7 Blogging Sins I’ve Committed
By: Ashley Robison

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I’ve spent the last several months away from IFB so I could focus on my own blog.  In five years of blogging, I realized I’d lost my way; I’d lost my voice and direction; I was confused about what I wanted from blogging and what I was passionate about.

I’ve also realized that I’ve committed a lot of blogging sins over the past 5 and a half years. Some are redeemable, some that may not be.  The best I can do is recognize my sins, hope to repent from them, and hope to move past that bad behavior.

  • ENVY, the first sin I ever felt as a blogger. A sin I felt before I was even a blogger, and it’s the sin that probably moved me to blogging.  I was envious of a world outside of LiveJournal, where people would come to your site to talk about fashion. I was envious of the few blogs who were working with brands and received really cool products and opportunities. I wanted to get a pair of shoes for free, too, damnit! It was 2007 and blogging has changed a lot since then, but envy has been a longtime companion of mine.
  • SLOTH is by far the easiest sin to commit; I don’t know that I’ll ever stop this sin. At one point I became too busy to reply to comments; then I became too busy to always blog my best. I wanted people visit my site when I was too lazy or tired to put anything out there. A few years ago, I had a wake-up call when a reader responded to a survey with “I never comment anymore because you don’t reply to comments.”  Ouch.  Since then, I’ve prioritized a bit differently… so that I’m no longer a sloth when replying to comments!
  • I’ve only dabbled in GLUTTONY a few times, but I consider it one of the worst.  I personally define it as “accepting free products for the sake of having them.”  Oof. I feel like shit just writing it.  It happens to us: our blog starts to get bigger, and we’re getting crazy offers right and left! Maybe you’ve done it too– a cheap bracelet? Samples of shampoos or perfumes? While you have a right to accept products for review and not post them if they don’t meet your standards, accepting things you’d never have interest in? In brands you’re not interested in just. because. you want. a package? It’s so uncool.
  • WRATH occurred quite a bit as my site began to grow and I received more contact from press agencies and people looking for coverage. I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve sent a nasty email or two that has likely burned a bridge I wish it hadn’t.  At the time, I was still learning the differences between a press release, a pitch, and a mass mailing; while I still get mad if someone adds me to their customer mailing list without my permission, I’ve since learned to let go of my hatred of mass press releases and pitches. I’ve learned to say gracefully, “Thanks for your interest, and I’ll keep it under consideration,” or “Thank you for your interested, but it isn’t a good match. Please keep me in mind for other clients you may have.”  Lesson learned? Gracefulness and gratitude go a lot farther than a flaming tongue.
  • LUST is defined as pleasure, delight; an intense longing; intense or unbridled sexual desire. While I love shoes, I’m not sure they’ve ever truly pushed my unbridled sexual desires button. That being said, I HAVE felt an intense longing in my blogging life. I’ve lusted for fashion blogger success: I’ve lusted over having too many emails to respond to, brands clamouring to work with me, flights to fashion week or Morocco. I’ve lusted after it ALL. Only to realize–what’s the point? Lust, like many of the sins, doesn’t get you much further than a broken, frustrated heart.
  • GREED could be one of my biggest sins, and maybe for you too.. Greed for more readers, more pageviews, and more comments. Greed for more sponsorships, partnerships, and advertising opportunities. Greed for retweets, facebook shares, and the utterly crippling feeling when that greed pops up…. and there’s nothing. How often are we greedy in our blogging lives, only to find that that behavior gets us nothing?
  • PRIDE. OH Pride. This may be my greatest weakness as a blogger.  My personal pride is a conflicted, confused, wounded beast. I’ve been too proud to take opportunities that could have been wonderful. I’ve been too proud at times to work with other bloggers or accept help when I’ve needed it. And I’ve been too proud of my blog, for what little mark it feels it makes on the fashion blogging world.

I’m opening up my blogging soul so you can learn from the loads of mistakes I’ve made. Hopefully you’ll avoid the same sins I’ve committed or bear them in mind as new opportunities, bad and good alike, present themselves to you.  Over the years I’ve come to realize how much these sins have impacted my site’s ability to grow and be a space I could truly be proud of.

