Sunday, 18 May 2014

My Biggest Blogging Mistakes!

As I've nearly been blogging for a total of four months now, I started to reflect upon everything I've achieved, but along with that I also began to think about all of my personal blogging mistakes. Now I'm not saying that it's a mistake if you do any of these yourself, but they just happen to be things that didn't really work for me or benefit my blog in any way. I am however glad I have made these mistakes, as like you've probably heard, you learn from your mistakes.
 
 
This may be useful for any of you newbie bloggers, to avoid making some of these mistakes early on, but for any of you current bloggers, maybe you can in some way relate to this post, whether you've been blogging 1 week or 5 years.
 
This is a pretty wordy post, so if you don't have the time or energy to read word for word, you can skip to the end where I conclude everything I talk about in a few bullet points!!

1. Poor Quality Photos
I'm always sucked in by blogs that have big, clear, high quality photos and for the first few months of blogging, my photos weren't anywhere near up to scratch in comparison. Now I always knew that my photos were never going to be comparable to the likes of Zoella or EssieButton as I'm still a very new blog and don't have the knowledge or the technology/equipment that they do, but I definitely have done a variety of different things which have worsened the quality of my photos overtime and just made them very unappealing to look at. Also as I'm aware that I'm not the greatest writer, I understand that my photos need to be to a higher quality to help balance this out...
 
First of all, I thought it would be great to use small, framed photos. No idea why as I've already stated that I love blogs with larger photos, as do the majority of beauty bloggers out there. Simply by doing this, I probably repelled many people from reading my blog in the first place - if I wasn't the person writing these posts, I probably wouldn't have read them either! I definitely prefer the look of larger photos with no background to them. The larger photos allow the reader to see everything in more detail and they're honestly just a lot more appealing for some unknown reason.
 
I am a strong believer that most bloggers should edit their photos. My reason for this is that unless you have a professional camera and amazing lighting, you probably won't be able to take the best photos possible. You obviously don't need to best camera to take great photos, but sometimes the lightings just not great, sometimes things need to altered and sometimes the quality in general needs to be improved. I do all my photo editing on Coral Paint Shop Pro X1 which I actually bought a few years ago, but there are many different free sites online which you can use that do the same job. Anyway, my mistake here wasn't my editing skills, it was more the fact that I kept saving my photos in the file format JPG. I would NOT RECOMMEND saving your photos in this format and leads the photo to worsen in quality, again making it unappealing to potential readers. A Little over a month ago I accidentally saved an image in the file for PNG and it was the best mistake I could've made. My photo's are now soooo much clearer and although the photo quality isn't as good as it could potentialy be, it's definitely improved simply by changing to the format PNG.
 
2. Poor Layout/Design
The layout and design of any blog is an important aspect and for me has definitely been altered much in the past few months. My blogs design is completely different to what it was four months ago and overall it looks so much better! Initially, my blog design was pretty boring. The colours and background weren't eye catching and the layout I'd chosen from Blogger, lets just say, wasn't the greatest. I then gradually started changing little bits of my layout and LOVE it! I love the colour that I have chosen to use throughout my blog, and I feel it's important to have one or two shades which every blogger sticks to using throughout their blogs. I also love the background I have chosen. With most bloggers nowadays, I tend to find that backgrounds tend to be a solid colour, and although that looks great I feel that the use of this background helps to give a little twist to my blog, differentiating it from others. I also increased the amount of white space I have on my blog, making it look more professional and allowing room for larger photos as well. Recently, I also changed the header of my blog, which again look a lot more professional, especially since it was saved in the file format PNG, haha! I currently use the simplest design format from Blogger, however I have put my own twist on it to make my blog a little different to others.
 
3. Little Communication With Other Bloggers
When I started blogging, I was really looking forward to talking to other bloggers. The blogger community is a great place to be, and the majority of people are so, so friendly. However there have definitely been times where I could've made more effort myself. For example I use Twitter quite a bit to contact with other bloggers (as well as promote my blog - I can't lie, but we all do it), but as Twitter still isn't always a natural thing to me, I don't find myself communicating with other bloggers as much as I could be. When starting blogging, I was really hoping to make some new friends and although I can say I've spoken to some great people, I can't really say that I've make any proper friends...but this is because of the fact that I have made little effort in comparison to other bloggers. This is something I personally need to improve on...and I need to STOP missing out of #bblogger chats!!!
 
