Blogging Mistakes I Have Made

This is a companion post for ‘How to Start a Blog‘.

It is chalk full of rookie blogging mistakes I made right out of the gate. Cataloging them here might save you from making some of the same classic newbie missteps.

They are mostly in chronological order.

  1.  I waited too long to start my blog. You don’t have to make your site public on day one. There are many reasons why I hesitated, but they are all wrong. At the VERY least your blog is a mental exercise for you and helps you organize your thoughts and practice your writing. Let’s face, it is basically just a diary with the potential for massive exposure.
  2. I did not proofread sufficiently. People are turned off by simple spelling errors and common syntax mistakes. Read your post over in ‘edit mode’ and on the actual blog. Read it over 3 times. Revisit it after you have posted to make sure it says what you think it says.
  3. Read your blog on a smartphone, it will look way different than on your monitor. In needs to look good and flow well on both formats.
  4. Your post is too short, try for a minimum of 300 words, I have grown to shoot for over 500. If it is too long chop it into part 1 & part 2.
  5. I used images because they were relevant and cool without checking their sources. Original Art should be credited at least and probably permitted by the artist beforehand. My blog still uses one image I am sure has a source, but I can not find the specific image anywhere. (awesome Dragon picture on Precious Metals post).
  6.  You spammed your blog everywhere like a teenage boy who has just discovered masturbation. I got booted off of at least 3 forums before I realized you are not supposed to do this. It is only by the grace of a empathetic moderator that I was allowed back onto the MMM forum and I am still banned from city-data. Early Retirement Forum has me under a different name because OthalaFehu overspammed his welcome.

  7. Tried to move to a ‘paid for’ host too early. I did not understand how things worked and had some much technical trouble that I had to cancel my whole subscription. Nothing due to anything HostGator did, it was all my fault. Later, when I was ready, I moved to Blue Host.
  8. Then I read this post  by Lindsay over at NotoriousDebt and second guessed my staying with Blue Host. I chose SiteGround(affiliate link) based off feedback from around the web. (For the record, Siteground is good enough to become my first and only affiliate link). If you’re keeping track at home that is my third shift without ever even really moving anything off of WordPress.
  9. I asked a lot of people to let me guest host before I really knew what that meant. Offering posts I had already published on my own blog???  I did not hear back from most of them because I was clearly punching above my weight class and surely not helping OthalaFehu’s stock price.
  10.  Not pacing my posting. I had a lot of ideas for posts up front and spewed them onto my blog before I had any real readership. Now I have great opportunities like ‘Blog Share Monday‘ On Rockstar Forums, but some of my best material has already been prematurely posted and extremely under viewed IMHO. Secondly, if you put out 20 posts for 2 months and then drop off to 2 posts in your third month, your blog looks like it is dying out. You may have a slow period in your creativity. It is nice to hold some posts in reserve for just such a span. This is a lot like a business, you want a plan for steady growth but also try not to over expand.
  11. It takes some time to get a sense of yourself and the feel of your blog. When that happens, you will likely go back over a lot of earlier material and tweak to fit the current overall tone. (dozens of times).

  12. Having to go back and replace my http address with EVERYBODY because I changed sites within the first 3 months.
  13. Wasting precious time and opportunities not being on social media because I did not understand that tweeting, pining, and linking is the real engine of expansion.

These next 2 aren’t blogging mistakes so much as fables about the Golden Rule.

  1. Never hesitate to try and make connections. I signed up for BlueHost through a link on Physician on Fire’s site rather than just sign up on my own. (Why not throw someone a referral right?) Later that week, I got a mention on his site (The Sunday Best) that led to one of my best traffic days ever. That’s the way the world works people, we help each other out.
  2. Another example, I found a guy on Reddit who did not know about RockStar Finance and I pointed him in the right direction. We exchanged links on our blogrolls and it turns out he is a FIRE O.G. (earlyretirementdude) and I get hits everyday from his popular blog. We are a friendly community, make bridges and you will grow.

These are blogging mistakes, Check out some helpful blogging tips HERE AS WELL.