Which of the 7 sins are you most guilty of? Share your horror stories and sins so we can learn from your past indiscretions!

Comments

  1. Avatar of Chaucee from Streets and Stripes

    Mine would be pride & greed as well. I’ve always been good at responding to comments because they are what I consider the backbone …. people being able to express themselves. But It’s always something that I wish would grow on my own site. I’d love to see a post about how to grow feedback and comments on posts.

  2. Avatar of Filipa
    Filipa says:

    I love this article. I found myself in a few sins. Mostly in greed, lust and envy. But at some point of my life I realized that wasn’t going to bring me anywhere and it just made me unhappier. I forgot why I started blogging in the first place. I won’t say that I stopped committing the same blogging sins, but I learned to control them somehow , and I’m trying to have fun in the things I do. I’m looking forward to the best.
    xx
    Filipa from http://ohmyfilipa.blogspot.com/

    • Avatar of Ashley Robison

      “But at some point of my life I realized that wasn’t going to bring me anywhere and it just made me unhappier. I forgot why I started blogging in the first place.”

      It’s so amazing, and almost startling, when we come to realize that. Just like real life.

  3. Avatar of Rhythm and Ruffle

    I guess for me it would be sloth and a little touch of one or two others. Boy, this a nice wake up call for us bloggers – thank you for it!

    http://rhythmandruffle.com <3

  4. Avatar of Hey Mishka
    Hey Mishka says:

    Awesome, honest article. I think we can all admit to a few of these… especially lust & envy!

    Mishka
    http://heymishka.com

  5. Avatar of Nasreen
    Nasreen says:

    Wow what a wake up call! Really great post, thanks for sharing!
    I think I need to work on lust and greed, it’s true that when you’re starting out you can’t help but want this and that and envy the big time fashion blogs.

    http://lazyobsession.blogspot.com

  6. Devon says:

    I don’t normally give my two sense in these comments, but I have to give you props for sharing your soul, Ashley! As much as I hate to admit, I relate to you on too many levels. I think a lot of us do. Its nice to know I’m not alone in these feelings. But its also great that you realized the aftermath of what you did, and that inspires me to turn a corner in my 7 deadly blogging sins. This article is too good. Bravo, Ashley!

    xo,

    Devon Dyer

  7. Avatar of Karina
    Karina says:

    Thanks for your honesty!!! I definitely have to admit that I suck when it comes to replying to comments. It’s just a part of blogging that baffles me. I truly appreciate and and take into account every comment, and if there is a question, I’ll gladly answer it (also with emails) because my readers are precious, BUT, then a million questions (that I’m embarrassed to share, but if I ever would, this seems like the appropriate time and place) start running through my head – “should I reply on their blog or just in the reply section on mine? what if they don’t come back to check the answer? should i reply to every comment? are people only commenting on my blog so I comment on theirs’? the big bloggers with 100 comments on their blogs don’t trade comments! so why do people still comment on theirs’? “ see, these are the messed up things that go through my head. if someone could enlighten me with their replying/commenting strategies, I’d REALLY appreciate it.

    http://beachanddress.blogspot.com

    • Avatar of Ashley Robison

      Karina, you can only do what feels natural! I’ve got a plugin on my site now that notifies people via email when I’ve responded. It helps, and I know I appreciate the other bloggers who use the same app so I know when they’ve responded. So if you’re on WordPress, that may be something to look in to! (Not sure if Blogger has that option.)

      I feel like over the years, the goals behind commenting have really gotten watered down… so the best thing you can do is figure out why you comment and what it means to you, and then “build a plan” around that that works for you!

  8. Borjana says:

    Amen sista! I found a little bit of myself, but I was afraid of admitting it to myself:-) Now I can change some things, thank you for that!
    xx
    B.
    http://www.beeswonderland.com

  9. Kier Mellour says:

    What a great article!!

    I know most of us have committed at least one if not all of these sins, and It made me think of an interaction I had with Atlantic – Pacific’s Blair Eadie.

