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What is the Biggest Mistake That You’ve Made as a Blogger?

Posted By Darren Rowse 6th of April 2008 Reader Questions 0 Comments

It’s time for a reader discussion/open thread and today’s question is:

What is the Biggest Mistake That You’ve Made as a Blogger?

What in your time as a blogger do you look back on with regret, wish you’d not done or wish you’d done differently?

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Comments
  1. I’m too young in blogging so I was reading all comments to learn. I think everybody is making his own mistakes. I just feel good with my blogs because my theme is so extraordinary that people get aware of it very fast.

  2. @sikantis – a theme is great to have, but without the content, its useless.

  3. I MADE a music blog that covers the same boring topics as anyone else. AND I signed up for too much blog directories knowing that not all of them could make the viewers easily see my blog. AND adding too much ads that doesn’t work. BUT! right now, I’m happy with my new blog because it became instead of a music blog, just a personal blog with all my thoughts about the world. In this blog, it’s more simple and neat and not too much annoying ads and directories, but on on getting my viewers to subscribe, comment, and trackback.

  4. I took an extended vacation from blogging about a year ago. I posted infrequently, and when I did the posts were insubstantial. My readership plummeted, and now I face an uphill battle getting them all back. I was once rather highly ranked on the TTLB ecosystem, but not anymore.

  5. Didn’t use a backup hosting company.

  6. My biggest mistake: I stayed on blogger until my blog was well-established with good traffic and incoming links, and *then* got serious and moved to my own domain.
    Most of my readers followed me but my old inactive blogspot still outranks me on the search engines, and most of my internal links point back to the old blog as well. It’s too much work to change them all…

  7. 1. Not realising just how much money I could make until big brand companies started contacting me directly to place ads on my my blogs

    I definitely missed out on thousands of $$ because of this

    2. Not starting up my separate “Road Less Travelled” Travel and Photo blog until early 2007

    Although the site is already PR4 and doing quite well I definitely missed first mover advantage in the travel website sector

  8. start blogging without knowing how to maintain a blog. like jumping into the warzone with a walter, but have no idea how to use it.

  9. My mistake…
    -make few blogs and let them as rubbish
    -not focus, sometimes feel too many ideas and wasting on reading others blog

  10. 1) starting two blogs with two different topics/interests
    2) after some time working on both blogs, realizing there is not enough time even for one of them :(

    I.

  11. 1. Staying on Blogger for too long and not moving to own domain earlier.

    Disadvantage: Now our blog has earned more than 35k incoming links, a PR of 4, a healthy traffic and is generating good revenues. So its much more difficult to move it to a private domain while retaining the PR, traffic and position in Google Searches. Moreover serious advertisers prefer blogs hosted on private domains and shy away from blogspot sites.

    2. Not networking and finding out about other great blogs in our niche early on. Was too focussed on generating content and implementing various features for blogger’s template (which lacked basic amenities before it was acquired by Google).

    3. Reading too much about blogging and its success metrics. Its better to get in the game with some basic know how and then learn the ropes through first hand experience.

  12. My biggest regret is letting go of all the blogs I started over the years. I began in September 2002 but the only record of that blog is what’s left on Archive.org (which is minimal).

    Hence, I’m now looking to rebuild all of that with my current personal blog hub.

  13. I surrended with my first blog way too quickly. There was no reason to do so, except my laziness.

    Fortunately, great urge to write on my own blog emerged so strongly, that after few months I launched new blog.

    Now, I won’t make my mistake from the past.

  14. I should quote every answer :)

    First, it is so difficult to find your own niche, your “blog personality”, that you spend months or years before focusing on what your blog is really good at. Maybe I should have taken some time reading other blogs instead of opening mine without any idea.

    Then, in my case, I still have doubts about closing the comments.

  15. Hosting my blog at a .co.uk domain instead of a .com

    And installing wordpress in a /blog directory instead of the root. I thought the blog would be an addition to my ‘main’ site, never realised it would end up the other way round.

    Bit late to change those now.

  16. I started a blog on blogger which had good rankings. I moved it over to my own domain. I think I hindsight I should have kept all of the old posts on blogger and then just started blogging fresh on the new domain rather than moving all of the old posts across.

  17. Ive been blogging only 6 months but my biggest mistakes include

    1. starting with blogger and not wordpress or my own domain name

    2. taking a week off just after a guest post from a much bigger blog

    3. not using “original” material form the start but using my blog as a “visual diary for all the things I find that I like” (often from others blogs)

    4. going too hard too fast at the start

    5. not getting around to doing that thing that I think’d be great for the blog – e.g contacting that person for an interview etc …….OK OK I’m off to do that now :-):-)

    6. spent too much time on the blog to the detriment of life in general –

    Ha ! No ones mentioned this but its a real problem!!!

