8 Blogging Mistakes That Cost Me. How Many Are You Making?

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blogging mistakes

I’ve been blogging (often badly!) for around a decade. In that time I’ve failed at a lot of things. Today I want to share some stories in the hope that you can avoid making the same mistakes.

When you learn a new skill, whatever it might be, you always go on a steep learning curve.

And the thing about blogging and online business is that the learning curve can be especially steep because the technology is always changing. (That’s why I do these yearly predictions).

When you have changing technologies you also get a lot of commentators saying different things and giving different bits of advice.

And that can lead to confusion and mistakes.

Here are some blogging mistakes that I’ve made over the years. I’m really interested to know how you all feel about these ones.


Do our blogging mistakes really matter?

Something that I’d like to emphasize at the start of this post is that mistakes aren’t always mistakes when you’re an entrepreneur.

It sounds silly but over the years I’ve kind of learned that mucking up is all part of eventually reaching some level of success.

It’s never a clear and easy road.

Mistakes in business are inevitable, but the way we react to it is a choice. – Tweet this.

So when you do inevitably make a mistake in your blogging career you should remember that me and this website (and the Tyrant Troops community!) will be here to support you as a fellow blogger on the road. We’ve all been there.

The blogging mistakes that I’ve made over the years

Alright, let’s jump into the tofu and potatoes of the post.

As always, please leave me a juicy comment at the end if you disagree with any of these or if you have your own mistakes to share.

1. Being a perfectionist (it’s a huge, huge mistake)

I’m putting this at the top of the list because I honestly think it is one of the worst things you can do in business.

For a long time I really struggled with the thought of publishing something that wasn’t amazing. Or if I was making an eBook or product I’d refuse to release it without spending 95% of my time tweaking 1% of the un-important stuff.

I have a few friends (you know who you are…) who are really talented but haven’t done anything because they are worried about releasing something that isn’t The Old Man and the Sea.

You have to give it up.

Being a perfectionist holds you back from growing, and it also stops you from helping people.

Even something that you think is pretty shitty will still be useful to someone who is just starting out. If you’re a perfectionist then it’s likely that you’re hitting a pretty high level regardless.

2. Trying to build sites in profitable niches

This one might sound a little bit weird to some people but I know there are a lot of others in the same boat so I decided to share it.

When you first want to learn about making money online you run into the idea of niche sites, affiliate marketing and so on. And after a while you start researching profitable niches in order to find one that you want to tackle yourself.

Well, I’ve found this approach has really set me back.


Because I get bored.

One of the main reasons I started my company is because I wanted to do something that I love and something that helped people. When working in those profitable micro-niches you often find yourself working on something that you really don’t care about. And that makes it really easy to lose interest.

The people that I’ve seen have the most success online are doing so with products, services, niches and ideas that they really believe in. Unless you are very motivated by a long term end-result I haven’t found there’s much point in trying to build up something you don’t believe in.

3. Spending time on social networking sites

Some people are really good at social networking sites.

I’m not one of them.

In fact, I think that reading about Twitter, Facebook and Google+ has taken away a lot of time that I could have spent building up my own assets, creating new content and capitalising on a method that I know is working.

Please don’t take this to mean that you shouldn’t be doing social media.

If you’re a physical small business, for example, it’s very important that you have a social media presence. It might even bring you sales.

But for the most part I think that people spend too much time on Twitter and Facebook because it seems like an easy (and perhaps free?) way to find new traffic and followers.

So where do you spend your time instead?

As always, it’s worth testing new options. For example, don’t open Twitter on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and instead work on your next blog post. See whether that gets better results.

4. Assuming that blogging alone is enough

This one might sound like a big old contradiction given what I just wrote in the previous point, but there is a subtle difference.

When you want to make a career from blogging it is pretty tempting to think that you just have to write the perfect blog post and then everything will fall into place.

Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that.

The business of blogging is actually a lot more than just the art of blogging itself.

For example, when you look at the most popular bloggers you’ll notice that they aren’t always that good at writing. But they are excellent at promoting.

That is very important.

If you want to build a successful blog you need to get good at many other things but the most important are often networking and advertising. Finding ways to get your content in front of new, relevant and engaged people is an ongoing battle that requires a lot of attention.