    See, I emailed Blair from Atlantic-Pacific months back to inquire about a jacket I saw on her blog and wondering if she had it still and would be willing to sell it. Blair responded promptly, like that day, and was so gracious for my readership however having already sold the blazer she apologized. Fast forward a few more months and I TWEETED to Blair asking her to please post a photo of her closet, we’d love to see where she gets ready, etc. Blair posted a photo on instagram within a week. Absolutely inspired and in awe of her attention to detail and work ethic I emailed her thanking her and gushing over how amazing she is… again, she responded with a heartfelt and genuine email thanking me for my support, this is what she said:

    “Hi!!

    This is such a thoughtful email! You are so welcome:). I really, really tried to get everything in order so I could post a timely picture. Typically when readers request images or certain posts they are always really thoughtful and sweet but I think this is the first time someone has followed up with a thank you- you are a true gem! I will hopefully post a few more shots of my apartment and closet over the next couple weeks.

    I hope you are have a great week…I was actually have a really tough day and this made me feel a lot better :) . Thanks you!

    xo,
    Blair”

    I don’t know how much more personal, sweet and touching you can get than that. Blair has shot to 20,000 blogger followers in two years, I’m sure she gets hundreds of emails daily and in the grand scheme of things, a reader email isn’t really that important.. yet Blair made the point to respond, she wasn’t lazy, she was gracious and prompt. It gave me an example to follow, because I truly believe it’s her work ethic, graciousness, attention to detail and loyalty to herself and her craft, that has helped her reach this pinnacle of success.

    They say never meet your heroes, well Blair isn’t exactly my hero, but I do look to her for inspiration and I was nervous to reach out to her. You get a sense, even through email, that she treats everyone with respect, and that’s I think, why I look up to her so much. Blair would never commit these ‘sins’ and that’s why she is so successful.

    Thanks for the great article, definitely got me fired up… thinking of blogging on the subject now!!

    With Love From Hollywood,
    Kier
    Fashion Addict LA
    My Latest Post: Hello Kitty Forever 21

    • Avatar of Ashley Robison

      I love this comment, Kier! Oddly, for as hard a time as I had replying to comments when life became too much, I always managed to make time for emails. This is a wonderful example of how gracious and welcoming a blogger should be, and I’m glad you shared it.

    • Avatar of Karina
      Karina says:

      Kier, thanks so much for sharing this. Very inspiring and eye-opening. And, Ashley, I feel this was also a great contribution to your response to my question – an example of doing what feels natural. When there is a question or request – answer it. Maybe I’m just sweating the small stuff too much.
      Thank you both, ladies!! :)

  10. Avatar of CynthiaCM
    Cynthia says:

    For me it’s definitely envy. Because my main site is not ALL ABOUT ME, I really don’t get the kind of press other style bloggers get – i.e. unlike, say, Backseat Stylers or Styleblog.ca, I’m not going to be featured in fashion magazines or by press. And I want to be seen as a public figure, not just some woman with a camera at openings.

    Cynthia
    http://www.delectablychic.com
    http://thecloset.delectablychic.com

  11. MonicaP says:

    Mine is envy. I’m just starting out and when I see these fabulously crafted blogs .. I’m envious and jealous. I want my blog to look fab too! I’ll get there. All good things take time.

    Monica
    http://www.pear-shaped-gal.com/

  12. Avatar of Petya
    Petya says:

    What a great article! So honest, I love it!

    http://instyle21.blogspot.com

  13. Avatar of AJ Wears Clothes

    Sigh. Gluttony. I LOVE free stuff.

  14. Lisa says:

    This is such a great post, Ashe; I’ve definitely been guilty of a few of these!

