Monday

5 mistakes I made as a new blogger

As some of you will know, I recently celebrated my first blog birthday. Over the past year, I have learned an unbelievable amount about what it takes to be am effective blogger. Looking over everything I've learned in the past 12 months, I thought it would be interesting to write a list of the 5 mistakes I made way back at the end of 2011 and explain how I've addressed these. 


1. Being too hung up on statisics
When I started, I would check my analytics every day. If I got a spike, I would be chuffed with myself. If I got a dip, I'd be gutted. It took me quite a while to realise that peaks and troughs are natural when it comes to web traffic.

That's not to say that statistics aren't important. Of course, they can be hugely helpful. You can work out your audience demographic, best times to post, the posts that are most popular and your main traffic sources from your analytics. Just don't get downhearted when there's a drop. It's all part of the internet experience.

2. Comparing myself to other bloggers
Who doesn't do this at some point? I'd look at my favourite blogs and think "Why can't I be like that?". They were smart, funny, with enviable wardrobes and photography skills. They had thousands of followers and comments left, right and centre.

Then I realised, they'd had a good couple of years or more to reach this point. I can see the huge progression I've made over the past year and I can imagine I'll only progress further over the next year. Better yet, I've stayed completely myself and built up an audience who loves me for who I am. 

3. Unclear, poorly sized photos
You shouldn't judge a book by its cover, right? Well, let me ask you: What's the first thing you notice about a blog? The layout. If it looks attractive and clear, you're much more likely to follow than a blog that looks like a 14 year old girl's Myspace page circa 2005. Photographs are possibly the most important element of a blog's aesthetic.

You don't need to be an expert at photography or html to sort this out. There are just two very simple basics: Clear photography and large sizes. 

Take photos in daylight and, if they're of you, get someone else (or your self timer) to take the photos for you. Photos taken in a grubby mirror lit by a bare bulb overhead are not the clearest! Resize all photos so they are a consistent size which should be the width of your margin. Hey presto! Your blog aesthetic has just improved tenfold! 

4. Forcing posts 
If I'm not feeling like blogging, I can just type up anything and people will still be interested, right? Erm, well, no actually. Posts that are forced, or about something you're not passionate about, will read as laboured. I once wrote a post about socks. Socks. I don't even wear socks! Needless to say, nobody ever commented. 

If you don't feel in the blogging spirit, take a rest. Do something different. Explore your locality, watch a new film, eat lunch at a restaurant you've never been before. These things will inspire you and give you so much more to write about. Plus, it will be something that you truly feel. After all, that's what your readers want.

5. Not utlising social media
I used to think that blogging, combined with some limited input on outfit-sharing sites, would be enough to bring people to my blog. How wrong I was. Who will know about your blog if you don't talk to people?

These days you can find me in forums, offering advice to others on blogging networks and, more frequently, chatting about anything and everything on Twitter. I've built up a real network. People who I consider friends and whose blogs I enjoy just as much as they enjoy mine. So much more satisfying than just being a lone voice in a mass of new blogs.


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Of course, as a new blogger, you will make mistakes. But you know what? That's the best way to learn! If I hadn't made these errors, I never would have progressed from them. If you're new to the blogging world, relax. Enjoy it. Have fun. Make mistakes! It's the best way, I promise. 

45 comments :

  1. really enjoyed reading this, im definitely guilty og making these mistakes too!

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    1. I think we all are at some point!

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  2. What an absolutely amazing post! These are possibly the 5 things rolling around in my head as a blogger and you've basically reassured me on all of them. Thanks you so much :)

    YP
    x

    http://yorkshirepud123.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Thank you Emma. I'm glad to have helped :)

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  3. I'm still crap at it and I've been blogging fro over 2 years. The technical stuff really lets me down, but I'm learning all the time. You're right to say it's important to not get bogged down in stats. I still do it for fun, so although it's nice that other people read it- I'd do it anyway.

    Great post. x

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    1. Just keep practicing. Like you say, you're learning all the time and people progress at different rates. As long as you're still having fun, that's the most important thing!

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  4. This was really interesting to read, I'd love to read your post about socks, it sounds hilarious! :) It's so hard not to get caught up with statistics. When I first started I was literally refreshing the page to see if anyone new had been reading what I had to say x

    http://melissaknowsbest.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Haha you really don't want to read it. It's awful!

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  5. The comment about socks made me giggle.

    Yes, there are some mistakes you even should make to improve your attitude about blogging. Speaking for myself, I guess the worst thing I've tried out was this 'follow me and I follow you' activity. I ended up realizing that this isn't the way to find sincere blog followers. And sometimes I used to force myself to write some random posts just for the sake of it. I'm glad that I'm more relaxed nowadays about the frequence of my blog spots.

