Hello there, lovely people. Life has been a little messy lately (to put it lightly). So I was completely unprepared when I realized my one-year blog anniversary has been creeping up. Today it is here! And it’s both exciting and scary to realize that it has already been an entire year. Due to being completely unprepared, I had to improvise. What is a fun post to write and could also be helpful for anyone who follows me? This is what I came up with. I’m sharing my blogging mistakes so you can learn from them… or at least have a laugh.
1. Think about your blog name for longer than 2 seconds
This one is not really a mistake because I do like my blog name. However, sometimes I wish I took more time with it. It’s kind of a long name, which isn’t always ideal. I possibly could have found something that was similar but less long, if I would have slept on it. Starting my blog and choosing my name went something like this:
I’M DOING THIS! Let’s start blogging. Woooh! Oh, I have to have a name? Uhm… something with Game of Thrones? A quote maybe? “For the night is dark and full of terrors” is a good one. For the night is dark and full of books! A little long… I’ll remove “for”. Yes perfect!
My advice would be to write some different ideas out and come back to them later, decide which ones stick. You’ll be less likely to have doubts or regrets later on.
2. Don’t go crazy with menu’s and widgets
Once you dive into the new world that is your blog, you might get overwhelmed. I sure did. All the options and possibilities. It’s like trying to find a snack to eat in a huge grocery store that has all the candy that exist. I remember having a menu that had subcategory within subcategory within subcategory. I wanted every post to be somewhere in my menu. And my sidebar? How about five countdown calendars and an insanely long welcome message. My advice is to calm down. Take it easy. It’s better to keep things simple. Don’t make your menu un-navigatable. Don’t stuff your sidebar with stats, countdowns and your entire life story. Pick only the things that you find necessary when looking at other blogs. Try things and see what works for you.
3. NEVER remove important pictures from your media library
Maybe I’m just a complete moron, but about 6 months in I deleted pretty much ALL the images in my media library. Silly naive me thought “I don’t need those anymore”, not knowing everything I delete will also disappear from my posts. It was an awful day. Imagine how angry I was at myself when I realized my entire blog was stripped of all images. So my advice to you: never be as dumb as me. Keep all the pictures in past post in your library, forever! (Or until you run out of GB’s)
4. If you are redesigning, wait a while before changing every image
If you’ve been around for a while, you know I’m a crazy person and continuously change the appearance of my blog. It never ends. In fact, I just announced another redesign earlier this week. Some people can change the look of their blog and keep the old featured pictures. There is nothing wrong with that, more power to you. I’m not capable of it, everything has to be cohesive, even the post that nobody will probably ever look at anymore. If you’re like me, a problem might occur. You have a new design and are in the progress of changing old featured pictures. You’re almost done and then it happens again. Now you have to change everything again before you were even done with the last refurb. Which is why I advise you to use a new design on a few of your new posts and see if it sticks. It could save you a whole lot of wasted time!
5. When tagging people, link back to a post, not their home page
I don’t know why this is a thing, but it’s pretty important. Whenever you tag someone in your post and you link to the homepage of their blog, it will not show up as a notification! To get WordPress to actually notify the person you’re tagging, you have to link to one of their actual posts. Might be handy if you actually want the people to do the tag.
6. Don’t write just because you were planning to post that day
When you get in the groove of things you might start planning out posts and create a regular schedule. This is a great thing because it offers your followers something to hold on to. People generally like structure. So I would definitely say that a schedule is a plus. However, the downside is that it often results in putting more pressure on yourself. Some days, you might feel slumpy, be busy or it just hasn’t been your day. Sometimes life get’s in the way. There have been times when I didn’t feel like writing and I couldn’t really put myself to it. However, I forced myself to still put something out. I felt like I had to. I didn’t want to disappoint. My advice to you: DON’T DO THIS. Blogging is supposed to be fun and a place to have fun. Don’t ever let it be a chore. Take the time you need. This community will always be there and people will understand.
I could probably think of more blogging mistakes, but it’s been a crazy day and this is all I have for you right now. There might be more in the future!
To end off this post I would like to have a little bit of a sentimental appreciation thingy. In this past year, I haven’t always been around like I wanted to be. Yet this community has always been here to support me. I have felt so welcome and at the right place in this community. It always brightens up my day to get a nice comment. I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for all the kind words and fun discussions. You are all amazing people! Can’t wait to see what the next year brings us!