I wish I’d devoted more time to it earlier.

5. Wanting the whole process to be free

I talk about this one quite a lot (and luckily I got over it quite early) but wanting everything to do with blogging to be free is a big mistake.

At an absolute minimum a serious blogger should have a blog with its own domain name and self hosting setup.

Free blogs just don’t get the same results.

But beyond that it’s a really good idea to be spending money (wisely…) on things like advertising, outsourcing tasks to experts, email hosting, image buying, improved software, premium plugins, and so on.

Yes, a lot of this you can do for free.

But my experience is that you can really speed up your progress by spending a little bit of money in some places. It’s not a secret. All the big bloggers are doing it and will continue doing it. If you want to compete you might have to start as well.

6. Not focusing on email subscribers (even in profitable scenarios)

When I sold I blog back in college I literally put no effort into getting email subscribers. I had an option to subscribe by RSS feed (which was bigger back then) but I feel like I really missed out.

At the time I was making my income from Adsense which essentially means you need to get as much traffic to your site as possible and then watch them click an ad for a few cents and leave forever.

See why I don’t like it now?

I can’t help but wonder where that site might be now had I focused more on getting email subscribers and building a loyal following. At a minimum I would have had a platform to promote new material to every time I posted a new article.

If your blog is becoming more successful it’s really important to keep working on growing your mailing list. It’s that list that will insulate you from any nasty Google surprises, and it’s a promotional base that you will always have.

7. Being stingy with my content placement

Stingy might not be the right word here, but I used to suffer from a blogging disease that prevented me from giving any of my best writing away to other websites.

I’d write something that I thought was pretty good and then want to publish it myself!

Ironically, it wasn’t until I started publishing big long posts on other peoples’ websites that I started to see my own website become more popular.

Derek Halpern often talks about this. New bloggers think that they have to write all of their content on their own blog when in reality it’s a much better idea to guest post it and tap into new audiences.

If you’re thinking about starting a blog then maybe plan to write a bunch of excellent articles for other websites right from the very beginning. You only need one or two fantastic posts on your own blog to start with – a good guest post will do so much more for you.

8. Being afraid to do something because it makes money

One of the big concerns I notice that a lot of bloggers share is that idea that selling something or making money from a blog is kind of dirty.

That attitude really holds us back.

Firstly, if you are thinking about these kinds of things then chances are you’re a pretty decent human being to begin with.

Secondly, there is nothing wrong with making money from a service that you provide that helps people in some small way. Even if it’s just an eBook that gives some answers – you’ve put time and effort into it and you’re trying to make a living.

It’s not unethical.

Anything that tricks people or is dishonest is (obviously) a very bad thing and should be avoided. But, there’s no point in putting off your next promotion because you think that someone will think you’ve “sold out”.

No one really cares anyway.

What mistakes have you made?

I’d like to open up the comments now and hear about any mistakes that you guys and girls have made over the years. More importantly, what lessons did you learn from those events? Please leave a comment below – you never know, it might really help someone.

Photo: Kyle Szegedi.


Hi, I'm Ramsay. If you enjoyed this post you might like to check out:

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110 Comments. Join in. *Closed after 30 days*

  • kaushik

    Hi ramsay,
    I have made many mistakes similar to you.

    one of it was to work hard on creating compelling content when there was no traffic on my blog . It was like delivering lecture in an empty hall.

    I could have given it as a guest post and received quality traffic.

    1. Ramsay


  • Elizabeth

    Thanks for this Ramsay, it’s good to keep this fresh in my mind. Also, I’d been confused about your advice to do so many articles as guest posts, what would be on my actual blog. I see now it’s ok to just have 1 or 2 on my own blog for a while. Thanks!

    1. Ramsay

      Yeah, better to focus on getting people there I think.

  • Lisa Sicard

    Hi Ramsay, my first mistake was posting daily and not posting good quality posts. I know try to post weekly or bi-weekly. We need time in between to promote. I do need to work on doing guest posts – I have not done one this year and have done an average of 6 per year in the past and it’s a great way to generate new traffic too. Like your video – I haven’t done many – don’t like myself on video but like you said it doesn’t need to be perfect.
    Have a great new week!

