELF IN A BOX
Having a niche for your blog is important because you want to have a focus. Decide whether you want to have a lifestyle blog or a fashion blog or beauty, sports, travel, food, or whatever kind of blog you’d like to have. While having a niche is important, it’s important to not limit yourself to just talking about one thing. Variety is the spice of life, and that should be the same for your blog too. While you should stick with your niche for the most part, every once in awhile, you should switch it up and post about something else you’re passionate about.
12 // DON’T EXPECT TO BE AN OVERNIGHT SUCCESS
Blogging is hard work, and you should treat it as such. Gaining loyal readers takes times and so does finding your blogging stride. Expect to make a few mistakes and to go up and down with followers. When it comes to blogging, you’ll get out of it what you put into it.
What are your biggest blog faux pas? What advice would you give to new bloggers?