On the Twelfth Day of Christmas | 12 Do's & Don'ts of Blogging

17:09:00

OK, don't moan, I know I didn't get all 12 posts completed before Christmas but technically, the 12 Days of Christmas start after Christmas Day....

Anyway, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.


Seeing as it's New Years Eve and the time when we are supposed to make decisions about how to improve ourselves in the coming year, this is a bit of a reflective post.

I've been blogging for almost 5 years and it's something I never thought I'd stick at. I'm a major flake when it comes to completing things but I'm relatively proud of what I've achieved

Then: the first picture of myself I put on the blog

Now: my most recent (decent) picture

However, there are some things I think I could have done better or differently, or not done at all.

So on the Twelfth Day of Christmas: 12 Do's & Don'ts (of Blogging)

  1. DoBelieve in your voice. I started my blog for the simple enjoyment of sharing my experiences, interests and encouragement in helping other men discover their style. Over the course of the past few years, I think I have wavered slightly, I have not stuck to my guns and remembered why I started it.
  2. Don't: Be bullied by brands. Linked to the first post, it can be overwhelming when you start to get some attention from brands and receive payment or samples etc. But do not let this distract you. Taking something from a brand you've no interest in just because they offer it or giving into terms and conditions you are not comfortable with is a sure way to make you resent your blog
  3. Do: Reach Out. To other bloggers, PRs, brands - people or organisations who inspire you. The worst that can happen is they ignore you or turn you down and the best that can happen is you gain friends or build on your work and reputation.
  4. Don't: Live Only Online. This is something I am very very guilty of. I fixate on my phone and miss out on what is going on around me. 
  5. Do: Edit. Edit your post you are writing, your photos, your entire blog. I'm not the same guy I was 5 years ago (I'm fatter for a start) but styles and tastes evolve and a change or refresh is good for both you and your readers.
  6. Don't: Be Jealous. It's easy to be envious of other bloggers getting opportunities you weren't offered but maybe they've done the leg work and reached out, maybe they have more time to spend on their blog or channel; whatever the reason, don't let the green eyed monster put you off. Get competitive rather than petty and seek to better yourself instead.
  7. Do: Say Yes (within reason) Being offered an opportunity outside your usual remit can be exciting, challenging and very rewarding. Earlier this year I accepted the chance to host a style evening in the White Stuff store in Belfast  - something I previously would have chickened out of. While a combination of rotten weather and an NI rugby match meant town was empty, it was still something I enjoyed and felt good about. 
  8. Don't:Limit yourself. Ever since I started my blog, I point blank refused to vlog. I am incredibly uncomfortable on camera and have therefore denied myself an outlet which I see so many other bloggers use creatively and successfully. I am toying with the idea of dabbling in video in the coming year, determined not to limit my options.
  9. Do: Accept Help. I am very possessive of my blog I put a lot of work into it and find it hard to accept input or suggestions. Caelan has a great editorial eye and is much more tech savvy than me but I often get huffy if he has found an error or offers to fix something. Get over yourself and accept help; it's only going to make your blog better!
  10. Don't: Blog if you don't want to. Not feeling inspired? Too much going on outside your blog? It happens to us all but often we feel pressured to put up posts just to keep momentum or because of some self-inforced schedule. It's your blog, you make the rules
  11. Do: Something New. We can all get into a rut and get comfortable with the routine. But use your blog as an outlet for your creativity and share things you've tried. I find blogs that are about personal style so much more inspiring than those that look like any other editorial. I'm not practicing what I preach here as I am in a huge style slump at the minute (think it's a mid/late 30's thing) but I want to inspire and be inspired.
  12. Don't: Copy.You see a photo, style shot, blog post etc etc you like and it's natural to want to do the same. But to quote Groove Armada (now that's not something I ever thought I would write) If everybody looked the same, we'd get tired of looking at each other. So many bloggers fall into the trap of cloning content without realising it: put away the marble backdrop, copper votive and potted succulent. Do your own thing and you'll be inspiring others!
---

Here's to a successful 2018 for us all!

---

On the first day of Christmas I spotted this for me...
12 Do's and Don'ts of Blogging
11th Hour Gifting
10 Words Worth Reading
9 Labels Discounting
8 Males Worth Mentioning
Clever Gifts for Women
Gifts a' Local
FIVE GOLD THINGS
For scrawling words
Three fresh scents
New winter gloves 
And a wallet from Mulberry!


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