    1. Ramsay

      Thanks for sharing!

  • Karishma

    Thanks for this Ramsay. I am a novice blogger and this really helps. However, I don’t know what is a guest post. Please explain.

    1. Ramsay

      A guest post is an article that you post to some else’s blog instead of your own.

  • santanu

    HI Ramsay,

    Such a honest confession, which is priceless for a newbie blogger, if someone is really looking for.

    Few of my mistakes I have realized so far

    1) Looking for the best theme which suit my blog
    2) Writing content without researching and need
    3) Not communicating with fellow bloggers via any community or forum
    4) Commenting on blogs, without adding any value
    5) Not following what successful bloggers, like you are working to make a blog successful.

    But, the best part of this article is, due this failure only you have reached to this level. There are people who are not able to realize the failures & come up with a better way, even if you write such detailed post.

    1. Ramsay

      Thanks so much for sharing! Sounds like you’ve done really well.

    2. Chuck Bartok

      Those are wonderful mistakes for us to correct, Santanu
      I also appreciate Ramsay’s candor!

  • Vaibhav

    Lack of Optimum promotion to my target audience has been my biggest drawback.

    1. Ramsay

      I think that’s a common one. Good to realize it early though.

  • Jennifer Dyer

    Thanks for the great post.

    When you guest post, do you write a brief post on your blog linking to the guest post?

    1. Ramsay

      Not usually, no. You might promote it on social networking sites or your mailing list though.

  • Avichai

    Hi Ramsay

    So true… as always. To answer your question (or CTA at the end 🙂 a mistake I made was not RWALLY doing a solid due diligence on website template or ‘website maker’. I even started out on WIX (b/c I lacked technical skills) but very quickly understood that this platform is not good for a travel blogger. I then had to go through the pain (and decision) of moving to WP, finding friends who could help, choosing a template and now, finally, actually paying a freelancer to customize a bit.

    Before starting out a blog, one should really think about the usability that he or she will require. Even small things like how the commenting would work, newsletter signups, look & feel of the home page etc. etc. This is hugely important and I can’t wait to have enough users on my website, to justify redesigining everything…

    Best regards

    1. Ramsay

      Yeah that is such a big one. I get so many emails from bloggers who want to migrate over to WordPress.org and that’s why I try to recommend people get set up there from the start.

  • Laura

    Haha, awesome points and just on time.

    I just closed my first blog, because it wasn’t perfect:D I just couldn’t get everything absolutely 100% and it just disabled me so much that I lost the thrive to blog at all. Especially because I blogged in English and it’s not my first language.
    Another reason was that I started to get real traffic.. and real people came to my blog and I kind of.. freaked out that what if my information is not accurate or what if people don’t like my blog? What if people misunderstand me, because I fail to speak English correctly? What if they start accusing me of making money..even if a little and by being an affiliate (for things that I really personally love).

    Even though blog is my personal take and opinion on things I do every day (for example recipes of my cooking, food photography, health issues that I have overcome with certain food or diets like paleo etc).. it just freaked me out, because I started blogging on subjects, that are really complicated. Health, natural health, natural remedies, vaccinations etc – very complicated subjects, but I research about those things every day and improve my health through this information..
    I guess the lesson is that don’t be such a softy:D There will always be people that don’t like what you do or have strongly different opinion (and are not afraid to tell you that you’re an idiot) and it’s okay to make mistakes. Just learn to own up to them and learn from the mistakes. One step at a time.

    I’m going to open a new one now.. but I have thought things through for myself and I now realise that I don’t have to be perfect.. I have to be me (and I’m not perfect) and I have to enjoy blogging and not stress about small things. I have to give the information in hope that it helps someone while not being afraid that it makes some one mad.

    It got long, sorry about that. I hope it helps some one like me:)

    1. Deborah Harper

      There will always be someone out there that knows more than you and there will always be someone out there that knows less. Good thing is that as long as you are writing about what you enjoy and continue to research and learn from. You will benefit along with your readers. What a wonderful way to make a living and one day I will. So are you still into natural health if so how about we share some articles:-)

    2. Ramsay

      What a wonderful comment. Thank you for sharing. And by the way, there is nothing wrong with being nervous about providing correct information. I wish more health bloggers took it as seriously as you do.

