I’ve Made Every Single Blogging Mistake Possible

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Blogging Mistakes

Sometimes people ask me how long I’ve been blogging, and after I slap them for being impertinent, I tell them 8 years. That fills me with a mix of pride and embarrassment.

Pride: I’ve been blogging for a long time and started way before many bloggers I know. I’ve stuck with it and evolved my blog and my voice over the years.

Embarrassment: I’ve been blogging for 8 years. I know a lot of bloggers who have been blogging for far less time than I and have lots more traffic and are making much more cash money than I. Granted, I only decided a few years ago that I wanted to turn this into my job, but I’ve let a lot of the following mistakes derail me.

If I’m going to be fair to myself, I will say that many (not all) of the mistakes I’ve made have taught me TONS. Also, I assume I’m not the only blogger to have made these mistakes.

Let’s dig in. If you are a blogger, I want to know what mistakes you’ve made. If you are thinking about jumping into blogdom, don’t do any of these. HAHAHAHAHA

  1. This one I continue to struggle with, because it disguises itself as something useful, and actually is useful (in moderation). I spend an extraordinary amount of time learning, because I love learning. I love it. So the problem with that is the more time you spend listening and watching and reading about what you’re doing, the less time you spend doing it. It’s a mind fuck, because you trick yourself into feeling productive.
  2. Post without considering the consequences. I was an insensitive jerk: One of my biggest pet peeves is compulsive talkers. As an introvert, my energy is quickly tapped by people who talk at you for a long period of time without pause. I actually feel preyed on, and fellow introverts will understand this. So this happened once and I reacted by posting the entire monologue on my blog. Of course, somehow this got back to the fellow, he yelled at me, and I felt guilty. The end. Don’t do this.
  3. I changed my blog name. Not once, but 3 times. I’m actually back to my original name because I was so annoyed with myself for having changed in the first place. Um, scattered much?
  4. I narrowed down my niche TOO far. If you’re a blogger, you’ve probably heard some variation of, “the riches are in the niches’. And it’s mostly true. When I started to blog about kids’ art, I took this too far and burned out after about a year. I was bored silly. I’m trying hard to manage a balance of posts that all still feel cohesive under one roof, but I don’t think there’s any need to stay absolutely hyper-focused if it’s not sizzlin’ your bacon.
  5. Too many plugins. Plugins are fun, plugins are neat, plugins cause so many headaches when you have too many. Sometimes they don’t play nice with each other and mess up your whole site, and too many of them slow your site dowwwwwwwwn.
  6. Complete obsession. I am obsessed with my blog. I think about it always, and if I’m not careful, I will ignore my family as I make that ‘one last tweak’ on a post that turns into an hour of checking social media. My kids aged 2 years one time when I was working on a post.
  7. I made a major change in my blog based on listening to an ‘expert’. Once upon a time I went to a conference. Someone made a comment about my blog name being a ‘total fail’ because I wasn’t blogging about crafts, which set me off in a frenzy of self doubt. I guess I was in an extremely vulnerable state, but that was the beginning of my blog-name-changing-fiasco.
  8. I compared myself too much to other bloggers. At every stage of blogging, you will know people who: are making more money than you, have more traffic than you, have more social media fans than you, have done more on their blog than you. It’s easy in my case because I’m such a Flaky Frida (I just made that up.) It used to bother me, now I embrace it, learn from these people, and use them as inspiration. The magic in blogging is in the people you meet, and when you are part of a blogging group that is mutually supportive, amazing things can happen. Seriously. Your heart will turn rainbowy.
  9. This one is a doozy. I’ll be damned if I don’t constantly fall down the rabbit hole that is social media. I have yet to find something that will allow me to jump on and off of Facebook or Instagram without having lost an hour, but I’m all ears if you have a suggestion.
  10. Tiny, terrible images. Back in the olden days I posted tiny, dark, terrible images. This used to be the norm (along with that hateful music that autoplayed on some blogs), but now I think most people get that they either have to take somewhat lovely images or use stock photos.
  11. Writing posts just for SEO. I dabbled in this for a few posts and then realized how horribly dull and unnatural they were, so now I try to work in my SEO terms as best as I can, but I don’t sweat it if a post isn’t perfect.
  12. Hurrying! Racing to get a post done leaves you with typos, sentences that make no sense, and a kind of yucky, strung-out feeling. I like to channel my inner turtle now, and I feel much happier.
  13. I don’t promote myself enough. Partly because I don’t want to be Spammy Sammy, but also because sometimes I actually forget to share a post. Yep. Remember earlier when I mentioned how unorganized I am? Sweet lord, it’s a curse.

