Five Things NOT to Do in 2014

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I'm not much for New Year's resolutions. You know, they get broken, I get frustrated with myself, and then forget all about them. So sometimes I find it more helpful to think in terms of what I DON'T want to do in the next year; it's easier to stop doing something than it is to start in a lot of cases. And I definitely need to stop doing some things! Do you? Here are some things as fashion bloggers I think we can all stop doing:

Comparing yourself to other bloggers

Unless you're doing it as part of your competitive analysis, of course!

Next year, resolve to create your own barometer for success and measure yourself ONLY against that, not against the perceived success of other bloggers.

Worrying too much

This is what I need to work most on in 2014: stopping over-analyzing and worrying so much about EVERYTHING. Of course, moving closer to being a planner instead of a procrastinator will alleviate some of that stress. Also, sticking to a routine keeps your mind from wandering, and your tasks under control.

Isolating yourself

This is so easy to do, especially if you're a full-time blogger, but next year, take yourself out of your comfort zone, both ON and OFF your blog. On your blog, make an effort to be more personal, or controversial; it's a good way to relate to your readers on a deeper level, and could open your blog up to new sources of traffic. Also, work harder at creating a community on your blog by responding to comments and engaging your readers as often as possible.

In real life, get out more! Don't JUST work in your home office, or dining room table, take your laptop to the mall, or favorite coffee shop once a week or so. And as important as it is to build community ON your blog, it's just as important to have an off-line relationship with your readers as much as possible. Organize local shopping events, meet-ups or just quick get-togethers with them in person and you'll be surprised what could come of it! Also, think about hiring an intern or employee to help out on your blog if you need it; don't be afraid to give up a little control to grow your business.

Cluttering up your Blog

Do not be tempted to fill your blog up with all of the affiliate ads, or too many outfit photos: simpler is better when it comes to blog design.

Focus most of your attention on enabling your readers to navigate your blog quickly and easily and keeping the most important information at the top of your blog and they'll be more inclined to come back.

Working for Free

Whether you've made the decision to monetize your blog or not, be aware of your blog's influence and don't be tempted to work with brands for free. Of course, there are certain circumstances that MAY warrant working for free, and you may decide that working for free is a good tradeoff for increased traffic and exposure, but in general, if you are approached by a brand about a partnership or post, they should be willing to pay you for your time. If you have thought about monetization, but haven't implemented a monetization strategy yet, work on that in the new year.

What are some things you want to NOT do next year?

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20 Responses

  1. Matthew Pike

    Cluttering up your blog is a good one. I’ve looking at a total re-design, properly streamlining things and making it easier to navigate and maximise older posts.

    Reply
  2. Alicia

    I definitely agree with the whole monetization point! I’ve begun to monetize my blog, but I’ve had some big name companies approach me offering to write a guest post for my blog. I knew they were big enough brands to have a marketing budget, but I did accept one of these offers and got absolutely nothing in return (not even a thank you). No more of that in 2014!

    Reply
  3. mel&eve

    lots of good tips, we are still very new in developing our blog, so the beginning of next year will be focused on finding our own style and building a base of readers.

    also be a planner, not a procrastinator hits very close to home 😉

    Reply
  4. Laura Yazdi

    I agree with not working for free. I have actually taken it upon myself to explain to brands why bloggers do not work for free and why we expect to be compensated with more than just free product. We are great marketing tools!

    Reply
  5. tiffany

    I think the isolation point is a good one, and especially poignant for bloggers. It’s easy to get sucked into the online world. I work from home for my 9-to-5 so constant emails and tele-conferences, little human interaction unless I’m traveling. And then I find myself on the computer whether it’s reading other blogs, writing for mine, or just mindless surfing. The other points are great as well, but the isolation one really speaks to me at the moment.

    Reply
  6. CynthiaCM

    I really need to work on #1. I’m really guilty of it, usually because I feel that I’ve been around MUCH LONGER than many of the bloggers who’re getting more press from companies (including ones I feel are less attractive than me, probably because they’re more willing to hustle). However, while I’m certainly open to becoming more controversial (especially in the body image department), I don’t know about being more personal. I like keeping a certain distance, especially when I see my site as more of a magazine-like publication than a personal journal made public (though much more “personal” than a mainstream magazine, of course). I also try not to isolate myself, but going out TOO MUCH can be problematic, too. Between September and December of this year, I found myself spending an average of 1.5 evenings out a month, doing something related to my blog or volunteering (not blog-related). Some weeks I’m gone two or three nights. However, I’m not a single girl anymore. I have a husband and want to be home with him! For 2014, I plan to have at least ONE FULL WEEK at home a month and will likely limit myself to no more than 4 or 5 work-related evenings a month (save for Toronto Fashion Week and fashion week related events in March and October).

    Cynthia
    http://www.delectablychic.com

    Reply
  7. Kris

    thanks for the workingforfree part. i’ve recently gotten a handful of collaboration requests asking me what my requirements were & i’m @ that part where i’m like mehr? idk?

    Kris
    loveyouduh.com

    Reply
  8. dahi.

    these are very great blogging tipps.
    this year i already managed to not procrastinate too often but it’s not good enough yet.

    and i think that the advice with getting out and work outside is great. i will work on that next year, for sure. also had the idea to make a few reader meet-ups and also work with my readers offline.

    thanks for sharing!

    x
    dahi

    Reply
  9. Aida

    I am definitely a worrier. I need to learn how to stop procrastinating! I got a new diary which has been helping me to get things done but then I get really annoyed with myself if I miss one thing off the list. I think an addition to this list should be to not be too hard on yourself! Great article x

    -Aida
    x

    http://sunshinesuperwoman.blogspot.co.uk

    Reply
  10. Amanda

    I agree with “Worrying too much”, sometimes I will worry and over think my photo choices, my content and it can really be draining. A lot of these points can take the fun away from blogging, great steps to help us for the new year. Great post 🙂

    Reply
  11. Lyn

    I find this a very good idea : no resolutions but saying things you don’t want to do!
    A little list of what I do NOT want in 2014 :
    -compare myself so much with others (bloggers, it-girls, models, random people, .. Just everyone who I think of as ‘better than me’)
    -worry so much about everything (just like you)
    -eat lots of unhealthy food
    -fail my exam of statistics (and all others of course but def not this one)
    I’m sure there are still other things I absolutely do not want to do next year but I need to think about them 😉 xx
    http://www.blondebutterflies.blogspot.com

    Reply
  12. WEAR LUCK

    Woah….wait a quick minute… what if you actually had a cute, clever way to wear your resolution so you will remember it?

    So many people have given up on making resolutions because they often are long forgotten by February. We combined fashion with purpose and designed our new “I will” tops. Each one features a fun resolution on the sleeve right in plain view as a daily reminder to you. “I will make better bad decisions”, “I will use less & recycle more”, “I will count my blessings not calories” and others.

    For the month of January, we will print your own personal resolution on your sleeve. Our wish is that your wish comes true.

    You can check us out on the web.

    Cheers to 2014!

    Reply
  13. Amanda

    Lovely post. I think it’s important not to compare yourself to others, even though this can be quite difficult. Everyone is unique and you should embrace what you have to offer. Comparing yourself to a blogger who has had 5 or more years under their belt when you’re just starting out will do a number on your self confidence. Time, consistency, and content will help you build your blog… or at least that’s what I keep telling myself. 😉

    The Wise Brunette
    http://www.wisebrunette.com

    Reply