Behold My Cringe-Worthy Blogging Fails (and Why They Don’t Matter)

Scared woman hitting keyboard at her desk

Last week, we had a big discussion about what it takes to make your blog stand out.

In the comments, something came to my attention: Writers have a lot of fears about doing it wrong.

If you’re afraid that one flub will sink your blog, I can help.

I can prove to you that it’s just not true.

How? Let’s take a trip down memory lane and review all the things I have done wrong on this blog…

My blogging boo-boo parade of shame:

  • My initial design really sucked. I mean, it was brown. And weird. You couldn’t really tell what my header graphic was supposed to be. I didn’t know anything about design when I started, and had to learn the hard way that design matters.
  • I have dates in my URLs…and now it’s too late to change that without breaking links and creating a huge mess.
  • My ebook was too long and expensive. And took too long to write and publish.
  • My ebook wasn’t available on Kindle. Like duh! But it was only a PDF. Lamesauce!
  • I only had one ebook for about 3 years. Way to go on creating a marketing funnel, eh? Pretty shamefully low output. I’ve just added one small new one on writing productivity. I’m trying to get better.
  • I sometimes launch products without any marketing cycle. I just put them out there. I run out of time to organize a campaign to do pre-promoting and all the stuff you’re supposed to and just have to give up.
  • I don’t do A/B testing on my sales pages to optimize them and improve conversions. I can’t figure out the technical end of how you do it, and it never seems to get onto my to-do list. I know my friend Derek Halpern is going to come over and hit me now that I’ve confessed…but there it is. I just don’t have that killer, make-every-possible-dollar instinct. I feel like the people who’re interested in what I talk about here will subscribe, even if my button should be a better color or I should have used 16 pt type instead of 14.
  • I don’t do enough key word research. Seriously, I hardly do any. I know I should be researching more of what people search on that brings them to this blog and then writing more posts with those words. I know. But I mostly go with my gut of what I think writers need to learn to earn more, that I can boil down to post size and give a snappy headline.
  • I don’t have a popup. You may know that you can convert tons more visitors into subscribers if you use one of those annoying pop-ups. But I hate them. I considered using Pippity because it’s less aggressive…but I found the idea of having a popup makes me nauseous. So I don’t.
  • Sometimes my feed fails. I set the publish time wrong and then it misses my RSS ‘send’ deadline. And then my post doesn’t go out. Then the next day it goes out twice. I apologize in advance for when it happens again.
  • I suck at marketing emails. Earlier this week I sent one that said [NAME] in it because the auto-fill-in thing failed because it wasn’t coded right. I mean, honestly. That’s just embarrassing. Thanks to everyone who didn’t unsubscribe.

I’m sure there are more glaring errors I’m guilty of, but that’s a good list to get you started.

Now that I’ve shared this, I can let you in on the blog secret that nobody tells you:

You don’t have to do everything right in blogging

And there is no one right way, anyway.

Blogging is an imprecise art. Typos are tolerated. You can see top bloggers running posts with grammar and spelling errors every day.

You can make a lot of mistakes, and still be a solid success as a blogger.

How? All you have to do is care about your readers, and help them.

And be yourself. Be honest.

Those are the things that matter.

If you do that right — and keep building your relationships with them and learning more about how to help them — your blog will be able to grow and thrive.

You can learn as you go, keep making your blog better, and keep building your audience.

What boo-boos have you made on your blog? Leave a comment and tell us about it. Or tell me more things I’m doing wrong. Either way.

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84 comments on “Behold My Cringe-Worthy Blogging Fails (and Why They Don’t Matter)
  1. daniel says:

    Huh! Carol. I love this post.

    I think my design really suck and with what you said in this post, I think we should be paying more attention to readers. I’ve been thinking on how I can perfect my blog and articles but I’ve been wrong.

    This post really proved me wrong.

