10 Mistakes Every First-Time Blogger Makes

Mistakes Bloggers Make

 

Hello lovelies! Since I shared a post last week about a few milestones I’ve recently reached on my blog, I wanted to give some unsolicited advice about the mistakes new bloggers make. I started out on my blogging adventure in May 2014 and did so many crazy things that crack me up now. Many of you have commented on other blog posts saying that you’re new to the blogging world. I’d love to help you out with a few suggestions on what you shouldn’t do when blogging!

Blogging Mistakes

Inconsistent Blogging –

I’ve had many bloggers approach me and want to collaborate, which is great! However, the first thing I do is check their blogs to see how consistent they are in their blogging. Why? Because it says a lot about how serious they are, the size of their (potential) audience, and how much my time will be worth collaborating on a project with them. Additionally, your own audience will become disinterested in you if they don’t know when you’ll post next.

Poorly Lit Photos-

The first months of my blogging were the worst for this! Shadowy pictures, grainy photos, and just awful imagery were all over my posts. It was bad. No one likes to look at that! People love pretty pictures that are well lit and taken with a steady hand. The best light is natural light. 

Writing Mysterious Titles-

“Pumpkins and Bicycles.” What does that even mean? Bloggers seem to think that mysterious blog titles will get people interested in what they wrote. It doesn’t do that at all. If people don’t clearly understand the topic of your blog post, then they are very unlikely to click it on to find out more.

Strange Font Colors-

When I first started blogging, I thought it was a fun idea to make my fonts bright and exciting. I actually made some of the font colors pink! Yes, I would write my entire post in pink. Guess what? No one can read that, so don’t do it.

Keeping the .Wordpress-

Starting out, you aren’t sure if you want to invest money in your blog. Believe me, I get it. However, if you want brands and other bloggers to take you seriously and collaborate with you, you have to get rid of that “.Wordpress” in your blog’s url and that means buying the domain name.

Relying on Polyvore for Content-

I love Polyvore, but it shouldn’t be your main source to create content. I use it specifically to help me with illustrations for my blog, but I do not let that become the centerpiece. For example, I might create a little something about a seasonal coffee bar, but I don’t plop that on my blog post and say “enjoy guys!” That doesn’t help anyone or give them ideas. You need to write something!

Writing About Yourself-

Talking about your experiences adds life to your posts, but your blog isn’t your online diary. If you truly want to grow your blog, then you need to have content that somehow helps or inspires the readers.

Promoting Your Blog-

I’ve had people comment on my blog or Instagram saying something like “Great” and then leaving their blog link. Obviously, they’re trying to get me and my readers to visit their blog. Leave a substantive comment and it’s more likely to happen.

Forgetting to Spell Check-

Even I still forget to do this. It’s the thing that can add or take away credibility from your website. Similar to applying for a job, you can’t have mistakes on your resume because no one will take you seriously.

Writing More Than You Promote-

For whatever reason, we think all we have to do is promote our blog posts on our Facebook pages and our Twitters, but it’s so much more than that. Collaborating with other bloggers, writing for websites, and leaving genuine comments on other’s blogs is promotion.

If you have tips, experiences, or advice to share, then please leave a comment! I always enjoy hearing what you have to say and so does everyone else!

witty n pretty

 

 

Blog Tip Tuesday

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Good morning beauties! It’s a lovely day here in Maryland and I’m happy to see the sun shining and a breeze blowing. I was scrolling through a Facebook group I’m apart of that’s specifically for fashion and lifestyle bloggers such as myself. One blogger posted about how no matter how small your blog is, you should value the audience has and so should anyone who approaches you for a collaboration. Especially, businesses that want to collaborate. I’m going to piggy back on what she said and give some words of wisdom to newer bloggers out there!

When I first started blogging (over a year ago), I knew nothing about how it’s done and how to gain followers. Being so inexperienced, people could very easily take advantage of me. And they did. Several times I was approached by big name brands (Warby Parker, Majestic Sp0rts and others) to write about their products on my blog. In exchange for doing this, they would be selecting their favorite blog posts and sharing them on their social media accounts. Thinking of how talented I was (or so I thought), I hopped on board and wrote a post about their products and how cute they are. I bet you can guess what didn’t happen next! Yep, my posts were never selected to be shared on social media.

Here’s what happens when companies approach you like this and you take the bait: they get free advertising and you get nothing. Typically, when bloggers are approached by companies for legitimate collaborations the blogger at least gets a free item if not monetary payment in addition to it. I follow several bloggers that are paid to wear clothes or take pictures of how they “styled” a certain piece of furniture in their home. To be honest, at times it gets annoying because you wonder if these products are any good or is said blogger just doing it for the money. However, it can also be a really great tool to use if done honestly.

The bottom line is, no matter how small your blog is, you should always be compensated for your time and blog space when companies want you to write about their products or services. It’s just that simple.

I’m still trying to figure out how to get legitimate offers from companies and how to actually make a living (or at least some spending money) off of blogging. I’ll let you know when I figure this out.

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10 Things that Suck About the Job Hunt

things_that_suck_about_job_huntingIt’s finally Wednesday! This week is just dragging for whatever reason. I’ve been applying to jobs like crazy so that’s more than likely why. Several months ago, I was hired for a temporary position in Washington, DC. That position’s contract is going to expire in a few months and I need to find a new, permanent job (preferably near a Starbucks). I’ve been thinking to myself how ridiculous the application process is nowadays. My parents were telling me how differently things were done “way back when”. Frankly, it sounded a lot less complicated. Since we’re on the subject, I’m going to share with you the most annoying things about job hunting. I guarantee you’ll at least laugh or be able to sympathize with me.

