Yesterday's post was over helpful blogging tips, so I thought today I would leave you some tips on what NOT to do. Some of these will be similar to yesterday's tips, except from a different point of view. So again, ready or not, here we go. ;)
Do not expect lots of growth right away. Exceptions: 1) you are a celebrity, 2) you are already a well known blogger, 3) you buy like millions of sponsorships, 4) you're featured somewhere famous, or 5) you're just very very lucky. If the case is one, honestly, the blogging rules don't even apply to you I feel because if you're a celebrity people are going to read into your blog anyways.
If it's two, then you already know what you're doing, so that obviously helps.
If three, well, I'd hope you'd be getting attention.
If four, cool, but you're not excused from class because while that may get you some views, you want those views to stay.
If five, well gosh danggit, then you need to be teaching me. Expect growth, but just know it comes in small doses and will take lots of time.
Don't try to be successful without putting any money into your blog. I already went over this yesterday. It's just not going to happen. If you want to grow, you have to invest. If you want to drive, you have to put gas in your car.
Do not work too hard. I know I said blogging can be like a job, but keep in mind everyone needs a break in their jobs. When you're new, it's easy to spend your entire life on your blog. Don't. Get inspiration, live life, and I promise it will make your blog better.
Don't wait to begin your social media even if you have no clue what you're doing. I didn't. I still don't. Just like your blog, that takes time, but start it right away. START learning. START growing. You may have like 10 likes on Facebook or only 30 followers on Twitter, but that's something, and you're establishing your online presence and such. Just trust me on this.
Don't rush into emailing other bloggers except if you are going to ask for advice. I know there's this whole collaborating thing, and I totally think you should take a risk and email some of your fave bloggers about that. But first, wait, for two reasons.
#1: Grow your blog a little. Show them you are serious about blogging. I have to admit, I would be a little skeptical collaborating with someone if they had like one post. It's not that I don't want to help you (I totally do!), but sometimes when you start blogging you're not sure if you'll keep at it. It's pointless for me and for you to work hard at a project only then for you to decide this blogging thing isn't for you.
#2: Get to know those bloggers you want to collaborate with! Comment on their posts. Interact with them. Be real. Be you. Then when you contact them (I'm not saying they'll say yes, and you shouldn't do that JUST so they'll collaborate with you) they will be like, "Oh yeah! I remember her!", and you get the idea. I would be much more willing to work with someone who is active on my blog versus someone who isn't. It shows me you care, and you trust me, and you just want to work together!
I have been blogging for one year, and I have not emailed a blogger yet about collaborating. I didn't even know what collaborating was when I started, but now it was because I'm working really hard on my blog to make it the best it can be. I've also been working on branding it, but emailing bloggers is on my to do list (I have a whole list, watch out). And when you email them, don't just ask to collaborate. Talk to them - about their life, their blog, your blog, have a conversation! Not all bloggers will collaborate with you - even if you comment on all their posts. Don't you still want to get to know them? That kind of is the point of this blogging thing.
So what can you say when you start? Introduce yourself and your new blog! Tell them about how much of an inspiration they have been to you! Ask for tips! I wish I would have done this more, but I didn't - and you should!
Do not rush into decisions. Literally this was my beginning.
"This blog design is boring, it's time to work on a new one! We're getting rid of that purple just because I don't like it."
"I don't like this design either."
"Oh crap! What have I done to my blog? Now it's a mess."
"Squarespace is the answer! I need to move to Squarespace just because it's awesome!"
"Oh, nevermind on this template. I need one with a header not at the top."
"What is wrong with this design danggit!? IT'S JUST NOT RIGHT, AND IT NEVER EVER WILL BE!"
"Okay, I think I finished the 582 tweaks. I'm starting to finally like it."
"I got a blog design, I got money, let's do this!"
"I wonder what's on their Terms. Oh. My. Gosh. I'm going to jail. RIP Sparkles by Ashlee. You have to be 13, and I am not 13 this is awful. My blog will never ever get a happily ever after."
"MOM!!! We need to email Squarespace about these gosh dang terms!"
"Mom, can we please email them today? It's February 2057, and one of these days I want to blog again."
"Mom I swear, please I'm starting to hate my blog design."
"Okay Mom. I will write the dumb letter. You just approve it, okay?"
"Yes, we are going to do this today, Mom. I have a wedding to plan, and I want to blog finally. Just tell me this looks okay, so they can tell me I can have my blog without going to jail."
"YES!!! I can stay on Squarespace! But...you know...something is wrong with this blog design."
"Ooh, this is a nice design she has. It's on Squarespace too..."
"OH my living goodness! I still hate the dumb design!"
"I've got it! There's too much black in it! I'm going to either put gold or silver."
"Oh yes. We've just hit Blogging Heaven."
"No, you know what, no. This template, it just has too many things I need to fix, but no people are responding to my forums on Squarespace Answers and so yeah."
"Okay. I've done it this time. This is the perfect design."
"Hmm. I want to try something with this design."
"Ew my gosh. It did not work. At all. Now I have no clue how to get the old one back."
"AGH!!! I MADE IT EVEN WORSE! NOW WE'VE FOUND BLOGGING HELL!"
"Okay, okay, let's just take a risk. Let's try this template."
"Oh yes, yes, yes!"
"Wait, why did I do those image designs? They say nothing about my brand! Time to redo all the images if you'll excuse me."
Oh. My. Gosh. I do not think sometimes if you can't tell. Do not do what I did. You will constantly wear yourself out. Take time when planning new designs, when choosing platforms, all of that.
Do not put off branding. Brand your blog just like a business. Do it in the beginning, or pay the price later. All those images? That was a true story. I finally got all caught up with ALL the posts!
Do not go in with no knowledge of your platform. Work with them, read on them, and decide which one is best. I felt like I did this, well...except for the terms part.
Do not let yourself get unorganized. Oh my gosh. I mean it. Organize your to dos. Organize your design. Organize the posts you need to write, everything. Blogging is overwhelming, times that by twenty if you don't organize thoughts and ideas and to dos.
Do not be inconsistent. If you are looking to blog professionally or for your job, you do not get to post whenever you feel like it. One post every one week or two, or gosh, even worse, it just won't do it. I am so guilty of this, but I'm working at getting better. The reason is because if you find a blog you really like, it's really no fun when you never get to hear from them right? First of all, you'll have more content for people to look at, and second, you'll find your voice and offer chances for more socialization.
Do not let blogging become a chore, however you do it. You don't want to slack, either. My advice? Blog just to blog - like a topic you are excited about. Take a day off. Work on a project on your blog that makes you excited. It's just finding a balance and finding what works best for you.
Last of all, do not think blogging is not worth any of the work. Because it is. I don't want to scare you with this stuff, but some of it is just true. Like I said in the other post, I'm going to eventually do a post over the benefits of blogging and how it literally changes your life. So come back. :)
That was a really long post. You're the best for reading it! If you want to blog, just do it. Have fun with it. Learn. Grow. Share your story. It's worth it, I promise. Then contact me, because I want to help you, and I want to see your blog. So put that on your to do list. Since after all, a blogger's job is never done.