Confessions of a Backsliding Blogger

Okay, I’ll admit it.

I’ve been a very bad blogger.

I didn’t realize just how bad I’d been until I started rifling through my archives in search of related posts for a new article. While scanning those old posts, I couldn’t help but think I’d be one heck of a bodacious blogger by now if I followed more of my own advice.

Now, granted, I have set up an editorial calendar.

And I do have a custom content strategy.

I’ve also learned to live with my inner critic and with those pesky dream snatchers.

Still, I’ve yet to write a single review post, and I’ve been quite the slacker when it comes to writing list posts. I’ve also been lax about adding related posts to the bottom of my articles and putting links to the most popular posts on the blog’s sidebar

I have, however, gleaned a speck of redemption by creating this link post today to introduce newer readers to older posts :)

The truth is, we bloggers hand out a lot of advice, and if we practiced everything we preached, we’d be darn near perfect.

But we’re not perfect.

We’re flawed human beings.

Mistakes will be made.

Wrong turns will be taken.

Meanwhile, all any of us can really do is put forth our best effort every day, read through our archives every now and again, and make adjustments when we see we’ve gotten off track.

Your turn: Do you practice what you preach, or are you a backsliding blogger too?

Related Post: Top Blogging Mistakes Revealed

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76 Responses to Confessions of a Backsliding Blogger

  1. Karen Ruby June 16, 2010 at 3:07 pm #

    Oh, Jean, welcome to the club. I'm a very bad blogger, too. There are so many post it notes, and schedules, and whiteboard reminders, email reminders, etc of stuff that I've been meaning to do, too.

    We just do the best we can :-)

  2. kiesha_WeBlogBetter June 16, 2010 at 3:30 pm #

    I'm such a back slider – I try my best – yet there are many MANY days when I just can't get it together. I'm getting the feeling that today is one of those days. :)

  3. Katie Tallo June 16, 2010 at 3:53 pm #

    Back slider here!! Yes, of course, I try to practice what I preach, but fumble the ball sometimes. More than some times. Makes for a great post though. I see you managed to review your own site, create a list of your best posts, and remind us of our favourites so you are more perfect than you think. Keep up the facade of imperfection. We all know Jean rules!

  4. virginbloggernotes June 16, 2010 at 4:00 pm #

    Hi Kiesha. Glad I'm not the only one having one of those days. I did get it all together but then forgot where I put it :)

  5. virginbloggernotes June 16, 2010 at 4:03 pm #

    Thanks, Katie. I think some days Jean drools more than she rules :) You give excellent advice though, so if I can follow just half of yours, there's lots of hope for me.

  6. virginbloggernotes June 16, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

    Hi Karen. Just seeing you on here reminds me of one more thing I haven't done yet, which is install Comment Luv. I'm making a big list and then am just going to hand it all over to the A-List Clinic! If you're a backslider, then I feel better about being one :)

  7. Angela Artemis June 16, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    Jean,
    I believe I have to share the title of queen of slacking with you…..
    I feel so behind all the time. I think we have to cut ourselves some slack though. We aren't perfect and let's face it life today is very busy for most people.

    I'm preparing to repost an article I wrote 2 years ago on my blog…..that's my day of playing catch-up.

  8. Blog Angel a.k.a. Joella June 16, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    Oh heck Jean, I think you just ratted us all out!

    We all fall short of the ideals we set forth for blogging. But the beauty of it, is that we can keep trying. Putting forth the things we know will help us to succeed isn't about pretending we're perfect. It's a call, not only to other bloggers to keep climbing that mountain to success, but its a reminder to ourselves that even when we fall down, we can pick ourselves up and do what we know we must.

    There is always room for failure, forgiveness and redemption. But there is absolutely no room for quitting. :)

  9. virginbloggernotes June 16, 2010 at 4:37 pm #

    Yeah, sorry about that whole ratting out thing. Haha. But you're right. It's all about being real and getting back up again when we fall down.

  10. Brandon Connell June 16, 2010 at 4:38 pm #

    But I do everything I'm supposed to do! Can I get a spanking anyway?

  11. virginbloggernotes June 16, 2010 at 4:40 pm #

    Hello, my friend and fellow slacker :) Life definitely does get busy. Even when we think it's under control, things have a way of popping up and biting us in our blogging behinds!

  12. virginbloggernotes June 16, 2010 at 4:41 pm #

    Haha, Brandon. You've definitely come to the right place for that. Perhaps it would make a good first video for the blog :)

  13. CJ June 16, 2010 at 5:10 pm #

    Absolutely incredible post!
    You're so right, I know that I'm definitely guilty of not always following the advice I give. Haha, it's just so easy to get caught up in life and get lazy, you know? I'll try to be a little more aware now though, lol.

    CJ

  14. Sally_Neill June 16, 2010 at 6:51 pm #

    Hey Jean,

    Yeah you are lazy stop letting the team down ha ha!

    At least you will take the action now and kick yourself back into gear.

    As you know I am big fan of making mistakes, so long as you learn from them it's fine.

    It's only a problem if you keep making the same ones over and over again.

    Sally :)

  15. prolificliving June 16, 2010 at 7:02 pm #

    Well, I hate to say it boys and girls but I am PERFECT. That's right, I do everything I preach and I never make mistakes and I am definitely not suffering from any of these issues….
    And now you can laugh because that was my joke for the week. :))))
    Great post, Jean. I'll need to look in the mirror more often. Why do you make us feel so self-conscious, woman? :)))!!!

  16. virginbloggernotes June 16, 2010 at 8:00 pm #

    I figure the more you guys keep looking at yourselves the less chance you'lll have to notice my goof ups. Great strategy, eh?

