12 Mistakes I Made Blogging For 1 Year
This year has been one the hardest years for me, stylistically, but also, the best year of my life! This blog has given me the creative release that I've been missing since I stopped coaching flag and baton. I tried to fill that space with freelance makeup artistry in 2015. It worked a little bit but I still felt a void. That's when I turned to blogging. You read that correctly. It took me 2 years to decide that blogging was going to fill that creative need. Though it took a while to fill, I've enjoyed every second I spend right here in front of this lap top providing you with content.
My goal with this post is to let you know all of the mistakes I made this past year so that, possibly, I can help someone else that's wanting to start blogging not make some of the same mistakes that I made. Trust me there were quite a few, but even know, I'm only a student. I will use this first year of blogging as my foundation and continue to grow.
Silence Almost Killed It
The day I launched my blog, I told my best friend, and boyfriend. They were both so proud of me. It took me bout a month to build and I was proud of the work I had done. Eight days had passed and I was trying to figure out why no one was visiting my site. I had forgotten to post online and on my social media that I had created a blog. How could I expect for anyone to know that I have a blog when I was properly promoting my website? The year 2017 taught me to do everything in silence and by the time I had created my blog, I was so use to being silent that it slipped my mind to promote. In this industry, you have to be able to promote yourself. You will not be able to succeed, especially as an up and coming blogger, if you don't promote.
No Days Off
Hunni, I hit the ground running when I launched. I was trying to post everyday but made the mistake of trying to post as if it were a daily journal entry. BIG MISTAKE!!! Blog posts require planning, consistent planning. If you are not willing to plan ahead, you will not survive as a blogger. I had this idea in my head that the more I posted, the more readers I would gain. I quickly found out that wasn't true. I was posting daily but my content was also TRASH. A year ago, I was posting approaching basic content in the name of gaining followers. For those of you that was riding with me in that time, you must truly love me. That was not my best work.
Spending Too Much Time On One Post
If I had a really good idea, some days I would spend days and days overthinking the topic. I just wanted to post great content. The longer I would spend on a topic, the more uninspired I would become. It was frustrating. I cried a lot of nights because I felt like a failure because I couldn't deliver. Now I've learned that if I can't finish a post within an hour, I move on from it until something comes to mind. Some of my most recent posts are from this time last year because I couldn't get those ideas out.
Though I'm very knowledgeable in my niche, the first 3 months of me blogging was me winging it. I had no clue how to blog. I just thought you typed some words and people would read them. That's not how it works! I had no clue on how to properly construct a blog post, what to talk about or how to promote myself. I'm still learning though. If you're thinking about starting a blog, please do your research before jumping in. I learned the hard way. I paid for my domain name before I knew what I was jumping into. In hindsight, I'm happy I continued but I wish I had known a little something before hand.
Too Many Fish In the Sea
Once I started following other blog sites and groups on Facebook, I started comparing myself, and my content to others. I saw how many people were actually blogging and I immediately started to doubt myself. Comparison will ruin you. Just be yourself and worry about what is it that you're writing about. Whatever your niche, cause, or reason is, just make sure you're focusing on that. I lost my creative thought for about 2 months because I started doubting myself. "What if my posts aren't as good as hers?" "What if I don't get as many followers as them?" You will spend an entire lifetime on what ifs. It's best if you focus on your present and future goals.
This Is NOT A Hobby!
I knew going into my blog that I wanted to be able to make money from sharing my knowledge (whatever that was going to be) with the world. Anything that you want to be taken serious in should not be considered as a hobby. Eventually, when people ask what my occupation is, I want to be able to respond, "Licensed esthetician and full-time blogger." There were so many days I woke up and didn't give my website a thought. How did I really expect to be taken serious?
Seize the Opportunity
In my opinion, I don't think I was social enough. Hell! I wasn't social at all. There were so many events that I could've gone to and written about, posted about. I give so much of myself to my job and being a mother that social events take a back seat. I could've been way more social this past year but there's still learning and growing to do. I promise I will be more social this coming year.
Where Are Your Resources?
Google can literally tell you anything you need to know. Why, oh why, didn't I take advantage of that? I found out once I started blogging and launched my site that there were resources for me to read. There are bloggers who's niche is to help you better yourself as a blogger. Do your Googles before you jump into blogging.
Plan, Plan, Plan
One of my biggest mistakes is not carefully planning out content and material. Ideas constantly bounce around in my head and instead of writing them down and planning them out, I would try to post them the same day. That resulted in mediocre content and inconsistency. I'd definitely recommend for the up and coming blogger to plan your content at least 2 weeks in advance to assure that you've given your content ample thought.
Social Media Is Your Friend
I didn't fully take advantage of what social media can do for your business. I honestly thought I could build my brand without it. Now I see that it's essential! I've been toddling between 350-400 followers on Instagram for an entire year now. Not only that, you have to be able to nurture your followers. When they comment, respond, give them a follow back, and always like engage with their posts. Consistency is key when building a brand and that's what I plan to focus on this coming year.
Lean On Your Support System
I run a lot of my ideas and plans by my best friend, Drea. She told me in the beginning, "Girl, you doing too much. I don't know why you trying to force what you can't. Just be yourself." Yeaaaaah, so I didn't listen to her and as a result, I was over-worked, frustrated, and uninspired. I recently told her my plans for the site for the upcoming year and she responded with, "I mean, you should've been doing that last year but ok." She's always dropping gems but I'm that person that has to figure it out for myself. If I could go back, I would've listened to her. That's what your support system is there for, and if you don't have a solid team backing you, reconsider your inner circle.
You Are A Brand, Act Like It!
I did not think of my blog as a brand in the beginning. It was just a name. Your name, however, is your brand. It let's consumers know who you are, what you do, and what they can expect. As many of you know, Phoenix Beauty 101 started out as my faux business plan name in cosmetology school. Never did I imagine it would be it's own website, with a loyal following. This coming year, you'll see me embrace my brand more and more!
I hope my 12 mistakes can help you not make the same. Even if I've helped one person, I've done what I can, and that's enough for me. I look forward to this next year of growth with you. Who knows, maybe on our 2nd birthday, we'll have triple the beauties and beaus that we have today! How many of you are bloggers? Click the heart icon below to let me know and comment below with your site name so I can show you some love also. Your support means the world to me and I want to show you the same love. Don't forget about the Phoenix Beauty 101 birthday giveaway! If you haven't entered, or don't know to enter, click on the Happy Birthday Phoenix post to get started. Good luck to everyone that's entered so far! Until next time...