I have been blogging on and off since the end of 2010 and cannot believe that it has been almost 6 years now.
I still remember the first blog that made me want to start my own. That was Sugarlaws. I loved how she blogged about both food and fashion while living in New York City.
There are so many other bloggers who started at the same time as me or shortly after who are still blogging today and are quite successful. Take Neely from It Starts With Coffee, she is a perfect example.
I could be in their position, I could be a full time blogger by now. But I am not, and I know the reasons why. I am not surprised.
So today I want to share with you how to fail at blogging. Today it is even harder to become a full time. Here are all the lessons I learned from the past 6 years so you don’t make the same mistakes.
1. Keep changing your blog name and URL.
I am notorious for changing my mind. So many ideas and so many interests.
.My first blog was Surprisingly Sweet. I was so excited until my little sister, Cydnee, mentioned that it sounded like a porn star name. Thanks, Cyd for calling it like it is!
So even though I already started and had begun connecting with other bloggers, I ended up changing my mind and just closing it. I will admit the content was not fantastic so on that front it wasn’t necessarily a loss.
The next blog I started was Lindseys and Wildflowers. I had bought stock photography for the header and was getting the layout all ready when one night the name Peace Love Sequins popped into my head.
To be honest, I am not sure where the inspiration came from, but as soon as the name popped into my head I knew that was it. That was going to be the name of my blog. That was about 4 years ago.
A little over a year into Peace Love Sequins, Shea from Cheyenne Meets Chanel changed her blog name to Peace Love Shea. She was (and still is) a very successful fashion and lifestyle blogger. Because of that, I thought people would assume I modeled my blog after hers (even though I had the name a year or so beforehand).
So I wrestled with name after name. I went from Peace Love Sequins to The Fashion Fox to Vogue by Design to possibly one more. As you can see I was planning on a fashion and lifestyle blog.
None of the names seemed to fit and I had lost most of my readers from the constant switching and indecisiveness.
After a Disneyland day with my best friend (who is an amazing wedding photographer), I decided to relaunch Peace Love Sequins at the beginning of 2014.
I continued to blog at Peace Love Sequins for a while when the idea for this blog came up. I had posted some blogging and digital media posts on Peace Love Sequins but decided I really wanted to niche down both blogs.
Today, Peace Love Sequins is still up but it is on hold while I focus on Blog Me Lovely. I plan on continuing Peace Love Sequins one day but focusing purely on fashion and lifestyle content.
Luckily, I handled the transition to a new blog more smoothly this time around. I did not lose readership, in fa,ct I have higher traffic and more engaged traffic.
When you keep changing your blog name and URL, you confuse your readers and followers if you do not do it carefully.Consistently changing your blog name and URL loses your brand identity. Click To Tweet
Changing your blog name and URL is a very important decision and should not be taken lightly. However, it can be done smoothly though with proper preparation.
2. Don’t post consistently.
Not only do I change my mind often, I get distracted easily. This is something I am working on, and admit that I have gotten much better.
I would get uber focused on blogging and blog almost every day then I would get burned out and not post for months. This is not okay.
Readers learned to not expect consistency from me, and therefore they would forget my blog even existed.
You do not need to post every single day to stay consistent. Create a schedule and stick to it.
Your schedule could be three posts a week or it could be once a month. But be consistent. Your readers will then expect to see posts on that schedule.
My current schedule for Blog Me Lovely is to post at least once a week. I need to be more specific to be honest. I need to post once a week every Tuesday for example. Something along those lines.
You will then expect to see a new post from me every Tuesday. You will start to look for it.
Now that is not my actual posting schedule, but I wanted to give an example.
3. Don’t plan posts in advance.
Do you ever get in a rut? Do you ever get writer’s block?
By creating an editorial calendar or even just a list of post ideas, it will help you create consistent content because the hardest part (figuring out what to write about) is already done.
With an editorial calendar, you don’t need to come up with an amazing post idea, you just need to write it.
I use Asana to keep a running list of blog post ideas. That way if I am ever feeling writer’s block, I can just visit the list.
It also helps me stay on topic. With a running list of on topic post ideas, you will consistently create content related to your niche.Creating (and sticking to) an editorial calendar can make a HUGE difference for your blog. Click To Tweet
If you can batch writing posts and schedule them in advance, that it is even better. That way you are not scrambling to write a post the night before it is planned to go out. You are less likely to miss a post this way.
