So, I am going to admit that there have been 5 blogging mistakes that I’ve made since I started my blog, Sincerely Shirley. Yep, five. While I am not proud of that, I think that this post will (hopefully) serve as a learning tool for you all, so that you make sure to not do what I unfortunately did.
And it gets worse…
Yeah, I know. So you know how all of the well-known bloggers advise against certain things? Well, I guess I just didn’t listen. Because I broke all of the rules that they specifically told me not to. But, I have since redeemed myself. That said, here are the 5 blogging mistakes I regrettably made —
not sending out email newsletters
This was the biggest blogging mistake I made, which is why it’s number one and will probably have the longest explanation. When I first started planning out my blog and figuring out the content and whatnot, I did initially plan on having an email newsletter up and ready to go. I had MailChimp (affiliate link, read more here) all set up and had done my fair share of research as to what to do + what not to do when it comes to newsletters + blogging. That said, I was fairly confident that I could offer my subscribers weekly newsletters that would 1) not bore them, 2) not annoy them, and 3) actually interest them. But, the closer it got to Sincerely Shirley’s launch date, the more anxious I got.
why was I so anxious? good question.
I was so anxious, because, if I’m being honest, I hate e-mails. I could get an e-mail telling me that I just won $2M and I would still get annoyed just knowing that I have yet another e-mail to either a) ignore altogether, b) quickly skim over but pay no real attention to, or c) read and most likely have come up with a reply. Because of the simple fact that I hate emails, I convinced myself that everybody hates emails just as much as I do. And I get it, emailing is a professional way to interact and correspond with others, no doubt. I personally just hate being spammed and sent emails on top of emails when the content isn’t useful or beneficial to me.
So, because of this, I told myself that sending out emails to my subscribers would only hurt me and not help. I had this scenario in my head where I send my subscribers an email and they instantly get annoyed and delete the email, not even opening it up. This may sound silly to you all, but I really, truly put off sending out a newsletter for my blog, because I never wanted my readers to think of me as annoying or overbearing.
but, guess what!?
I was so wrong. I was so wrong, because it finally dawned on me that the people that are subscribing to me want to hear from me. They clearly like me and my blog enough to give me their email, indicating that they are welcoming of the idea of hearing from me and receiving updates, too.
not adding Pinterest pins to my posts
The second blogging mistake I made was not including Pinterest-friendly printable images in my posts. Yup. Want to know the real reason why I decided not to include pinnable images throughout my blog posts (or at the very end of the post at least)? I’m sure you do. Well, guys, I didn’t include pinnable post images because I am very, very detail oriented and I love my blog being full-width.
yeah, yeah, I know…
But, at least I care (deeply) about my blog’s appearance and layout, right? Right. Anyways, because I like to keep my images full-width to flow with the layout of my blog, I was unable (and still unable to, so if you can help me, please do) to figure out how to get two Pinterest pins to get my images to be side-by-side. So, what did I do? I gave up and decided to not even include the pins, whatsoever. But, recently I discovered that while I am killing it on Pinterest, I wasn’t doing as good as I could have been doing.
Well, people who come to my blog first and want to either 1. save, 2. share, or 3. save and share the post (on Pinterest) were only able to do so by finding whatever images I had in the post to their Pinterest account. Make sense? Hopefully. So, I finally caved and decided that until I find a way to get my images to appear side-by-side that I would just start and continue putting the pinnable pins on all of my posts and go from there!
not setting up my RSS feed
The third blogging mistake I made was not setting up my RSS feed right away. To this day, I still get annoyed with myself for not having set up my RSS feed immediately after launching my blog, so that my subscribers could be notified (via email) of all new posts. And I will admit that I didn’t even fully understand the concept of RSS feeds until fairly recently, but that still isn’t an excuse.
especially considering that RSS feeds don’t need cute and branded e-mail templates
Once again, I honestly think that I convinced myself that my emails, especially constant blog updates, would annoy people and ultimately end up setting me back instead of being a resource to help me be as successful as possible. I recently decided that if there really was no excuse to not have an active RSS feed, so I finally set it up. Yay me!
So, major word of advice: make sure your blog’s RSS feed is up and running.
not utilizing instagram like I should
The fourth blogging mistake that I have made (and continue to make, in all honesty) is not taking Instagram very seriously. And trust me, I am fully aware of the benefits of Instagram and how it could positively impact not only my blog’s success, but my success, as well. I do fully intend on kicking butt on Instagram soon (and when I say soon, I mean very soon), but for now I have been so focused on my blog and Pinterest.
I guess I have put off Instagram, because like blogging and my Pinterest, it is so time consuming. It really is. And if you haven’t noticed yet, I am very picky and detail-oriented, so if I am going to do something, I am going to go all out and give it my all. That said, I have put off finding a local photographer that will work well with me and meet my expectations and whatnot, because it really will take up a lot of time. And that isn’t bad, but it will be an investment for sure. Because while I have taken some pretty quality pics on my iPhone, having professional pictures are just ao much better.
wouldn’t you agree?
And, that is not all of what I will have to do when the time comes for me to actually put effort into my Instagram. Besides finding a photographer who is able to work with me, I will have to learn how to properly filter and edit my pics, as well as invest in a quality preset (which isn’t hard to find or do), which mean that I then have to cave and purchase Adobe Lightroom, which isn’t too terribly expensive, but still.
It is in my heart and on my mind to work on Instagram soon, so I know it will happen. I just know that when I do finally invest my time, effort, and money into doing so, that it’ll be time-consuming. But, it will be worth it for sure. That said, stay tuned and be sure to go ahead and follow me on Instagram, which is @sincerelyshirleyy. My insta isn’t bare (like it was for over a year), but I will be starting over, once again, once I really decide to take instagram seriouly. So, enjoy those few pictires + videos of me while you can, because they won’t be there for much longer!!
not properly naming my (uploaded) files
Last, but not least, the fifth blogging mistake I was making for the longest time was not properly naming my files, so that they were SEO-friendly. Before I decided to start doing things the right way, in terms of my files and their names, I would simply just click the “Add Media” button at the top and insert any graphic (picture or video), paying no attention to the name of the file. I would then add it to my post and be done with it.
ok??? what’s wrong with that?
A lot. A lot is wrong with that. Because ever since I became pretty knowledgable about all of what SEO entails, I became very adamant that each and every post was SEO-friendly and that Google would be able to pick up on my posts, as well as list them (within the first few pages). That said, adding even more keywords to the file names is just one more step to being indexed by Google.
See the file name? It contains the keywords for this post! Make sure to do this before you even upload any media to your blog. Rename the files so that they contain the necessary + relevant keywords and then upload and add the media to your post. You’ll thank me later. I promise.
And, that’s a wrap, friends! Those are the 5 blogging mistakes I made and regret making. Let this be a lesson to you. To make me feel a bit better (lol), comment below with any of your blogging mistakes that you’ve made!
Thanks for reading and love to you all.