Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Blogging Mistakes I Made

I created my blog three years ago and have been blogging properly for around two and a half. I started Salt and Chic under a different name at the age of 20 and now aged 23, my posts and my style couldn’t be more different. I’m so proud of all of the things I’ve achieved and done all by myself in that time and of how far Salt and Chic has come but it is fair to say I’ve made my fair share of mistakes. There are new blogs being created every single day now and so with the rise of my favourite industry I thought I’d share with you some of the mistakes I’ve made since the beginning - you definitely don’t have to pretend to be a “perfect blogger” all the time,  no matter who you are or how old old your blog is! 

Trying To Fit In
One of the biggest mistakes I made when I began my blog was trying to “fit in” and by this I mean I tried to write posts I wasn’t interested in, just because everyone else was writing them. I guess I felt like I had to write these “typical” blogger posts in order to get people interested. I thought because these posts were popular and a lot of people were writing them, I had to as well to be a “proper blogger”. You probably know the ones I mean, things like monthly favourites and empties posts, which there are nothing wrong with of course! I just mean they weren’t me. I used to force out monthly favourites posts when I honestly didn't have a clue what to write about and it wasn’t until I started just writing about whatever the hell I wanted that my personality began to shine through and blogging just felt more natural to me. It’s important to remember that when it comes to blogging, you should just be yourself whether that’s writing about something totally original and new or whether it’s writing about some of the “stereotypical” things - neither are better than the other as your passion will always show in the posts that reflect you! 

Overediting Photos
I remember trying to do my first fashion posts and looking back now it was hilarious. I used to balance my camera on an ironing board in my back garden and put it on auto timer and quickly run and stand in front while it counted down, obviously resulting in the worst quality photos I could have possibly taken. If that wasn’t enough, I’d kill them even more by over editing them. I’d turn the contrast and brightness right up, totally “smooth” the photos (which just made them look ridiculous!), add filter after filter, make them into collages…You get the point. Learning a little bit about photography and editing was one of the best things I did for my blog and the basics are really easy to find out. I use Lightroom to edit my photos at the mo’ as I just can’t get my head around the proper Photoshop and Lightroom is just so much easier!

Taking Trolls To Heart
Being trolled and insulted is never easy (you can read my post about not feeding the trolls) but learning to not take their comments to heart is essential. A few years ago every time I got a negative comment I’d think about it for days and worry about what they said no matter how trivial. I remember once someone anonymous commenting on a blog post of mine saying “LOL I can see your nipples through your top and you’re supposed to be fashion blogger” or something along those lines. Now, I’m someone who really doesn’t give a shit if you can see my nipples through a top (mate I probs did it on purpose) but back then I worried about it and worried about it and worried about it. I can totally accept any kind of legitimate criticism or any suggestions about my blog but it’s really important to accept that some people just want to upset you. Don’t take their comments personally and although it’s really, really hard to ignore comments you perceive as negative, insults online and unnecessary comments say more about the person making them than they do about you. 

Comparing Myself To Other Bloggers
Comparison is never a good idea. I used to look at my blog and say “well that blogger has been blogging for the same amount of time as me and they have X amount of followers so why don’t I?” It is so so dangerous to think like this because you only end up getting yourself down when there a whole host of reasons why people have more followers, views, faster growth or whatever else. None of this means you are any worse of a blogger and instead of getting down and comparing yourself, let the success of others inspire you. Again, it’s really hard to do and I still often find myself looking at other blogs and feeling twinges of jealousy but when it comes down to it, I look at them and think “wow that’s amazing!” instead of “why is that not me?” Everyone is one different pages of their journey and you don’t have to be like them, you can be like you.

Obsessing Over Followers
It’s lovely to gain new followers and hit milestones but it isn’t the be all and end all. I love hitting targets I’ve set for myself and watching my accounts and blog grow but there was a point where I started obsessing over the numbers. If I lost followers I’d get really mad at myself and wonder where I went wrong and, especially with Bloglovin followers, I measured my success with how many followers I gained that week. Numbers are not everything. They are not a measure of how “good” or “successful” your blog is (who defines what that is anyway?!) and they are certainly not something that should negatively impact how you feel or your life. When I stopped obsessing over how many followers I was gaining, my content improved because I felt better about myself and what I was writing and in turn that led to an increase in followers so actually, focusing too much on following can have a negative effect!

Not Using My Voice
I’ll admit that I’ve always been quite vocal with opinions etc. and I’ll also admit that I have got things wrong, especially when I was younger (haven’t we all?) but one of my biggest blogging mistakes was not using the platform I have to make a difference. I’m sure many of you will recall my whole Ched Evans saga last year in which I was horribly abused on Twitter for using my voice and getting 8k retweets, angering misogynists and rape sympathisers along the way and prior to that and for a few months after, I refrained from using my voice. I’m lucky to have a little bit of a platform on social media now whereby I’m able to share opinions and articles to try and make a difference, whether it’s about #BlackLivesMatter, current political climates, body shaming or anything else. I totally get that some people don’t like to talk about “controversial” subjects or share their political opinions but I just feel that when it comes to some things, we have a responsibility to try and do what we can. In this day and age, for me staying silent isn’t an option and I’m not willing to sit back and let terrible things happen to innocent people, just because they aren’t happening to me and that’s why not using my voice was a mistake.

Can you relate to any of these mistakes? What mistakes did you make when you first started blogging?

Amy x
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