    Thanks

    Danny

  2. It used to be that changing your URL structure in WordPress was a real hassle, but they have made it easier. In most cases, your old URLs will be redirected to the new ones automatically if you change them. If you do decide to change the structure, do it at a time when traffic is low and test a few of your old URLs right away to make sure they do get redirected. If it doesn’t work, you can always change it right back.
    Bethanny Parker recently posted..6 Ways to Get Your Employees to Blog for You

    • Karen J says:

      Grateful for that tidbit about upgrades in WP, Bethanny.
      It’s not high on my Do This List, yet, but knowing that it’s not going to blow up my backtrail is definitely Good!
      Karen J recently posted..Aaahhh! Fairyland…

    • Carol Tice says:

      We tried it…and we changed it back. At this point, I have too many links out in the universe on guest posts I’ve done that would all go dead, and the redirect didn’t seem to be automatic…anyway, we tried and discarded that strategy for me. But if you have a young blog, by all means do it without dates!

      • Karen J says:

        Thanks for the caveat, too, Carol!
        Sounds like “improve URL structure” is *not* something to leave in the “someday box” for very long!

        (potential sidetrack alert) Why are dates deemed detrimental? I often have an idea of *when* I read something, but maybe not a clue what the title of the post was, when I go hunting…
        Karen J recently posted..Aaahhh! Fairyland…

        • Carol Tice says:

          Good question! They keep your posts from feeling evergreen and useful years later. Unless you’re blogging on the news, it’s preferable to not emphasize what date you published in your posts.

          Personally, I’ve found people don’t pay that much attention to the URL…if you at least take it off the actual post, as you can see I HAVE done, that’s a big help.

          I comfort myself with the fact that my client Forbes has 30 million views a month and they still have dates in their URLs…so it’s not like it’s the end of the world.

          • Dawn Witzke says:

            Carol, I think dates are fine, especially if you have links to other websites in the posts. Nothing is more annoying than thinking a blog post is current and finding out it’s not when the link doesn’t work. If there is a date attached, and the post is from like 2005 or something, it’s understandable if the links don’t work.

            Regardless of the date, if the information is solid, people will read it.

            • Karen says:

              I agree! I love dates on blog posts; in fact, I’ve noticed that all serious journalism sites do provide dates. On the other hand, it’s so easy to get behind on the blog! Great post, Carol; gives us all courage!

    • Julia says:

      Yep, Bethanny’s right. I recently changed the permalink structure on my small blog, and was pleased to see that WP updated everything for me. (I used to have the year in the URL, but I decided I didn’t want that anymore.)

      So Carol, it might not be as big a deal as you think. :)
      Julia recently posted..12 Ways to Market your Corporate Blog

  3. Doug Smith says:

    This post really encouraged me! Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone! I appreciate your work!

    Doug Smith
    Doug Smith recently posted..Salt and Light

  4. Clare Speak says:

    Briliant! Just wanted to say I noticed the [NAME] auto fill thing in your earlier email – but only because I did exactly the same thing last month on a corporate email I sent out! I kicked myself, but of course, no one else even seemed to notice. Thanks for this post.

    Clare

  5. Rebecca Fyfe says:

    I wonder what study said that those annoying pop-ups convert more. Did they also study how many loyal readers LEFT because of the pop-up? I may really, really like a site, but if I get pop-ups when I go to a site, I unsubscribe. There is one site in particular that I used to find really well-crafted and resourceful, but I’ve noticed that, whenever I click on a link that takes me to an article on the site, I get the SAME pop-up to subscribe by e-mail, and this is on a site that I am coming to THROUGH MY E-MAIL! I have now unsubscribed from it. My time is too precious to be dealing with the annoyance of unasked for pop-up windows. If I want to subscribe to a site, I will look on the sidebar for a sign-up.
    Rebecca Fyfe recently posted..Are You a Writing Rebel?

    • Karen J says:

      Right on!
      Equally annoying to me is when the pop-up comes before I’ve even had a chance to *read anything*! How-the-hell do I know I ever even want to see your stuff yet, let alone see it every time you post something?? Chance are going down… rapidly!
      Karen J recently posted..Happy New Year!

      • Carol Tice says:

        Well, that’s why pippity is better because you can time it to only appear as you reach the END of reading a blog post. But still. I don’t see why bottom banners and my sidebar signup box aren’t enough. And my “free report” page. I’ve already got three places you can often click to subscribe…and I think that should be enough.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Well, that’s the thing. Popups do turn people off as well. I’ve just decided I hate them and they’re not for me. They give your blog a “I’m a SALESMAN!!!” kind of feel that I don’t want. If I’m losing sales, so be it. It’s just not me, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned about blogging, it’s: Don’t do things that go against your grain. It will never pay off in the end.

