I know the title of this blog post probably sounds really negative but I promise, it's not. I don't believe in 'do's and don'ts' when it comes to blogging - it's your blog, your content and you decide exactly what you want it to be. That's the beauty of blogging. However, there is a few things that are a big no-no for me when it comes to blogging - little things that can stop you from growing as a blogger and showing your true potential. I thought I'd share my top five 'blogging don'ts' - the things we should all try to avoid at all costs to make us happier and more successful bloggers! I hope you enjoy!
1. Don't feel guilty; My number one blogging don't would definitely be to not feel guilty if you have a few days off, not feel guilty if you can't be bothered to write a post that day or not feel guilty if you've not updated your social media as often as you usually would. I've experienced these feeling of guilt myself and it always leaves me feeling down about myself and my blog so it's something I'm learning to deal with. At the end of the day, you can't be on top of your game at all times. I often feel guilty about not posting enough and think I should be posting more but it's my blog and therefore I can post as often as I like. I'm no stranger to writer's block and some days, I just don't feel like sharing anything. I never want to write a post for the sake of it so if that means having a couple of days between posts, so be it. If people want to read my blog, I'm sure they won't mind waiting for the next post. There's no rule to say we have to post X amount of times per week but there is certain pressures that can affect us all - we all want to be the best we can be but my tip would be not to be so hard on yourself!
2. Don't compare yourself to others; Following on from my first point, it's SO important not to compare yourself to other bloggers. This is a big no-no in my opinion as it's the one thing that can really leave you feeling down about yourself. Let's face it, there's always going to be someone we aspire to and someone we think is 'bigger and better' than us but rather than comparing yourself to them and feeling like you aren't good enough, use them as your inspiration to work hard and achieve your goals. Social media is a fairly dangerous place when it comes to comparing ourselves - it's full of beautiful people with seemingly perfect lives and things we all wish we had. However, as the saying goes 'don't compare somebody else's highlights reel to your behind the scenes' and that couldn't be more true. Everyone has their flaws, everyone has things going on behind their blogs and social media accounts we don't know about and everyone compares themselves to other people. It's a natural feeling we all experience but to be a happy blogger, it's something we should all try to do less.
3. Don't get too big for your boots; I think this is quite an important one in blogging, especially as your blog grows and you begin to get a large following. When I started blogging, I never expected one follower, never mind 20,000+. However, despite my growing following, I'll never get too big for my boots. I totally appreciate the support I've had so far and will always be so grateful - I still get that feeling of excitement when someone follows my blog, leaves a nice comment or tweets me to say they enjoyed my most recent post. For me, I don't think that will never change and I think it's so important to always remain grounded and never let a follower number give you a sense of self-righteousness. After all, we all work hard to create our blogs and just because someone has 100 followers and someone else has 100,000, it doesn't make either better than the other.
4. Don't expect anything; Blogging comes with a lot of perks - free products, trips and event invitations. However, one thing I'd say is to never expect anything. I've seen so many people starting blogs recently purely to gain freebies and that's not why anyone should start a blog. You should blog because you enjoy it and you're passionate about the content you're sharing. When I started my blog back in 2011, I wasn't aware you could be sent free products (although I did always wonder how bloggers could afford so many new products, haha!) and I was blogging for almost 12 months before I received my first PR sample. Yes I was very excited when I got that first email but it's never been my top priority or the reason I blog. As I mentioned in my previous point, if you become self-righteous and begin to expect things, it will only take the joy out of your blogging experience.
5. Don't take others content / images; As a blogger who has had their content stolen before, I can tell you how awful this feels. When you work hard on your content and then someone takes it and claims it as their own, it's really disheartening. If you're just starting out as a blogger, it's so important that you don't take other people's content or images (unless they've given you permission and you're crediting them of course) and claim it as your own. I've seen it happen quite a lot to bloggers I follow over the 4 years I've been blogging and every single time that blogger has been left so upset by it. If you can't create your own content, there really isn't any point in having a blog as that's what blogs are all about - a place to share YOUR thoughts with other likeminded people. However, one thing I will say is that copying/stealing others work is very different to taking inspiration. I've seen a few dramas on social media where people have accused others of 'copying' from them and it can get a bit silly. A lot of bloggers get sent the same PR samples, go on the same trips or go to the same events so chances are there will be a lot of bloggers writing about similar topics. However, unless your content has been copied word for word, let it go over your head as it's really not worth getting angry about as this again will just make your blogging experience miserable.
A bit of a different post from me today but I hope you guys enjoyed it and if there's anything else you think we should avoid when blogging, please let me know in the comments below as I'd love to read what you think!