Updated June 27, 2016
In my 6 years of blogging, I have read so many “advice” blog posts, with opinions on how to blog. I have immersed myself in books, courses, and videos on how to grow my blog. I have invested money and have treated it as a business. I’ve found, throughout the years, that there’s a lot of opinions when it comes to blogging. Lots of do’s and don’ts. Today, we’re going to focus on the don’ts – the bad blog advice I’ve been given.
[bctt tweet=”Don’t let what people say discourage you from blogging the way you want! http://wp.me/p3MUP7-1Y0 via @mo_meg” username=”mo_meg”]
I do have to preface here, though, that this is my opinion. I am not the bible of blog advice. What I want to accomplish here is to encourage you. Because, at the end of the day, you are the creator of your space and you make the rules.
So, I’d like to debunk some blog advice here…
Post Monday through Friday, 5 times a week, at 7:00 a.m. Uhhh… have you seen my blog schedule? There is not one. Some weeks I struggle to get 1-2 posts up. Other weeks it’ll be 3-4 times. I post when I have something to say. I’d like to think it keeps my readers on their toes (it definitely keeps me on mine). I plan out a general idea of my upcoming weeks, and I will have sponsored post deadlines, but I consider myself a “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of blogger. It works for me, and it takes away a lot of pressure.
Consistency is key. This goes along with the above. Here’s the thing. If you are always holding yourself to a standard you can’t meet, you’re setting yourself up for failure and disappointment in yourself. It’s impossible to be consistent at something that isn’t your full-time job. I teach part-time and blog part-time now, and I haven’t quite figured out a consistent schedule. But I make small goals for myself – to post twice a week or schedule out all of my social shares. Being consistent pays off for anything you do, but don’t get caught up in it. Do what works with your life, your daily routine, and your sanity.
Work for free to establish a relationship. Or the opposite: NEVER work for free. Getting to work with brands is a very exciting aspect about blogging. There are people who are very passionate about bloggers getting paid for their time and effort. But there are some that say you should work for free so you can establish a relationship with a brand. I fall somewhere in the middle. It just has to make sense and has to be worth it for YOU. What’s worth it for me may not be what’s worth it for you. If a beauty brand wants to send me their entire line of makeup, that’s worth a blog post and a social share. If they want me to post every week for the next 5 weeks, plus 5 social shares, that’s not worth it. Just don’t work for free because you think it will give you a foot in the door.
People only care about Instagram, so focus on that. Listen, I get it. Instagram is “the thing” nowadays. There is so much power in Instagram, and ever since I’ve really worked on growing my account, I’ve seen more opportunity. I am even guilty of saying something like “Well, she only has 1,000 Instagram followers, so what does she know?” Which is totally rude. It’s not fair to think that Instagram is the currency that values one’s blog. What I care about is pageviews to my blog. The people who visit my site, not my Instagram profile, are invested in me. I definitely think you shouldn’t spread yourself too thin on social media, but do what makes sense. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. (Be sure to read that linked post where I talk about what happened when I lost my Instagram account for a week!)
Stick to one niche. While finding a voice is important in blogging, having one specific niche is not necessary. Do what feels right to you. You make the rules to your blog. What you say goes.
Start a blog because you can make money with it! If you get into blogging for the sole purpose of making money, you’re going to get really discouraged very quickly. Money hungry doesn’t look good on anyone to begin with, and it takes a lot of time to build your blog’s presence before you begin to be taken serious by your readers and brands. My best advice is just to build trust with your audience. Authenticity looks good on everyone. The money will come.
There are too many bloggers, and it’s hard to be successful. This is the biggest lie of them all! Guess what, y’all. There is room in this big, big world for everyone to be successful at blogging. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it two years later. Sure, we may not all be the Pioneer Woman or reach celebrity status, but success looks different to everyone. I’m small potatoes compared to many bloggers, but I feel successful because it’s my space, I have great readers, and it allowed me to go part-time at work. This is why it is absolutely crucial for us to have a community of bloggers. It’s imperative that we build each other up. Sharing and helping another blogger is not only the right thing to do, but will help you in the long run. Treating this as a cut throat race to the top will leave you feeling pretty empty.
Have you received bad blog advice? What was it?