I decided to start a weekly chat series with you all! I realize that I post a ton of outfit and beauty posts, but I want my blog to be a lot more than that. Not only do I want to share style tips and my favorite beauty buys with you, but I want to share some blogging tips, experiences in life, and just all around advice too! I just recently graduated college, so a lot of changes are coming my way. I’m about to be thrown into the life of “adulting” and I want to share it all on my blog. And so, the weekly chat series is born. My first weekly chat will talk about 3 beginner mistakes I made as a blogger, and what I’ve learned from my experience.
Looking back on about a year and a half of blogging I have definitely learned so much. I started my blog as just a hobby, a way to keep myself busy during vacations. It’s turned into almost a second job, one that I love doing with all my heart! I often times look back on when I started and see how far I’ve come since then. I’ve realized that I’ve made so many mistakes in my year and a half of blogging, and I’ve slowly but surely began to fix them. For those of you that are just starting out, this is so important for you to read because these are mistakes lots of bloggers make in their first go-around of blogging. So, without further adieu, here are my three mistakes and what I’ve learned!
1. Don’t Give Up
Unfortunately, I decided to stop blogging just two months after I had started. I picked it up again about four months later, only to wonder what I could have accomplished in those months I stopped. I gave up because I was impatient and couldn’t understand why my blog wasn’t growing at such a rapid pace. I began comparing myself too much to big bloggers and hated that I wasn’t at that stage. The thing is, those bloggers have been blogging for three, four, some even seven years! Starting a blog requires a boat-load of patience; something I severely lacked when I started my blog. I don’t know why, but I expected to start my blog one day and the next have 50,000 readers a month. Reality check: that doesn’t happen (not unless you’re a teenage youtube sensation). The most important thing to understand when starting a blog is that it takes time to gain a following. It’s something I’m still struggling with today, but I’m slowly getting better. If you provide your followers with quality content and put 120% effort into your blog, there’s no way you can fail. Rather than comparing yourself to the big bloggers you love, learn from them. See what they do that works for them and see how you can implement it. Now, I’m not saying go an copy them, it’s important to have your own voice, but there’s no harm in learning a little bit from the big kids!
2. Don’t Focus on the Following, Focus on the Content
As I stated above, if you’re putting 120% effort into creating quality content for your blog, there’s no way you can fail. When I began blogging, all I could think about was “How am I going to gain more followers?” rather than “How am I going to get the followers I do have, to engage and stay?” Therefore, I was getting extremely lackadaisical when it came to creating blog posts. I focused all of my time on growing my Instagram (and not even the right way), that my content took a serious beating. I wasn’t enjoying blogging anymore because I was so angry that my social following wasn’t growing. Once I learned to focus not so much on my following but how I could entertain my readers and direct them to my site, I fell in love with blogging again. Make sure you’re blogging for the right reasons. I blog because I want to be an influencer and help people along the way. I absolutely love when my followers give me feedback or answer my questions I post in my Instagram stories. I want to connect with my readers, not just have a big number at the top of my Instagram profile.
3. Don’t Overwhelm Yourself
Being a new blogger, I started getting a bunch of different opportunities to collaborate with different companies. Which was great, until I realized how many collaborations I had actually taken on. I also had fallen for brands that turned out to be scams or not very well known. Creating good, quality content takes time. There are pictures that have to be taken, edits that have to be done, content that has two be written, and that’s just scratching the surface. If you’re being bogged down by five different collaborations at once, you’re spreading yourself too thin. Do the research. Only say yes to companies that fit with your niche. Figure out if the effort you’ll put into creating the content is worth what they’re offering you. Do you feel like the free scarf they’re offering you is worth the two plus hours you’re putting into creating the post? If not, either ask for more compensation or politely decline their offer. You can also negotiate their timeline as well. Say to them “I’m currently working on a couple of other projects, but would really like to do a collaboration with you. In order to create the best content I can about your product, would you mind pushing the post release back a couple of weeks?” You’d be surprised how understanding and flexible brands can be. And, most important, don’t ever feel like your work isn’t worthy of compensation. And no, I don’t just mean money. When you’re starting out, it’s very unlikely that you will be getting paid for posts. It’s most important when you’re starting out that you build relationships with not only your followers, but brands as well. But, as I said before, if you’re putting in the time and effort into a post for a brand, don’t be afraid to negotiate the terms. Maybe your work is worth two scarves instead of one!
And there you have it. My three nuggets of wisdom for those of you that are just starting out or have been blogging for a long time but are just looking for some advice. I’ll be doing plenty more weekly chats, but definitely need ideas for future ones! So, please leave a comment below with some questions you have for me or things you would like to see on other weekly chats!