6 Blogging of My Mistakes I’d Like to Learn From

The first blog post I ever wrote, was a ghostwriting project for an internship. In fact, the first couple hundred blog posts I ever wrote were of that nature. It started my freshman year of college. I was working on in-house social media for a company in my hometown, trying to leverage new e-commerce opportunities. Our entire e-commerce department was made up of two people: the e-comm director, and the intern (me) that he happened to snatch up from the print marketing staff.

When I wrote those first blog posts, I had no idea what I was doing. My boss at the time said I had a good feel for what a blog post should be capable of, but in many ways I was totally feeling my way through the dark. This all started over three years ago, and a lot has happened since then. I’ve personally operated two blogs of my own, which I then consolidated into the project you see today, kellymrivard.com. I have contributed to several blogs as a featured writer, as well. I have a lot of experience under my belt for having started all of this as a hobby.

So, if I look back on my blogging “career” and consider what I’ve learned, what are some things I would change or reconsider?

  1. Someday, I might get married. And following that, there is a good chance my name will no longer be Kelly M. Rivard. That means, if this site is still operational, I will have to worry about things like redirecting and whatnot. I did not think that one out very well, but in the name of self-branding I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.
  2. I need to listen to my own advice more. I have had several internships where a part of my job involved teaching others to blog more effectively. I can rattle of best practices and blog reviews, yet often times mine does not align. I can’t always just sit down, write 600 words of hogwash, and expect people to read. I need to consider the advice I give others, act on it, and work hard to continue making my blog the best it can be.
  3. Back in my Midwestern Gold days, I was very creative about finding fun ways to bring agriculture to my audience. I used video, photos, anecdotes, and tidbits of humor to spice up the content. Because my life is currently in a place where I’m learning a lot of hard and profound lessons, my voice has transitioned to something a bit more serious and reflective. I’d like to bring the fun back.
  4. I’d like to have more time to read more blogs. Recently, I rediscovered the joy of a weekend away from computers. I would like to spend more time unplugged, but at the same time there are so many other things I’d like to do that involve computers…such as, reading blogs. I love my blogging friends, and I love the unexpected joy of stumbling across a new blog you’ve never read, but completely “click” with. Reading makes you a better writer, reading blogs makes you a better blogger. I need more time for this.
  5. I’d have not used a few designs I had. In hindsight, some of them were ugly, some of them were hard to read on them, some of them were just poorly compiled or didn’t make any sense. The current one? I’ve had it for several months now, and I’m still just as “in love” with it as I was when I set it up. In fact, I’m somewhat dreading my next blog redesign, because this one has been everything I wanted. Change is natural though, right?
  6. I’d have been wiser about the things I publicized on my blog. I had always been very, very open on my blog, lapsing from “transparency” into perhaps “over-sharing.” While I was fine with it and comfortable at the time, large changes (like, say, a major breakup) can change the way you feel about what you share on a blog. Transparency = good, over-sharing = bad.
These are just some of the observations I’ve had regarding my experiences as a blogger. These are just things that I would reconsider, if given the chance. However, all of these thoughts represent a learning experience. I have grown as a blogger and a human being because of missteps, mishaps, and misadventures along my trip to become the best blogger I can. It’s been an interesting journey, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
You see, when I began blogging, I didn’t “get” it. Now I do. I won’t say I have all the answers. I don’t. I will say that, even if I can’t always sum it up in words, I have a better understanding for what I want out of my experience as a blogger than I did when I began. I blog for myself, I blog for agriculture, but I also blog for an audience. I do this because I enjoy it, because I enjoy the people I have met because of it, and because somewhere down the line, I hope to possibly make a difference.
If you blog, what are some of your mixed experiences as a blogger? Any faux pas you’d like to share? Any big learning experiences that helped shape your approach and mentality? Please share! We can continue to learn together as a blogging community. After all, “community” is a big reason why this social media thing is so fantastic!

4 thoughts on “6 Blogging of My Mistakes I’d Like to Learn From

    • Thanks, Brooke! I use a mixed bag of tricks. Some is email subscriptions. I’ve always wanted to set up a reader but I’m too lazy to devote time to it. My preferred way to read a blog is on the original site anyway, so it’s just a matter of getting an email notification or seeing a tweet, and going to the site to read it there. I like to soak up things like layouts and widgets and buttons.

  1. This is a great post, I struggle with a lot of the same things. When writing about farming animals, I often blog about what intrigues me: animal disease and the various interesting things that crop up on my farm, and how I either successfully treat them, or sometimes not. But after a while I’ll realize, I often fail to mention all of the “boring” days when all the animals are healthy and nothing happens. And then I think egads! Nobody will want to buy animals from me, they’ll think mine are all sick and dying all the time or that sheep are too hard to raise! 😀

    • Michelle, one of the secrets to blogging is writing about the things you’re most passionate about. Sometimes it’s a good idea to write about other things for the sake of the audience or variety, but writing about things you care about equals to better writing…in my opinion. Keep up the great work and don’t doubt your instincts. The worse that can happen is you make a mistake and you learn from it.

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