For this week’s edition of Blogging Insights, Dr. Tanya wants to know about our early blogging mistakes. You know, things that we did wrong and what we should have done instead.
What mistakes did you make in the first few months of blogging?
My first mistake was choosing the wrong blog hosting site when I first starting blogging in 2005. I went with Blogger because someone told me it was free and it was easy to use. So instead of doing any research on blog hosting sites, I followed that guy’s advice and set up my blog on blogger.
It was free and easy, but it was lonely. After about two years of blogging on Blogger, and pretty much feeling like I was that proverbial tree in the woods that fell but didn’t make a sound because nobody was around to hear it fall (i.e., very few followers and only very rare comments), I figured it was time for a change of venue.
I asked one of my coworkers, who I knew had a blog, what blog hosting site he was using. He said he was using TypePad, which he highly recommended. So I abandoned my Blogger blog and started a new blog on Typepad. That was my second mistake. My blog was an even lonelier place on TypePad than it had been on Blogger.
They say that the third time’s a charm, and when I started a new blog on WordPress, I discovered a highly interactive and supportive community of bloggers, and that made all the difference in the world. People read my posts, commented on them, and started following my blog. It was wonderful.
Then this year WordPress pulled this whole block editor shenanigan, and it’s not so wonderful anymore. But that’s a whole nother story.
The long and the short of it
Another mistake I made in my early days of blogging — at least I believe it was a mistake, although some may argue otherwise — was that my posts were too lengthy. Early on, my posts were typically 1,000 words or longer. Even after I moved from TypePad to WordPress in mid-2013, my average post for the first few years was around 750 words.
It took me a while to realize that ain’t nobody got time for that. So when I started this blog in May 2017, I made a conscientious effort to write shorter, tighter, more concise posts. Now my average size post is around 235 words. And when I started writing shorter, more manageable posts, my blog traffic and readership took off.
So, my advice to novice bloggers is to not drone on and on in your posts. Be concise and try to keep your posts to around 500 words or less. This post is around 475 words and I bet you’re thrilled to have finally reached the end.