    • I’ve seen few claims that popups increase subscription rates with links to a supporting study. Yet, it makes sense that popups do increase subscription rates. The popup is interruptive and the subscription form is seen.

      But employing popups is bad manners like interrupting conversations is bad manners.

      The following questions I’ve not seen addressed in popup results studies. Yet, they need to be considered before employing popups.

      What might popups do to repeat visitor statistics? How might they affect loyalty? In what ways might visitors’ perception shift regarding the professionalism of the web site? Is there likely to be a long-term gain?

      What is good for a used car sales site might not be good for an historical fiction writer’s blog.

      Will
      Will Bontrager recently posted..2 Ways to Ensure a Checkbox Is Checked

      • Carol Tice says:

        I know the Popup Domination people (who do the real aggressive popup where your screen goes black) have a lot of stats on their conversion rates…but yeah, I do wonder about who it drives away.

        • Pop ups, I’m in the same camp with you. They are annoying especially when they happen before you can read anything.

          I think what you have going on is perfect because it’s the way it’s sent out, with the title (I’m seriously considering switching to feedblitz and downloaded their migrating book today).

          You use catchy titles, and I know I’ll always get value for my time to come read.

          I listened to Danny this week and wow, amazing stuff… and like you I, too, wonder on implementing it – it obviously works – but is it me?

          So many questions, so many possible directions.

          Thanks though for sharing. Helps everyone know there is hope :)
          Theresa Cahill recently posted..New Round of Sendspace Spam Hides Behind LinkedIn

  6. Karen J says:

    Thanks (again) for the reminders that it doesn’t Have. To. Be. Perfect!

    (Anyway, “perfect” is as moveable a target as “normal”. There’re so many different ways to interpret it, that it becomes nearly meaningless. i.e. If you load up your writing with keywords, it can become dreadful to read, valueless, or both. Which is “perfect”? “Find the balance” you say? And how much extra time does *that* take? Bleah!)
    Karen J recently posted..Aaahhh! Fairyland…

  7. Lisa Baker says:

    I love this post!!! Like with so many things, just doing is better than doing perfectly. Since there’s no such thing as perfect anyway.

    Also, that’s another freaking brilliant headline you have here. I’m adding “behold” to the list of words I want to use in a headline. (All the words on that list are from YOUR headlines, btw.)
    Lisa Baker recently posted..10 Laundry Hacks to Make You Supermom

    • Carol Tice says:

      Funny story — the original headline of this post was “Good News for Everyone Who’s Screwing Up Massively On Their Blog.” Which I liked pretty well.

      But then I wrote the Behold line as a subhead…and eventually I decided it was even more irresistible and switched it up! Jon Morrow says the big difference between top bloggers and the rest is we spend more time thinking about our headlines…and I believe he’s right.

      • Lisa says:

        In that case, I hope I’m a top blogger in the making. :) I spend lots of time on my headlines. Jon’s Headline Hacks kind of opened up the world for me, and now I’m finally at the point where I feel like I can learn by imitating instead of just plugging words into his templates! It’s such an art and I was CLUELESS about it when I first started blogging.

        On the bright side, it’s been really nice to discover that everything I’ve learned about blog headlines applies to magazine articles too! I *think* my article coming out next month is using the headline I wrote. That’s a first for me!
        Lisa recently posted..10 Laundry Hacks to Make You Supermom

        • Carol Tice says:

          I always have the goal of having my headline get used. Since editors want to write it as part of their job, if you can get yours through it means you’re a real strong writer. ;-)

          At NMX, I had a chance to go to this awesome small pizza party at Jon’s hotel room, and we talked about Headline Hacks. He said people resist using the proven formulas…and I was like NOT ME! You tell me ‘this is what works on the Internet,’ and I want to do it.

          Also apparently people feel overwhelmed that he provides so MANY templates. Sheesh!

          When someone hands me a road map through the wilderness, I personally fold it up and keep it in my pack. Take it out and refer often. ;-)

          The other good guide is Sean D’Souza’s “Why Do Some Headlines Fail?” report. Also great. Those two basically changed my life.

  8. Sandra says:

    I’ve never received a duplicate email from you and I hate those annoying pop-ups too!

