This is the last post in the ‘What I wish I knew when I first started Blogging’ Series. In this post I thought I’d pull together a few comments from readers which are a little more general in nature.
What intrigues me about these comments is that there are a few themes:
- Start Now – a number of people regret spending too much time thinking about blogging and not actually blogging.
- Plan – some regretted that they didn’t put a little more thought into their blogging before they started. This includes both strategic planning around niche and branding – but also practical things like permalink structures.
What interests me is that these two themes could almost be seen as contradictory and they sum up two types of bloggers that I come across constantly.
- Bloggers Who Rush In
- Bloggers Who Plan their Blog to Death
Too much planning can kill a blog (or at least can kill the opportunity for your blog to become established as first and can kill your passion for a topic) while not enough planning can lead to a blog that doesn’t reach it’s potential because it’s foundations are shaky.
This list of comments has some real wisdom in it – if you’re just starting out, take note!
John Wesley writes – “I would have thought more about niche and branding. In the beginning I didn’t understand how important those things are so I had to adjust as the site developed. Having a plan from the start would have helped a lot.”
Lori writes – “I wish I would have made a plan and researched my niche before jumping right in.”
rami writes – “I’d focus on one topic only per blog.”
Gamermk writes – “I wish I’d have started my new blog that I’ve had for a couple months, a year ago. I had the expertise to do it back then as well, just not the drive. The market I’m in won’t last forever and it was a costly mistake I think.”
Vincent Ma writes – “The one thing I really, really wished I knew when I started was how important it was to carefully setup the permalink structure. I started with the default and realized I should have used something like category, postname. Saved by Dean’s Permalink Migration Plugin.”
LintCollector writes – “I wish I’d used a better permalink structure from the beginning. I accepted the WorPress defaults and have post URLs like: domainname/wordpress/archives/118 – If I were starting again, I’d set defaults to something more meaningful and search-engine friendly like: domainname/title-of-blog-post/”
Rebecca writes – “I wish I had been a blog reader before become a blogger.”
Zen Zoomie writes – “I wish that I had started earlier instead of just thinking about it. It took a swift kick in the pants to get me to finally stop thinking – start doing….”
Dean writes – “Get started…. You will learn by getting wet, you will make ‘;mistakes’ we all do, but you learn by doing. The blogosphere is quite forgiving but each day you delay you fall further behind…. Identify your niche, register an appropriate domain, self host wordpress, pin your ears back and go.”
Squib writes – “I began with too many blogs, each of which represented a component of what I enjoyed writing about. After awhile, I discovered that I was writing primarily about two things all of the time, poker and politics, so I merged my blog into a single entity and found my niche.” and “Also, it is important to know your reasons for blogging. If it is commercial, then traffic is very important, otherwise it’s nice to be read but it’s not necessary to be read by the thousands to have a successful blog.”
This ends our series of posts on ‘What We Wish We Knew When We First Started Blogging’. I’m sure there’s a lot more that we could cover and I’d invite you to continue to submit your thoughts in comments.
Thanks to everyone for your involvement in the series both in your initial comments which made up an important part of my posts but also in your continued comments.