Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging
I've been blogging for over six months now, so I'm definitely not an expert, however today I wanted to share with you some tips and tricks I wish I knew when I first embarked on this blogging journey. I won't delve into SEO and other complicated stuff - there are already plenty of great posts on these topics floating around the Web. Instead, I want to cover the basics and some mistakes I've made along the way. Hopefully, this will be helpful to some of you (or we can all have a good laugh together).
When I first started blogging, I switched up my template weekly, if not daily. The main reason behind it was the fact that I didn't have a clear idea of how I wanted my blog to look like. My advice? Take some time and scroll through your favorite blogs, note the features that you like and decide on a colour scheme. If you're not an HTML pro, I suggest going on Etsy for some amazing templates that don't break the bank.
Ever since smashing two (!!) cameras in my teens, I didn't pick one up until I started blogging. And when I finally began taking pictures, Automatic Setting was my best friend. At the time, I thought that it did a decent job at capturing the image and everything else could be done via editing software. In the end, I was left with grainy, overblown and odd looking pictures. So, before you get posting, get up close and personal with your camera. Learn what Aperture, Shutter speed and ISO are and what exactly do they do. I highly recommend trying out some photography classes on
or reading a few articles on
. Remember that practice takes time, so don't be too harsh on yourself and try to enjoy the whole learning process.
For the first few months, I wrote in both Latvian and English. If I wanted my posts to be even remotely informative, they had to be long. While in theory providing information in two languages seemed like a good idea, in reality the reader was facing two visually unappealing blocks of text and I was spending twice as much time creating a single post. It wasn't really a "win-win" situation, and eventually I switched to English. The result? Less time spent on writing and a lower bounce rate.
PR, Collaborations and Samples
There's no denying that it feels nice to be recognized by a company and occasionally receive a sample or two. But, unless you want your blog to turn into a free advertising space for literally anything and everything, you have to know when to politely decline the offer. If it's not a product I'd spend my own money on, then for me it's a "no".
I'm not a big fan of quotes, but when it comes to blogging and comparison
"Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle"
"Comparison is the thief of joy"
seem very fitting.
In short, there is nothing worse than comparing yourself to others. It really does take the joy out of blogging which isn't particularly motivating, right? Instead, as cheesy as it may sound, try to be the best version of yourself. Work on your skills for your own benefit and celebrate the success of others along the way. It might not be the easiest task, but it's definitely a rewarding one.
What mistakes did you make along the way?