Blogger

Mistakes I Have Made Since Becoming A Pro Blogger

A Big Mistake

“Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted”—Italian Proverb

I’ve been a professional blogger for around two years now, and I got my big break at Mashable. I managed to make a name for myself within the short time I was there, but a lack of creative freedom to write about what I wanted lead me to not being as enthusiastic about my job as I once was. The money was great, but it wasn’t worth the cost of having to write about what others wanted me to write about while my ideas were shot down left and right. I have to express myself freely in order to work well.

Was leaving a mistake? Absolutely not! It lead to other opportunities which I enjoy including this Performancing job which I love. I also started a blog for the first time in nearly a year, OnlyJames—my personal blog.

There are, unfortunately, mistakes which I have made that have taken their toll. Each one is an experience that I had to learn from if I expected to progress as a professional blogger.

My Mistakes

Passing Up TV Time

Problem

G4TV—previously TechTV then G4TechTV—wanted me to appear on Attack of the Show—one of the most popular shows on G4TV—to do a 5 – 10 minute panel discussion with an editor from PC World or PC Magazine after I wrote an article about the potential death of Yahoo. Yes, it this is national television.

Sean O’Rourke, producer of Attack of the Show, sent me an email inquiring if I would be interested in taking part of the show:

James,

I am a producer with G4TV’s Attack of the Show. We came accross your article about the death of Yahoo yesterday as we were planning our story for today’s show. Today on our show we’re going to be having a panel discussion on this topic and I am wondering if you would like to participate? The segment is sort of like something you might see on a cable news show. It will be you and one other guest talking about the points regarding Yahoo.

You would come to a satellite location so you can be on our show.

Sorry for the speed of this email but the show is at 4PM PST. I need to book people quickly.

I, reluctantly, rejected this opportunity. It was more of a fear about making myself look like an idiot than anything. I was questioning myself, and I wasn’t very confident with what I would have done on the show. Everyone else said I should do it, but I was the only one that was not ready.

After watching “The Loop,”—the portion of the show I would have been on—it was beyond obvious that both of the panel members didn’t have much of a clue about what they were talking about. It almost felt like both panel members were reading from my article. I was almost ready to kick myself by realizing how simple it would have all been. I had an opportunity to make myself into some technology genius that has been on national television, but instead I am an idiot for not doing the show.

It was one of the more prevalent bonehead moves on my part, and if I don’t ever get the chance to go on television again, I will forever have this chip on my shoulder. I must hope that I write something so impressive again as to have a television network notice it. Can’t be too hard, right?

Solution

If given an opportunity that will be great, take it!

Not Backing Up Data

Problem

After joining Performancing, CirtexHosting decided it was time to delete my site and replace it with a backup copy around four months old. The problem was that they forgot to inform me of this before it happened, and a simple email could have saved plenty of people from headaches. As a result, I was not very happy when this happened.

All sites need to have backups just in case something like this happens, right? Well, I had an automated backup performed on a weekly basis, and, furthermore, I backed up the entire site manually at the end of the month. I figured this was enough, and I felt comfortable knowing that my host would backup my data on occasion—everything was supposed to be perfect!

I would quickly learn that my perfect world was ruined when the automated backups were failing on the attempted restores, and the manual backup revealed that many of my images were never actually being backed up for some reason or another.

The end result is a blog without hundreds of pictures, many articles, and my motivation to fix it. To make matters worse, I restored everything on a different content management system which makes it extremely difficult to go back to WordPress.

After consideration of how much effort it would require to get what I want out of the CMS I switched to, it is simply not worth it at this time, and I am still hesitant to go out and hire someone to design what I envision. The blog in question just sits as I try to think of what to do with it. I am not blessed with the skills of artistic design, and I don’t have much time to tinker with things.

This mistake could probably be explained in another way: maybe, just maybe, all I need to realize is that I got what I paid for. I got ripped off, but I did, in fact, receive what I paid for. I tried going to cheap route, and it came back to haunt me. It was a huge and costly mistake.

Solution

Always test backups and sign with a reliable hosting company.

Anti-Social

Problem

When I first started blogging professionally, I was not a very social person. This, of course, reflects my life outside of the internet as well as on it. Soon enough, with my desire to become a successful blogger, I started realizing that I would need to change if I was going to get anywhere in a realistic time-frame.