    I think my biggest mistake so far is not adhering to an editorial calendar. I find it really challenging.
    Sandra recently posted..Escaping to Cuba? Here’s How to Survive “Bad Food”

  9. Joy says:

    Thank you! I still cringe when I make mistakes, or when something I share isn’t “perfect”, but I am learning so much from honoring my creative process, and mistakes really do teach me. My readers don’t see my “glaring mistakes” as I do, they enjoy the message and connection. And, I think that also makes us “real”.
    Joy recently posted..Surfing the Transformational Wave of Love

    • Carol Tice says:

      That’s really true — readers aren’t bothered by half the stuff that’s usually annoying us.

      My favorite questions is when people ask me how long it was until I was happy with the design and writing quality of my blog.

      To which I always respond: “What makes you think I’m happy with it NOW??”

  10. Love this list! And you’re right – 99% of readers won’t notice a typo or a minor formatting fail. They only notice the really glaring errors, like the time I published a post that had a great headline but *no* body text!

    Even then, people were surprisingly forgiving. I got super-nice emails from readers saying “love your headline, when can I read the rest?”

    It just goes to show that when your readers know you care about them, they’ll tolerate a heck of a lot of mistakes. :)
    Sophie Lizard recently posted..The Surprising Truth About How Much Money You Can Make as a Freelance Blogger!

    • Carol Tice says:

      Oh, snort, that is a good one! Don’t think I’ve had a blank post yet…no doubt something I’ll manage at some point.

      And you’ve hit it exactly – if you have a relationship with your readers, they know the technical stuff goes wrong now and then, and it’s not going to make them hate you.

  11. Jessica says:

    I think maybe we post too often for the amount of traffic we get, and we probably don’t do enough promotion. It’s too bad because this blog has good stuff on it! (I think) =)
    Jessica recently posted..Plenty of Revenue- Not much Profit

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hi Jessica — not sure if you’re talking about your blog or mine. ;-)

      But my friend Derek Halpern says if you’re writing 10 blog posts as a new blogger, 8 of them should be on someone else’s blog that has more traffic. Most bloggers don’t understand that it’s ALL marketing at the beginning, if you want to find new readers and build an audience.

    • Karen J says:

      Another generally free and often overlooked source of (indirect, and maybe not even trackable) new traffic is *thoughtful, relevant comments on Other People’s Blogs*.

      I realize this is strictly anecdotal, but *I* have found incredibly valuable content (like yours, Jessica – indeed, great info!) simply by “following home” a commenter who resonates with my Inner Radar.
      Karen J recently posted..Aaahhh! Fairyland…

      • Carol Tice says:

        Oh, I have found places I comment regularly become a measurable source of traffic back to my blog! Especially if the blog you’re commenting on has commentluv and people can see your most recent post — AND it has an awesome headline — it can help people find you.

  12. Terri H says:

    Carol, I cannot thank you enough for this post. This entire weekend I was beating myself up over all of my flubs. For one thing, my blog is still hosted by wordpress. I know it’s something I should definitely change but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. And then there’s the fact that I still have my old business name of Writing by Terri floating around in some places. I recently changed my business name to Terrific Words. Lastly, my biggest flub of all. I wrote an ebook, edited it multiple times and hired someone else to edit for me. Of course, after all of my editing and paying someone to do it, I still managed to accidentally upload the unedited version of my ebook to Amazon. Of course, I didn’t realize my mistake until 146 people had already downloaded it!

    I was so upset over it and was seriously contemplating just giving up on ebooks completely. Thank you so much for reminding me that we don’t always have to be perfect.
    Terri H recently posted..10 Quotes to Get You Through Tough Times

    • Carol Tice says:

      What I love about Amazon is how easy it is to RE-publish new versions of our ebooks.

      There’s always more we can do to make it better…but in the 21st century world of online writing, it’s publish first, correct later. Try to let it go…

    • Terri: I just wanted to let you know that I read your post on quotes and tried to comment twice, but couldn’t get past your WordPress.com comment system hoops. You might want to try a different comment system. I use Disqus which allows people to log in various ways, or they can log in as a guest. Your system has a few ways to log in, but I do not like to use Twitter or Facebook apps, it’s a security issue to me. In any case, I just thought I’d let you know. You may have other people leaving your blog without commenting simply because your comment system is not very user-friendly.
      Anne Bodee-Galivan recently posted..The Secret to Homeschooling Success

      • Carol Tice says:

        I’m so glad you mention this — so often I try to comment on my readers’ blog links left here on commentluv, but I’m asked to sign into their wordpress dashboard or something weird like that and often end up giving up.

