5 MISTAKES I MADE AS A NEW BLOGGER
When I first started blogging I was so naive yet enthusiastic. I truly did not know people living in Nigeria could make a living out of blogging. I didn’t read tabloids so I was clueless about the ‘million Naira” Blog ADs or what not. However, I knew you could become very popular with blogging, and money chases fame most times.
For me, I did it out of pure fun. I started out as a style blog as many of you would know and its been about 4 Years now. I looked back yesterday at the many unwise decisions I made as a budding blogger. Beside the common mistakes of layout and photo quality I realised I made quite some fundamental mistakes. I’m however grateful that I caught on fast and was able to rebrand in a way that resonates with who I really am.
In today’s post I would be sharing a few of the mistakes I made and why you don’t want to make them as a newbie blogger.
1. Senseless posts with no point : In this old post HERE, I discussed some foundational questions every prospective blogger should ask him/herself. One of which is “Why am I blogging”. This shapes the entire outcome of your blog efforts. I started blogging for a vain purpose and boredom hence, I had lots of ‘pointless’ posts. In Fact about a year ago I went back and deleted them all. No point wasting my cloud space. I made posts that had no lesson, added no value and was just to feed the eye. I don’t hate on fashion blogging but many times it’s just to promote self. I wasn’t getting endorsed by any brand, neither were the outfits showing people how to style anything. It was just, today I look nice “snaps photo”.
I discovered over time, that doing that doesn’t create loyalty from your readers. People will get tired of always commenting “you look great“, “wow nice bag“, and the other adulations you hope to get. The best and most impactful blogs are the ones where people learn and can relate to. Once in a while I’m on my favourite style blog “style is my thing” but every other day I’m on Bella Naija. Instagram has replaced that loyalty to blogs for fashion bloggers, so why would I type a long URL when I can just check an Instagram handle.
2. No theme or blog voice: I was just doing everything as the weather changes. I didn’t have structure or a theme, I typed as my mood dictated. I learnt that it’s very essential your personality shines through your post. No one wants to perceive a new you with every new post. Familiarity is great in the blog world. It keeps people coming back. I then decided that since my personality is “sharp yet warm”, I’d let that be my blog voice. With most of my typed posts you can see how I constructively express myself without sounding over bearing or shielding the truth. I share my opinions clearly with the readers at heart. As a new Blogger you want to make sure your blog has a feeling. If I feel like unwinding I know the blogs I visit. If I feel like being inspired I know also where to visit. It’s all about content and approach.
3. Little investment : This one was an absolute challenge. I felt I wasn’t making money off the blog yet, so why should I invest money in it. This was rather unwise. I had an OK camera, no personalised domain name, was still basking in “blogname.wordpress.com”. All that made me appear casual. I had no ‘packaging’ and companies who will pay you, would rather use blogs with better presentation. I realised this quickly and started investing some of my income to the blog. I started with a domain name, attending some visual media online courses, bought a new DSLR, bought more cloud space, and made complimentary cards. This coupled with original content changed the game for me. The results started paying off a few months later. I started getting mails on ADs, collaborations etc. Don’t think because you’re a new blogger it automatically means shoddy posts, the bar has been raised in this visually stimulated generation, so you can’t afford to be a rookie forever.
4. Zero knowledge on SEO: I think this was the greatest challenge I had. SEO means search engine optimisation. Means how visible your website is on search engines. E.g. Google. To have a strong SEO you have to do the work. It includes tagging your posts properly, categorising posts, having widely searched topics in your niche, and being geo-focused. For instance if You search Tosin Alabi on Google, I would come up first with a wealth of information, why? Because I’m building a brand with that name, I make sure it’s well tagged and I have a strong online presence. My name is very common, both first and last but I want to be the most searched individual with that name. Hence the efforts. If you need to read articles on this please do, it’s so essential. If you type Africanism on Google, before you’re done ‘africanism cosmopolitan’ would show up in the search results. It didn’t happen over night, it’s a result of intentional SEO.
5. Networking and Social media : Before now, I would just publish a post and wait for the universe to automatically direct readers. I would put it on my BBm status and that was it. I forgot that those who read blogs are most likely very present online, not just on my contact list. I started studying my favourite bloggers, I noticed they flooded their timelines, Facebook, Instagram and every where else with their content. So I decided to create a Twitter account, Instagram and also a Facebook page. I never had this before blogging.
Those who know me know I’m a private person. I had to come to a conclusion that I had nothing to lose. Those who like what I do would support, and those who don’t would carry on with their lives. I also started being more open to meeting people, attending events, reaching out, and asking everyone I meet to follow my blog. I did that for many months till my content started speaking for itself.
In all, I’ve learnt to create a balance. I share just exactly what I want you to know. I try to be transparent but also careful. It’s blogging but it’s my life.
The moment you invite the media into your life, it has no mercy on your bad days. So for all it’s worth, share what you’re well aware of it’s repercussion.
And that’s all! I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed sharing it.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic and what stood out to you most in this article.
Do let me know your comments below.
I’d be sure to reply.
P.s. Are you a blogger or entrepreneur ? Would you like to have a personal chat with me, then be sure to click the button below to book a consultation . Read all about these sessions HERE.