      1. Laura

        Thank you for the encouraging words:) I guess I started taking it too seriously.

        I am still into natural health and continuously doing the research, mainly because it’s so interesting. I’m also studying to get a certificate in herbalism. I just don’t have a blog to match any more. I’ll start a new one, because I have a bloggers soul any way, I have been blogging for myself for like 10 years, can’t stop now:D

        Ramsay, thank you. You’re awesome!

  • internet

    What a data of un-ambiguity and preserveness of valuable knowledge about
    unpredicted feelings.

  • Gary Toth


    Thank you for reaffirming #1 to me. I am currently working hard to overcome my own perfection curse. I have a mantra I tell myself every day – “I don’t spend my time making things perfect, I spend my time finishing things”.

    1. Ramsay

      It’s such a curse, isn’t it?

      1. Gary Toth

        Yes! Although, it took quite a while to realize it. One reason why I’m so thankful for people like yourself bringing light to these kinds of things.

        Thanks, Ramsay!

  • Paul Doherty

    A lot of mistakes have been made, but as they say its an opportunity to learn. First and biggest mistake I made was in namingvmy site. I didnt check online for similar named sites and turns out there is one very similar name. Mine is lifes123s.com and there is a life123.com. Nightmare as I would have preferred something more unique.
    I also spent way to much time tweakin my theme and a few months down the road I hate it. Ha. Thirdly I wanted to wait until I was at a stage in my life where I had time to write consistently each week. I just delayed the beginning and the progress I made thus far.

    All that said, I’m still enjoying myself.


    1. Ramsay

      That is a really good point. It’s important to enjoy it!

  • Jennifer

    Thank you, Ramsay. Another very helpful post!
    I can especially relate to point #3. Social networking can rob so much of our time.
    Also, I recently made a mistake on Google+ by trying too hard to promote my books on various communities and getting booted out of one that I really liked. Hurt my feelings, but I learned a valuable lesson. Truly, when I focus on what I love and helping others, things are so much better!

    1. Ramsay

      Which community was that?

      1. Jennifer

        Hi Ramsay,
        I don’t want to mention the Community name online. For the simple reason that I don’t want to come across retaliatory. Although, if I was sitting across from you in a coffee shop, I would tell you all about it…LOL

  • Michael D Gorman

    I recognize several from your list, I have never been a perfectionist – perhaps a little in the opposite direction -sloppy work at times! I have been confused about who I am – you know adopting a particualr ‘tone’ that is not really you – Being too commercial in approach. Not knowing who my audience is…gawd, I could go on, I’m still learning and trying stuff out, I know I will hit the right pitch one day!

    1. Ramsay

      Hi Michael.

      I still find the “voice” issue quite tricky. Especially if I feel like I know the topic well, I tend to come across as a bit arrogant. Constantly trying to make it more informal.

  • Vishal Ostwal

    You’re posts are always helpful Ramsay (As if I need to mention that)

    I’ve been facing some limitations.

    1. Not having own host (Still using Blogger)
    2. Couldn’t form a subscriber list (Trying to learn mailchimp yet)

    I suggest one more mistake from my side – “Improper Formatting”

    1. Small font size, scattered alphapets, social media buttons [without icons]
    2. Confusing layout, etc.
    Once I came across a blog without text. (Then I realized that it had grey background, ….with grey text on it!)

    Minute details shouldn’t be taken that lightly.

    1. Ramsay

      Ha ha ha. Grey text on a grey background is not a minor issue!

    2. Jennifer

      Hello Vishal,
      I was using Blogger for the longest time, intimidated by WordPress and unsure how to really set up a website. I bought an inexpensive book called Trust Funnel that helped me get my WordPress site set up in half a day. It really was one of the best decisions ever.
      And don’t give up on the mailing list. I also use MailChimp for now and it has taken me a long time to figure out what to offer subscribers, but once I got an offer that people in my niche wanted, the subscribers started coming in.
      Don’t give up!

      1. Paul

        Hey there Jennifer,

        I’m toying with the idea of an ebook to offer potential subscribers and will do so at some stage in the future. Did you notice a significant improvement in sign up’s once you offered your readers something?

