7.15.2013

Blogging 201: Learn From My Mistakes


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It's been awhile since I have blogged about blogging because well, I just haven't felt "on" for the past few months when it comes to this whole online world. Remember those consultation services I offer? Yeah me either, it's been so long since I've committed to doing one. Have you ever noticed how hard it is to offer help in an area you feel helpless in? And it's definitely not a "want" issue right now, it's a "holy shiz I have no time for this stuff because I am too busy drinking martinis with girlfriends, fake reading books for book club, and grocery shopping every single night because I can't focus long enough to plan out a weeks menu at one time.." thing. Okay and Instagram if you want me to be honest. It's a lotta part her fault too because it just takes SO MUCH TIME TO LOOK THROUGH EVERYBODY'S PICTURES. Really what I am saying is I am a professional at choosing activities that aren't necessarily what you call "productive". However, there is hope. So while I don't feel like I can offer a whole lot of "do this, and then do this, add in this, and bam..you've got it" right now, I do feel like I can offer you my mistakes. Don't feel bad learning from them, it's all the good they really offer at this point. 
1. We are going to start with the major one: Don't bite off more than you can chew. I saw the warning signs all along. Stomach ulcers, gray hairs poking through, meltdowns in the middle of a bath, but I kept telling myself "you don't have an option..you have to keep adding in these things. It's just part of it." Instead of under promising and over delivering I suddenly became this person who was constantly over promising and under delivering. This doesn't feel good no matter what aspect of life this is in and lends itself to a lot of "you suck at everything you said you would do but won't actually do" type of mentality. I think I am still struggling with these thoughts. In blogging you will be presented with a lot of opportunities--product reviews, sponsorship, meet ups, emails, giveaways, etc. Be overly conscious of what you commit to and take a few minutes to think about saying yes before doing so. 
2. Know what your main focus is. Blogging can be tough because there are so many parts to it. There is the writing content part, the building a loyal following part, creating a solid community out on social media part, making your page look pretty part, responding to comments and emails part, and so on. Obviously all of these are important but you will have to decide at some point in time what your daily goal is. For me right now my one goal for the day with my blog is to get a blog post up. Content is king in my world and if I am not producing content I will feel like I am not doing what I came here to do..write a blog. This means I suck horribly at some of the other facets right now, but it's okay. As much as I want to do it all, I can't. 
3. Respond to negativity by not responding to it. Oh how I failed at this early on. My first experience with "hate" in the online world fueled all sorts of emotions in me and my natural instinct was to respond publicly with hopes that the person/people who sparked these emotions would be embarrassed that they hurt me. I wish so bad I would have never addressed it publicly. Since that time I have seen my name many a times online (not in a positive light) but I have chosen to ignore it and continue loving on others and their blogs. Love wins every time, even when you can't see it right away. One thing to add to this. It is so easy to say things either on your blog and/or social media that are directed at others but you don't actually direct at others. Check your heart before hitting publish and make sure that what you are about to say isn't out of anger, jealousy, hurt, etc. It will be obvious in most cases you are referring to a certain individual or group of people and it doesn't paint a pretty light. Just be careful...words have serious power. 
4. Work with people who truly inspire you, you believe in, and know that they have something of worth to offer to your audience. Everybody loves free stuff. It's hard to turn down cash. Anything can be made to "look" good with a little extra fluff. Choose to work with people/companies who don't need any of your fluff. Recently I have become way more "in tune" with the influence bloggers have with businesses/bloggers that they truly believe in. In the next month or so I am planning on really tightening the reigns on my sponsorship options so I can ensure that what is placed on this blog is something I wholeheartedly want to share with you. There is a fit for everybody in blogging, but it doesn't mean they all fit with you. 
do however always say yes to Samsung Galaxy Notes when presented to you. 
why? because they are awesome.
5. Somebody will always be "more successful" than you. Let it inspire and motivate you. We all want to feel like we have made it online and in the real world (whatever that even actually means). This can be frustrating when we see others pull off a giant link up party, gain 1,000 new followers in a day, reach 20k instagram followers, and so on. Instead of allowing it to discourage you, allow it to fuel your passions and know that such things are possible. There is no timeline in blogging. Seasons come and go. Work hard, love well, and have fun. You'll get there, wherever there is....
What is one mistake you have made that we could all learn from? Leave it in the comments below, I think we could all benefit from being a little more honest on things we have failed in.  
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62 comments:

