Bad blogging habits, we all have them! A missed blog post here, an unanswered comment there; old habits die hard, am I right? But if you're looking to improve and take things to the next level, these bad habits need to be addressed asap. Here are some of my bad blogging habits and the ways that I plan to correct them.
Before I get into the nitty gritty of today’s post, can we take a second to appreciate this outfit I wore last Sunday for London Fashion Week please?! Navy has quickly become one of my favourite colours over the winter season so a big thank you to Miss Bardo for sponsoring this look! I'm in love with this two piece!
Speaking of last Sunday, I organsied another Bad Blogger Brunch (photos soon come) with another group of lovely ladies and as always the discussions turned towards our blogging experiences: the good, the bad and the ugly. Since then, I’ve been thinking more and more about some of my bad habits as a blogger and the need to nip these in the bud asap for further progression.
So today, I’m sharing my 9 bad blogging habits in hopes that by having them on display, I’ll be forced to continue addressing them and at the same time inspire some of you guys to look at any of your habits that need changing. Here goes …
I know this happens to us all. Most of us bloggers do everything on our own, whether it's organising photoshoots, coming up with interesting content, writing and editing our blog posts, promoting those posts, etc... It's a big job, especially for those of you working full-time. Plus it's super annoying when you're trying to be organised and things go wrong, e.g. photographers don't stick to deadlines or your shoot gets cancelled (with British weather, this is regularly a reality). It's understandable when these things happen but your readers want to hear from you! You don't want them to lose interest if can't supply a regular stream of new content.
The Solution... Think of yourself like a mini magazine and create a really good editorial plan for your blog. Plan as far in advance as you can so that if things go wrong, you have enough time to fix them. I'm currently two months ahead with my blog post schedule, giving me enough time to play around with my scheduling if I need to (although I've already messed it up, hopefully unbeknownst to my readers lol). Also, be realistic with how often you can post. There’s no point putting pressure on yourself to post 5 times a week when you actually can’t keep that up. My motto is start small and if it goes well you can always increase.
Forgetting the reader
It's a tricky balance trying to create content you want to write about but also that your reader is interested in. Usually, if you're passionate about something, the right people will flock but don't forget to think about what it's like for someone else to read your posts. Your reader wants to gain something from you, that is ultimately why they visit your site. This isn't a monologue so remember to think about what the reader might want to hear about, not only what you want to say.
The Solution... Have a browse through your analytics whether on your host site or through Google Analytics and gain a better understanding of who your reader is and what they enjoy. Look at which of your posts are most popular and what searches have happened on your site recently. That way you can start to gain a better idea of what kind of content your readers want more of.
Long winded posts & Errors
People's attention spans are getting shorter, so unless you're a fab writer and an excellent story teller, get to the point! Nobody has time to sit through your long winded rants. Most readers are looking to gain some quick insight into whatever topic you're discussing so give them what they want and give it to them quick. And while you're at it, mind out for errors. We all have those rushed days, where we just have to quickly put a post together before we run out the door. Hell, that's what I'm doing right now. Errors are easy to make in those instances but they look unattractive, so try to avoid them.
The Solution... Proof read! Read through and re-read again to prevent errors. If you can, get someone else to read your posts. A fresh set of eyes can always spot errors quicker and getting someone to give feedback on your post can help make sure it's not too long-winded and they understand your message. My poor boyfriend is always subjected to endless blog post checks but I give him love though so he's all good :D. I also try and write a draft of my posts days before it's due to go live so that I have enough time to come back to it on another day with a renewed perspective.
I find it sooooo boring when a blog only features one person. Yes, it's your blog and your personal creative space but adding some new energy in there is a great way to liven things up a tad. I personally get frustrated always just seeing my own face on my site!
The Solution... Connect with others! It’s so much more interesting to feature guest writers or include blogger collaborations on your site. Plus, it's a great way to engage with a new audience and drive more traffic to you. I'm making such an effort this year to link up with other bloggers and creatives on my site (see here for an example). By doing so I've increased my networks, been inspired by so many others, gained new followers and have had soooo much more fun. Win win win!
Constant Stats Checks
This is definitely one of my worst habits. I consistently check my stats across all my social media platforms throughout the day. If I see a notification pop up anywhere, I immediately check it and then get distracted from whatever I was doing, making me rather unproductive!
The Solution... Schedule times to check you stats in the day. Twice should be enough e.g. once in the morning and once in the afternoon/evening. No peeking in-between!! It doesn't grow any quicker by you just watching it lol!
With all my constant stats checking, you'd think I'd then reply to comments from others on my sites but nope. I definitely try to make an effort to reply to everyone's comments across all my social media platforms (unless you've just sent a smiley face, I appreciate it but there's nothing to really reply to lol) but sometimes a comment might go unnoticed for a while before I get round to replying to it. I actually think it's not good blogger etiquette to ignore comments. Just even a simple thank you is a polite and friendly way to engage with your audience.
The Solution... Scheduling is key again. It's probably a smart idea to use the same time you block out for checking your stats as the time to reply to comments too. Hootsuite is a great tool to manage interactions from both Instagram and Twitter accounts.
I can be terrible at self promotion. I think once I've done a post and put one photo up on Instagram, my promotion is done. But creating amazing content alone isn't enough if no one sees it. You need to make active efforts to drive traffic to your site.
The Solution... As with everything, scheduling is important here too!! There's hundreds of different ways to promote your blog, you just have to pick which ones are effective for you and book out time to do so. The quickest way is to link your posts to your social media handles so that once you post, it goes straight unto Twitter or Facebook. Using other platforms specific to the contents of your blog is also helpful. I've been using Lookbook for years and it's been so handy for me. Another great method of blog promotion is through email marketing, something that I am definitely going to start working on asap.
Again, I'm super guilty of this one. Why is it that when I feel down, I love to make things even worse by looking at other's pages, comparing myself and then feeling even more shite about my situation? I'm my own worst enemy and a glutton for self-pity!
The Solution... Just stop it! Focus on your journey because everyone is on a different path! Also, while you’re at it, don’t be a copy cat! Create your own unique stamp and stand out from the crowd. To be different means less watching of other's movements and more original creation! Get to it!
This is a really important one that I'm still learning. You can't be online all the time, it will drive you mad! No matter how much you love blogging, everyone needs some "time-off". Otherwise, you run the risk of harming yourself (Social Media Anxiety anyone?!) and resenting what you do.
The Solution... Set boundaries. Again, work out a schedule for yourself, create a damn good editorial plan and then block out time within all that to shut off. Be really strict about this because there's no point running yourself into the ground and not being able to keep up with all the amazing, creative things you have planned for your blog. Find a method that works for you, whether it's cutting your online engagement in the evenings or taking short but regular breaks throughout the day.
What are some of your bad blogging habits? Did you relate to any of mine? xo
[This post is sponsored by Miss Bardo]
*Title from song by Destiny's Child