After Eight Years of Blogging, These Are My Biggest Regrets4 min read

A screenshot of my first post

Eight years of blogging. Thousands of articles. Millions of words. Countless comments, e-mails, newsletters, replies.

I have blogged about art, creativity, motivation, life, love, death, and everything in between. I have written articles about personal growth, self-improvement, and success. I have written wake-up calls, listicles, how-to guides, and so much more.

But what are my biggest regrets? What are the things I wished I had known when I was just starting out?

Well, here are my biggest regrets after eight years of blogging.

I should have enjoyed it more.

If you’re just starting out, odds are you are pretty enthusiastic about your blog. Well, sorry to break it to you, but that enthusiasm runs out as soon as you become successful.

No, I’m not kidding.

The moment you work part-time at replying to comments and e-mails, the moment you feel like you HAVE to post something, or else people will start e-mailing you to ask you if you’re still alive, that’s when blogging feels like a chore.

I wish I would have thought against this. I wish I would have reminded myself, over and over again, that blogging for an audience the size of mine is a privilege.

I should have focused more on creating quality content.

A lot of folks say I’m prolific. I beg to differ.

The truth is that I spent the first couple of years of blogging networking like crazy, rather than working on producing quality content.

This means that I’d often write as fast as I could a 200-300 word post, publish it, and then get back to networking.

I get it. It’s addictive, especially once you see the results. You comment on someone’s blog post, they visit your blog, become a subscriber, and then they start reading your posts, commenting, etc.

But the truth is that your main focus should always be to create the best content that you can.

After all, no matter how many people visit your blog, it’s your content that persuades them to become readers.

I never should have lost my appetite for success.

This maybe seems like a surprising one, but at one point I thought I knew everything there was to know about blogging.

I had made it.

I was the wolf at the top of the hill.

But, you see, there were other wolves climbing the hill. And they were hungry for success.

The truth is that if you think there’s nothing new to learn about blogging, about your niche, about growing your audience, or networking, others are going to surpass you.

Never lose this hunger. Never stop looking for new ways to improve your content, to build new sources of income, to provide more content, to explore different types of content.

Always act as if you’re one of the wolves climbing the hill, even if you’re at the top. Always keep struggling, because the struggle keeps you humble.

I should have focused on just one, not many.

A few days ago I was going through my main blog, and I stumbled upon this post.

I was shocked because:

  1. that’s a terrible, terrible selfie that was taken before selfies were cool.
  2. that I had received over 90 comments from people who were willing to read a book I was planning to write (more or less) and that I hadn’t bothered to reply to even one of them.

Up until a couple years ago I was obsessed with numbers. I was thinking in terms of macro-engagements. Getting thousands of views, likes, comments. Writing for a certain target audience. Stuff like that.

The truth is that it not only made me feel miserable, but it also stifled my creativity big time. I didn’t know what to write, because I didn’t know who I was writing for.

I was so busy chasing followers that I had no time to build relationships with my readers. To enjoy their comments. To talk with other human beings about the topics that we all loved to read about.

That’s why I hate the word “traffic” so much these days.

That’s why I always advise folks to focus on their ideal reader, to connect and build relationships, genuine ones, with their readers.

If I had done that early on, now I wouldn’t have some 200, 000 followers across three blogs, but a lot of friends.

It would have been something, wouldn’t it?


These are my biggest regrets when it comes to blogging.

Ultimately, it’s all about learning from our mistakes. And the truth is that, even from failure, if you have learned something, it was worth it.

And I have learned to never taking anything for granted, to always aspire to work more than I did yesterday, and to always do my best to give something to my readers. And to appreciate them, because they are spending their time (which they’ll never get back) to read my posts.

Once again, thank you so much for taking the time to read my posts. It is a privilege.

Cristian

Cristian Mihai

Became Internet famous by the age of 23. Never recovered. I write short author bios all over the web. I’m an acquired taste. Don’t like me? Acquire some taste.

52 thoughts on “After Eight Years of Blogging, These Are My Biggest Regrets4 min read

  1. It is always a privilege to read your posts, Cristian. I never leave it without a “take away” to help me enjoy this world of blogging even more. Today it’s about the wolves. You wrote, “…there were other wolves climbing the hill.” It reminded me of “Hope for the Flowers,” an adult picture book about climbing the caterpillar pillar. Do you know it? It’s old as Methuselah, but always pertinent!

  2. Very inspiring and I believe true to it’s very core.
    This is an inspiration for all of us to enjoy the ride and not worry about whether we’re gonna make it as bloggers or not

  3. Hehe, because of publishing my post too soon a while back, I misspelled the name into Christian instead of Cristian. Good thing I was able to notice it immediately. Thanks for this post. As always, great!

  4. This is a good post to come across as I’m just starting out. I can feel myself get sucked into always looking for how many views I have sometimes. Even though right now it might be 6 or 23 on a particular post, I need to keep that all relative to the reason I started my blog. I feel like I’m finding a talent in me I never knew I had, and that’s the important thing to cultivate.

