Mistakes I Made While Blogging Last Year

Tuesday, 23 April 2019
woman in Spring floral dress

     I spent forever trying to come up with the perfect intro to this post. Something inspiring, witty and down to earth to show how much I've grown creatively during my time writing. But honestly, I have no idea how to preface this article, and since the whole point of this post is transparency, it would be ridiculous not to admit that. So here's a quick rundown of the facts:

I've been blogging over 5 years, but Jackie O My is only two years old (and my longest running blog). I've been totally hands-on with my past blogs, and I've never been afraid to try new things or totally throw myself into a project. This has resulted in tons of trial and error. While I'm sure more "okay, that didn't work" moments will come after this, for the time being, I'm here to share some of the mistakes I've made so far.

Putting all my effort into website design

When I started my first blog, I was most excited to work on the site design. I love the idea of a personal website designed to reflect my personal taste and express my personality. However, this became a bit of an obsession with me. I spent hours on Etsy searching for the "perfect" template, only to decide I hated it a few weeks later.  Not only did this have a terrible effect on my wallet, but my content took the back seat. I spent so much time trying my hand at graphic design, I barely had time to work on my posts, and what I did produce was just fluff. And I'm sure a few visitors were confused when my site looked completely different every other week!

The fix: The solution to this is to take a step back and breathe. Nothing has to be "perfect", not even your site design. 
I decided to take a few weeks before doing anything else to my blog to plan in-depth what I wanted to portray with my site. I was inspired to write this post on brand design. It really is so important to know what you want before jumping right in.

Trying too hard

Some of the biggest blogs in the industry have entire teams of amazing people behind them, creating content and managing social media accounts. Here at Jackie O My, I'm flying solo, and while it's fun to have complete creative control over my site, it takes longer to create valuable content. I am not a big blogger, but I tried to keep up with the content turn-out schedules of big bloggers, thinking fresh content daily was necessary to grow. Of course, there was no way I could keep up with the editorial schedule I set for myself, and this brings me back to my point about fluff vs. in-depth posts. If you are trying to produce content constantly, somewhere along the way your quality is going to suffer (not to mention your personal life!)

The fix: If you're struggling to keep up, I recommend scaling back your editorial deadlines, and taking time to write posts that will really help people. In the end, the only thing that will keep readers coming back is the value your content provides to them.

Copying everyone else

Okay, I still struggle with this one. One of the best places to find inspiration for your own work is from other bloggers you enjoy, so the temptation to write about the same topic everyone else is discussing makes sense. In the end, though, it's simply not a good strategy. You should aim to enrich the lives of your readers and pass some sort of value on to them, and that's difficult to do if they've already read all your points multiple times on other blogs. The same goes for trying to copy another blogger's writing or fashion style to a T; it's not sustainable, because you are not them. You will never be able to keep up with their evolution while trying to figure out how they achieve their "thing".

The fix: If you really want to cover a post topic that many people have already recently written about, make sure you can add something new to the discussion. Try offering a unique angle on it; for example, instead of writing about the newest bold lip shade everyone is wearing, you could write about how to make it wearable in a professional setting.

Making excuses

When you are setting all your own deadlines, it's easy to slip into a cycle of procrastination, and I am a procrastination champion.

The fix: If you don't schedule your posts in advance, it's a good time to start. Hold yourself accountable, and be realistic about how long it will take to write posts, edit them, work on graphics, take photos, etc. 

Those are all my tips! What have you learned from blogging so far? I'd love to hear your advice!
Mistakes I Made While Blogging Last Year | Jackie O My

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