I need to stop here. I could actually go on and on because there are an infinite number of blogging mistakes to be made, but I’m starting to feel ridiculous. I’d love to hear your faux-pas. Please tell me.

 

 

Your blogging guru, Jeanette

13 Comments

  1. 07/30/2016 / 7:29 pm

    Six years here and I managed to lose my Disqus comments on my blog the other day.
    Just by rearranging my damn Blogger template.
    So two years of comments are GONE.
    So I am moving to WordPress HOLD MY HAND.
    I don’t know a damn thing.
    By the way, you make it look like you do know a damn thing.

    • 08/06/2016 / 11:51 am

      YOU’VE BEEN ON BLOGGER THIS WHOLE TIME? Girl, text me or email me or call me if you have any WordPress questions, because I’ve made every single WordPress mistake, too. And now I’m going to ask what probably everyone else in the world has asked- can’t Disqus give you your comments back somehow? I’m Dsiqusted. Get it?

  2. 07/31/2016 / 9:21 am

    I hear you on the listening to “experts” and the time factor in blogging. Whenever someone describe how you can write a blog post in 30 mins I think, give your head a shake.

    It takes me at least a day to write a blog post then edit it down, find all the pictures, and get my newsletter ready. I’ve tried to be faster but this stuff just sucks time.

    My first blog post was in 2007 and my posts have become sparse as other parts of my business have grown but I try to keep up to stay connected and for SEO.

    Reading your post has reminded me to dust off the old keyboard after our picnic today, or maybe after the baseball game….

    • 08/06/2016 / 11:53 am

      Ha! Did it happen? Did you write a post? It’s one of those things that is much easier the more you do it, right? I guess like anything else. And then the less you do it, the more daunting it seems. It takes me a long time to write my posts, too- maybe every 45th post is a quick one. So much work this blogging is. I’m glad to hear your business is growing nicely; that’s so exciting! Congrats!

  3. Gloria Mathews
    07/31/2016 / 10:48 am

    I’m not a blogger, but I’ve thought about it…does that count? My only mistake is not finding your blog sooner because I adore your sense of humor and all that you write about. Keep it comin’ girl!

    • 08/06/2016 / 11:54 am

      It TOTALLY counts if you’ve thought about it- in fact that’s half of what blogging is. And thank you for your very kind compliment. <3

  4. 07/31/2016 / 11:54 am

    I’m guilty of all of those too! I’ve not been on this journey as long as you but I’m so glad I ran across Artchoo one day, thus there you were! Then I realized the other side that lived under Tiny Rotten Peanuts, and she was awesome too! I’m glad it’s all under one bloggy umbrella now! Blog on creative lady!

    • 08/06/2016 / 11:56 am

      Oh, you’re awesome. Thank you, and you’re one of those people I’m so happy to have met through blogging. Smooch!

  5. Beth Diiorio
    07/31/2016 / 2:53 pm

    THANK YOU Jeanette for sharing your blogging thoughts! I can totally relate and SO appreciate you sharing candidly. Before going further I have to thank you from the bottom of my heart for CRAFTWHACK! I always look forward to your posts which are consistently interesting and inspiring.

