May 2, 2013

Blogging: Five Things You Shouldn't Be Doing

 (Image via Glitter Guide)

A couple weeks ago I wrote this post, sharing five simple things that bloggers should be doing to make their experience more fulfilling. Today I'm sharing that post's counterpart - 5 things you shouldn't be doing. Sites become overly saturated with information for bloggers, and while those resources are great (like IFB) I wanted to keep my lists simple. I am by no means an expert when it comes to blogging. However, I've gathered lots of information and insight over the last three (almost four) years that I want to share with you - and think it's only fair that I do. I truly hope you find these posts helpful and I welcome any questions you have - I'll try my best to help! (julieleahblog@gmail.com)




1. Comparing yourself
This is a tough one - especially when you see fellow bloggers getting awesome opportunities with brands and amazing collaborations. But don't.give.in. It only hurts you in the long-run. If you want to land fun opportunities, you have to put the work into it. If you're not willing to do that or don't have the time, that's ok, too! But comparison and jealousy are just not pretty on anyone.

2. Saying "yes" to every opportunity
Yes, collaborations are awesome - but it's ok to say no - actually it's necessary. Don't say yes to a brand that doesn't fit your aesthetic just because you get to say that you worked with so-and-so. Brand partnerships should be natural, never forced or fake. I promise if you say no, something more amazing will come your way.

3. Sharing every.single.photo on Instagram
I know Instagram is fun and makes everyone's world seem more beautiful and sparkly than it actually is. However, upload those photos with caution. Is the photo blurry? Skip. Is it a weird angle? Skip. Now, I'm not saying to over-think and analyze every photo, but do consider a few things:
a. Is it good quality (for a phone camera)?
b. Does it fit your "brand?"
c. Is it something you've shared before - do your followers want to see it again?
d. Always use a caption. Where is this? What are you doing? Say something. 
A couple other tips - don't overuse the "twinkle" effects / stay consistent with your filters / participate in popular hash tags like #TBT.

4. Being someone you're not
Whatever you do, don't attempt to be someone you're not online. It will come back to haunt you. I don't say that from experience - well, I kind of do. When I first started blogging I didn't share my blog with the people I knew "in real life." But as with so many things, they found my blog anyway. If I had been writing in a voice that wasn't my own or sharing things that were out of character, I would've gotten called out. I don't say this in a "I'm so real, look at me" way, I say this because it's a great piece of advice that I remember reading when I first started blogging. Which leads me to. . .

5. Blogging about things you don't love
If you don't love it, don't write about. Don't feature things just because it seems like that's what you should be doing. Just because you see everyone blogging about how awesome the latest whatever from J. Crew is or how on-trend white pumps are this season - doesn't mean you have to jump on the bandwagon. Actually, it's better if you don't. Blog about something that your readers can't find anywhere else - that will keep them coming back for more.

Update: After reading a couple of the comments left by readers, maybe number five should read "blogging about things you're not passionate about" instead. I certainly don't think that blogs are rainbows and butterflies all the time - they aren't. People should always keep it real, and I encourage you to share thoughts, ideas, and experiences that are inspirational and honest. If you aren't passionate about it, don't blog about it. As I said, don't blog about something just because that seems like what you should be doing. There are plenty of topics that we don't "love" but may feel compelled to write about. It's your blog, you decide what's worthy of being shared - just don't let other people dictate that. Thank you for the thoughtful comments, readers. You're the best.

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26 comments

simone said...

Such good points Julie, I couldn't agree more.

Don't say yes to everything you are offered...and we all know there can be plenty of offers, but if you don't love the product, it shows through in your writing every time.

Authenticity is always what attracts me to blogs and keeps me reading them....be real!!

Well said sweetie!! X

Real Girl Glam said...

These are great tips for both new & veteran bloggers. It especially important to keep your voice & stay focused on blogging about things you love when you've been going at it for a while. Thanks for the tips!

Sadie + Stella said...

Love these tips Julie!!! Always stay true to your brand.

The Yuppie Files said...

Great points! Especially #1: I get stuck in that trap often & there's really no way to win. I'm trying to appreciate what others do while also appreciating what my blog/life brings to the table.

Emily {Isnt That Charming} said...

Fabulous advice, Julie! I've been trying to use caution with Instagram more, quality over quantity is always a good route!
Isn’t That Charming.

Albertina M. Cisneros said...

So so true!!! Some are hard to do but we must!!

Maria Mendez said...

Thanks for sharing. These sometimes feel obvious when you read them but applying them to your blogging life is a whole different thing.

Alyssa said...

Such fabulous advice, Julie! I really agree strongly with everything you say here–especially the comparison point. That's a hard thing to remember sometimes, but I'm trying!

Inner Outer Beauty said...

Great post! And it is hard to not compare oneself when there are sooo many great blogs out there! I admire them. Caroline

Hollie Cooper said...

Great post. I have a new to the scene blog and I read you Do's and I will do for sure. Thank you{thepinkzipper.blogspot.ca}

The Now said...

So great!! I struggle with #1 wayyyyy too much. Ugh Hopefully I can take your advice! xo

Dana said...

so true It's easy to get sucked into the latest and greatest - but it's always better to be yourself and post something you care about and love.

achariya rezak said...

I disagree about the last one, blogging about things that you don't love. I suppose it depends upon the type of blogger that you are, but a lot of people take on weighty topics that they really DON'T love. (For me, it's my cancer.) In which case, I'm being true to myself AND blogging about something I don't love at all.

Aside from that, great points.

Bethany said...

Amen, sista! Love reading things like this. Always put things back in perspective!

<3 Bethany
theBsoup.com

Ivana said...

Julie, I absolutely adore this series! Everything you say is true, and so inspiring! I would add just one thing to this list: leaving "follow me, I'll follow back" comments. They are just so disrespectful, annoying and insulting. They show that the person has no interest whatsoever in your blog and your work.

Looking forward to more blogging-related posts!

xx Ivana

Macarons and Pearls

Brittany Liljeqvist said...

Great advice lady!!

xx BHB said...

I agree with the commenter who nixes #5 -- not that your blog should be a negative place or a place to bash on things, but isn't part of being authentic also being able to say, "I don't like ____"?

For example: mint. It doesn't work on me. And mint green pedicures looks like something monster-y and sickly to me. Do I sit around pointing fingers saying "I THINK THIS LOOKS GROSS" to people who do it? Of course not! But I am able to say, "This color is trendy and I do not like the trend."

There's a way to do it, of course :)

navy and orange said...

this is so awesome! great advice

xoxo navy & orange

A Preppy State of Mind said...

Such great tips, Julie :)

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

I knew what you meant in #5 and I agree. Don't write about something because you think you should.

KK

♥B said...

Great points, love your blog!

♥♥
With Love From, B

FitTravelerAJ said...

Good tips! I agree with #2 and #5...don't get sucked in just to be like everyone else. That makes for boring blogs if everyone is talking about the same things...especially if you don't believe in it.

-AJ
FitTravelerAJ.com

Wendy said...

I definitely agree with blogging about what you love and know as well as being real. Good tips!

Rachelle said...

Such a Great read and I agree with all 5.xo
http://pinksole.com

Kristalaine said...

Great tips! And all are so true! Thanks for sharing.

--Krista
www.junkindiggingettinlost.com

Blitz And Glam said...

These are great tips! I LOVE #3. Some people post every photo they took at an event. Why not pick out the best 1-2 photos and post those and leave the rest for a blog post? I also love #2. You can tell the bloggers who say yes to everything. Content really declines when every post is about a product they were sent, especially when you know the product isn't really their style.

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