Friend Friday: Lessons in Blogging

March 18, 2011

By Katrice 

This week's Friend Friday topic was great for me to reflect on. When I first read the post description, I thought I wouldn't have a lot to contribute because my blogging experience has been pretty positive overall. But, I realized, after thinking about it a bit more today, that I have, in fact, had a lot of learning moments. And some of them have been hard lessons.

The discussion topic: So far, what have been the 5 hardest blogging lessons you’ve learned during this process and have helped make you a better blogger as a result?

5. Be thorough with my photo requests.  
One time, I requested photos and failed to confirm the photo credit on my end before the post was published. The day after the post went up, the photographer contacted me separately from the featured subject and requested that I credit the photos to his company, which was extremely awkward. I apologized to the photog for not doing so, but also explained that the photo byline was not provided in the beginning by the individual who released the photos to me and that I could not republish the post as it would cause a duplication. That was an extremely uncomfortable situation that I have been careful not to repeat.

4. Concentrate on building MVL, first and foremost.
I am a helper by nature. Thus, I pride myself on being resourceful. In the beginning, people regularly came to me for advice about how to start their own blogs and build their audiences. I wanted to help them because I figured getting my blog up hadn't been too terribly difficult. However, it didn't take long for me to feel the stress of dividing up my energy between my blog and their's. It just wasn't wise -- considering my blog was still in the fledgling state. I hate to say no, but I had to do so so that I could concentrate my efforts here. 

3. Protect my ideas.
There was a point when I would have a conversation with another blogger about something I had in mind or was already working on and all of a sudden see them doing it on their  blog. I often felt as if I was competing with others at being me. Of course, it didn't take me long to begin to guard my creativity. That was a tough lesson. 

2. Planning, planning, planning {and more planning}.
I used to blog on the fly. In the beginning, I was literally leaving my office at the magazine and coming home to work in my "blogging office." I was working around the clock and that got tiring right away. Before I knew it, I was looking at MVL as work and enjoying it less. I immediately started to plan as many posts as I could so that I could pace myself and get back to loving what I do here. I'm still working on finding the balance.

1. Pare down my blog reading list. And, just be ME.  
I love fashion and lifestyle blogs. I used to read between 7 and 10 every week, consistently. And then I started to notice that not only was I scrutinizing my blog to the extreme but that my blogging style was being influenced by the blogs and bloggers that I admired. This is the most important lesson I've learned since I started MVL: Be mindful of outside influences that may impede what I intend to be genuine experience with me here. 

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  1. Could not agree more with #1 and #2. The death of most blogs is trying to please everyone and not focusing on yourself.

    I've had to learn the hard way to par down my blog reading. I want to comment on everyone's blog but you can only focus on the ones that you truly love.

    Great answers!

  2. Thanks Fajr! It has certainly been a great learning experience.

  3. wow good ones...I didn't even think of some of that...

  4. I feel you on the project ideas, that can be very frustrating. I use to have a really popular blogger (not going to name lol) bite my blog post & twist them to make them her own. I'm talking immediately after I post something, she'll post about the same EXACT thing.

    And you told me not to read too many blogs, and I think that is a great idea!


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