        Thanks, Paul

        1. Jennifer

          Hi Paul,
          I have to say yes and no. I have always offered something free to my subscribers, but I had to find the right thing for my niche. Many of my first attempts failed.
          An eBook is a great offer and I think you will do really well with that, especially if it is geared toward your audience.

          1. Paul

            Thanks for the reply Jennifer. I have some ideas for an ebook so ill get to work on that in the near future.

  • Ibraheem

    Hi, I’m a guy who loves making money online. I’ve opened a website for two times but closed them because I don’t like it.

    The number 1 reason is that I don’t know how to design them in a way that I like. I got fed up and hated opening a website for the next 2 months.

    But later, I got to know about blogging which costs no money and is said to be easy. So I went to open it.

    Another problem is that I don’t know what to blog about. I thought of copying posts from other people’s websites to my blog. But I later heard of copyright laws. I got fed up again.

    Later, I thought of writing their sources under each post. So, I tendered an application to Adsense but it was not approved. I tried all ways that I could but it was to vain. Since that is the sole aim of trying to own a website or blog, I angrily closed it again.

    Pls, in what way can you help me? How can you make me to overcome this? The main problem now is that I don’t know what to blog about. WHAT CAN I BLOG ABOUT??

    1. Ramsay

      Hi Ibraheem. If your main goal is to make money online then maybe blogging isn’t the best idea for you. Blogging requires a lot of passion and knowledge about a particular topic. It might be best for you to explore PPC, affiliate promotion, etc.

      1. Ibraheem

        Please, kindly list some sites you know that does the ppc and affiliate promotion

    2. Jennifer

      Hello Ibraheem,
      May I ask what you are passionate about? If you could be anything in the world starting today, what would it be?
      Perhaps writing about what you love is the first step in blogging. Then, as you have more to offer people, the more contacts you will make and maybe you will even earn an income.

      1. Ibraheem

        Jennifer, I really don’t know what I’m tallented about. That is where my problem is. Please, how can I discover my talent?

        1. Jennifer

          Ibraheem, if you like I can email you a copy of a guide I wrote called “Your Amazing Life” Blueprint. It is faith-based just to let you know. It may help you discover your God-given talents and point you in the right direction.
          P.S. Ramsay’s earlier article on how to start a blog is a wonderful resource. Here is the link:

  • Sherrie

    Ha, you really hit the nail on the head for me with number 1. For years, my husband has always been telling me to just get something out there to sell (I have a homeschooling blog and make printables and have been giving them away mostly free for years). He said that I always try to make it perfect when I should just be getting something out there, I can update it later in a second edition if necessary.

    1. Michael D Gorman

      That is absolutely true – we limit ourselves sometimes, giving something away for free is a classic sign you lack confidence – if they accept what you offer for free they will also buy it if they find it useful.
      Even Jesus was reported to have said: ‘The laborer is worth his hire’
      There is dignity in producing your own materials.

    2. Ramsay

      Yep, I feel ya.

  • Patrick Vassell

    Hi Ramsay,
    I have been following you with interest. I like this post as I do most of your other posts. I get the impression that you are genuinely interested in helping others to succeed.
    My immediate problem is eBook Writing. I would like your comments on how to decide on your topic. I get advice about going to News groups,forums etc to find out what problems/concerns people are having. How do you choose your topics.
    That doesn’t seem to help oris it that I don’t know where to look.

    1. Ramsay

      Hi Patrick.

      I think it’s best to start with your end goal in mind. What action do you want people who read this eBook to take?

  • Leslie

    Really really love your blog. As a novice I am battling info-overload and your clarity in imparting such experience is so refreshing. I keep coming back and finding more details that are so helpful. I am working on a few ideas for guest post and I truly believe your approach with fill my need for traffic to a degree so thanks for driving that one home.

    1. Ramsay

      Thanks so much Leslie. I really appreciate the feedback.

  • Cameron

    I think something that needs to be said is that mistakes can be painful, but they are also what help you to overcome that step learning curve the best. (And in blogging that curve I’ve found is HUGE)

    This ties into Ramsey’s #1, but being afraid to make mistakes is just as bad as being a perfectionist. You rob yourself of valuable learning opportunities when you take away your ability to fail.