  1. This was a great read Erin! Kind of felt like I was back at Elevate listening to you speak your wisdom. Yes, WISDOM. I don't think you give yourself enough credit. :]

    xoxo Julie

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  3. Excellent tips - I especially love the last one. I love discovering amazing bloggers - its always the inspiration I need to keep it up :)

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  4. I agree with yours but also I think the mistake I made was wanting to make sure I was posting really often and ending up with just meh posts. I want to be proud of what I put out there as well as of course build readers. But if I don't even like what I write why would anyone else?

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  5. Love this! As someone who is still relatively new to the writing part of blogging, and still finding my voice, these are great things to keep in mind. It's definitely very easy to get wrapped up in everyone else. If there is any value in it, your blog is one that I watch patiently for posts.

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  6. This was just amazing. Thank you for sharing your lessons and being open and honest with us all about this little land we love. Definitely took so much away from this.

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  7. Your blog is such a source of inspiration! Being a new blogger, I appreciate your honesty and all if the tips and advice you give. Love your humor & I can only hope to one day create a space as fun as yours. Keep up the great work!!

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  8. I really needed this today, girl. You spoke right to my heart! I've really been trying to take a step back and look and my blog and the bigger picture more. You are just plain brilliant.

    One mistake I made in blogging was not sharing my story sooner. Instead, I didn't necessarily hide, but wasn't really forthcoming about how Miss Alea came to be. Sharing my heart was one of the best and most important things I've done on my blog and I will definitely continue doing so!

    Chelsea from Sunny with a Chance of Sprinkles

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  9. Number three hit me deep and I loved it. Holla for a dolla, honey boo boo. This was amaze!

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  10. I'm really working on this biting and chewing too much part. Not in my normal life because we all know I eat like a cow but more in the sense that you were talking about. I'm like 1/10th the size of you and I'm still starting to feel overwhelmed. Great list lady!

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  12. love this, erin! thanks for sharing and being real. xo

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  13. Erin, I love your blog. You are a bigger blogger (compared to my 45 followers) and you have these opportunities and revenue, but you never seem like a "big blogger." You are totally honest, true to yourself, down to earth, and seem like you are directly talking to me, giving me confidence. Thank you!

    Tayler from Our Fairy Tale

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  14. 1st mistake is not sponsoring YOUR blog! I plan to correct this ASAP!
    Honestly I stopped blogging a few months when I 1st started & in that time I had some really great stories to tell but I can't "go back" to them now so I lost out by "taking time off". I didn't realize then that this IS my outlet...

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    1. (Oops hit enter too quick) anyway... I love telling my story & LOVE reading all my favs on a daily basis for inspiration! Thanks for the tips!
      Jules

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  15. Thanks Erin!

    I always love reading your blogging tips. You keep it real girl. Much appreciated x

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  16. This is great advice...on all fronts. We are set to launch on 8.1.13 and right now I'm SUPPOSED to be studying for the Arkansas Bar Exam but I find myself multiple times a day check in on the site, on the design, on the stats, etc. In all reality, I want to write because it was my passion before law school swallowed me whole. And starting a new life as a wife to my fella is worth documenting in my view. So as we enter this crazy world of blogging, I'll file away your 201 tips and try to keep my head on straight! Thanks so much for sharing!

    -Kate
    theflorkens.com
    Launching 8.1.13

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  17. I definitely already bit off more than I could chew. I am OVERWHELMED. It is nice to get the attention but adds stress that almost takes the fun out of blogging. You are so wise...

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  18. so many great reminder here erin!

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  19. Such a great post Erin! Love this especially biting off more than you can chew- so true! I've learned it's so important to be true to yourself, blog about way you want, not what you think others want.

