Affiliate links // I’ve been blogging for a long bloody time. And I feel like it’s only really been this year that it’s really hit me HOW MUCH of my life has been taken up by this hobby turned passion turned career. I’m not complaining. Not for a second. My blog has brought me so much I never thought I’d have in my life. But it’s a little daunting to think that it’s almost been a decade.
And I’m pretty sure I wrote one of these blog posts (long deleted now) about my “blogging mistakes” back when I’d only been blogging for like a year and thinking about it now, when there’s SO MUCH involved in this industry, a year is no time at all. I genuinely don’t think anyone can really make “mistakes” after a year.
When you’re still learning. Still navigating. Still finding yourself and your voice. And yes I know I sound pretentious but really truly, it’s taken me almost a decade to get to the point where I’m happy and comfortable in my online presence, my writing and my blog in general.
I sure as sh*t didn’t make mistakes during my first year blogging.
I’ve made mistakes EVERY SINGLE YEAR since I started blogging. And I’m still making them now.
I feel like blogging is never going to be something you just “learn” how to do and that’s it. Box ticked. An industry like this is ALWAYS changing and evolving. With new players coming in, old players leaving, new platforms to navigate, new algorithms to master, new rules, new trends, new worries and struggles.
Once you step on that carousel you really don’t step off again until you’re done with it.
So today, with over 8 years of blogging experience under my belt, I want to share some of the blogging mistakes I’ve made and what I’ve learned from them. And don’t worry, there will be PLENTY more mistakes to come.
Not learning SEO early enough
This one makes me cringe because there was a huge chunk of time where I genuinely didn’t think I needed to learn SEO because most of my blog traffic came from Twitter at the time. I thought well, as my blog grows, I’ll just get more traffic from Twitter, right?
How wrong I was. The need for multiple streams of traffics is so important. You absolutely can’t rely on one platform for traffic forever. SEO might be boring for some (it is for me) but it’s worth learning to have under your belt.
Following what everyone else is doing just because they’re doing it successfully
I’ve been very open and honest about my loathing for affiliate marketing and although I have included a few affiliate links within this post, that takes up literally no extra time. I found myself spending hours upon hours, scheduling affiliate tweets and affiliate content for months during the Summer of 202, even though I absolutely hated it.
I only did it because I saw other bloggers have huge success with it. Which is great for them but another thing that was vastly different between me and them is that they actually ENJOYED it. I didn’t. As soon as I stopped putting my energy into the things I hated and started focusing on what I loved doing, which was writing and working with brands, I was happier and my income boomed.
I wrote more about this in my post: We Need To Talk.
Not signing up for a stock image library earlier
I only signed up to a stock image library THIS YEAR and I literally can’t believe I left it so long. I made use of websites like Unsplash as much as I could but I definitely felt like the image side of my blog was lacking until I signed up for a membership library. It’s been amazing and saved me so much time and effort!
Related read: 6 Places To Use Stock Images
Charging too little
Oh yes, there was a long period of time where I started charging incredibly low rates for basically everything. From sponsored content to my eBooks, I was basically making pennies. I’ve always struggled with charging; not just knowing what to charge but also feeling bad for charging more which no doubt has a lot to do with my lack of self worth!
Or not charging at all
There was also a time where I didn’t charge for a lot of things – particularly reviews. I thought if I was being sent a product then I shouldn’t ask for payment because they were already giving me something. Even if the product was £20 and I was still spending hours producing content for them. What was I thinking.
Focusing too much on other people
A mistake I still make at times and one that I’m working on. And will probably be working on for a long time. Focusing too much on other people, allowing myself to compare and judge myself. It doesn’t do anyone any good. For this, I’ve started muting people on Twitter which unintentionally make me feel bad about myself and being much more conscious of who I engage with.
This is a hard one to get right, especially if your blog is your career. And when you’re self employed, you need that self motivation to get the shit done. But there were times where my blog was my entire life. I worked on it from the second I woke up to the minute I went to sleep. And what good did that do me? None. I didn’t even see any progression in my blog during that time because I was just doing mindless tasks for the sake of doing SOMETHING.
Overworking for sake of my blog is a huge mistake I’ve made in the past and I will never go back to that hustle culture lifestyle again. No blog is worth it if it’s going to have a negative impact on your mental health or general well-being.
Related read: Let’s Stop Glamorizing Overworking… Shall We?
I no doubt have a ton more blogging lessons to come. I can imagine for the entire time that I choose this career, I’ll be making mistakes and these lessons will be coming at me thick and fast. And that’s okay. That’s the fun in blogging, I find. There’s always something new to learn.
How long have you been blogging and what mistakes have you made along the way? Be honest! Let’s chat!
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