Painful lessons in blogging

I’m new to blogging and my mistakes are there for all to see. Painfully so in one case. So here are just some examples  and I hope you won’t repeat my errors.

1. Check your post, not once or twice, but three times – just in case. As someone whose profession is editing you would think I wouldn’t need to be told that, but you learn every day.

2. Lack of clarity can muddle your message, annoying readers and frustrating your own intentions.

3. Show your blog post to someone you trust – your partner or friend, for example – before posting. Any uncertainty in your own mind means warning lights are flashing, so double check what you have written is right. I usually show my wife very personal posts first and have rewritten based on her feedback. The results have always been much better.

4. Illustrating your post gives it an edge, although too many pictures can make reading a bit awkward, especially on tablets. It can make the post look too long. Just remember to check the media is attached. See below for an example of how not checking can go spectacularly wrong.

5. Check before you hit ‘publish’. I work on posts in draft format a lot, adding and editing when necessary. I usually have one or two finished just waiting to find a suitable time to publish. Two nights ago I was jumping back and forth a lot on the iPad and pressed ‘Publish’ on the intended post – only to realise in a nanosecond that it was the wrong one. Too late. Fortunately, the post was complete in text form, but I had not included photos to illustrate it. In my panic I quickly uploaded a picture and reblogged. Not the ideal solution, but I thought, at least I had corrected the error. Unfortunately, as I noticed yesterday morning, the picture had obviously not been saved, so I look like a total idiot. To make matter worse, the post was about the death of my son Alan.

Embarrassing doesn’t exactly describe my horror and frustration. Then a friend who also uses WordPress suggested I just add the picture as an update. Grrrr. Forgot I could update and avoid that reblog.

So, the next few days I will learn from all my errors and actually check out those WordPress tutorials. They’re there to help not hinder. Lesson learned…. I hope.

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3 thoughts on “Painful lessons in blogging

  1. I like all your points. Most of them I have had trouble with on multiple occasions.

    1. I had two different editing programs that I run my post through, they sucked. I found errors in them long after posting. Now I use the tried-and-true “look at it yourself”. I still find mistakes after posting, but not nearly as many.

    2. I tend to be a bit wordy. Things I’ve written in 10 sentences could be said in 2. I try to tame this but still having difficulty.

    3. I don’t have anyone I can show it to so I just have to wing it, it’s a very good idea though.

    4. Recently I was given this advice. Until then I only had a picture or two on a few post. I’ve since gone back and added more meaningful ones to all of them. (Or, silly ones as the case may be)

    5. I not only check before I hit publish but also after. I want to see what everyone else sees and if I don’t like it then I change.

    I know errors can be embarrassing or upsetting, but keep truckin’ because your post are great. 🙂

    1. I like your points too! And I’m sure I’ll trip over my own advice. Did you know you can submit your draft posts before you hit publish? There’s a submit button so you needn’t worry about not having someone else to check it over. I work In a newspaper and we have spell checks, but nothing beats your own eye. Spell checks can’t differentiate word contexts, such as when to use ‘their’ instead of ‘there’, or ‘its’ instead of ‘it’s’. And I don’t use many pictures myself, but that will improve over time. They certainly help when your post is long. And thanks for the encouragement.

      1. I usually keep mine in Draft for a while as I tweak it and scan for errors. That’s helps a lot in keeping the errors down. I rely on my readers to tell me if something is too wordy, because if I relied on myself it would never look that way.

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