I’ve done my share of blogging mistakes. I started out, thinking that every single blog post I wrote had to be perfect. I did an outline, I did another one. I wrote the post. I re-wrote it. I edited it some more. And finally, I published it. Looking back. I am not sure why I was thinking that it had to be perfect, but I think it was related to fear. I was afraid of what people would be thinking of me, and I was afraid that somebody would think that I was really bad at what I was doing, and that they would make fun of me, and talk behind my back. It’s little similar to what I am experiencing using Facebook today.
I am not afraid anymore.
Now, several years later, I’m thinking that there are four specific things I would have done differently if I started blogging today.
I started writing about things that I hadn’t experienced. Sometimes, I think that I started a blog for all the wrong reasons. I read that blogging was a way to earn money online. That’s not why I started though. I started blogging, because I wanted to learn from the best and connect with the best, and I wanted to share what I was experiencing.
I started writing about marketing, but mostly, I wrote about things I didn’t know much about. I didn’t write about my experience. I didn’t create any stories. What I was doing wasn’t genuine at all. It sure wasn’t anything like a purple cow. I was just writing about what others had told me. I was more or less just linking to review and other high quality blog posts.
I didn’t develop a voice or a personality. Looking back, I can’t find hardly any reason why someone should be subscribing to my newsletter or reading my blog.
What I am doing today is different. Now, I am more or less focusing on telling my story. I am sharing what I know, and my unique experience is what I want you to read about. My main focus is on helping, but I am doing it my way.
I wasn’t sure that I wanted start a blog. It was just something that looked interesting. Starting a blog was kind of the new thing to do. Most of the time, I just adjusted the settings, and I was focused on the design. I hardly did any writing, and most of my posts, they were less than 300 words.
I didn’t know how important it was to write every single day. I really enjoy writing. To me, writing is a way to relax, and it’s a method I use to get whatever I am thinking of, out of my system, and it just makes me feel really good. But, I didn’t know that writing would make me feel this way, not in the beginning.
And, I didn’t know the importance of writing high quality blog posts and that the only way to write high quality blog posts was to write often. It’s not that I should publish blog posts every single day. I just need to keep writing, and adding words to the posts. The more I write, the better I become at writing. And, the more time I use writing (and editing) a blog post, the more quality is added to it.
I thought that I could be the invisible blogger. The man who wasn’t there. Nobody had any idea that I am from Norway, and that I am vegetarian. I could just keep writing my short blog posts once a week, and that was it.
During my first years of blogging, I just published blog posts. That was what I was doing. I didn’t do anything to promote them. Building relationships through commenting on other blogs is a way to promote the blog posts and it’s a way to build relationships. And, blog commenting is by far the method I have had the most success with, when it comes to promoting my blog.
The reason I build relationships online, is because I am interested in networking with people. I want to get to know them. And, I want to help out. But, at the same time, I believe in Karma; what comes around goes around. If you focus on helping other people, you will get help in return.
Blogging is about people. That’s why, as a blogger, we need to focus on building relationships. This is how we get loyal readers, and it’s how we build a community.
Create a strategy
I didn’t plan my content. I didn’t use an editorial calendar. I just wrote blog posts about ideas I got five minutes before I started writing them. What happened was that people arriving at my blog, they wouldn’t understand the theme. There was no way that they could anticipate what would happen next on my blog. I was writing about marketing, but it wasn’t consistent.
It was really hard to come up with new ideas. I didn’t use a system to capture any of my thoughts. At the time I was going to write a new post, I had to use most of my energy to come up with a topic to write about. Now, I capture all of my thoughts,and most of the time, I have the topic and even the headline ready before I even begin writing. This makes it a lot easier to write, and it makes everything much more fun.
That’s my mistakes. Now, what have you’ve been doing differently, and what are your blogging secrets to success?