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  20. Love this post! I think right now, a lot of my focus has been on just letting my blog be MY blog. Right now I'm into fitness, so I've been talking about that a lot more. I know it's not everyone's favorite thing, but that's where I'm at right now so that's what I'm talking about. I'm glad that I've stuck to it so far!

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  21. Love this, Erin. I often struggle with finding my voice and determining the direction of my blog so #2 is screaming at me.

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  22. This outfit is gorgeous, and I agree, do not respond to the haters!

    xx
    Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

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  23. Great read! Thanks for sharing with us!

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  24. I especially like #5! Far too many adults allow themselves to be jealous of the successes of others as if another person's success somehow lessens their own chances of being successful! Very thoughtful post!
    Justin Knight
    Writing Pad Dad Blog

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  25. I love this post! I am new to blogging, and this post is great. Also, I would love a Galaxy Note 2!

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  26. I really like your advice! I think it's honest and #4 is probably the best thing you could have said (for me personally). :)

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  27. I agree with número tres. (Ps I'm not fancy. My iPhone added that accent). I needed this tonight. I was about to address something in public tomorrow that I'm sure, in due time, will come to light on its own. I also agree about the agreeing to do so much and under delivering--which I'm sure I butchered. Great post!

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  28. Thanks for posting this! I wrote a blog for 3 years, and was constantly comparing it to what other has, and not in a positive way. I started to hate blogging, and stepped away for over a year. I decided to make a positive change in my life, and started a new blog, with no expectations or comparisons. It is so much more freeing to do the best I can, and look to other blogs with higher following (like yours) as a source of inspiration instead of with jealousy.

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  29. I just started blogging again and I'm going to try and do it on a regular basis... I sometimes bite off more then i can chew or under deliver and I am trying to work on that! Thanks! This helped a lot =)

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  30. Yes Sister!!!! You are so right, esp with the "someone is always bigger than you". True. You are bigger than me, but I love reading your blog and I like you, so it's a joy. If you see it any other way it's crippling!
    XOXO
    Katie

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  31. loved this post! i definitely had the same issue with biting off more than i could chew at one point

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  32. thanks for your blogging wisdom!

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  33. Such incredible, sincere bullet points--a definite good reminder! Thanks Erin!

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  34. On the last point, I think I am lucky as everyone is bigger than me and I think I am ok with it. I just want to say my say and read blogs. It's ok with me if my followers aren't in the hundreds or thousands and I am ok with only a few comments.
    I have almost convinced myself!

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  35. As a blogger-newbie, I appreciate the solid advice here. Thanks!

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  36. Perfect time to read this! ha I am definitely a bite off more than I can chew type of person! and panic is becoming a little to common of a 5 letter word for me!
    I have always loved reading your blog and always appreciate advice from those who have been in the same shoes before!

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  37. Great post! You and so many others inspire me to work on growing my blog, but first and foremost just by being myself.

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  38. Number four really hits home for me. I have always realized how much influence some bloggers have in comparison to others. This is something that I struggle with on a daily basis with my business. I find a lot of times that because my business is smaller than others as I am still growing, that people are less willing to work with me than those who have a bigger following even though my product is of equal value. Influence can be used for good, but I also have also personally felt and experienced it used to exclude. I wish more people had the mentality that they should support someone because they truly think what they do is awesome rather than support someone simply because of their influence.

    On the flip side, that takes me directly to number five, where I feel that those that are exclusive because of influence only motivate me more to think outside of the box.

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  39. You are so wise my friend. Thanks for always being honest with your readers. That's why we love you. :)

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  40. Thanks for this post. As a newbie, I apprecite you sharing mistakes as well as successes!

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  41. Focus, focus, focus... I have struggled with this for months. Currently I post a LOT about music but I really want to add more girly stuff because well write what you know... But I dont want to isolate my existing male followers.

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  42. Oh how true all of this is. There are ups and downs in blogging. You just have to remember why you started it all in the first place!!

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  43. Great post. I had a similar experience this weekend where come Sunday night I had but one thing crossed off my to-do list. The time you are spending with friends and family this summer will last in your memory a lot longer than the grocery store visits. I always enjoy your blog. Keep up the great work!

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  44. I love what you said about the haters. Love does win every time.

