Updated: Jan 7
Imagine doing something as a beginner and making no mistakes. How would you feel? What would you learn?
I believe that making mistakes makes you better at what you are learning. If you are perfect from the start, you have nothing to truly strive for. Being a beginner doesn’t make you bad at something. It just means you get to learn along the way.
Oh, the mistakes I made as a beginner blogger. Some of the posts that I wrote were just atrocious. BUT they were 100% me. They were part of my journey as a blogger. Those blog posts served as a learning curve for me as I continued to improve my blogging skills. I am sure that there are bloggers who have been doing it even longer than me who look at my posts and cringe. It all comes down to perspective and the amount of time and experience we each have.
I am a blogging expert (does it ever get easy to call yourself an expert in your field?) but that doesn’t mean that my learning has stopped. It has actually increased. I was listening to an amazing podcast the other day by Robin Sharman.
He talked about when a restaurant is new, they go out of their way to ensure that they are doing everything they can to get to the top. They are performing at their best. They win awards. They become the best at what they do and then something happens. They begin to slide backwards because the ego takes over. They begin to take for granted what they have and soon they are closing because they are no longer striving to be the best.
There is always something new to learn and ways to grow when it comes to blogging. Well really, when it comes to anything worth doing in this life. When you stop learning, you stop living. Here is a list of 6 things I wish I knew when I had started blogging.
THE BENEFITS OF MAKING MISTAKES
1| This takes the pressure off. How many times have you felt the need to be perfect and put off what you wanted to do? Is that what is holding you back in blogging? Perfection doesn’t exist and thinking that it does only hurts our creativity and our story. When you know that mistakes will happen, you take that pressure off of yourself to be perfect. You know that mistakes will happen and that they aren’t the end of the world.
2| It means we are learning something. Like I said above, making a mistake means that we have a chance to expand our knowledge. It gives us the option to learn and grow. To do this, we need to realize the mistake we made and fix it. We can’t cover it up and pretend it didn’t happen. To truly learn and grow, we need to take responsibility for ourselves that what we did was incorrect and learn the correct way to do it.
3| Teaches us forgiveness. This goes hand in hand with #1. When we learn to forgive ourselves for the mistakes that we make, we take the pressure off of ourselves. We also learn to forgive those around us for the mistakes that they made. Forgiveness allows us to move forward in our lives.
4| It allows us to take risks. When you are open to making mistakes, it means that you are willing to put yourself out there and take bigger risks than you normally would. The only way to get past fear is to take risks. Be brave and open yourself up to making mistakes and taking risks.
BLOGGING MISTAKES THAT YOU HAVE (OR WILL) MAKE
1| You are not consistent with your blogging. This is the BEST and ONLY advice you need as a beginner blogger. Don’t worry about your blog posts being a certain length. Don’t worry about grammar. Don’t worry about your graphics. Yes, of course, you want all of those things and they will come with time and effort. Focus on being consistent with your blogging.
Your readers want to know that you aren’t just going to reel them in and then leave them. Your readers will not come back. They are coming to you and your site for a reason. Be consistent in a way that works for you. It is different for everyone. Create your blogging schedule around your life schedule.
I believe in starting small and building from there.
2| You don’t have a structure for your blog posts. I find this often as I read other blogs. The structure is a personal preference but there are always things that you should add to your blog. I similarly structure all of my blogs.
This makes writing up your blog posts easier. It also shows your reader your writing style and attracts your ideal reader. There will be blogging coaches that teach a different way than I teach and that is okay. It really comes down to what is visually appealing to you.
3| You don’t edit your blog post. I will admit, I still do this sometimes. I find myself becoming obsessed with the editing part and then I don’t actually publish my post. When I find myself doing that, I send it to a friend and ask them to read it for me. It takes my mind off of that particular post and gets fresh eyes on it.
You won’t catch every mistake that you have. Editing your own work is super hard so give yourself some grace. Mistakes will happen and they are not the end of the world.
4| You don’t share enough of you. Yes, your readers want to learn something from you but there is more to it than that. They want HOW you are teaching them. They want your story weaved into that teaching. I read on another website the opposite of what I am telling you. That you overshare.
If there is a story that is relevant in your life and ties into what you are teaching, I don’t think you can overshare. Oversharing simply implies that there is a standard that everyone must follow and frankly, we all have different comfort levels of what we feel is oversharing.
Share your story. That is what connects you to your readers. That is the human factor in blogging. Don’t lose that. Share you in EVERYTHING that you write. You will attract the readers that want to be there and need to hear what your journey has been.
5| You don’t take a break. My friend Jody asked me the other day when the last time I took a break to just be Sam. I laughed. As I recalled this conversation yesterday with a client, I told her that I was going to get in trouble.
Sometimes we need that person in our life to tell us to slow down, stop and just be ourselves for a day. I struggle with this so much because writing and blogging is so much my identity that I would feel completely lost and overwhelmed without it.
Don’t punish yourself for taking a break. Skip a blog post on a day that you are supposed to publish. Just don’t make it a habit or you will begin to struggle with your consistency. Schedule all of your posts and social media for a week and allow yourself time to read, walk in nature or play with your children.
Do what you need to do. Blogger burnout is real and it happens often when you are not taking time to heal yourself and give yourself a break.
These 5 blogging mistakes are completely normal and you will probably make them more than once. That doesn’t mean anything about you as a blogger. It means that you are human and you are learning and growing. Keep going. Your story needs to be heard by someone out there.
If you are ready to start your blog and just have no idea how or where to begin, the LIVE Digital Blogging Intensive is happening on October 24 & 25. Get in on it now before it goes up to the full price on October 8th.