    Darren Ive only just started joining your RSS but you should do a whats the BEST thing you’ve done with blogging, if you havent already – tho’ I’m sure you have:-)

  18. Showing RSS feed count

  19. On my first blog the subject area I chose was too broad – Science, Multimiedai & Technology, and I didn’t have much expertise in most of topics I posted about.

    My new blog is about web 2.0 and usability, which I have studied as a degree.

  20. Setting a schedule. On my first blog I flat out, publicly said “I’m going to do this blog every weekday.” It was exhausting (since blogging isn’t my full time gig) and I eventually started to slack off. With my newer blogs, I’ve decided just to post when I have something to say, and as long as I post three times a week or so, it’s fine.

  21. I DIDN’T BACKUP MY DB!!

    My hosting company has a hardware failure and I was out 2 years of posts.

    I salvaged what I could from google cache and rebuilt on blogger so I wouldn’t have any downtime but my site just isn’t the same now.

  22. My biggest mistake was writing comments for posts that has nothing to do with my site – http://www.soitbemaybe.com

  23. I think my biggest mistake was not putting effort into my blog, instead I would post and not do anything else such as network or get involved with other’s blogs, ect. I guess you could say I remained anti-blogger (social)?

  24. For the young blogger, when they start to create blog they did not think clearly what kind of content will be produced. it is like me when i started i did not think what the content is i need to make. That is one mistake that we did not clearly make specific topics.

  25. I have made many mistakes while growing the PostSecret Blog. (I am probably unaware of the largest ones).

    The biggest mistake I am aware of is not collecting email addresses early enough. You can’ t begin your email mailing list soon enough.

    So my advice? If you are not asking your interested readers to share their email addresses with you currently. Set something up for that today.

    -Frank

  26. I did not do any research before starting my first blog and it went into crap of bag.

    Heenamehta.com
    http://www.heenamehta.com

  27. My mistake was purposefully deleting a valid user comment that made me look bad. It created a backlash. Bad scene…

  28. I agree with Alejandro. Not starting sooner was my biggest mistake. I adore the medium and when I started last year that was the first thing I realized. I wish I’d started years earlier!

    Second biggest mistake may have been TypePad. I’ve customized it to death but there’s still some things they don’t let me do, and backing out and moving is a lot harder than being on WordPress in the first place would have been. I like the hand-holding and the easy start, but if I had it to do over again I wouldn’t go hosted.

  29. Andrew says: 04/07/2008 at 1:07 am

    After a long series of clear cases of plagiarism, I publicly accused someone of plagiarism where it was not clear.

  30. Trying to outdo people who are knowledgeable in my own field by writing too in-depth articles …

    Basically ending up proving things to myself in stead of a target groups who needs it …

    Stopped that in a hurry …

  31. Two big mistakes so far — I wish I had hooked up w/ Feedburner sooner so that my stats were up to date and I wish I had found my specific community sooner. I was lost in the publishing lit blogs for 4 months and have just now found the lit blogs more like my own. Community participation is really important!!

  32. Biggest mistake I’ve made as a blogger..? Hm.

    Would say that it would be not responding immediately to my earliest poster comments.. Just the Nature of the beast that is of which I typeth.. The Voice is strong in cyberspace, much, *much* shyer when it is actually heard and answered.. :))

    Am living by that it is absolutely *never* too late to respond, ever, though.. Having just become home computer-empowered again last weekend after a near year’s sporadic hiatus, still going back’ards the other way down the list while trying to keep keying my friends’ own Voices forward..

    Cyber hugs.. :)

  33. I wish I would have started by just concentrating on building one site, instead of trying every new internet marketing “flavor of the week”. I wasted so much time trying to make money online, instead of adding value to the internet. Thank god I finally woke up, since my site is getting great traffic now. I am building a long-term business and a site that I can be proud of instead of junky pages.

  34. I wish I had not set my expectations so high. Starting a blog/business takes time to build a foundation. Be PATIENT!!

  35. Geez, mistakes…this blog post already has 130 plus comments, does it have another website to devote to my mistakes? :)

    I will give a few here…

    – Not providing a unique “voice” for my blog in the first 50 or so posts (my blog is now nearing 300). This probably reduced traffic along with a host of other things.

    – Starting with Blogspot. No offense to the free platform, but once I registered a domain and went WP, I started to discover the TRUE benefits of S E O. The plugins helped a lot with that as well.

    – Theme. Can’t go with a “canned” theme that comes with WP. Especially the “Blue” one. I did in the beginning, and wondered why the sound of “crickets chirping” eminated everytime I looked for comments.

    – Social Marketing/Networking/ the overused “Web 2.0” term. I had NO CLUE what these were, didn’t know that Digg could provide traffic at all, or anything else about this topic until about 4 months ago. Go ahead, beat me up :) Now, I am an avid social marketer.

