Blogging is indeed a journey.
April marks my 12th month on wordpress and it has been nothing but a rollercoaster. Not too familiar with the app as a newbie, I had my fair share of mistakes which I made on the way. Sometimes I just look back and laugh at myself.
Though google became my close friend, I still made errors and am glad it happened because I would not have progressed to be the writer I am today.
As the common proverb goes: There’s nothing new under the sun, my mistakes are not new too. They are common mistakes which we all make on the way, unless you started as a tech guru but still we all learn on the job.
Let’s dive into them and I believe this should be of help such that you do not make the same mistakes I made especially if you have just started.
First and foremost…..
FINDING MY OWN VOICE
I found it difficult to find my own voice. When I begun blogging, I read every blog I came across with and tried to imitate the voice and their way of writing. Every blog which inspired me I imitated. I do not believe in plagiarism hence I wrote content as close to what they have written or along those lines not necessarily copy line by line.
It’s okay to look up to a certain blogger but it becomes a problem when you start sounding like them. I gradually found my voice and my creative writing it’s as effortless as cutting a butter with a hot knife.
As if imitating other blogger’s voices was not enough, I compared myself with them. My belief in oneself died out especially when I looked at the success of other blogs, whilst mine remained static. They had a lot of followers, got more likes, comments and more engagements. This used to throw cold water on me. I looked down on myself and thought I will never be where they are. Boy! Was I wrong?As a writer it’s very dangerous to compare yourself with other bloggers. Walk in your own pace and watch yourself grow. Take a short course if you can or read blogging tips by other amazing bloggers. The secret is to keep the ball rolling and strive to publish good content instead of competing.
It was difficult to publish content consistently on my blog. Some months I would be all hyped up with content, and some months I will publish zero content. If you ask any successful writer one advice on how to grow one’s blog, consistency will be at the top of the list. Your consistency will coerce people to notice your blog and engage with you. It’s not adviceable to encourage a newbie to blog once a month or once a week, you have to publish frequent posts, once your blog have gained traction and good following, then you can start publishing fortnight.
If there was one blogger with bad zest in choosing relevant images for posts was me. I am still imperfect but atleast there’s a bit of a difference in terms of growth. I heard one of my blogger friends Shadray (https://randomthoughtsofshadray.wordpress.com) , on his Facebook status, speaking about the importance of image usage on blogs as another form of attracting viewers as opposed to poor picture quality. I became more careful in selecting a relevant image for every blogpost. I still need to change some of the previously used images, they embarrass me everytime I see them! Hahaha.
TAGS AND CATEGORIES
It took me months to fully understand the usage of tags and categories. I remember one of my facebook friends told me about categorizing my posts because they were disorganized. He gave me all the necessary steps to guide me but I was still in a fog. It was only last week to be exact that I learnt how to categorize my posts.
Am yet to finish other posts and I indeed realized that blogging is a journey with lessons which never comes to an end. You get to learn something every single day.
If it was not for New Lune (http://new-lune.com) and Pooja (http://lifesfinewhine.ca), I would still be publishing content with a lot of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. Their blogging tips aided me to head out my journey and other bloggers as well. Am truly grateful for your continuous effort to help other bloggers like myself to get better in blogging. Proofreading is important because you are still trying to make a name for yourself as a writer and you will lose audience when you keep making mistakes. No one wants to keep reading articles with spelling mistakes, once or twice in a blue moon is acceptable but not all the time. Proofread! Proofread! And I repeat…Proofread your work!
What is SEO anyway? Haha I still find this term a bit difficult to even address. Most, and I repeat, most of my posts had no SEO application and am still struggling hence I take lessons to better my skills. Am trying by all means to follow the rules and do the right thing. Elseways a lot still needs to be done.
Never stop learning.
Mistakes like this should be celebrated, simply because they construct a far much better writer in you and you learn a lot from your mistakes.
As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Freedom is not worth having, if it does not include the freedon of making mistakes”.
Make mistakes and learn.
What other mistakes have you made when you started blogging?
Let me hear on the comments section below.