  15. Avatar of Lauren - Slowburn Fastburn

    Great article. I feel that most of us experience these as well and are in denial or don’t want to own up to it. We just have to keep in mind the fact that the behavior gets us nowhere and ultimately pageviews and sponsorships don’t really equal happiness.

    x laur
    http://www.slowburnfastburn.com/

  16. Maria says:

    This post is just so true, its amazing how you pointed out the most usual mistakes people when they’re blogging! I’m a new blogger & I learnt a lot from this, so thank you! I would love it if you take a look at my blog & give me advice & point out the mistakes I’m doing- http://dreamoutloudgirls.blogspot.se/ Thanks ♥

  17. Avatar of Zoe Rose
    Zoe Rose says:

    I can totally relate to all of these, but my main sin is envy. My blog is still pretty small, but I have a friend whose blog is very successful. She gets tons of free samples and was recently featured in Shout magazine. It’s really difficult not to compare yourself to other fashion bloggers.

  18. sneha says:

    For me its definitely sloth. Haven’t posted anything on my blog for over a week. Will get writing after this.
    bombaychic.blogspot.com

  19. Avatar of Sarah G.
    Sarah G. says:

    Mine would be envy and lust. :)
    I envy bloggers who have a lot of readers and of course their success! I guess that’s what I lust for too! success as a blogger! xx

    http://sarahgolez.blogspot.com/

  20. Avatar of Katy
    Katy says:

    Ah, gosh, I think everyone can admit to at least a few of these! I can relate to the sloth one, I tend to procrastinate when it comes to writing blog posts, which is really dumb because I absolutely love putting blog posts together when I’m actually doing it. I relate to the envy and greed ones too, I just want all my posts to be as loved as the most popular fashion bloggers’ posts are. (I forget the fact that my blog is very new and still growing!)

    ~ Katy
    http://floralmess.blogspot.co.uk/

    • Avatar of Ashley Robison

      “I can relate to the sloth one, I tend to procrastinate when it comes to writing blog posts, which is really dumb because I absolutely love putting blog posts together when I’m actually doing it.”

      I could have written that myself, Katy!

  21. Avatar of Miss Fashiogger

    great article, and eye opener. We all want, want, want, but are we really giving it our all?
    We all make mistakes, and hopefully learn from them. Blogging should be about enjoying yourself and sharing your passion, not just reaping benefits if you hit it big.

    xox,
    Miss F
    http://fashiogger.blogspot.com.es/

  22. I think envy is something that I would relate most but that is because it is still early days for my blog and envy those that have done well. On the positive note though it pushes me to do more.

    :)

  23. Sam says:

    This post is really an eye opener and I know myself is guilty of some of this sins in blogging. I am new to this blogging and to look up to others that are successful are really important but when they just do not answer that made it even worst. I frequent her blog and a follower of Blair and to know that she does responded to some of us here is great to know. Me on the other hand has had a bad experience with one of the popular blogger and never ever get any response from – Wendy of Wendy’s lookbook. I am speaking about my experience and i do not know about the rest of her followers. I religiously visit her blog and leave nice comments because that is what I really feel but she never responded in some simple outfit questions. So from there on, I never visit her blog anymore and never care. Blair is as busy and even more popular that I think but she did care about her followers. Popular bloggers gets busy and I know that but it is your followers and visitors that really makes you popular in the first place.

  24. Avatar of taylordavies
    taylordavies says:

    Ashe – I love this post. I’ve been grappling with certain blogging sins myself lately – and I still don’t know if there will ever be an end to things like sloth and envy. I love blogging (obviously) but the farther into it I get, the harder it seems to be to stay motivated, keep in touch with my readers and keep perspective on what a special community and experience this all is. Thanks for reminding all of us that we’re not alone, it’s okay to falter and that what matters is recognizing what you want to change and making an effort to do it! – Taylor

  25. Avatar of
    Rebel Fashion Junkie says:

    i LOVE this post, i have to be totally honest in all aspects of social media i’ve committed all of the sins :s (help!) we all strife to be bigger, better and the most popular (with a few added followers/gifts here) although im still very much a new on ever platform i blog on but i’m learning that its ok with that.. and with the end of this post i shall commit another shameless sin (plugging myself haha)

    http://wecanwaitforthesun.blogspot.co.uk

  26. Avatar of Brytani Sierra

    My deadly ‘sin’ in LUST.

