I think something needs to be said around here. My blog is going through puberty.
I have been silently thinking it for a few months now, but after reading this, all of my suspicions have been confirmed. Blog puberty is indeed a thang.
I keep hearing that Britney Spears song in my head.
I’m not a girl,
Not yet a woman…
I have been stuck in a blogging rut lately and I can’t put my finger on why. I love blogging, and while it is not my #1 source of income, I couldn’t see myself giving it up anytime soon. So while reflecting on how far my little space on the interwebs has come I wanted to share with you the top 5 mistakes I’ve made when it comes to blogging. Looking back I realize these are easy fixes I could have made. And looking at some old blog posts I am tempted to delete them from existence. But what will I look at when I’m feeling sorry for myself and need a little pick me up? So let’s do some reflecting to make me feel better about how far I’ve come when it comes to my blogging skillz.
Blog Mistake #1 Not making your photos large enough.
I still see seasoned bloggers do this and I just want to share this little nugget of wisdom with them. Make your photos as large as your posting space will allow. As a creative blogger, people come to your site to see the eye candy a.k.a. the photos.
Here is a photo with a 318 pixel width.
And here is the same dresser in a full size shot. See what I mean?
Take advantage of your blog post real estate.
Styling photos can make a huge difference in your photography. I have only owned my DSLR camera for about 15 months (yes, that includes the time it got stolen). Prior to that I used a point and shoot camera. And because I thought my photography skill set was limited I assumed it made me exempt from the ability to shoot beautifully styled photos.
Plus, I was naive enough to think that my work would speak for itself and would still inspire people without me having to learn all about photography or taking the time to tell a story in my photos.
I was wrong.
Let’s look at unstyled vs. styled photos.
This desk is an quick snap of a project I had placed in my booth in the infancy of my business ( which you can read more about here).
Here is another turquoise desk with a little bit of styling. This photo was taken in January of 2013, when I first got my DSLR camera, so I can see several lighting and styling mistakes I made. But it’s still a heck of a lot better than the previous picture. And this desk sold the same day I posted these photos. Boom! Styling success!
Here is a photo I took with my point and shoot camera. See? You can still make a difference by styling your photos, regardless of the type of camera equipment you own~
Here are some easy tips to keep in mind when styling your photos.
If you are a creative blogger or even someone who sells furniture, styling is something that can not be overlooked. I had no interest in photography or styling for years. But once I saw the beautiful results I could get with a little bit of effort, I think you will agree the time it takes is completely worth it. Surprisingly I really enjoy photography now and I’m sad I waited so long to try my hand at it!
Another blogging mistake I made was not treating my blog like a business. For me, my blog has always been an extension of my furniture painting hobby turned business. If blogging is a hobby for you, then you should treat it that way too! But once I turned the switch from hobby to business I didn’t really think about how what I wrote on here could affect my business. I still kept my blog under the hobby category while I was selling paint, teaching workshops, and painting furniture pieces for income. My blog is the foundation for ALL of that and without it I don’t think any of those other components of my business would be as successful.
Make decisions for your blog that you would for any other aspect of your business. Invest time and money in blog conferences, keep track of the income you make from your blog vs. the expenses it costs to run it ie; hosting fees, project supply costs, etc.
Undervaluing my voice is a biggie for me. It’s hard for me to think that 80,000 people read my blog. While mine is not a huge blog by any means, that number still freaks me out if I think about it for too long. Honestly, I don’t know how mega-bloggers do it. But weather I like it or not, what I say influences people. So I have learned to be really careful about what products I stand behind or recommend. Because one of you will take my word for it, try it for yourself, and if it sucks, then I get lumped into the “you suck” category too.
I have learned to say no to almost 90% of the offers I get when it comes to sponsored post or product reviews. But there have been a few times I compromised on what I thought would be a good fit for a blog post on refunkmyjunk.com. Afterwards I felt cheap and dirty. It wasn’t worth it.
Blogging Mistake #5 is still one I struggle with. I am an introvert by nature. And if you stick me behind a computer I will stay behind there, given the choice.
Blogging is something you can not do alone. Even after attending 3 blogging conferences in the last 18 months I have to say I never left any of the conferences with a new blogging bestie. Which was not my expectation and is completely my fault. But making friends in the blog world takes time and effort. Please, from the beginning, take the time to connect with other bloggers your size! I had been blogging for 3 years and then looked around and found myself alone on my blogging island! Find a local blogging network, leave comments on blogs that you read, send a few emails to other bloggers your size, and connect with others who do some things really well that you need help with.
It takes a village to have a successful blog. Don’t go at it alone!
This list is not all inclusive of the blogging mistakes I made. But mistakes make us better and every blogger has made these mistakes plus a bajillion others. Blogging is something you are always learning and growing in. That is part of the fun! If you are looking to kick your blog up a notch I would recommend reading Mom Blog Money Blog by Laurie Turk from Tip Junkie. While none of these tips are from her book, she does a nice job spelling out how to make money with your blog and answers tons of blogging questions.
Question: What blogging mistakes have you made? Or are you perfect and have never made a blogging mistake? If so, then you aren’t welcome here. He he. Just kidding – But seriously, please tell us your tips on the road to blogging perfection!