Wednesday 5 December 2018

Blogging Mistakes I've Made

I can't quite believe that I've been blogging for almost 5 years. Some days it feels like two minutes ago that I started all of this and published my very first post, and other times I can't imagine my life before it. As I've been been a blogger for quite a while now, I've made many mistakes. Some of the things I had no clue about 5 years ago, the list is honestly endless. As I had no idea what I was doing when I first started, I got a lot of things wrong so I thought I'd share some of those mistakes with you. Maybe it might stop you from making some of them in the future too!
flatlay - book, milkshake, biscuits

Saying Yes To Every Opportunity

Whilst it can be so exciting to get emails from brands asking if you want to collaborate, it doesn't mean you have to take every single one. On a quiet month blog wise, any email coming through sparks a little bit of excitement in me but there are times when despite how low I might be on sponsored work or brand collaborations that it just isn't worth taking. It's only over the last few years I've really started making sure I'm only accepting campaigns that truly fit my blog and are fair because for a long time brands have been taking advantage of bloggers. A few years ago I didn't really know what I was doing so I was working for free sometimes, accepting insultingly low payments other times and bending over backwards for a small beauty product because I felt like that was the right thing to do and like I wasn't worthy of anything more. It was just amazing at the time that anyone wanted to work with me but now I can see it works both ways. Some brands always like to try and make you feel as if they're doing you a massive favour but they're not. Now I know what my niche is, I know what I'm worth and I'm not going to say yes to a brand who want everything for nothing. 

Undercharging & Underselling Myself

Following on from that point, I've been underselling myself and my blog for a long time. Despite bloggers and vloggers - all kinds of social media 'influencers' only growing in popularity, it can still a lot of the time feel like we'll just never be taken seriously. For a long time I've struggled when it comes to knowing what to charge when it comes to sponsored content because again, brands make you feel like them paying you anything is a good thing. But is £25 going to pay my rent? I don't think so. It can be difficult and uncomfortable at times to say actually, no that isn't enough, I charge x amount for x amount of work but we are well within our rights to do so. You charge what you feel you deserve, no one can criticise you for knowing your own worth. To be honest I still think I don't charge quite enough for the amount of time and effort I put into brand collaborations but I have definitely got better over the last year with really making sure things are on a more even playing field. Please, if you're new to this, or even if you're not, don't let people take advantage. If you don't know where to start with charging for content, a tip I picked up from other bloggers is to charge 4 x your DA, so if your DA is 25, charge £100. That's just a basic rough guide if you're unsure.

Following The Crowd

I actually don't think this is a major mistake I've made as for a long time, I've just done as I please with my blog but at the start, it was impossible not to try and follow the crowd. When I started my blog, I literally had no idea what I was doing. I was bored, had a lot going on and just needed to occupy myself. So, that's when Food and Other Loves started but I had no idea what I was going to talk about! It was only when I started talking to and following other bloggers on social media that I noticed the sorts of things that were popular. There were various tags I felt I had to take part in or be nominated in to get anyone to notice my blog, there were certain beauty products that everyone seemed to love and I didn't want to be left out. It's easy at the start to just follow everyone else and take inspiration from them because surely if they're doing well due to those things, you will too? but it doesn't work like that. Being different is a good thing! All of our blogs are unique, it would be boring if we all spoke about the same things, reviewed the same mascara etc. Now I genuinely talk and write about what I want despite what other bloggers are doing and it makes me happy. Don't be afraid to stand out.

Not Promoting My Blog

For some reason I thought people would just automatically find my blog without me really having to do anything. Thinking about it now, that's obviously ridiculous but it took a while for me to figure out that it takes a lot of work for your posts to be seen. Now I'm always scheduling tweets, it's the bane of my life but it works and on days I don't have any tweets going out, I really notice a dip in my views. Pinterest has also become a big thing for me over the last year, it's a brilliant way to generate blog views. I try not to be spammy when it comes to promoting my posts but I think I've found the right balance now, it just took me a while to figure out what was too much and what wasn't enough.

Putting Myself Under Too Much Pressure

There have been times in my past few years where I've been really hard on myself when it comes to blogging and sticking to a schedule. Whilst having a routine and posting on set days is useful for me for several reasons, I do think I've been a bit too obsessive about it before and I've put myself under far too much pressure. This year I've taken a real step back with it, allowed myself breaks if I'm away or ill, which I know sounds totally normal but before if I'd had a post planned, I'd be desperate to make sure I got it up regardless whereas now I just think, what's really going to happen if I don't? Absolutely nothing. Whilst I love posting so frequently because I have so many things I want to share, at times it can get a bit too much so I think it's really important sometimes to just take a step back and have a break. I find small breaks really help me re-focus too and I tend to come back to my blog with fresh ideas and more motivated than ever.

Have you made any of these blogging mistakes too?

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