        Or I get “your comment is awaiting moderation.” Get Akismet and end that, folks! It’s a real turnoff when you don’t know when or if your comment will show up.

        • Karen J says:

          Carol ~ My understanding of the WP comment system is that, the first time one comments, they go to “moderation” – but after that, they’re good-to-go. But, it may depend on *my* settings? That’s a part I set up a l-o-o-ong time ago!
          ~~~
          I agree, I don’t want to *have to* use a social media log in! I never comment on Brazen Careerist, for example, because they default to FaceBook or Twitter, neither of which I use.
          Karen J recently posted..Aaahhh! Fairyland…

  13. Bonnie says:

    Love this post. Thank you for admitting to your blunders. I’m about to change the URL to my blog (well, redirect it, anyway). Someone took a look at it and said, That’s way too long. Ugh, and I work for an intranet. Oh, and I’ve got to change the background from that weird BROWN color. That’s been on my mind for over a year.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Bonnie, I actually got that feedback from Michael Port of Book Yourself Solid fame…I was in a mastermind group with him at SOBCon and had them review my blog and he said, “There’s no brown on the Internet.” It’s just not a color you see used on any big blog…it just doesn’t look that good online. And the minute I said that, I thought, “That’s true. Brown doesn’t work online!” As soon as I changed it for the design you see today, things started to get better.

  14. Your post was like a free therapy session. Thank you! I’m new to blogging and have been doing it by the seat of my pants. It’s nice to see someone as cool as you making some mistakes as well.

  15. Erica says:

    Love this post! Yes, I’ve made tons of mistakes (design, url, gravator (working on), typos in headers, inconsistent formatting, no keyword research – and I’m an SEO writer; the shame). But, I love my blog. I’m still playing with the design, which is getting better, and coming up with my own style standards.

    It’s nice to see that even gurus make mistakes. :)
    Erica recently posted..When Imagination Attacks

  16. Carol
    My biggest mistake was focusing all my efforts on getting my static pages right and giving no serious regard to my blog.
    Some of the areas where my blog and blogging activity came up short include:
    – Font way too small
    – Failing to realise the importance of my blog
    – No clear call to action to subscribe or landing page to sign up
    – Not building up any awareness/following before starting blog
    – Putting keywords in my name when commenting on other blogs, making me look like a spammer

    My word, there’s probably enough here to write another blog post t!!!
    Kevin Carlton recently posted..Get your website in shape for 2013 with these 3 New Year copywriting tips

  17. Arden Zich says:

    I didn’t start a blog for a long time because I read advice that I should pick ONE subject area on which I’m an expert and write about that. That seemed so limiting and just didn’t feel right to me. I’ve been concerned that I will have too many topics-readers won’t want to stay and hang out because of a grab bag variety of topics. I am taking the leap anyway and just writing about about what I know or happens to strike my fancy. Nothing ventured…

    I agree with Stacie M., your posts ARE like therapy sessions! Thank you as always for providing writing support and camaraderie.
    Arden Zich recently posted..The Dogged Battle of Frosty Paws

    • Carol Tice says:

      Yeah…writing about whatever strikes your fancy is a well-proven method for driving readers away. But hopefully in blogging for a bit, you’ll see which of your topics strikes a chord with readers, and then you can move in that direction.

      The answer to “I have multiple things I’m dying to blog about” is…multiple blogs. If you want to build an audience and earn from it, that is. If it’s your personal journal writing for fun, of course, feel free to have a new topic daily.

  18. Lucy Smith says:

    I don’t mind pop-ups toooo much…the first time. What really annoys me is when the site doesn’t install a cookie and you get the pop-up EVERY. TIME. YOU. VISIT. I’ve even signed up for newsletters and the site still shows the pop-up!

