I’ve been blogging for over 6 months. That means I’m a 1/16 expert on blogging. I’m really not in a position to share what bloggers should do, but I can share what not to do based on my own bad blogging behavior.
When I started my blog, I did a lot of things right. I created a vision for my blog, and I participated in WordPress blogging courses. I learned a lot about how to blog effectively early in my blogging career. I avoided many mistakes and connected with a lot of other bloggers.
6. I worried about SEO.
SEO? More like SE-No!
There is a ton of advice out there about SEO, and most of it is contradictory. One blog expert says to follow these SEO tips and tricks. Another expert blogger says those tips and tricks are dumb, and I should follow their awesome SEO suggestions. And then that expert blogger will have a guest SEO expert blogger who says something completely different about search engine optimization! On top of that, other blogperts just want me to buy their ebooks so I can learn all about the real power of SEO. Stop it already!
Lesson Learned: Worrying about SEO is a waste of my time. It has nothing to do with why I am blogging, and I just don’t care about it. Instead, I need to focus on good blogging practices like the following:
- Have an easy to navigate blog
- Have an easy to read blog
- Write great, engaging content
- Interact with visitors and other blogger
- Have interesting headlines
- Make it easy for visitors to explore my archives
5. I compared myself to other bloggers.
Why did I worry about others’ stats, views, comments, writing style, blogging style, awards, or anything else? Blog envy was a colossal waste of my time. I should focus on who I am as a blogger and sharing my content in the most effective way. Other bloggers should be seen as a source of inspiration not frustration.
I like my blog. I like the people who visit my blog. I like the blogs I visit. My purpose for blogging is to share my adventures in teaching and learning. I’m doing so much more than I originally expected, and it has been a great ride. I shouldn’t sully my experience worrying about how I compare to others. I ain’t got time for that.
Lesson Learned: Teddy Roosevelt was right when he said, “Comparison is the thief of joy”. All that comparison stuff is dumb. It’s about inspiration not comparison.
4. During the months I was really busy and posted less, I didn’t engage with other bloggers or readers.
August-October is always a busy time for me. School is back in session, Fall TV premieres are happening, and the Louisiana heat is less hellish so doing outside stuff is awesome. I posted once a week, but I neglected to set some time aside to read and comment on other blogs. During this slow posting period, I still had a surprising steady stream of daily visits. I’d like to say I was too busy to check out at least one blog a week, but I’d be lying. I missed out on some great opportunities to engage and connect with other bloggers and readers.
Lesson Learned: When I post less, I should at least continue to take time to engage with others and read blogs especially blogs I follow. Furthermore, posting and disappearing was was of boring. If I don’t have a lot of time to post, I should use that time to interact with others and share my archives.
3. I made (make) a lot of simple writing errors.
When I reread my posts, I always find mistakes. This infuriates me. I swear I edit and spell check my posts, but some mistakes still get buy. It makes me so mad. I have found that these simple errors happen less the more I write, but they still happen. I guess that’s progress, right?
Lesson Learned: Keep proofing posts. I need a day or two between posts so that I have fresh eyes when I edit. I still may make mistakes; don’t sweat it.
2. I tried to do too much social media stuff at once.
I’m a newish blogger. You know how many people interact via social media with a new blogger who has a super modest following and who only posts about her blog? None!
Did anyone care about my Facebook group? Nope. What about my Tumblr? Nah. Pintrest? Just my real life friends, and people who really like doors. How about Instagram? Not sure, not on it. Bloglovin? Ugh. I never could get my posts to look right.
I tried to do too much at once and ending up getting nothing done. I was doing such a poor job of keeping up with all my blog’s social media. It was too much, and I didn’t enjoy it. I was trying to be like other bloggers (Ugh. The comparison monster again.) who had mastered blogging and multiple social media platforms. I was just not there yet, and that’s fine.
Having my posts publish automatically to social media with no engagement was not productive. I forgot about the social part and was just focused on the media. Turned out, people don’t like that. In November, I decided to focus on just Twitter and use it effectively. I’ve been surprised by the results. Twitter has been a good outlet for me professionally and bloggingly. Later, I can add other types social media engagement.
Lesson Learned: Social media is about engagement. Having posts publish automatically to social media platforms without any engagement was ineffective. Instead of doing a bunch of social media poorly, focus on one and do that well. Do social media right, or don’t do it at all.
1. I obsessed about my stats.
I am guilty of constantly checking my stats. All the time. It’s what I like least about blogging. My daily visitors and followers have grown steadily over over the past 6 months. That’s a good thing, but I don’t need to look at my stats 30 times a day to know how many people are visiting my blog. I could use that time reading other blogs, writing, or engaging on social media instead of obsessively looking at my very modest stats. All this stat checking is wasting my time and killing my blog fun. I need to build a bridge and get over it.
Lesson Learned: Like Elsa, I am going to let it go. Once a day check maximum. Hopefully, I’ll get to the point I rarely check.
What are your bad blogging or social media behaviors?