4. Always second guess yourself.
I am a very self conscious person and worry way too much what other people think. My boyfriend says my mind is my worst enemy, and I have to agree with him.
I let this get in the way of blogging.
While I never lied about who I was or what I liked, I never fully put myself out there. I was too nervous to take outfit posts, or even just share less than perfect pictures of myself.
Readers can tell when you are not being authentic and it isn’t attractive or interesting, so they will choose to spend their time elsewhere. With someone else who they feel they know and get. Someone who is being authentic.
The blogs I enjoy the most, are the ones where I feel like I know the blogger. Where the blogger feels like a close friend.
5. Accepting any and all sponsorships.
It is very exciting when you start to get noticed as a blogger. You feel important, like what you say matters. Like what you say impacts others.
On Peace Love Sequins, when I first started getting sponsorship inquires I said yes to every one of them.
That was a major mistake. Some of the content was not necessarily me, wasn’t relevant to my blog or really didn’t offer my readers value.
The only sponsored posts you will see on Blog Me Lovely, if any, will be products that I would be supporting and writing about regardless if I was being paid.
However, I am not really open to sponsored posts as I would rather create my own products, services and courses to promote.
When I start posting on Peace Love Sequins again, I will only partner with companies and brands that align with me, my blog and my readers’ values and interests.
You won’t see me posting about frozen food, even though it is a lifestyle blog, because that is not what I typically discuss on the blog. It would make no sense for me or for my readers.You do not have to accept every sponsored post or ad request that comes your way. Click To Tweet
I would actually discourage it and tell you to be highly selective.
6. Don’t make your blog a priority.
While blogging is fun and can be your creative outlet, to be successful you must treat your blog like a job.
It is a job that most of us do completely for free because we are creators and we love sharing our content and point of view with the world.
In the past, I put my blog after every other responsibility. I did not put in the work needed to stay consistent.
Now, I work on my blog 5 – 6 days a week even if it is just for an hour a day. I am highly focused and work on tasks that are most likely to grow my audience and email list.Are you treating your blog like a hobby or a priority? Click To Tweet
I would rather put out one quality post a week than five bad posts just so I have content. If blogging is just your hobby, then the quality of posts don’t really matter. If you want to turn your blog into a career, quality content is a non-negotiable.
7. Spend all your time learning new skills but not applying them.
I have a confession, I am a book, online content, and online course hoarder. There is more content saved then I could ever get through.
I am a person who just enjoys learning new things, especially if they are to help make me and my business better.
The problem is I keep buying and buying and buying and they keep piling up and I never get to them. What is the point of that?
I end up with all of this information to get through that I get stressed out and feel guilty that I spent all of this money and nothing is coming of it.
So then I start to binge watch or binge read to consume all that information. When I do that, not all of it sticks. When I keep consuming content and not applying it, it is eventually useless for me and I would have to relearn it anyways.
It is a vicious cycle.
Applying what you learn is one of the most important things when you consume content.
Reading how to make your blog better or how to create a successful business is totally useless if you do not actually do the work and apply what you learned.
If you want to write better, then read a blog post or listen to a podcast and then APPLY what you learned before moving on to something else.
Get shit done! You will be amazed at your progress and the results when you actually take action!
8. Surround yourself with unsupportive people.
This one is HUGE for me. When I first started blogging, I was married and felt like I could not tell him about my blog. I was afraid of being judged not only by him but by his family.
He eventually found out, since he shared my computer, and when he did he sort of laughed at the idea of a blog. I don’t think he got it. Something about blogging was just funny to him and like a waste of time.
I have a super supportive boyfriend now. One who believes that I can achieve anything. So much so that he believes I will be more successful than I even think I will be. He believes in me even when I don’t.
It is amazing to have a partner who is supportive and who provides constructive criticism.
Surrounding yourself with supportive people who get what you are doing is key. A great place to find like-minded creatives is online, like in Facebook blogging groups.
These past six years have been an incredible learning experience. I made so many mistakes but that is totally fine since I learned from them.Learn from six years of blogging mistakes so you can succeed as a blogger. Click To Tweet
Now I know that I am going to succeed in one way or another. I want you to succeed as well, that is why sharing my mistakes is so important to me so you won’t fail at blogging.
Have you had a similar experience? Share with me in the comments below.