    In the end blogs are a bit like ourselves - they grow up and get even better (:

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    1. Yeah, I started with the follow for follow thing. You just end up following blogs you're not interested in and ending up with a bunch of disinterested readers.

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  6. These hit home, hard. Statistics and "why isn't my blog a bit more popular??!" have been my issues since I started blogging but the more I let those insecurities go, the more I enjoy writing on my blog (s)

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    1. It's normal to have those feelings. I think we all do. So long as you can sometimes block those thoughts and concentrate on what you do well, you'll be fine.

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  7. I fully agree with you ! and as for the "5 mistakes of newbie", I think I made every possible ;D

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  8. haha I used to do some stuff too :DD !! <3
    http://coeursdefoxes.blogspot.com/

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    1. I think everyone did at some point :)

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  9. Love this post <3 I'm just now learning about the not forcing posts thing. The amount I blog has dropped LOADS, which makes me a little anxious, but I think the quality of what I'll post will be better.
    I'm super scared about networking though, I don't even know where to start! I occasionally comment on people's blogs, and I'd like to get more involved, but I have no clue where to start.

    Alexandria xx

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    1. Don't worry about networking- Most bloggers aren't scary! I find Twitter is a great place to start :)

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  10. I really love this post, there are some great tips in there. Especially about the statistics, I used to be terrible for obsessing over my stats.

    http://razzledazzleandrocknroll.blogspot.co.uk/

    xx

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    1. Me too! It's hard to let go of that.

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  11. These are all common mistakes made by new bloggers. I always used to get hung up on statistics and mess around with picture sizes but I think the best blogs come spontaneously.

    http://chicgeekblogger.blogspot.com/

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    1. I think it's all a learning curve. You need to make mistakes to improve.

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  12. So true. When I had my old blog I made all theese mistakes. Now I have the new one with my friend (about photos, the old one was about fashion but then i found I'm not interested in it) and I'll try to avoid them. Thank you.

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  13. Fantastic tips. You've done so well in a year, it's unbelievable. After last night's bbloggers I felt a bit inadequate but then I realised if I keep working, keep learning, keep listening to advice and improve here and there there's no reason I can't have a loyal readership too. You seem so genuine which is what keeps me coming back.

    Laura xo
    whatlauradid.com

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    1. Aaw thank you so much, Laura! This is such a lovely comment :)

      Absolutely keep going and you'll keep growing! (Hey, that rhymes!)
      xx

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  14. Thanks as I am still learning a ton. I have been going for ten months and trying to grow. You gave me some huge pointers.

    csuhpat1.blospot.com

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  15. As a new blogger I found this super helpful! You seem to have come really far in only a year. Your blog is definitely one of my favourites already! Thanks for sharing your secrets to success ;)

    xo inventedromance.blogspot.ca

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    1. Aaw thank you! That's such a lovely comment! :)

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  16. Haha understood. So how do i make those pictures fit equally? I need to get this one down. I really do like it better when the pictures fit JUST RIGHT lol


    zuleyb.blogspot.com

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    1. Find out the width of your centre margin, resize all your photos to the same size (a few pixels smaller than the margin width) and make sure you click "original size" when you add them to a blog post :)

      Becky
      xx

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  17. Great post Becky! Love the tips! If only I had learned these a few years ago...

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  18. Thank you so much for this post! As a really new blogger (I only started two months ago) I sometimes get disheartened when I see how many readers some people have, but I guess spending a lot of time blogging will build up a readership naturally :) Its important to remain yourself, whether you have 3 followers or 3000! :)

    Grace xoxo
    aglaiabeauty.blogspot.co.uk

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  19. Very astute post and your blog is incredibly professional for a one year old!

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  20. I will have been blogging for 3 years next month and I still don't feel like I do it right some days. My biggest problem is time and it always has been, but I don't suppose that will ever change. I've learned loads too and I'm still learning, but also getting inspired by others and always making new friends which is the best thing!

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  21. I am a new blogger, and I can relate to most of what you wrote! I've been blogging for 1.5 months now. I'm not sure if I'm improving, and I feel disheartened at times. But I really want to be a blogger. I hope I can pull this off!

    Here is the url to my blog
    http://medicalschoolroadtrip.blogspot.com/

    I hope I can do what you did for number 5 - befriend other bloggers.

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  22. Thank you for this Becky! :)

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  23. These are very helpful, thank you! I am a new blogger and these will help me get through this new phase.

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  24. Good post!
    very helpful to me as a new blogger :)
    I very much agree with not forcing posts, I put one up just to add another post and it was my worst one so i took it down!
    thank you!!

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