Blogging is personal. It’s your own little space where you get to write what you want, explore interests, and create unique content. It’s a great outlet for people (like myself) who are wanting to add a bit more creativity and fun into their lives.
I started The Urban Umbrella over three years ago, and now when I look back I can say without a shred of doubt that I made more than a few mistakes along the way. While the “learning curb” of blogging is unavoidable, there are a few mistakes I made during the early days of The UU that you just do not need to repeat.
10 MISTAKES I MADE WHEN I STARTED BLOGGING
1. I didn’t re-size my blog images to all have the same width. Having your photos the same width makes the visual appeal of your blog go way up, which makes people more inclined to come back, read more, and even follow your blog.
2. I didn’t understand the power of SEO! Though I am still learning about about SEO, I now know how essential it is to grow your traffic. Take the time to research and learn SEO; one of my favourite beginner SEO articles is from Elle and Company called “SEO Made Simple“
3. I shied away from blogger partnerships & events. I’m a reserved person, so forcing myself to actually go out and socialize with others in the blogging community was a big step for me – but boy was I glad once I did. Opportunities open up for your blog when you participate and support the blogging community. So, next time you’re invited to a Launch Party or a Store Opening – go!
4. I didn’t invest in a DSLR camera. I’m not trying to say having a great camera is essential to having a great blog, but bold crisp high-quality images are never a bad thing. Especially if you’re showing style or beauty, you want your images to be clear and bright.
5. I neglected to edit my photos in any way. Brightening, straightening, and improving photo saturation is so important! There are a ton of great free online editing tools you can use to alter your images slightly (like PicMonkey), so don’t worry – you don’t need to spend a fortune on a great editing program! If you’re looking for a slightly more advanced editing tool then try out Adobe Lightroom. I use adobe lightroom on my images simply to brighten, straighten, and create more vivid images. It’s a super user-friendly program to use.
6. I didn’t post regularly. Creating a blog “Schedule” is essential to gaining a loyal following. People want to know when they should check back for your posts – so pick the days and the time you want to post and try to keep that consistent.
7. I didn’t start an Instagram account immediately. Oh Instagram, the APP I neglected for way too long. Instagram is a great tool to branch out your blog brand and gain more exposure. It’s especially excellent because it’s photo-driven marketing so you’re able to truly give a snapshot into your blog.
8. My writing was short, and at times – impersonal. When I first started my blog my biggest fear was my writing – and over-sharing my life. I didn’t want to ramble on and bore everyone, so rather than take a chance on a few snores, I instead neglected writing entirely. After a while I began to realize that sharing a bit of yourself, and your opinions, is essential to building a great blog. So, I pushed myself to share (and maybe even over-share at times). What I found was people ended up relating to me, and suddenly I was a whole heck of a lot less shy than I started. Basically what this whole ramble means is make sure you add a bit of you into each of your posts, people want to know people – and they want to hear your stories and opinions.
9. I didn’t invest in a user-friendly or mobile-friendly layout. Last summer I went to a blogger event and found that a majority of blog traffic comes from mobile devices. People are reading their favourite blogs from their phone – and that’s why you need to make sure your blog is as mobile-friendly as possible. One way you can find out if your blog is mobile-friend is by googling your blog from your phone. Besides your blog name it’ll either say “mobile friendly” or nothing at all – and if it doesn’t say it, then you should get in touch with your layout designer!
10. I didn’t create a monthly blog schedule/theme. Do you ever have days, weeks, even months of feeling uninspired for blog content? This is where a blog’s monthly theme comes into play. I like to think ahead and set in motion a backup plan, perhaps it’s that April will be “health month” and I come up with 5-10 post ideas relating to health. You don’t have to post them all or write them all, but they are excellent ideas to fall back on if you run out of content to post. I especially like to set a monthly schedule during the colder months when shooting outfit photos can be a bit trying.