Blogging, from my perspective, is all about being social—you are communicating to people that read your content, but that isn’t good enough on its own. I was kidding myself by thinking I was social by simply writing on my blog. Only within this past year I began realizing the mistakes I was making. I needed to network myself more, but I wasn’t doing it correctly.

A lot of opportunities that could have been had when I first started blogging were lost as a result. I should have been more outgoing.

Now I talk to bloggers on a daily basis, and I am making new friends that are far more knowledgeable on the topics I write about. I’m learning from some of the best, and as my contacts grow, hopefully the opportunities will too.

Solution

Be more social—it can help create new relationships and opportunities throughout the blogosphere.

Mistakes Happen To Us All

Hopefully, reading about my mistakes as a blogger will help you to realize yours. Acknowledge them. These are not moments you dwell on, but, instead, you learn from them. Try your best to avoid making the same mistakes again.

I am interested in hearing about your biggest mistakes since becoming a blogger. Is there anything you wished you have done differently? Any opportunities that evaded you? Tell us about them in the comments section.

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[Image Credit: Your Choice – A 1970 Ford Pinto or 10 Piece Chicken Nuggets From Wendy’s?Sister72 | CC]

Author: jamesm

12 thoughts on “Mistakes I Have Made Since Becoming A Pro Blogger

  1. See, I have been thinking about just starting a new technology blog, but I really do like the domain name I picked up for the site.

    I think I am going to consider other domain choices, and just starting fresh. Then, perhaps, I could sell the domain (http://www.techindemand.com/) for a decent amount of money.

    I am not yet sure though.

    Hope things go well with the new site.

  2. the exact same ting happened to me and i lost 6 months of hard work when suddenly my site disappeared! of course i hadn’t backed it up at all, after all nothing was going to happen was it, so after 3 months of crying in my coffee i picked myself up, dusted myself down and started all over again ( thanks Fred Astaire).

  3. “Publishing information which wasn’t entirely accurate.”

    Yeah, I have managed to accidentally pull that one off as well, but I have corrected myself immediately once a mistake was made. Thankfully, this has only happened once, and it was because I didn’t have the latest version of a product. The information was accurate, but it wasn’t up-to-date I guess we could say?

    Oh well. We all learn.

  4. “We are the creator and destroyer of our successes and failures.”

    True Say.

    Very cool concept to the blog. Half of the battle is just trying to settle down on a blog topic, and go with it. Blogging about blogging is a smart idea; timeliness, and longevity. Your journey, whether up or down is interesting to read.

    Mistakes we make along with way, no matter what. But if we plant the right seed from the start and work hard towards its growth, success is surely to come eventually.

  5. Hah, I was thinking about writing about my own mistakes I’ve made thus far. Well, so far they include:

    publishing someones full email address within a blog post, making it easy for spammers to get it
    publishing information which wasn’t meant for public eyes to see
    publishing information which wasn’t entirely accurate
    sometimes not writing WordPress in the proper form, sometimes I would write WP or wordpress.

  6. Thanks for reading!

    I believe you, and I will be sure to send you an email. Thanks for the opportunity.

  7. You may not believe this but I’m the Executive Producer of Attack of the Show (Sean works for me) and I regularly read Performancing as I’m a blogger as well (I run tvinjapan.com and some personal blogs).

    Send me an email James and we’ll see if there’s some other potential way to work you into the show.

  8. Appreciate the kind words.

    Honesty is something I value, and it is all the truth.

    And well said about the mistakes make us better, and successes fuel the fire.

    I also made up a little quote: “We are the creator and destroyer of our successes and failures.”

    So true.

  9. Well written, and quite honest. I like that. Hindsight is always 20/20, but I suppose it’s all for a reason. Our mistakes make us better, and our successes fuel the fire to succeed at greater levels. I will keep the solutions in mind. Thanks.

  10. lol…Still think you should have done the G4TV thing, though idk if the tiny peanut town you live in even has someplace you could have went to, to do it at :p…oh wells..lol and you could probably say you started 2 blogs yesterday :p considering you set mine up interesting lessons

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