    As for mine, I’ve made a bunch but Twitter has been a total let down for me. I’d say it’s the platform I get the smallest amount of return from per time invested. (thankfully that time is small however)

    1. Ramsay

      Hi Cameron. Do you have any ideas as to why Twitter has been so useless?

      1. Cameron

        1) I don’t have many followers.
        2) I hashtag every tweet to expand my potential viewers but to no avail.
        3) I think Twitter users are there more to converse than to read.
        4) Any tweet you send gets lost in a sea of tweets immediately.

        I know some people make Twitter work for them quite well but I struggle. And it’s time consuming tweeting everything out. Yes I know Buffer exists. I should probably use it more. 🙁

        1. Fiona

          Cameron do you think perhaps you are over hashtagging? I find posts look very spammy when they have lots of hastags, or when someone uses them on almost every post. You could be putting off your followers.

          I find Twitter sends me less traffic that other social media (about 1/4 of Facebook traffic and 1/8 of Pinterest traffic) but it’s great for making contacts and networking. It’s more about relationship building I find.

          1. Cameron

            Yeah, I do overuse the hashtags. Guilty as charged. Didn’t think that was a put off though.

  • Krithika Rangarajan

    WHOA! This is a fantastic post, Ramsay!

    In all honesty, I only planned on skimming the eight bullet points, but your writing had me hooked!

    If I ever create such a list, my No.1 will be: (a) Procrastinating for a year and a half before starting a new blog 😛

    I bought my domain name in mid-2014. It’s been more than a year and I am paralyzed.

    LOL – thank you for your transparency, Ramsay #HUGS


    1. Ramsay

      Time to get moving! Thanks for the feedback.

  • Yohay

    Great stuff, as always. I follow almost all the points here after quite a few years in the business, except for No. 7 – I still have the tendency to focus almost entirely on writing content for my website and not guest posting.
    Regarding email subscribers, point 6, I also wished I had started earlier. This is a huge asset. I clean inactive subscribers on a monthly basis to increase the quality of the list and I wish I had started that earlier as well.

    1. Ramsay

      Have you got any plans for future guest posts?

  • just Stephanie

    Falling (making mistakes) is inevitable, the goal is to make sure we’re falling forward! Great reminders and quite a few hit home with me. Thanks again Ramsay – timely and applicapable as usual.

    1. Ramsay

      Perfectly said!

  • Wendy

    Thanks as always Ramsay. I’d love to see a blog post all about good plugins now that you mention it. I know you’ve mentioned some here and there. It’s always frustrating when the plugin stops being supported, etc. and there are so many, it’s really hard to know which one(s) to use. This would be including social media plugins. I have a very visually appealing blog, so I’d like a nice Pinterest, etc. plugin but they always seem to stop working, etc. Thank you sir!

    1. Ramsay

      Hi Wendy.

      Often that happens due to a plugin conflict or a conflict with your theme. Best bet is to ask a WordPress coder to investigate.

  • Kelly

    Holy cow man, I think I’ve written about every single one of these at one point or another, because I’ve made all those same mistakes. Especially #2.

    That’s how I started professional blogging – niche sites. I’d do keyword research until I found a nice little keyword and then I’d start a site with it. I got REALLY wrapped up in Halloween costumes and was making pretty good money with it – but after 3 years of it, I never wanted to write about Halloween again.

    I still have a problem with the perfectionism… maybe there’s a Perfectionist’s Anonymous out there? 😉

    1. Ramsay

      That is a really interesting niche! Imagine you got lots of traffic once a year! Ha ha.

  • Renard Moreau

    [ Smiles ] I think that the biggest mistake of all for most bloggers is: not concentrating on the expansion of their email subscribers.

    For the record, I am not willing to make spelling mistakes!

    1. Ramsay

      Ha ha. Glad to hear it.

  • Mirre

    Thanks. Very useful!

  • Nicole

    I have the perfectionism and too much time spent on social media problems too! I actually wrote a post about how I had 92 drafts and was always telling people “I wrote a post about that, but it’s not published yet.” I would also like to add “link parties” to the list. My first blog was more DIY/Crafty and I did link parties where you follow people and they follow you. What happens is your FB ends up full of anybody and everybody and you barely get more traffic. I am now stuck in how to promote my content without spending more time promoting than writing. My takeaway from this post is to guest post:) – Nicole @mindovermessy

    1. Ramsay

      92 drafts?!?