  5. This is SO good Christian. You really put things into perspective on the challenges of keeping our blogs authentic (another great post of yours, thank you!)

    What I like most is the advice to stay connected to “why” we blog at all which helps us stay committed to ourselves, our readers and enjoying the process! 🙂

  6. You’ve learned some powerful lessons. I’ve been following you for a while and have detected a change in how your tone has changed in the past year. I like that change–your still very knowledgeable but from my NSHO, a lot less arrogant (yes that is a strongly opinionated word.)

    1. I am a lot less arrogant. Could be less. I am by no means humble or anything. Or, better said, I’m still kind of entitled, but I am now far more willing to do a lot more work.

      And I do appreciate this game a lot more. Kind of missed it. Blogging, networking, doing my best to create valuable content. That’s what got me my first hundred thousand readers, so it’s back to the basics for me.

      1. You can certainly and justifiably clain blogging expertise and we appreciate your being kindly to us lesser mortals. 🙂

  7. These are all great pieces of advice, thank you for your commitment. I incline to think that the moment blogging becomes just business or a brand, it loses its charm and one loses that genuine connection you can only have with a handful of people, instead of thousands of followers.

    1. Hi Gregoria,

      You can have thousands of followers and still enjoy it very much. It feels like home.

      But you know your why, you know who your ideal reader is, and you genuinely care about your followers. That’s the difference.

      1. Aww, I’m glad to know that’s the case. It must be like rock singers performing in front of huge crowds – I have heard it feels like home too.

  8. Good point. I’ll keep that in mind. I guess if blogging becomes a job it will burn us out. I’m trying to keep mine as a hobby so I won’t get tired of writing.

  9. In my high school yearbook, my quote was “if you pause to count your conquests, be sure to conquer no more”. That’s because others are waiting for you to slack a bit and boom! you’re left wondering how you came behind.

    I also think this post has made me less keen on looking for traffic but appreciating my little audience more.

  10. I may not be as successful as you are where blogging is concerned, but trust me when I say that I can relate to your experience. I share your sentiments, too, Cristian.

    I remember how enthusiastic about
    blogging I was when I newly joined WordPress, and it’s so sad for me to watch that enthusiasm slowly die with each blog post that I publish.

    I started my blog because I wanted to connect with and reach out to people. But now that I have, I often run out of things to say. Is this the part where my ‘blogging purpose’ evolves into something different, since I seem to have fulfilled the purpose of my starting a blog? This is one of the questions I usually ask myself.

    I’m grateful to you, though — especially because your insightful blog posts have helped me answer some of these questions on many occasions. So thank you very much for that.

  11. Great post.It is amazing seeing a top blogger self analyse themselves.The fact you were able to pick important things beyond followers and sucess speaks volume.Especially mentioning the importance of connecting,building relationships with followers or viewers you are blogging for.

  12. Thanks. I think that was good timing reading this right now. It’s a good reminder to focus on my content and the relationship with my readers. Not to just write because I I think I should. And above all else it should be fun and rewarding for all involved.

  13. Wow, I never knew a successful blogger like you would feel this way. Thank you for sharing! I’ll keep this in mind.

  14. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and regrets! That’s the beauty of the blogosphere (or at least I find it so). That is, that people are willing to share their experiences, both good and bad. Once again thank you!

  15. Loved “I was so busy chasing followers that I had no time to build relationships with my readers. To enjoy their comments. To talk with other human beings about the topics that we all loved to read about.”

    Best Blogger advice ever!

  16. It is actually on your face kind a realisation that you are helping new bloggers with. Goes a long way in course correction for new bloggers. Thank You nd cheers!!

  17. Ha, imagine my surprised at seeing my picture there on the screenshot for your first post! 🙂 Thank you so much for writing this post! It’s a really great lesson! I’m still learning a lot abut blogging, but I do have to say I’m very happy to have made some true friends out of this! Contacting with one’s readers is a rush or warmth no amount of likes or subscribers can rival, in my opinion! Congrats on 8 years and here’s to many more!

      1. I don’t think so. I think I’ve been around for a little over a year, but I binge-read everything when I first found you, as I was coming back to blogging and just getting started on wordpress and needed to learn well, everything. And I can say I’ve learned a lot from you! So thank you for every single blog!

  18. Cristian, your honesty is enriching to other writers and bloggers. For myself, creating quality content has always been front and center. In the flipside, I never expected to develop relationships with other bloggers and writers. These relationships help to fuel my drive to keep writing and blogging.

  19. wow as a new blogger of few weeks, these advice really mean alot! It puts everything in perspective, I relate to your comment about the rush with increasing numbers, but this is a great reminder to enjoy the process while creating the best content I can.

  20. Love it! Full of honesty and humility, yet showing your passion for blogging. It’s good to accept from time to time that we could have done certain things better, but regret is not a productive feeling for the long term. You have provided over the years a lot of content which has educated, informed and entertained people and that’s what matters most

  21. Hello Cristian – I really enjoyed that article – so much for all us bloggers to learn and take to heart. I wish you all the very best in anything you do from here on out . . .

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