    I know exactly what’s wrong with my blog…I don’t update nearly enough. Not that I have any intention of monetising it, but it means that my SEO really sucks, especially now that I no longer have a keyword in my domain name. I can just never think of topics to blog about, and when I do, I write a post, and then suddenly four months goes by. That’s something I need to work on this year.
    Lucy Smith recently posted..When marketing works

    • Carol Tice says:

      When you can’t think of anything to blog about on your topic for 4 months…it’s often time to think of a new blog topic! I can hardly sleep at nights buzzing with all the posts I can’t wait to do here…and most successful bloggers I know are the same way. If you don’t have a passion for it, it’s hard to grow your blog audience, because they can really sense that.

      And you can’t get a lot of traction if each of your posts is an apology for how long it’s been since you blogged…

  19. Great post, Carol! Glad to know I’m not the only one making tons of mistakes.

    The impressive thing is your commitment to taking ACTION. There’s no way you could make that many mistakes if you weren’t trucking along growing your business. Kudos to you!
    Anne Michelsen recently posted..Business and Transparency: What’s to Fear?

    • Carol Tice says:

      Well, exactly…and that’s what bloggers have to do. Keep on truckin’. You don’t have to get a 10.0 and win the Olympics here…it’s just about getting information out to readers who need it.

  20. Debra Weiss says:

    I’m so glad you shared your list. One of my biggest blogging fears that I constantly battle is the am I doing this right fear. I’m never quite sure if my theme is right or if my headline is good enough.

  21. Julia says:

    I was just telling myself that my blog sucks and I should quit while I’m….well, that I should just quit. Thank you for sharing your challenges and for saying out loud that it doesn’t have to be perfect. You’ve encouraged me. I shall press on!
    Julia recently posted..I can make you smile using a mere tablespoon of sour cream

  22. “I don’t do A/B testing on my sales pages” –Tell me about it. I put off split testing my landing pages for the longest time because I felt I wasn’t techy enough to set them up. Now that I discovered how easy it is to implement them, I can’t believe I waited this long! A/B testing has really helped me understand my audience more and optimize my campaigns.
    Francesca StaAna recently posted..How to Build and Maintain Meaningful Online Connections

  23. Hilarious Carol.

    I’m terrible too.

    My facebook situation is comedy.

    I don’t have a clue what to do on facebook to “get more followers or whatever” I just don’t “get it” why do I want people I don’t even know to have access to my personal photos?
    Darnell Jackson recently posted..How the Obama inauguration will impact Your Online Business

  24. Leanne Dyck says:

    My major boo-boo. My URL.
    Yup, http://sweatercursed.blogspot.com
    My author name would have been so much better. But I was just too excited. A publishing house had finally released a book I’d written.
    What happens when I release a new book? Will I start a new blog?
    Nope. I’ve invested a lot of time and effort developing this blog. I’m not going to throw that all out the window.
    If only…
    Leanne Dyck recently posted..What Michael J. Fox might not know about hockey

    • Carol Tice says:

      Leanne, you can always pick a new URL and move this blog over, and leave a forwarder from the original URL to kick it there. So don’t despair!

      Personally, I always think the ones with cool branding are better, like Fiction Musings, the Blog of Jenny Novelist. That kind of thing. Maybe because I don’t have any cool branding and my blog name is more of a straightforward SEO thing…always feel like I’m sort of uncreative about that.

  25. Mercy says:

    My big fail is always that I don’t post often enough. While my blog is mainly for my personal family, I do have content that is of interest to parents, mainly mothers, and even stuff about India, where I live. It does attract readers from time to time but I can’t say I have a big following.
    I recently moved my 3 Blogger blogs to one Word Press blog. It was a good change and I’m improving my content, deleting stuff that was just wasting space or out of date, and I’m getting it organized better.
    Mercy recently posted..Move Progress Update

  26. Anita says:

    Lots of good points here.

    But I like dates on blog posts. It helps order things in my mind and makes it clear what post is newer than another. At any rate, if there is no date anywhere else but there are comments, I always look to see when they were posted.
    Anita recently posted..rearing unselfish children

    • Karen J says:

      Me too, Anita! (“helps me order things in my mind”)
      I also much prefer comment formats that continue to show the actual time and date they were written, not flattening out to “3 days ago”, “2 months ago”, and eventually “X years ago”. Besides the time-flattening, which makes following a chain of thought/conversation difficult if not impossible, it makes *me* do the math. Boo-hiss!
      Karen J recently posted..Aaahhh! Fairyland…

  27. LindaH says:

    I love it when you’re honest and share the bloopers you’ve experienced. I can tell you that it’s helped me through the dark forest and broken through roadblocks that would have stopped a parade, and all the while I just thought–Carol’s been here done this so I can do this too.