  • Jonathan Foster

    My biggest problem has probably been being too self-conscious about my work. I tend to be rather introverted and end up creating things I like but never feeling comfortable enough to put myself out there and really get my content into people’s hands. I guess it’s similar to “impostor syndrome” that most freelancers get.

    Ultimately I’ve just had to learn to make myself recognize my weaknesses, do my best despite them and try to own it. Still a work in progress though 😉

    1. Ramsay

      That is a really hard one. I completely understand the feeling. Have you come up with any solutions?

  • gaurav

    hi Ramsay,
    Again a great post or i must say a great confession !
    well mistakes are part of blogger’s career but the real thing is to identify our mistakes and not to repeat them. i too committed a lot of mistakes which i later identified and worked upon them.

    1. Ramsay

      Yep. Very wise.

  • Chuck Bartok

    Following all this wisdom, I have a note afixed on wall for past 55 years.
    Those who seek perfection usually end up working for those who don’t.
    Because of that I have never had a job.
    And definitely not perfect…~smile

    1. Ramsay

      That is actually really inspiring, Chuck. Thank you for sharing.

  • Janet

    Thank you Ramsay. Great inormation always. I purchased a bluehosting site and domain name through your recommendation and as yet haven’t managed to get it all up and running. In the meatime I will guest blog. Can I just go to someone’s site and do that or do I need permission? Really don’t want to offend or do anything illegal.

    1. Ramsay

      Hi Janet.

      Best to get your site set up first and a bit of content on there – and a way for people to sign up. That way when you do a guest post you can send them to something awesome!

      It’s pretty hard to land a guest post these days – you need some good examples of your writing first, and then you contact the site owners and try to build a relationship a bit before pitching your idea.

      Hope that helps.

  • Lauren

    Oh my gosh! #1 all the way! For the longest time I just couldn’t get myself to hit the publish button. I had 10 drafts lined up, ready to go, but I felt so self-conscious about grammar, spelling, and whatever else.

    Your article is definitely true, in that it’s better to just get things up than remain paralyzed (like I had become). But don’t you still sort feel a pang of mild judgement when you see someone who has blatant errors in their posts. I try not to, but I still find myself thinking that way.

    I knew I had to get over this, so, at some point, I decided to do the exact opposite of perfectionistic writing. I began writing in a super SUPER conversational tone. With the hope that when people read my posts, they might just assume that mistakes were made on purpose… to be colloquial, or something. 🙂 I don’t know. You do what you have to do! (And now I have my sister proofread… which is an added buffer.)

    When I was in college, I had a friend who was doing terribly in an art history class. Art was my major, so I wrote a paper for him. (Yes, not good. I’ve grown up since then.)… Turns out it didn’t even help. He got a C. The teacher wrote “Nice article” across the top. Then in huge red letters, covering the entire front of the paper, she wrote “Comma Splices”… whatever the heck that is! 😉

    I think that’s why I became so paranoid.

    1. Ramsay

      Nice comment.


  • Linda

    Hi, this was yet another great, awesome post.
    My biggest mistake has to do with guest blogging. I don’t have enough confidence in my writing to feel that I would be able to share it on someone else’s site. I feel that if I share bad writing and ideas on my own site, I have to deal with it, but if it’s on someone else’s site, it must be perfect and not downgrade their sites.
    Probably have to get over the perfectionistic thing.
    Keep well, love sharing your stuff….

    1. Ramsay

      Yeah, I’m sure if you’re having these thoughts your post will be well up to scratch.

  • chris

    I’ve made my share of common mistakes but there’s one I regretfully continue to make; inconsistent blogging. I allow myself to fall into the “only write when inspired” trap.

    I’ve found a quote that helps me, from Tchaikovsky;
    “A self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood.”

    I’m starting another niche site and I’m writing about 6 months of content plus a bunch of go-live content so when I do reveal the site, it’s got existing content and I can use the wp calendar plugin to schedule the following 6 months of posts. This way, I can focus on marketing, advertising, split-testing, and visitor communication.

