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5 Mistakes Every Blogger Will Make, Including You

Posted by on 23rd Sep 2010 | 13 comments

There’s a simple truth to life that every human being will make mistakes. Since every blogger is human, at least the ones that aren’t spambots, then every blogger will screw up inevitably.

On BloggingPro, I recently wrote an article about how to recover from the mistakes you make but the question becomes “What kind of mistakes can one expect to make?”

With blogging, as with life, there are very few guarantees but there are a few mistakes that virtually every blogger, at least if they keep blogging long enough to make them. Here’s just a small sample of those mistakes with 5 blunders you can probably look forward to.

1. You Will Screw up Spelling, Grammar Etc.

If you type enough words, you are going to get a few things wrong. It doesn’t matter how good your grasp on your chosen language is, how careful your editing process is or how many eyes you have reviewing your posts, you will make typos and other spelling/grammar errors.

Fortunately, most of these blunders are very minor and can simply be corrected. People tend to forgive these errors quickly because they aren’t important and, quite literally, happen to everyone.

The key here is to just not make too many and you’ll probably find that your audience is forgiving. Still, that’s no reason to get sloppy.

2. You Will Bork Your Theme

At some point you’ll go into your theme, make a change, no matter how minor, and completely screw it up. You’ll get your structure wrong, add to many of a certain kind of tag, leave out space or forget a bracket and your site will be completely ruined because of it, at least until you fix it.

These mistakes are very similar to grammar errors but with code. We all make them and we all pay for them. The key is to repair them quickly and get the corrected version up as fast as possible. It also pays to make and keep backups before doing ANY changes to your site.

Remember, this is why you need to know the basics of HTML and CSS. You’re only human and your best-laid plans will often go astray.

3. You Will Say Something Stupid

Open Mouth, insert foot. We’ve all done it and you will do it with your site too. Eventually you’ll write something that, in your head makes sense but when put out on the Web is either taken a completely different way or is simply flat-out wrong.

No matter the cause of this, you should be prepared for it and take appropriate action. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to this as every case is different but generally speaking the best approach is to be honest, apologize, correct the error and move on.

If you can do that, it’s usually pretty easy to put this kind of mistake behind you.

4. You Will Get Heated

A big part of blogging is dealing with people and whether it is via email, via comments or something in between, you will, almost certainly, respond incorrectly at least once.

Though we all know not to feed the trolls or start flame wars, inevitably someone says something that gets under our skin or we make the mistake or we let a civil discussion go too far. That creates a hostile situation that we have to deal with.

The best way usually is to disarm the argument by apologizing if necessary, seeking common ground and then highlighting differences in a more positive light. If you can’t end a flame war through being the bigger person, it’s usually better to just walk away.

5. You Will Anger Your Audience

At some point something you do will upset your readers, or at least a large number of them. Whether it is a change in direction for your blog, a new theme or even just a new logo, you’ll find yourself taking heat from a large number of your very loyal readers.

Strangely, it doesn’t matter how much warning you give about the change, how many people you ask beforehand or how many polls you take, many will stay silent until the changes go live. That’s not to say you shouldn’t take those steps, they can greatly mitigate any conflict and any warning is better than a surprise, but they don’t ensure a smooth transition either.

Here, you need to make sure that what you did was actually a mistake before backtracking. In many cases, some user heartburn is a worthwhile trade off for a clearly better site. That being said, if it is a mistake and you have a full user revolt, you need to figure out quickly if the mistake was the change or the way things were.

Either way, you need to engage your audience, listen to their concerns and make changes as appropriate. It will help you greatly soothe the heated debate.

Bottom Line

If you blog long enough and grow to be of any size, you’re going to make some mistakes, including these. Though you should work to keep such mistakes to a minimum, you also need to be prepared for them and be able to respond quickly.

If you can do that, you’ll likely find that your goofs aren’t that big of a deal and that most of the focus stays on what you got right, not the few things you got wrong.


13 comments - Leave a reply
  • Posted by Kathy on 23rd Sep 2010

    Hehe…you have a typo in #2. s/b “too many” Sorry, just had to share.

  • Posted by Sarbjit Singh on 24th Sep 2010

    Well,

    I think I am lucky, I scored 2/5. I am sure I will make rest of the three mistakes some day. :)

    Very well written
    My recent post ESIC Recruitment 2010- 125 Lower Division Clerks

  • Posted by @socialwebtools on 24th Sep 2010

    Yep I've done all of these :) Like you said, no need to make a big deal out of them

  • Posted by dotCOMreport.com on 24th Sep 2010

    Thanks for the reminder. I get hung up on the grammar issue especially. And engaging the audience, even when it's heated, at least tells you that you've got followers!
    My recent post Video Uploading to Your Blog Just Got Easier

  • Posted by Nazre Imam on 24th Sep 2010

    These type of articles are very useful but very rare to get,,,,,,,, thank you, i got it
    My recent post History and Birth Of Commonwealth Games

  • Posted by John Paul Aguiar on 24th Sep 2010

    I agree with all that.. it comes down to , how you deal and react to the mistakes.

    I have been pushed to work harder on my spelling and grammar..lol and I have made a joke of it. All you can do, work thru it and move on and learn a lesson.

  • Posted by jopie2yuni on 24th Sep 2010

    Luckily the firefox and windows have spelling grammar, so when I type words, I know I don't do a mistake.

    But the problem is, when your primary language is not English and you need to post/comment with English language.. I think I need to learn much of English Sentences..
    My recent post inn what way can a blood test detect a drug when a person has taken it

  • Posted by Ron Miller on 24th Sep 2010

    6. You will write pointless blog posts.

    Sorry, but I don't see any of these as particularly horrible.

    Ron

    My recent post Lets Not Be Rigid in Defining the Cloud – Novell Cloud Formation

  • Posted by @RodBee on 24th Sep 2010

    I've recently started my blog so I suppose I am looking forward to making all of these blunders…and probably more. hey, it's only a blog! Thanks for the insight.

  • Posted by Queer English on 26th Sep 2010

    I agree. But these mistakes are what makes a blog interesting, don't you think? Something to think about? SOmething to talk about? (WInk!)

  • Posted by Douglas W. Green on 26th Sep 2010

    Great post. I knew this but thanks for the reminders. I also think that people will read between the lines at times and come away with something you didn't intend. There is also the kill the messenger issue. Today I Tweeted the NY Post's editorial on "Waiting for Superman." I suspect that some teachers who are getting trashed from both sides might see me as the enemy. Keep up the good work. Let me know if you see any of the above mistakes at my blog – DrDougGreen.com.
    Best,
    Douglas W. Green, EdD
    My recent post I Tweet For You – Latest and Greatest Links from My Twitter Feed for Educators

  • Posted by pinoy boy on 12th Oct 2010

    yes, its like unwritten rule that its okay to make mistakes because this is blogging not an article you're writing for like, let's say the New York Times. Although with the current trend that blogging becomes a source of information much like a magazine or a newspaper, its best to double check everything and make sure its worthy post without too much error.

    Happy blogging everyone!
    My recent post Peace and Tranquility of the Cebu Taoist Temple

  • Posted by Daria Przybyla on 29th Nov 2010

    Oh yeah… as soon as you start messing with the html (and it's impossible not to have to do it at some point), you're bound to fail. XD The language thing is another problem, for us non-native speakers especially. I haven't dealt with much anger from my blog's readers — content sites where writers compete for views, topics, and authority are more likely to give you some drama-llama and heated discussions, public or not.
    My recent post Free Add Url Services – Generate Instant Traffic and Get Indexed Quickly