    I, like you, LOVE to learn constantly and for people like us there is not enough time in the day! I am addicted to all things beautiful, interesting, unique, and inspired. Just can’t get enough…ever!

    I had a book blog for two plus years (http://www.candlebeambooks.com/search?updated-max=2013-05-31T07:21:00-04:00&max-results=30) which allowed me to read amazing stories (most of the time) and some duds as well, so not only was I indulging my literary passion but I was given the opportunity to interview authors, attend author readings, connect with other avid readers, and write reviews. The reason I stopped posting to CandleBeam was because it took over my life and I had little time for creating art, photography, gardening, and oh yeah, my family. 😉

    Ironically, since I’ve been focusing on my love of Mixed-Media Art for the past few years I just started designing a new blog (not yet live) which will focus on the amazing pieces of soul food that exist; those people, arts, places, nature, etc. that make life worth living. Connecting with Artsy Curious Kindreds is priceless! I get so excited about ideas and learning that I just have to share my enthusiasm and experiences.

    It sounds like you are well on your way to fine-tuning your process and all those lessons learned are an integral part to making sure you don’t burn out. Thank you again! Keep up the amazing work! 🙂

    • 08/06/2016 / 12:27 pm

      Beth! Oh my gosh, thank you so much for this comment- you touched on so many things that keep me blogging- the constant learning and exploring, and need to share that with other people, but also the focusing on all of the amazing creative details out there. I can’t wait to see your new blog and your artwork- one of my goals for the next year is to not let blogging take over my entire life, and make a ton of paintings. There’s got to be that balance of consuming and sharing all the content and making your own work.

      Please keep me updated with your blog and artwork- it was fun reading through your book blog. It’s easy to see your enthusiasm for sharing what you’re passionate about. 🙂

  6. 07/31/2016 / 5:03 pm

    Hahaha thank you for this post Jeanette, it made me throw a few legit laughs and I find that very unusual (in case you were wondering…) Since I’ve been blogging “for realsies” only for around 4 months, I find myself making a lot of the mistakes you are talking about so I want to say gracias, hoping that now that I know, I can avoid at least a few of them ahead of time (I suck at number 1, as you can see me reading this post on a free Sunday instead of being a good geek and spend my wife’s nap enjoying some gaming instead).

    (Since you asked) what I do to not fall too much into number 9 is to completely remove notifications from my phone’s apps (except for Snapchat because I have like 4 contacts only, it’s a bit sad but not so distracting 😛 ). It works for me since my usual anxiety to see what’s behind those intrusive red bubbles is not disturbed every few minutes, anyway 90% of the times those notifications are from people that are not even talking to me (which for your fellow introvert it actually feels good since they don’t require a response) but just checking them to make the bubble disappear usually is enough to get me trapped into that social-media rabbit hole that you mentioned. Ok I feel I’m going too off tracks now with this comment so I’ll stop now.

    Thanks again!

    Rodrigo

    • 08/06/2016 / 12:39 pm

      Oh, man! Turning off notifications on my phone made the happiest person alive. It’s crazy how deeply connected and on alert we can be at Every! Single! Moment!

      Thanks for the comment- I remember noticing you when you burst on the scene a few months ago; you’re a natural blogger and I’m having fun watching your site. It’s fun to see your personality in it, and you actually just gave me a good idea for separating my site up a little bit, for those who just want art projects and those who just want writing (or the few who like both).

      Anyway, I’ll let you get back to your gaming and I’m always happy to talk blogging with people if you have any questions or complaints, rants, wins, shocks, whatever comes along with blogging. 🙂

      • 08/08/2016 / 7:09 pm

        Your comment made my day Jeanette! It feels very nice to see that real people are looking at my work (besides my mom who doesn’t even speak English haha).

        I’m glad our blogs can inspire each other somehow, you personally inspire me to not be afraid to show my personality in whatever I publish, thank you for that 🙂

        If I can help you or your blog in some other ways please do bother telling me.

        See you around the web!

        Rodrigo

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