18 thoughts on “Blogging Mistakes I Have Made

  1. This is awesome! I can relate to the following:

    2. I am terrible at proofreading and always seem to find typos or wrong words (spelled correctly) in sentences months later…so bad.
    4. I have the opposite problem – if I can get a post under 1500 words I am lucky! Concise is not a word I am familiar with but I am working on it!
    10/11. Same. Now I post only once or twice a month but the writing has gotten better so there’s that. I plan to go back and take out some of my earlier posts that don’t really fit my theme anymore. 😉
    14. This community is awesome – the more you interact the better it gets! 🙂

  2. Great post! I appreciate the info! I am fairly new and just trying to get noticed at this point. My blog is savinggeorge.com
    I love your blog btw! Great job!

  3. I had a backlog of posts, but no traffic. So I would start a comment on the forum that sounded like a homemade late night commercial. “Student loans got you down? What you need is to POWER PAY them with the Moneyviking approach. Watch your cash flow worries run for the hills like English peasants!”
    Maybe it wasn’t quite that bad, but in retrospect it seemed desperate and cheesy. Most forums hate self promotion because it clogs up any meaningful discussion of an issue because the bloggers always have an alternative agenda (to drive traffic his way).

  4. Good post, Othalafehu! Glad you put your mistakes out there so we could learn from them. I need to write an article about the lessons I’ve learned from my first quarter of blogging. It would include the threat of a lawsuit, my two rockstar features, and information about blog shares.

  5. I have made mistakes galore and still have not much idea what I am doing. I an however learning however slowly.

    I did not know there were forums for finance bloggers. How do you find these forums?

    I have twitter but I fear they all follow me to get me to follow them as there is virtually no response to anything I tweet so far.

  6. This is really helpful and as a newbie blogger there are a lot of tidbits to be gleaned from it. I agree that I waited much longer than I should have in starting a blog. There were so many perceived mental obstacles that I had that simply did not come true. I thought as a physician FIRE blogger that the niche was already being dominated (White Coat Investor, Physician on Fire) and that what more could I have to contribute. But I have found that every person blogging has their own individual style and experiences and that readers can often benefit from perusing multiple blogs.

    There are only a finite number of topics on FIRE out there and it’s unlikely new revolutionary content happens this far into the game, but I still think my voice (and others) adds various flair to each topic and may still help readers.

    It’s like going to school and learning a difficult subject. One teacher may present it in a way that some members of the audience just won’t get. Another professor might present it in another way and all of a sudden it clicks.

    The biggest gratification I have gotten is actually getting comments from readers. Absolutely love them and it shows that my message is resonating with some.

    It is really hard to get the word out on your blog so I completely understand some of your points about spamming your site on member forums etc. White Coat sent me an email when I asked for advice saying 20% of blogging is creative, the rest is marketing and he is absolutely right. He also said you can write the best content in the world but if you don’t get eyes on it, does it matter?

    Thanks again for giving pointers out for a fledgling blogger like me 🙂

    • Glad it was of some help. You doctor types have a good thing going, between WCI and POF they tend to take care of fledgling MD FIRE blogs. I wish us lawyers would get our act together like that.

      • It is a shame that the legal community doesn’t have the same setup. Honestly I don’t see other bloggers as competition in whatever niche you may end up in. There is potential for everyone to have a successful blog, it’s really the content that attracts readers. If someone reads and likes my blog, it does not necessarily mean that they stop following another blog they like.

    • What really seems impressive to me is the tangible way your MD blogs have a doctor following where they are heeding the advice. Many doctors don’t seem naturally inclined to be good with their money, you may actually be having an affect on that population. That is real change!

      • I agree I think the doctors that actually seek out these blogs are the ones that are most likely to change their financial behaviors and heed the advice given. Unfortunately I believe the large population of MDs out there still are carrying on the traditional doctor lifestyle/paycheck to paycheck mentality and can’t be bothered to visit a blog. But yes it is nice to see that there is some effect out there (and I think it will only increase as younger generations are being thrust in a medical environment that encourages early exit strategies because of burnout)

Let's get things nice and sparkling clear