    Well, there is the short list.

    If you want to see more mistakes, go to my blog and look through the old posts (2006).

    Joseph Ratliff

  36. Not to know exactly in the beginning what I wanted to do. (by the way, I’m German, so be kind with any language mistakes) I wanted to do something with photos, and it took me some time that there is a niche with photos and short texts, which sort of comment on the photos. The second thing is that I originally only wrote in German; google analytics told me that there were some people from english speaking countries – so I decided to change to comments written in English and German. And the third mistake I made in the beginning was not to work systematically on my blog, which means putting up comments regularly and commenting other blogs.

  37. This one is easy!

    Started a blog about a topic I knew nothing about and really didnt care to learn. :)

  38. Biggest mistakes…

    1) Not starting sooner

    2) Modified robots.txt without testing and denied Googlebot and other bots access to site for a few days. Luckily, I caught it quickly and only a few pages were de-indexed. Key lesson learned: Test any robots.txt changes using Google Webmaster Tools.

  39. I would have to say not having enough content before I started to spread the word about my blog. In the first two weeks I had about 2000 unique hits acording to Google.

    I didn’t have enough content in place, and now those 2000 people will probably never give me a second glance.

  40. My blog had quite a lot visitors and than I stopped updating it. I lost all of my traffic and now I’m trying to get it back, but it is hard.

  41. Payperpost , payperpost and only payperpost, I’ve lost my PR due to this and until the next PR update, I can’t sell any private ads in my blog…

  42. I didn’t plan ahead. Make sure you know your plan for your blog.

    Also budget in money for hosting etc.

    -Thomas Flight

  43. This will sound silly, but I didn’t realize it would be so much about writing instead of my actual topic (personal finance). It’s still great, but different.

  44. Not creating my own product. Whether it is an ebook, software, or what ever.

  45. I just started a blog this year. My biggest mistakes are not taking the time to post funny interesting topics. I tend to just drone on about my boring life. No one wants to read that. I’m trying now to keep it light and enjoyable. Secondly, I’m sitting here wondering if I should check into WordPress. But I’m not sure how to direct my readers to that site if I decide to change. I’ll have to google about it.

  46. A few years ago when blogging, I didn’t quite comprehend how big my audience was or who it could contain. I assumed my friends were the readers (when my blog was more personal) so I posted the address to a party I was having.

    People showed up to my house unexpectedly– boy, was that awkward. I learned a valuable lesson that day– filter public content and be cautious. You never know which weirdo will integrate themselves into your life. I have had blog readers come up and introduce themselves to me– it’s weird (and kind of creepy). You can’t totally close your mind though because I have met a lot of neat bloggers because I gave it a chance.

  47. @ Cindy

    It’s definitely worth switching to WP over a hosted Blogger account. The latter is so limiting, and WP has so many options (although naturally you can take or leave what you don’t want, making it as simple or complex as YOU choose – that’s the beauty.)

    It’s also definitely worth making the move now – i.e., early – as opposed to later on when you have a lot more traffic and have a lot more to ‘lose’ by telling people you’ve now somewhere else. I’ve made that mistake enough times myself over the years.

    I say: do it! Register your own URL, install your own WordPress and away you go. You won’t regret it. :)

  48. The biggest mistake I ever made as a blogger would be to ignore other aspects of my life in order to progress the state of my blog. It was initially meant as a side project, and it took me awhile to realize that it was lower on my priority list (although still very high).

  49. The biggest mistake I’ve made cost me lots of traffic and the highest ranking on Google in my niche. I didn’t pre-post content in advance just in case something came up where I couldn’t. I came down with the flu in the middle of February this year, and I didn’t post on my blog for 10 days because I was bed ridden. I can’t believe how my traffic fell off so rapidly. What a painful lesson it has been.

  50. @Jenson

    Glad I wasn’t drinking anything when I read yours.. You get my vote for Most Humorous Booboo.. :))

    Crossed my Mind I may have been recognized the other day.. I was getting on our “MATS” local transport, and some gentleman almost hit the bus.. The lady driver said he just kept looking over my way and paid no attention to where his car was going.. :))

    @Myself

    Take my own medicine.. Forgot this one in my earlier post.. I helped out a cyber friend I’ve never met but who lives locally.. He typed to me maybe a year later and said he was making [four digits] a month in large part by following up on tips I’d gotten places from like, get this, ProBlogger.. Granted, his niche is a lot easier for people to publicly attach their identity to, but still.. :))

    Falls under some people does, some people teaches (them what does), I guess.. :S

    PS.. Rather than “creeped”, proactively safe, most definitely.. And flattered.. If you have a pretty high profile, wouldn’t hurt to make nice with your local law enforcement who do perform wellness checks on neighborhoods when asked.. ;)

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