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This is Part 2 in a two-part series. Check out Part 1 here.
Just as there are many tasks that we should be doing as bloggers, there are also some important things to avoid.
Every blogger will have a unique don’t list – a list of promises that will keep them accountable and honest – but sometimes it helps to see someone else’s list first.
For example, it may be time to evaluate your priorities and cut back on social media sharing while for someone else, they have extra time and can add another platform. There is no one right way to blog. Go ahead and read that sentence one more time.
Did you? Because there is some freedom in understanding the truth of it.
There is no one right way to blog.
Check out this short list of five things I avoid as a blogger. I don’t do this perfectly, and my flesh loves to get in the way of these promises I’ve made to myself. But I’m trying, and I invite you to make your own list too.
How to Blog: What to Avoid
1. DON’T give in to peer pressure.
I preach this to myself as much as I do to you. Comparison is real and it steals joy.
There are millions of bloggers each sitting behind their respective computers with unique stories and life situations. And it is so darn tempting to compare to their success, their income, their Instagram feed, or their ability to consistently post to their blog.
Comparison is a thief – and it will cause discouragement and burn out.
I have found so much freedom in the truth that I cannot and will not do it all. Here is my advice when it comes to peer pressure: make a list of five things you will do consistently and a list of five tasks you will ignore.
For example, you may decide to make Instagram a priority – you will post daily and interact with your followers. But in order to connect well on Instagram, you may decide that you cannot post daily on Facebook. There. You have a will do and a will not do, and you’ll breathe a little easier knowing that you’ve set up boundaries to protect against peer pressure.
(This list will evolve and change as your blog grows, but it’s a great idea to continually update a list of things you will do and avoid.)
2. DON’T overwhelm yourself.
There is a lot of information about blogging on the world wide web. Scroll through your Pinterest feed for longer than two minutes and you’ll find articles, podcast episodes, free eCourses, and products all related to being a successful blogger. The temptation is real to sign up for and purchase all of these resources. I mean, we all want to be successful, right?
But I am here to say that you will overwhelm yourself – and your inbox – in the process. I can talk about this because I’ve done it. Yes, there are many great teachers and resources at our fingertips. But we do not need to overwhelm ourselves to the point of frustration.
I’ve started thinking about blogging as a tower of building blocks. First, I need to build a foundation with consistent posting, an organized website design, and a clear focus.
Then, I can slowly start adding other blocks – Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, creating graphics, designing a product, and more. But if I begin placing these blocks on an unfinished foundation, the whole tower will crumble. And like a toddler that spent time playing and building, I will cry when it all falls down. Just being honest.
Prioritize your foundation and you will more effectively be able to add other blocks in the future.Think about your blog like a tower of blocks. Completed your foundation? #bloggingbeginner Click To Tweet
3. DON’T ignore building an email list.
From the very beginning, my email list has been my main focus. Because of this, I have a growing, interactive, supportive community of people who look forward to my newsletters and love my blog. They are my people – and I would not enjoy blogging half as much without them.
If we were sitting together drinking vanilla lattes and you asked me about my blog, I wouldn’t tell you about my website design, my Facebook page, or my editorial calendar. I would tell you about my people. Make it your aim to do the same.
Get to know these people – and continue to grow a raving tribe of people committed to you and your message.
Not sure where to start? Determine your top three blog posts and create a free piece of content for these posts. This free content will dive deeper and provide even more value than the blog post itself. For example, if your top post is about organizing your home, create printable organizing sheets for each room of the house. Ask your readers to sign up for this extra content in the middle of the post and again at the end.
Then, welcome them to your list and love on them well. Make them your people.
4. DON’T leave your Pinterest alt descriptions blank.
Simply put, your content will be seen and shared more often if you include alt descriptions. These descriptions should include keywords about your post so that when someone searches in the Pinterest search bar, your post is found near the top.
Additionally, Tailwind is a popular Pinterest scheduler these days. I use it myself, and it will not let you schedule pins without an alt description. In fact, I once loaded up hundreds of drafts and prepared to schedule them, only to find out that one pinner did not include alt descriptions. I couldn’t schedule their pins, and ended up spending a chunk of time deleting their pins from my drafts.
It was a headache, and I am now very careful to avoid pins without alt descriptions.
I say this because other pinners have likely discovered this, and like me, are not scheduling pins without alt descriptions. You want other people to share your content, so make it as simple as possible for them to schedule your pins. You win. They win. Your content will spread.
5. DON’T fake it.
Ruth Soukup, founder of Elite Blog Academy, once said, “Give yourself permission to be authentic.” I heard that and felt my soul let out a huge sigh of relief. At one time, I felt like I needed to mold to a certain ‘brand’ of blogger – that if I wasn’t writing the expected content and sharing the expected images, I would not succeed.
In life and in blogging, you will disappoint. I don’t like it, just as you probably don’t like it. But I’m slowly learning that it’s so much better to make your people happy than to try to please everyone.Give yourself permission to be authentic. -Ruth Soukup #shewritestruth #encouragement Click To Tweet
How do you make your people happy?
You write content that makes you come alive. You give yourself permission to be authentic. And you don’t apologize when someone doesn’t find what they’re looking for on your blog.
You cannot please everyone, but do aim to please those that connect with your brand, your message, and your passions. This will fuel you rather than burden you. And disappointing someone likely means that you are standing up for what you believe, rather than submitting to unhealthy expectations.
This is a heavy list of don’ts, my friend. There is a lot of meat here, so spend some time chewing and pondering. Are you trying to do it all, listen to it all, please everyone? Are you missing some key tactics that will help your message blossom and spread?
Know that you are not alone as you navigate the choppy waters of the blogging world. I don’t claim to have all of the answers, but I do desire to be a friend that walks beside and helps pick up some the discouragement when it threatens to flip your boat.
Email me with your thoughts and concerns. I’d love to be praying for clarity, wisdom, and effectiveness when it comes to your blog and your message.
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