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!