Also, there's been plenty times when I've read blog posts and never bothered to comment. Now I feel that it's simply common courtesy to comment on a blog post that I've enjoyed reading. Not only does it allow the blogger to know that you've enjoyed reading it and that people appreciate what they're writing, but it also allows other blogs to become aware of you're blog, therefore promoting your blog in a small way, as well as allowing you to communicate with new people.
 
4. Signing Up For Networks
When starting, I thought that one of the greatest things to do would be to sign up for a bunch of different blogging networks. I honestly wish I didn't and am looking at seeing if I can possible 'unsubscribe' from one or two of them as I can't see the point in providing their badge at the side of my blog. I don't feel like I gain anything as I didn't really read into what they provided and simply signed up because it seemed to be what a lot of other bloggers were doing at the time. Also one of the networks I signed up with only seems to offer opportunities for American bloggers (which I obviously am not) so there's actually no point as to why I should've signed up to begin with. I would just say if you're planning on signing up with a network first of all look into what they offer and see if it will in any way be beneficial for you. With this said, many networks don't offer opportunities until you become more successful.
 
In Conclusion (Tips)
- Large, clear photos look more professional and help to attract people to continue reading your blog.
- PNG photos provide a higher quality that JPG.
- Make your blog layout and design differ from other blogs - Add some sort of a twist to make it stand out, however simply layouts are the most appealing in the beauty blogging community.
- Communicate with other bloggers on different forms of social media.
- Contribute in #bblogger chats on Sunday's and Wednesday's as this allows you to communicate with other bloggers in the same community.
- Comment on blog posts that you enjoy reader to show to the blogger that you appreciate what they've written but to also promote your own blog and meet new people.
- If you're planning on signing with a blogger network, look into what they offer and whether it will be beneficial for you in any way.
 
Again, as mentioned before, these are all my personal opinions, so please don't feel offended in any way or feel like you have to follow to any of these "tips".
And sorry for the rambling haha!
 
Lots of Love
Lizzie xx
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43 comments

  1. this was super helpful! enjoyed reading it :)
    www.trustinvogue.com xxx

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    1. Aww thank you! That means a lot, glad you enjoyed it!

      Lizzie xx

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  2. Love it. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thanks, glad you enjoyed it!

      Lizzie xx

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  3. Great points, I was guilty of some of these too in the beginning. We are always learning!

    Krissie x - http://pearlsofstyle.blogspot.com.au

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    1. Thank you! I think everyone's guilty of these at some point or another, but like you said, we're always learning :)

      Lizzie xx

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  4. Thanks for the hints, doll!

    Esybabsy.blogspot.com

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    1. No problem, thank you for reading!

      Lizzie xx

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  5. I can relate to each and every one except for the 'signing up for networks' one.
    I too thought I'd be more social and meet new friends in the blogger world. I did get to know people, but not really in a way that I communicate with them on a daily basis and also not in a way that I can happily say that we're friends. But I do hope that I will be more social and make (blogger)friends in the future :-) Great post! It wasn't much of a ramble ;) I really enjoyed reading it!

    TiloLovesVanilla x

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    1. I'm glad your able to relate to these points, it's great to hear that! And totally agree with you in terms of communicating with other bloggers!
      Thank you for reading it and I'm glad it's not too much of a ramble...was writing it and thinking no one will ever want to read this...turned out to be my most popular post, haha!

      Lizzie xx

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  6. Thank you so much. What a great post!!!

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    1. No problem, I'm glad you enjoyed it so much!

      Lizzie xx

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  7. good points! www.thewanderlusthasgotme.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thank you! And thanks for reading!

      Lizzie xx

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  8. Such a great post Lizzie! Love the tips - so helpful xx

    www.clionahill.com

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    1. Aww thanks! Glad you found them useful, love to know that my tips are in some way benefiting other people!