    I’m sure I’ll make a few mistakes along the way but I can confidently say starting a second site is easy compared to the first.

    1. Ramsay

      I’m really looking forward to your new thing. I’ll make sure I promote it for you as thanks for all your wonderful comments over the years.

      1. chris

        Thanks, mate!

  • Ryan Biddulph

    I am letting go on #1 Ramsay….letting, letting go 😉 Fab list man. I love diving in, to free me, and to release any perfectionist urges which are a fear of criticism and failure. Thanks dude!


    1. Ramsay

      It’s so hard to do, isn’t it?

  • Ammanulah

    I do agree with the point that thinking blogging alone is enough, that is where I used to get all this blogging thing wrong. I spent a year writing great posts without thinking of even sharing the content on social media and hoping that traffic will come along but I was wrong.

    Thanks for the amazing post

    1. Ramsay

      Glad you liked it. Thanks for commenting.

  • Monalisa's perfect love

    Hi Ramsay <3 I was trying to signup. i keep getting an error message, i don't knw what i clicked it just disappeared, can you kindly send me the link ?

    1. Ramsay

      What error message? I’ve never heard of that before…

      1. Monalisa's perfect love

        sorry! the problem wasn’t from you.. found out my internet service was disconnecting..


  • ashav

    Hi Ramsay,
    i am a big fan of yours,
    i love your blog so much and it helps me very much.

    I have my own blog and i do everything which was on blogtyrant to make my blog better.
    But i don’t have any network.
    Can u help me, in this case..?

    1. Ramsay

      What do you mean by network?

      1. ashav


  • Adam

    Great post Ramsay

    1. Ramsay


  • Nicky O'Brien

    Thanks for such an insightful blog, Ramsay. I’ve done lots of writing and I’m just getting into blogging.

    There is one other mistake I see people making all of the time, and it’s a REAL turn-off. It happens when writers or bloggers think that their only job is to deliver facts or information. And that’s when my mental display goes on screensaver!! So many writers forget that, without connecting with people in a real and meaningful way, their readers won’t go beyond the first few lines.

    And, as my four-year-old granddaughter says, I know that for a fact!!

    So delight me. Stress me. Intrigue me. Sadden me. Console and comfort me. But, whatever you do, MOVE ME.


    1. Ramsay

      Very nicely said!

  • Nico

    Can definitely empathise with the social networking. I’m terrible at using it, but I do enjoy networking individually with people.

  • Arbaz Khan

    Yes, Ramsay, there are a lot of mistakes in this article that I have also made over the past few years.

    The biggest mistake I made was going after niches that were extremely popular and had a lot of cash flowing. That was a mistake because I spent a lot of money in it, not enough to rank the site and beat the authority sites, and all of its just tanked.

    From that moment, I have never entered a niche that was consdiered a huge industry but focused on small topics that no one was paying attention to.

  • Jaz

    I can see in regards to social media. It’s a terrible distraction. I really just use it for RSS feed submission.

  • Ashley C. Lew

    Thanks for this great list– I’m guilty of a couple of things here: advertising my work AND coming up with profitable works from my blog. You definitely hit the nail in the head in terms of describing why some of us bloggers fail at both points. I guess we just have to remember that the value we judge our work with is not necessarily the same as how your followers see it. We are our own harshest critics, after all. Some people truly do feel that your work is absolutely worth paying for.

  • Tauseef Alam

    Hi Ramsay,

    I totally agree with the point, If someone is serious about blogging, he/she should setup a blog with own domain & hosting. When I started the blog for the first time, I started it on Blogger but fortunately I realized it very early that it is not for serious bloggers who want full control over their blog.

  • Marie

    Ahahah so true.

    I am at the blogposts stage! Really need to do something about that.
    I’d add find the right site to blog post!

    Just found about your blog, really nice!

  • Andrew

    Hey Ramsay,

    I made a handful of the mistakes you raised here. Specifically the perfectionist, the email subscribers and the content placement. The last two I’ve made improvements on but the first one really gets me from time to time.

    There no such thing as perfect, and I’m learning to accept that. Hopefully, that will reflect in the content creation time. It takes me more than a few hours to write a post … and I know I can cut that down drastically.

    – Andrew

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