I first started blogging in 2011. Crazy right? My blog was mainly an outlet to put my poems, short stories, & little blurbs. Over time I grew as a person & so did my blog. I graduated from university & pursued a career in social media. These are just five things I did wrong when I first started blogging. Believe me, there were many more mistakes. Hopefully, you can learn from it all without having to experience it firsthand!

1. Not Commenting

It took me longer than I'd like to admit to begin commenting on other blogs. I didn't understand its value at the time. Commenting can improve your presence, get you more exposure, & help you connect with others. To begin, simply leave a comment on one of your favorite blogs. Then comment on the blogs who commented on that blog.

2. Ignoring Comments

If someone took time out of their day to leave you a comment, especially a thoughtful one, take the time to respond, even if it's just a simple thank you. You don't have to respond to every comment, every time. Answering even a couple comments can continue the blogger-reader dialogue, opening the opportunity for more engagement & views in the long run. This was a huge mistake on my part.

3. Failure to Link Back

As I started to blog more & more, I had a wide range of content, but I never took advantage of linking back to appropriate posts within my current post. Strategically linking to older or relevant posts within a post keeps people on your web page longer & gets them interested in more of your content. It's not cheesy or self-promotional when done with care.

Another relevant read: Social Media Basics for Bloggers

4. Crappy About Me

For the longest time, my About Me section was pretty abysmal. It was plain, uninteresting, & didn't really tell much about me, my personality, or my blog. In fact, as a social media coordinator, I've seen firsthand that brands often look at a blogger's About Me as the final touch of whether they want to pursue a collaboration or paid campaign with them. Make sure your page is updated & reflects who you are.

5. Generic Theme

I used a free blog theme for the first three years of my blog. After seeing my very same theme over & over again on other blogs, I decided it was time for a change. I bought one for $20 from Etsy & installed it myself. It took some time, some tweaking, & some frustration, but at least it was less generic. Paying even a few bucks for a theme can cut down the number of other blogs out there with the same one.