I’m in the middle of a blog content audit so I’ve been going through my archives and gleefully privatizing a bunch of entries that are too embarrassing to be out there. Most my old posts had me going “WTF WAS I THINKING WHEN I PUBLISHED THIS???” Gross.
In the nine years that Ditz Revolution has been around, I sure have made a lot of blogging mistakes! I thought I’d share these are errors with you guys so you can avoid them. You know how they say— you learn from your mistakes? Well, babes, save yourselves the hassle and learn from MY mistakes instead!
1. Not hosting photos on your own server
Case in point: this entry. I was lazy and instead of saving the photos and uploading them to my WordPress blog, I simply hotlinked them off my Instagram.
Last year, I decided to clean up my Instagram and deleted over 1000 photos and now I have broken images all over my blog. I want to privatize that entry so badly but I’m leaving it public to set an example. I also have so many missing photos because they were hosted on Imageshack and I guess Imageshack kills photos after a certain amount of time.
Save and upload, guys; save and upload.
2. Low-quality content
I am so embarrassed by my archives! So many garbage entries that I wrote for the sake of, well, paid links (they would easily bring in $100 a month, ok!). Every now and then, I’ll get an email from some webmaster asking me to remove their links so I’ve been going through my old entries and just taking them down.
When it comes to blogging, write with a purpose. It’s okay to post random crap (it is YOUR blog, after all), but it’s always better to offer your readers something of value— an insight, something tweetable, a new place to check out, a tip, or something to think about.
Try and avoid lumping several topics together, too, unless it’s a week in review type of post (like The Sunday Currently or Friday’s 10 Happy Things).
3. Ignoring your readers
There are two ways to do this:
Not engaging with them. Guilty! I almost never replied to comments (lazy) or I wouldn’t reply to their tweets (didn’t want to clutter my timeline and annoy followers). Now, I make it a point to reply to every comment (it might take some time, though) and to tweet and RT people. I also make a conscious effort to follow back, too.
Not caring about them aka not returning the love. I feel like such a dick for ignoring my readers in the past and not taking the time to visit their blogs to get to know them. I know better now! Community is super important. Even though my days get busy, I try to set aside at least half an hour to read and comment on blogs.
You have readers because they’re interested in you. Build relationships and treat them well!
4. Bad photos
Remember when I had an iPhone 3G? My blog does.
If it’s blurry and badly lit, don’t post it. Don’t use ugly filters. Make it big and bright. My old photos had a maximum width of 400px (cringe); now, my minimum is 750px.
5. You don’t proofread
I proofread 2-3x before hitting the publish button but sometimes, I’ll miss a word or two and it takes a while for me to catch it. It’s okay, these things happen! But if you’re constantly publishing posts without going over them to make sure everything’s in place (spelling, grammar, sentences, punctuation marks, capitalization), it sends a message that you don’t care.
Joey tells me that you don’t have to be a good writer to be a blogger, and I kind of agree. You just really need to be able to explain things well! If you’re not too confident in your writing, send your draft to a friend who can check it for you.
6. Too many damn categories
Fifty-five. That’s how many categories I had. To be fair, I started Ditz Revolution when personal blogs were all the rage and no one had niches yet.
If you’re a new blogger, streamline your content as early as now because it’s going to be a pain in the butt when you let your categories grow wild. Since the audit started, I’ve deleted 12 categories and my goal is to pare everything down to 10, at the most. I’m trying to lean Ditz Revolution towards more lifestyle, less personal ramblings and it’s a harder task because my blog is all over the place!
Do you have mistakes of your own that you’d like to share? :)