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:
- that’s a terrible, terrible selfie that was taken before selfies were cool.
- 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.