  1. Lack of salary information– It’s like “here’s a job that sounds pretty decent but we aren’t going to tell you how much it pays.” I get it, employers don’t want to advertise a specific number when the best applicant they find isn’t worth that much, but at least give me an idea of what the minimum salary is so I can decide whether I should waste my time with the lengthy application process you inevitably have. This brings me to the next annoying thing.
  2. The lengthy application process– There are only a few applications I’ve filled out that I thought were efficient and made sense. Most of the other processes are long, ask repetitive questions, and are clearly designed for a computer to pick through looking for keywords. If your resume (which you inevitably have to reenter into their “employment history” section) doesn’t include these keywords, then it will be tossed into cyber space’s garbage can.
  3. Filling out a profile– For many of the bigger companies, before you can even apply for a position you have to create a profile. This means you come up with a username, password, and give a few other details about yourself. That’s all fine and dandy until you have to do it a million times.
  4. Empty promises– “If you’re qualifications meet what we’re looking for, we will be in touch. If not, we’ll keep your resume on file for 6 months in case another job opens up that better fits with your skill set.” Yeah, I’ve heard that before.
  5. The let down– You’ve applied, waited for someone to get back to you, gotten excited, and then you get this email: “Thank you for your interest in ___ position. The initial screening of applications has been completed. At this time we have decided to move forward with other candidates whose experience and background better match the requirements for the position.” Thanks for the computer generated response. I do appreciate it. Sarcasm intended.
  6. Cover letters– Who honestly reads these? You spend at least 30 minutes tailoring the cover letter to the company’s needs and then nothing comes of it. The end.
  7. Strength and weakness questions– Do you really think I’m going to tell you what my biggest weakness is? Since a computer is probably sifting through those answers too, I think it would be real funny to say that my biggest weakness is being on time for work. At least it would make me laugh.
  8. “Entry level” positions– Years ago when the economy was on the up and up, an entry level position was tailored to the recent college graduate who had maybe an internship or two on their resume. Now, underneath all of the other qualifications for an entry level position, you need, drum roll please, one to two years of experience! Because that makes perfect sense.
  9. Advertised entry level positions– Yes, I know this contradicts my complaints from my last point but in my application experience, anytime a position is advertised as being entry level it usually ends up being a scam. For example, I applied for a job being advertised as “entry level communications assistant”. I thought I had struck gold when I found this! Better yet, I even got an interview for it. A day later, I got on the phone with my interviewer and she told me more about the job. Apparently my job as a “communications assistant” would include going door-to-door “communicating” to people about the amazing coupons they can buy from me. No thanks, I think I’m good.
  10. The people that say they’ll “keep their eyes open– People are busy and have busy lives, I understand that. It just puts a damper on my mood when I ask someone who I think will actually know something about finding a job in a certain locale and they don’t and then follow it up with “I’ll keep my eyes open.” You’re a human, an hour from now you’ll forget we had this conversation, but I know you mean well.

I know, I’m a negative Nancy and I’ve already been told by my mom that I’ll never get a job with that attitude. Frankly, this whole blog post was just comedic relief. Sometimes you just have to let the sarcasm flow and have yourself a good laugh about it. One day, hopefully in the near future, I’ll find a job I love to do and a company I want to work for. Right now, I’m just going to laugh about life and keep submitting applications.

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Obsessed with Watercolor

Hello lovelies! I have a new obsession- watercolor illustrations from the Jones Design Company! The owner and designer, Emily, is a talented lady that has so much to share with the world. I first heard about her business when I was looking for design blogs to follow and then I came across her store and fell in love with the cute things she’s created. She’s a busy wife and mom of four kids. Emily really takes #bosslady to a whole new level!

I ordered one of her prints a month ago and I was so happy with it. I wanted something beautiful to hang on my wall that also included words of encouragement for my toughest days. I chose the “Do Not Worry” print. In full it says “Do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself.” I repeat these words to myself every single day, we all should. There’s beauty and truth to them.

water_color_illustrations

Emily also has a few freebies on her website including this adorable “Summer Essentials” print I downloaded and then printed on heavy card stock paper. It came out beautifully and looks so nice on my desk! I’m absolutely in love with the touch of whimsy illustrations like these can add to a room. There’s just something lovely about them.

summer_essentials

I strongly believe that every room in a home needs flowers, sunlight, and artwork. Many of the Jones Design Company’s illustrations combine all of those things onto a single piece of paper. The results are truly wonderful. If you’re looking for something to brighten your living space, consider some of Emily’s artwork. It will make you smile!

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Mornings With Liz

Hello beauties! Yesterday was a long day that used up most of my energy, whence why I didn’t write anything to share with you. Today, is my recovery day so to speak. I slept like a baby last night and literally just woke up. I’ve determined that mornings should be done differently in this country. The waking up at the crack of dawn, barely choking down a bowl of cereal, and mad dash to work isn’t a healthy way to live each day. I propose a new kind of morning!

how_mornings_should_be

Does this kind of a morning not look infinitely better than the kind you and I are used to? I’m all for #hustle as long as we can still enjoy our lives. It’s mind boggling to me that we have to live our personal lives around a 9-5 schedule. Why is that? Based on what I’ve noticed in my job search, more and more companies are realizing that this kind of work life isn’t conducive with how people live today. Many companies are starting to value flex hours (employees pick the times they work). As long as work is getting done, I think it’s a great idea!

The 9-5 schedule used to work for Americans. As years have gone by though, we are getting increasingly busy and have more on our plates than ever before. If you have kids, you know how true this is! Shuffling them from school to practices and to friend’s houses is just exhausting. Combine that with having to work around a strict schedule of business hours and you’ll be feeling defeated.

Our mornings should be beautiful. A good breakfast, hot coffee, the day’s paper, a nice workout, and happier drive to work with less road rage would be so lovely, don’t you think?

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