Now that I’ve been blogging for over 3 years, I finally feel like I have come out of the other side of all the big mistakes of the early days. Here, I round up some of the worst blogging blunders I’ve made over the past few years, in the hope that new bloggers out there can learn from them.
Using a sub-par url, handle and email
There’s nothing worse than a teenage email address- think misscutiepie@hotmail or xxbabegirlxx@msn. Get yourself a professional email server that allows you to have an email with you domain in it, like mine, email@example.com. Or, if all else fails, gmail is a great choice! You also want to check that the domain and social media handles you want for your blog are available without lots of added numbers, letters or underscores. I wish I’d fought harder for simply urbanity.com! FInally, invest in a proper URL (its not even that expensive- I pay £15 a year!), so you can shake off the .wordpress or .blogspot address, making your blog clean, chic and professional.
Forgetting that quality content is key
You can have the best camera lens in the world, a fancy new pipdig theme, a healthy Bloglovin following and a fresh new header logo, but none of that matters if your content isn’t up to scratch. I am constantly scouring the internet for new fashion or lifestyle blogs to follow, and loads of them are truly beautiful to look at , but if your blog posts are only 150 words long and don’t express any new ideas, stories or opinions, then I’m quickly going to bounce away to another tab. For me, being a blogger means to have writing skill, so if you can’t string an article together without relying heavily on yet another outfit photo, then maybe its time to rethink.
Letting down your content with a poor layout
Your layout is a huge factor in retaining a blogging audience. You could have excellent content and a really great voice, but if your website looks a mess, people will give up pretty quickly. From your, theme being non-responsive to mobile and tablet formats (where the majority of readers will access your site), to broken links and multiple re-directs, music playing automatically while browsing, misaligned or low resolution images, and a mismatch of different font styles, sizes and colours…sort out your layout before anything else!
You may also enjoy: How to start a fashion blog (and keep it going)
Going to every blogger event
When you’re starting out, its exciting to get invitations from brands and PR companies, and it can be difficult to let go of the FOMO feeling if you decide to stay home. But eventually, you realise that you don’t have to attend every blogger event, and you don’t even have to feel bad for not being invited to them. If its not relevant to my niche, or I know I wouldn’t enjoy it or have some great poeple to talk to, then I’ll give it a miss; there are usually more pressing things to do! PRs wo n’t think ill of you for prioritising; in fact, the more I’ve said no to opportunities that I’m not excited about, the more I’ve had room in my calendar for things that really matter to me and my blog.
Not sticking to your values
Any time I’ve worked with a person or brand that didn’t sit right with my ethics and values, I’ve hugely regretted it, no matter what the ‘reward’. I think its really important as a blogger to know what you stand for, and don’t let money or gifts or social media followers sway you to the dark side. Do your research when a brand approaches you; would you recommend this product or service to a friend or buy it for yourself if you weren’t getting it for free? Now, I make sure to only work with brands I truly love, and I feel so much better for it.
Overestimating your tech abilities
Going self-hosted on WordPress was one of the worst and most stressful decisions I’ve ever made. For others, they love it, and glide through the code and dat with ease, but I certainly overestimated my grasp on computer technology, and the whole process was a nightmare, and continues to be- take last week when my blog was hacked and I stayed up all night to fix it! Sometimes, its best to pay an expert to do things for you instead of struggling throuugh it alone; I learned that the hard way.
Waiting for opportuities to come to you
Last but by no means least is reaching out to people you want to work with. Whether its a brand, venue, retailer, another blogger or photographer, opportunities won’t always just come to you if you sit and wait, even with the best SEO in the world! So build yourself a press pack, order some business cards, and get yourself out there; being a blogger in this saturated market does not entitle you to every event invite, collaboration or sponsored project, you’ve got to (net)work for it!
Let me know what your ‘seven deadly sins’ of blogging are! Is there something I missed out?
Photos taken at the Christian Dior: Couturier du Reve, Musee D’arts Decoratifs in Paris.
Read my review of the Dior exhibition for Fashion Fix Daily here.
The jumper dress and denim shirt I’m wearing are both vintage.
Ruth @ Urbanity xxx