    I don’t blog often enough. I once blogged every day for 10 days. Killed me, but I did. And I started developing a readership. Only problem was it was guest blogging for free and when people asked me to do their blog they also expected it free. They disappeared when I told them how much I charged. Then I stopped guest blogging for the website and started working on my own. After that I let things get in the way.

    But as I’ve watched you and seen how you work and the multitude of advice and pointers you’ve provided it’s turned things around. Now I’m working to educate small business owners on the benefits of a weekly blog post on their website. Slowly they are learning the value of it and how it can expand their market share by communicating with potential clients. I’m looking forward to writing more blogs on my own and building a business around it.

    Your points about not being technical and getting some of the metrics right is encouraging too. Makes me see that being perfect isn’t required. And as I blog, my article ideas grow and expand and you’ve taught me well how to find markets, research, contact editors and move forward. The sky’s the limit now.

    Love this post, Carol. It’s catchy, it’s packed with info and it’s encouraging. All the things struggling bloggers and newbie writers need to hear.
    LindaH recently posted..Are You Sabotaging Your Interview for The “A” Team?

  28. First, I LOVE that picture…it’s how I feel half the time! Thanks for a good laugh for the day! As far as my own mistakes, I’m still making them, but thanks to this kind of post, I don’t agonize over them as much any more. This was just the thing I needed to read right now…thanks.

  29. I’m glad you don’t have the pop ups. I hate them, even on blogs I like reading.
    Anne @ A Blogger’s Books recently posted..Submissions and Updates

  30. Stephanie says:

    I really love creating a great piece of writing and strive to produce top quality results in any business activities, so I definitely spent too much time planning, setting up and researching to make sure I was doing everything right, either in my blog or with any other business aspects. I’m slowly getting past the ‘everything has to be just perfect’ thoughts and getting stuff done! Thanks for being so candid and sharing because you have definitely done lots of things right and I plan to have a blog as interesting and active as yours.

    And thanks for not buying in to those most annoying pop-ups.

  31. anne grant says:

    Hmm…considering the increase in responses to your posts lately, you probably ought to just screw it up more. Seems like its working out for you pretty well! :-)
    After reading this and hearing a similar message maybe a thousand times this week, I published my writers website today. It’s a long way from what I want it to be, but it has a home page, about page, my contact info and a few clips (still trying to figure out how to add more) , so it is functional.
    Now if I can get over wanting to apologize for my website to any potential contacts, I’ll be home free!

    • Carol Tice says:

      Everybody DOES love to read about how others are doing it wrong. Makes us all feel more competent.

      Yeah, be like the English nobility on that site — never apologize, never explain. ;-)

  32. Dan Swanson says:

    What a great reminder of a key principle.

    While I teach that to my clients, I find myself not practicing it as often myself.

    I needed this whack!!!!

    Thanks Carol.

  33. Diana McKee says:

    I once kept correcting my blog for spelling mistakes and updating it, but accidentally pressing “send” out of BLOGGER. This meant it copied 10X to my Fan Facebook page which then copied it my Twitter 10X. I didn’t realize this for a week until I visited both and noticed. I guess my readers are quiet and tolerant.

    Diana

  34. I don’t even know what A/B testing is…suppose I could Google it. I haven’t written any e-books yet, and don’t intend to, unless Kindle books apply. I have an idea for a whole series of Kindle books, but right now I’m focused on trying to launch a freelance blogging career, so the Kindle books are on the back burner.

    I let my Headway theme worry about SEO, and I did finally start using a pop-up, but only because it only shows up on my “Welcome” page (never my blog page) and then only for first-time visitors. It was developed by the team at LeadPlayer and I got it for free. I’m very happy with it.

    Jon Morrow’s “Headline Hacks” is probably the single best blogging tool I’ve ever read. I have used it constantly. I agree that headlines are crucial.