    I lust for a successful blog but more importantly a successful business (Hate’er Jewelry)! My jewelry business is different then most. I strive to create quality handmade fashion jewelry while also empowering women to achieve their own personal goals and to know their self worth thus eliminating competition and changing the way women view each other.

    I’m definitely guilty of lust however I wouldn’t consider it a sin.
    It’s lust that motivates me to work hard and sometimes its lust that keeps me going. I definitely think that lust could be a good thing…in moderation of course. ;)

    Wishing you all success.
    XX Brytani Sierra

    Jewelry Store: Hate’er Jewelry
    My Blog: The Hated Jewel

  27. Di says:

    GREAT article. This was so interesting to read!

  28. Avatar of Frugal Flirty N Fab!

    Currently at this stage in my blogging I’m guilty of all 7 sins. Actually I didn’t even realize I was committing them before readingthis post….Wow I have alot to work on!!! Great Post!! Most Eye Opening for sure!

  29. Avatar of Lara Takahashi

    My sin gotta be RAGE. I think some of my posts do annoy my readers. But in the other hand, I’m not (yet) looking for the big market to get interested in me and perhaps I’m still looking for my place (in the blogsphere, not as a person and as a writer.)
    So maybe it’s not a sin after all ;)
    x, Lara
    http://rockteraptor.blogspot.fi/

  30. My sin has to be ” DETACHMENT ” I’d like to become more approachable with fellow bloggers, but it’s difficult to juggle the time between curating posts work and social life! I have Commitment Issues!! ;)

    ▲▲ HYENA

  31. SJP says:

    Great article! I think out of greedy comes impatience – wanting to have it all RIGHT NOW and getting annoyed if a post bombs when you thought it would generate loads of feedback/comments – the flip side of this is posts you didn’t put as much thought/effort into getting lots of views etc.

  32. Jamillah says:

    You are mega super rad Ashe. Seriously it takes a lot to write these things down and say them out loud and I think it is awesome that you shared.

    Envy, pride and lust I think are my biggest sins. But you know I’ve really learned to quell these things by taking a step back and reminding myself what everyone else is doing has nothing to do with what I’m doing and I should just put my head down and be honest with my intentions in everything I do and that little switch always helps me get back in the right perspective.

  33. CrissyM says:

    Hi Ashley,

    I jusst finished reading and commenting on your post about feeling irrealevant which lead to this post. For me it might be sloth when it comes to engaging and/or commenting on social networks like twitter, facebook, or pinterest

    I have respect for your honesty and sharing what most of us maybe ashamed to admit.

    Thank you again Ashley :)

  34. Avatar of Agi Titus-Karsai

    Greed and envy are the ones I feel the most often. It’s so hard to become known, or even to just keep trying to get readers, while you see others starting blogging later, than yourself build a huge readers’ base in just weeks… I guess I will just keep on trying though :)

    http://www.style1x1.com/

  35. Jenmarie says:

    Thanks so much for your honesty! I was very encouraged reading this :)

  36. At first I got jealous with what other bloggers have (like sponsorships, invitations to events, projects, and they become ambassadors) but later on, realized that if people would really want to work with you, they’ll contact you and I’m glad that other brands do trust me. These things don’t happen overnight. Blogging is not for the perks but for you tp share the world your self or your other side if you’re a shy type like me.

  37. Alex says:

    Lust I’m only 12 but I’m bisexual I haven’t had sex no but by being bisexual and wanting same sex sex I’m sinning but I don’t think I could give this up becuase I can’t ressest the temptation of love I mean it’s basicly telling me that becuase I like both guys and girls I’m greedy and going to hell and I honestly think Im going to hell I can’t give up this temptation. Sorry god why did u make me bi anyway do u want me to go to hell?

  38. I would say mine would be greed, wanting more readers to read my blog and take an interest in what I have to say and my products. However I can see walking the fine line to avoid the other “sins of blogging” once I start really having that traffic that I am working towards getting.

  39. Teicia says:

    Great post. So many can relate!

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