      Lizzie xx

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  9. this is a great post with helpful tips! :)

    www.simplymee89.blogspot.com

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    1. Glad you found them useful! Thank you so much for reading!

      Lizzie xx

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  10. I've made so many of these mistakes myself but as you said it's all about learning from them :)
    hcozens.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Totally agree, I think we all make some mistakes at one point all another! Glad you can relate to them though!!

      Lizzie xx

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  11. lovely post, I have to say I have made those mistakes myself and I am still learning to take better quality photos!! It is hard but its a fun learning curve! And I do find it hard to meet new blogger friends online! I am a little shy myself so it can be intimidating!!
    Beautyxpress0.blogspot.ca

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    1. Thanks, glad you enjoyed it! 100% agree - we're always going to make these mistakes but at the end of the day we're going to learn from them! I'm sure you'll learn everything in no time and I can completely agree with the making new friends online as I'm quite a shy person too, always think I might be annoying someone if I send them a tweet or something...which probably isn't the case...

      Lizzie xx

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  12. This is a great post, I always think it's good to comment on other people's blogs because I love reading people's comments on mine
    http://emhasrednails.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Thank you so much for reading! Couldn't agree more - if I like a post, I'll comment to say how much I liked it/what I like about it. And yes, I absolutely LOVE reading comments and replying to them - shows that people are actually reading your blog and appreciate what your writing!

      Lizzie xx

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  13. these tips were really useful, such an enjoyable post to read! I'm probably most guilty of not commenting on other blogs or not socialising enough on twitter, I feel like I'm annoying everyone which is strange because I love replying to comments on my own blog :/ I really need to make the effort from now on and hopefully make some proper blogger friends :) Jenny xo

    jennyseverydaylife.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it! I think we all make mistakes, but we'll all learn from them eventually!

      Lizzie xx

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  14. Just started blogging and only made one post, still confused on all the settings and everything but this is so helpful and I will keep everything in mind so thank you!! Hopefully I'll keep learning:) ayesha xo
    http://sceneshaw.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Ahh hope you enjoy blogging! I'm sure you'll get the hang of it in no time, it took me a little while to get used to everything but then it's a walk in the park!

      Lizzie xx

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  15. Great tips :) Really helpful as I'm pretty new to the blogging scene myself.

    Sam x

    http://sammiekatebudgetbeauty.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thank you! Hope you enjoy blogging, there's a great community involved!

      Lizzie xx

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  16. super helpful :) thanks!

    rosieposiepuddingandpie7.blogspot.ie

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading!

      Lizzie xx

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  17. Hey Lizzie, I'm really glad I stumbled across your blog! As I don't blog very often blogging does not come naturally to me so to be able to get tips is really helpful. Thanks for the wonderful post :)
    Sharon
    ~ Orchha Jewels
    www.orchhajewels.etsy.com

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it! I'm sure you'll get the hang of it in no time, it just takes a little bit of practice! :D

      Lizzie xx

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  18. This was extremely helpful! As a new blogger, I'm looking forward to as many tips as I can get. Really enjoyed this post!

    http://artistikcreation.blogspot.com/

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    1. Ahh glad this could help you! Good luck with blogging, hope you enjoy it!

      Lizzie xx

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  19. You're right Lizzie, it is important to communicate with other bloggers, though you seem to have cracked that one judging by the number of comments that appear here.

    One other thing that you can do is comment on mainstream media blogs (news, current affairs etc), making sure that you leave your name and URL. Provided you leave a sensible comment, you'll be surprised at how much traffic that can generate...

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    1. Thank you! If definitely is and this post has definitely helped with that!
      Thanks for your tip, I've definitely taken that on board and it has generated a little more traffic to my blog!

      Lizzie xx

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  20. Loved this post! Quite helpful, simple and to the point :) x
    www.thecircleofstyle.com

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    1. Ahh thank you! Glad you enjoyed reading it, hope I didn't mumble on too much haha!

      Lizzie xx

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  21. Love this blog post! It really helps a lot as I'm just starting my blog up again!
    Love all your other blog posts as well!
    Lola xxx

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it and my other posts, thanks for taking the time to read them! Good luck with your blog!!

      Lizzie xx

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