Lessons Learned From Blogging
There are so many things I've learned while blogging, Vlogging and creating content. Some people may think that creating content is easy because it looks like a whole lot of fun. But there's actually quite a few steps involved in creating a YouTube video or even a blog post. A lot of the lessons I've learned were heartbreaking, life-changing and eye-opening. From creating tighter work processes to making sure every detail isn’t overlooked, there is a lot that can go wrong before you click that publish button. I’m here to tell you that in most cases, creating content can be extremely rewarding, however, there are a few things to look out for. Here are my hardest lessons I learned on this job.
1. Avoid using your friends in your content…
I've always had this idea of involving my friends in the content I publish online. The notion of having them included allows me to share this whole side of my life with them. However, I soon realized that a few of my friends don’t realize that this is a job (my career), not always play. I’ve had some friends complain about the photos I’ve published, content I've written or videos that sometimes included them… I was trying to make everyone happy, by retouching the images or accommodating their requests. Eventually, these demands took too long, and the amount of time to re-edit or change my content was overwhelming, that the workload doubled. I soon realized that it is a lot easier to exclude your friends from your content process because they may not understand the amount of effort that goes into each post or piece of content. However, if you still want to include your friends, which I still love to do from time to time, make sure they sign model releases.
2. Sign model releases
Who can be in my content if my friends can’t be? The answer is… OTHER bloggers! This is a great way to collab and expand your audience when you work with other like-minded individuals. Other content creators will understand how the blogging or video process works and will understand that there are deadlines to meet. Just make sure you get their approval prior to publishing your content. Have them sign model releases. Model releases are simple contracts that back you up in case of any mishap or issue. You'll thank me later.
3. Spelling Errors
I tend to make PLENTY OF SPELLING MISTAKES in my content. So, I make sure to turn on Grammarly (an amazing browser extension btw) before I publish anything. It is also good practice to edit your work before you click "publish". Having someone read over your work, just to get another set of eyes before you send it off into cyberspace forever is also a great protocol.
4. Malware and Viruses
In 2014 my blog was hacked and the nasty Malware virus was installed. This was one of the most heartbreaking moments of my life. I lost everything… I could have paid thousands of dollars to get my site back, but at the time, it was too much money to spend on re-gaining access to my site and removing the malware. Instead, I said goodbye to my website and started over. I did my research and found that host companies like Squarespace or Blogger had extra security measures so that hackers couldn't install viruses. There are preventative measures you can take if you’re using Wordpress for instance (like installing anti-malware scanning widgets), but I did not want to take that risk again. Now, I pay a premium, but I can sleep well knowing that my web host's extra security can prevent situations like these.
5. Domain Registration
Another hard lesson I had to learn… Someone snatched up my old domain name as soon as it expired. I missed the repurchase time by only a few hours before someone purchased it from under me, and try to up-sell it back. This hurt because I couldn’t afford the price they were trying to re-sell it for. I decided to give up my own name and purchase my current web address: www.kyrawestonblog.com
6. BACKUP Your Computer/Blog
My iMac is notorious for crashing down like lighting… This SUCKS! I’ve had two large hard-drive crashes in the last 8 months and lost everything twice… This is a really bad situation that has even consequently ended a friendship of mine. Luckily, I’ve learned my lesson and make sure everything is backed up on an external drive. You never want to be faced with the thought of saying goodbye to all of your memories, and beautiful photographs. MAKE SURE TO BACK IT UP, TWICE and put everything on the cloud too!
So there ya go! My biggest fails, regrets, and challenges throughout my blogging/content creation career. I'm sure I'll be learning plenty more lessons as I carry-on. In a way, it is good that these things happened, because these mishaps have become great growth opportunities.
Thanks for reading, and share this post if you’re a blogger! I’d love to hear about your greatest challenges in blogging and what you did to overcome them!