Since starting Dresses & Denim six months ago, I have made a ton of beginner blogger mistakes. I know several of you are considering starting your own blog or are just getting started with your blog, so I wanted to share my five biggest blogging mistakes and solutions to them. Hopefully this post will help spare you a lot of struggles and frustrations that I have faced.
1. Have your blog professionally designed and managed.
Confession: I’m cheap! When I decided to start a blog there was no way that I was going to spend a hundred to a thousand dollars paying someone to build and manage the coding of my site. Six months later, I wish I would have shelled out the money. There are tons of helpful websites and blogs that provide tutorials on how to build a blog, but it takes hours upon hours of time and ultimately there will be tons of daily malfunctions if you know nothing about HTML code (like me!). If paying someone to build and run the site for you is not an option, then I highly recommend using Blog Tyrant’s step by step instructions.
2. Back up your website as soon as you start building it.
I’m embarrassed to share with you that it didn’t occur to me to back up my site until a glitch occurred and my entire site was deleted after blogging for 2 months. It is miserable to start from ground zero after you have spent tons of time building a site. After this happened I installed the UpDraftPlus Back-up/Restore plugin, which is really simple to use and will prevent you from having to rebuild your site from scratch.
3. Invest in a high quality camera early.
After blogging for 4 months, I started noticing that the really successful bloggers had amazing pictures. After doing a bit of research, I found they used high end cameras or paid professional photographers to take their pictures. Ultimately, to grow a blog and get attention from companies for sponsorship you will need high quality pictures for your blog and social media. I hate to say it, but just bite the bullet and get yourself a high end camera early. This will ultimately save you tons of time, because your blog will grow more quickly and eventually should pay for itself as you get offered sponsored posts.
4. Build your social media network early.
This was a huge mistake I made. I started Dresses & Denim Instagram account 6 months into blogging and a Facebook Page and Pinterest account 4 months into blogging. The social media accounts will help your blog get discovered and drive readers to your blog. It is very hard to grow a reader base with out a strong social media presence (trust me on this!). If I could go back and change things, I would have started a Facebook Page and Instagram account months before starting my blog. This would have allowed me to have a reader base when I started my blog and I would have had the opportunity to test my blog content before devoting tons of time and money to building a full website.
5. Don’t compare your first chapter with another person’s one hundredth chapter.
This one is a hard one. Every blogger, including myself, wants instant success. The truth is most of the successful bloggers have been blogging for years. It takes time to become a successful blogger. Time offers experience, but more importantly is required for a blog, or any company for that matter, to get discovered. Be patient and hang in there!