    I must admit, however, that blogs with constant grammatical errors turn me off. You might call it a pet peeve of mine. We all have a typo now and then, but if a blogger doesn’t have a good grasp of grammar, and won’t take the time to have someone else preview their post, I just consider that lazy. Why would someone hire me as a writer if I’m too lazy or self-satisfied to proof my own blog posts? Of course, if someone isn’t a writer for hire, maybe their readers will tolerate their constant grammatical errors (or maybe they just don’t know proper grammar themselves). If they can still sell, then more power to them. But I just get befuddled at bloggers with errors in every paragraph that clearly aren’t typos, they’re just the sign of someone who considered themselves too busy to bother to edit their work.

    By the way, I noticed that [NAME] error in that marketing e-mail, but knowing it was a once off, I certainly didn’t unsubscribe! Actually kind of smiled a little. That kind of thing could happen to any of us.
    Anne Bodee-Galivan recently posted..The Secret to Homeschooling Success

    • Carol Tice says:

      Anne, A/B testing involves software that helps you create two versions of sales or landing pages where one thing is different between them, so you can test which version does better. I know people who spend 100s of hours on that sort of thing…and I gather I should too…but it just never seems to be what I want to do with my time.

      Kindle books…ARE ebooks, yes? ;-)

      I so agree with you on the constant grammar stuff…but I have a clear sense of the rules of blogging, where grammar works differently and more like copywriting. But I know one writing blog I won’t mention where I can see at least one word usage issue in each post. Always think that’s sort of nuts.

      • I thought perhaps that’s what A/B testing was. My AWeber e-mail service calls it split-testing and they encourage it too, but there’s no way I have time for that. I’m doing good just to get out my e-mails to my subscribers on a regular basis!

        And yes, I know someone who is a life/business coach whose blog posts are just atrocious when it comes to grammar, and it always makes me scratch my head. I’ve thought of offering to edit her posts (not for free!) but since it’s someone I know personally, I’m afraid this person would get offended, so I just keep scratching my head. Fortunately I have a good head of hair! :)
        Anne Bodee-Galivan recently posted..10 Top “Family Night” Movies

  35. Great post.
    Admitting errors is good, and taking action on them is even better. I like your design as it’s simple, but I almost never write a post without doing some keyword research.

    However, I’m with you Carol. Don’t use Pop ups! I hate them too.
    Servando Silva recently posted..8 Ridiculous Blogger Mistakes I did on 2012

  36. We cannot make perfection. And blogs cannot be totally perfect. I’ve been blogging for one and a half year already but I still don’t get SEO stuff and don’t know if I’m doing it right or not. Thus, my stats get hurt. Anyway, blogging is first of all fun and a community, sharing the same passion for spreading what you love, like your writing…
    Daphnée Kwong Waye recently posted..The War Against Myself

  37. Carol Tice says:

    I just have to pop back in to say I’ve remember another stupid fail I still can’t seem to stop doing — I write temporary headlines for blog posts, and WordPress forms the initial URL out of that.

    Then when I write the final, often the concept has changed quite a bit. But I forget to edit the URL! When I goes up I see it’s now got a URL that doesn’t actually fit the topic anymore…or that cuts a letter or two off the end, or something else dumb. I’m really trying to improve on this one, but it’s one little detail that seems too easy to forget to do.

    • Karen J says:

      Been there, done that! I have a couple of URL’s that are just “post numbers” because I hit publish without a title at all!

      I probably ought to suggest to the WP folks that they change the (edit this) button by the URL to (edit URL) ~ I always get a little skitzy about using it, because I’m not sure which “this” they’re talking about.

      Bright Blessings!
      Karen J recently posted..Self-Care Rocks! (and Pays, too)

  38. Gareth Ellis says:

    Great post! You mention one ebook for 3 years? what kind of output do you have now?

    lamesauce made me chuckle.
    Gareth Ellis recently posted..How to get started on twitter

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hi Gareth —

      I develop a ton of content, but it’s mostly live Webinars. I’m in the process of turning many of those into ebooks, and splitting my original ebook into 3 new ones, so stay tuned! Hoping to put out about 10 different short ebooks in the next year.

1 Pings/Trackbacks for "Behold My Cringe-Worthy Blogging Fails (and Why They Don’t Matter)"
  1. [...] you let fear of failure put off the launch of your blog? Carol Tice over at Make a Living Writing shares the long list of mistakes she made when launching her blog … and why they don’t actually [...]

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