As a creative myself, I wish I’d had someone to tell me all the times I was making mistakes with my website and business.
When I first started Urban Moonflower, I was using a content management system that was trash for my SEO. My social media marketing was awful and I didn’t actively push my email list. Plus, I didn’t even have a professional theme, much less one that was optimized for mobile. Honestly, there were a ton of other problems, too.
It took months of reading, paying for courses, and stumbling around before I finally created something I was proud of. And there’s still work for me to do!
So whether you’re launching a blog, creating a podcast, or selling a product, here are some of the mistakes I made or see others making, and how to stop making them once and for all.
1. They don’t market themselves.
This might be hard to hear but nobody is just going to “discover” you. A media publication isn’t going to find you via a search engine, fall in love with what you’re doing, and give you the press you need to suddenly thrive. So you have to actually promote your stuff, whether you’re a Youtube vlogger, a podcaster, an artist, or you create and sell nail polishes. Using your personal and brand social media channels to share what you’re doing is necessary every single day.
2. They pick it up and drop it when they feel like it.
If you barely put in effort, you won’t get anything out of a hobby or business. So if you have an online shop, make sure you brainstorm giveaways, add new stock, and think of extras to include with purchases. If you have a blog, plan your posts in advance, schedule them to be published, and keep people updated about your product/website/service. If you’re running a podcast, you have to make sure you’re actually podcasting every week.
3. They don’t try to generate income (or only generate one stream of income).
It doesn’t make sense to invest in something if you’re not getting a return on that investment. So if you’re buying production equipment, paying for web hosting, or acquiring Photoshop, you need to make that money back! My best advice is utilizing affiliate links and brand partnerships to make money, which is possible regardless of the kind of website you have or if you’re only using social media channels. If you have a shop, you should still be using affiliates and brand partnerships to make extra money beyond those. If you need help figuring out how to make passive income, I can help you here.
4. They don’t create a website that looks professional.
The aesthetic of your website is everything. Make sure you’re creating or selecting a website theme that adds to your brand, even if that means investing money in one that fits your needs. You also need to make sure that your brand is consistent between your website and its social media channels. Lastly, the quality of the photos and graphics you use will affect how your audience views what you’re doing.
5. They don’t get organized.
Being a creative isn’t something you can avoid planning in advance. You need to brainstorm ideas, schedule your posts, edit and re-edit. It can get crazy! I wrote about how creatives can get organized here, but I especially love utilizing a planner to keep myself on track. Dayplanner offers really cute and inexpensive planners that are perfect for any creative.
6. They can’t take constructive criticism.
Nobody wants to hear that they’re not doing enough, I get it. However, you need to be open to hearing what improvements are necessary for your success. If I couldn’t accept constructive criticism, I literally wouldn’t make it as an intern at Galore. Plus, my friends always push me to avoid the easy way out and create things that are actually of quality. Listen to people wiser than you or people without the same biases as you, always.
If you’ve fallen into any of these traps with your blog or website, reach out for a website consultation here.
What kind of problems did you run into as a creative? Let me know either in the comments or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.