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  45. Oh the last part very well said. I think to follow and look up to someone who's work you really enjoy can totally be motivating. There is no point of being jealous.
    For me seeing all the new interesting posts written by other bloggers in my inbox, is always a big push into the right direction. Makes me work harder and stay focused.
    Thanks for this post dear!

    xoxo,
    Luchessa.org

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  46. Such a great post!! Thanks for sharing - such great advice. I am really soaking it up as a person newer to the blogging world.

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  47. Hi Erin! I started following you on IG recently and this is my first visit to the blog. What a GREAT post! #2 was a great one -- it's easy to get overwhelmed, which in my case ends with me doing nothing, as opposed to focusing on one thing and getting it done and feeling accomplished.

    One mistake I've made is not commenting on other people's blogs, yet I would feel self-concious when no one commented on my blog. Now I make an effort to leave comments and show support for all these amazing bloggers who inspire me! A simple little comment can be so encouraging.

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  48. I will CUT whoever is being mean to you. I'm ghetto redneck country like that.

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  49. I absolutely loved this post!!! Thank you SO much for this reminder and helpful advice. ; )
    walkinginmemphisinhighheels.com

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  50. I really appreciate this post so much! I'm learning how to build my blogging confidence and posts like this help me in that mission. Thank you for your openness and your honesty! :)

    I think one of the things I've learned (and less than one month into it) is that the standard sponsorship that you find on blogs is NOT for me. I still want to figure out what feels like me because it's a great opportunity to partner with other blogs and everything, but like you said: it's gotta feel like the right fit. I have problems with "rejecting" people, so I am trying to figure out how I can have more control over those partnerships without feeling like I am insulting anyone. Until then, I am not offering any sponsorships.

    I also really loved the piece of advice: don't bite off more than you can chew. I think that's really easy to do... like you said, when you start getting opportunities, you're so excited that it feels crazy to say no.

    Thanks again for this!

    --Erika
    http://www.chimerikal.com

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  51. I've learned not to take blogging too seriously. It just makes it more easy and fun!
    http://johced-ourjourneytoeverywhere.blogspot.com/
    xxx

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  52. Thanks so much for this post! My current 'hang up' is that everyone I know seems to be starting a blog. I find myself getting annoyed instead of happy for them so thanks for the inspiration! Very motivating!

    Melissa

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  53. AH! This post has perfect timing. Last night, my husband asked me why I hadn't blogged for so long and I told him I felt discouraged by it and wasn't sure I was writing anything worth reading, or if I had any followers at all. This is awesome advice for a blogger just starting out. Thank you!!

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  54. #3. Perfect. Advice for LIFE not just blogging!

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  55. My all time biggest mistake was thinking I had to pay BUNCH of money to have someone design a lovable blog. It still makes me sick how much I spent on that design.. in fact, the whole thing was making me so mad that eventually stopped using that design all together, despite the price I paid. I literally was trying to "buy" my way into the blogging world, without even really realizing it. I had big dreams for what I wanted my space to become, and I thought purchasing a well designed blog, would be my one way ticket to success. WRONG. In the end, I just didn't feel good about it. Now i'm using a design that suits me better, and i enjoy my space. For the RIGHT reasons.

    i think blogging, and becoming successful, has nothing to do with the money you spend - but the spirit you share. The positive influence you can bring to the life of your readers. :)

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  56. Perfect advice Erin! Thanks for your honesty-I think bloggers tend to be passionate by nature so biting off more than we can chew is so typical in blog world. I love that you are focusing on content no matter what...I think alot of bloggers get lost in the giveaways and linkups-you haven't and that's what keeps me coming back!

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  57. Such funny, sound advice! I thought my readers would appreciate it too so I linked up to it on my blog today. Have a great weekend!

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  58. Recently stumbled across your blog and I love this post! It really resonated with me especially number 5! Can't wait to come back and learn so much more. Thanks again.

    Moe

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I read and appreciate every one of your comments. Thanks for stopping by my space and sharing a piece of yourself on this huge ole internet. I meant that in the least creepy way possible. I'm just good at making everything awkward. Anyhow, thank you for your comments. They make me smile :)