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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.