  17. virginbloggernotes June 16, 2010 at 8:01 pm #

    You're right, Sally. And I do my best to make brand new mistakes every day :) Seriously, that's not a bad idea because as long as we're making mistakes, we're at least doing something. Fail forward, as the saying goes. Actually, I think it's,'fail forward faster,” but I'm more of a tortoise than a hare.

  18. virginbloggernotes June 16, 2010 at 8:03 pm #

    Thanks, CJ. Oh yeah, I know all about being lazy. I rank pretty darn high on the old slack-o-meter most days :)

  19. TheInfoPreneur June 16, 2010 at 8:18 pm #

    Hey Jean,
    You hit on one of my “achilles” so to speak…doing review posts. I get so consumed in trying to put together good content…I forget to try and monetize things sometimes, and review posts can be a fantastic way to do that. Especially, if you've already spent money, can show people “inside” sneak peaks, etc…goes a long way. Thanks for the reminder. DOLT!

    B

  20. Brandon Connell June 16, 2010 at 9:52 pm #

    I wouldn't do video unless I was the one doing the spanking.

  21. Dia June 16, 2010 at 10:57 pm #

    “if we practiced everything we preached, we’d be darn near perfect.But we’re not perfect.” This is so true Jean. I personally practice everything I preach, but I would be lying to you if I say that I don't slip sometimes or make mistakes.

  22. Manal June 16, 2010 at 11:21 pm #

    Oh Jean you are our resident blogging strategist–with the little bit of evil and mischief that comes with it. Consider me your apprentice 😉

  23. virginbloggernotes June 17, 2010 at 12:20 am #

    Oh, we could have great fun plotting and planning to take over the blogging universe, Manal :) Of course, we'd have to make sure everyone got lots of cake and no one ever worked too hard!

  24. virginbloggernotes June 17, 2010 at 12:22 am #

    Hi Dia. Oh well, at least those slips and mistakes we make help keep us humble. Otherwise we might think we were hot stuff :)

  25. virginbloggernotes June 17, 2010 at 12:26 am #

    Well, you better get on the stick and do a review, Brandon. Me too :) We may be dolts, but we're nice ones :) I just realized I need to get over to your site and watch that special video you put up today!

  26. Ishan June 17, 2010 at 2:04 am #

    Well, I'm probably the biggest back slider. I try to do things well but usually, due to lack of management, I always have so many things going on that I miss a lot!
    I am also in a need of an editorial calender, let's see when I apply it.

  27. Scott Barron June 17, 2010 at 2:57 am #

    Wow. Is that your new niche? I'll be honest. You're gonna need a new outfit for that.

  28. k0zm0zs0ul June 17, 2010 at 3:04 am #

    I'm soooo a backslider. 'Nuff said. lol

  29. Scott Barron June 17, 2010 at 3:07 am #

    I'll be honest and treat this like a confessional. (Except your a woman.)

    I wouldn't say that I'm backsliding. I practice what I preach, but you'll notice. I preach very little. My goal with each of my articles is to make someone think & provide feedback. As in life, I have more questions than answers. I usually throw out a little bait and hope to pull in a few answers.

    I can also admit that the original direction of my blog changed. I also wonder if that's the same for everyone? It's like writing a novel. The whole story is planned in your head, but when typing the story, the characters slowly evolve into people you didn't plan for. The whole story changes and takes on a new life…

    Lastly, when writing to an audience, what happens if the audience changes? Or isn't the audience you planned? I think that can change a blog also.

  30. Marion_Anderson June 17, 2010 at 7:50 am #

    I am new to blogging and full of enthusiasm and ideas. Your post is just great for me because it brings some down to earth honesty and a helpful message for the future – I won't always feel like this,some days will be hard but that's fine, it is all part of the world of blogging!
    Thank you Jean :)

  31. Dennis Callahan June 17, 2010 at 10:12 am #

    The important thing is to just be able to recognize this and continue to move on. Each day brings new opportunities and all you can do is the best you can (which might mean backsliding some days).

  32. virginbloggernotes June 17, 2010 at 11:25 am #

    Hi Dennis. Continuing to move forward is definitely a key to success in blogging (and life!). Thanks for stopping by..

  33. virginbloggernotes June 17, 2010 at 11:33 am #

    Hi Marion. Yes, blogging has it's share of ups and downs, but everything is a learning experience. Granted, there are days I'd rather not learn quite so much :) Hold on to that wonderful enthusiasm and your fresh ideas. They'll take you far!

  34. virginbloggernotes June 17, 2010 at 11:40 am #

    Hey Scott. It's true you don't do much preaching, but rather encourage fresh ways of looking at things. I think all blogs evolve to varying degrees over time. We find our voice and might be more courageous and adventurous than planned, or maybe our topic just makes us want to snooze so we shift things there. I think audiences evolve too, or like you said, aren't quite what you planned. That's something I'll need to work on here. We've already got some 'non-beginners' who are regular readers, plus we beginning bloggers will grow in skill. So, I'll have to set things up so everyone can find the articles most helpful to them.

  35. virginbloggernotes June 17, 2010 at 11:41 am #

    You're one of my favorite backsliders, Cori. A true partner in backsliding crime :)

  36. virginbloggernotes June 17, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    Hi Ishan. You do seem to have lots of things going on, but I have a feeling that when you focus you get a lot done. Definitely set up an editorial calendar if you can find the time to do some planning. It makes life so much easier.

  37. alexwhalley June 17, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

    Oh Jean you have really touched on a sore point here for me and I thank you because I need a good kick in the arse sometimes.
    I created a page for my reviews and removed it after it sat empty for 2 months! I'm also with you in that if I heeded the advise I write I would be so much further ahead. It's funny how blogging gets in the way. :)

  38. virginbloggernotes June 17, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    Alex, it does my heart good to know that you backslide sometimes. You always seem to have everything so together. And, in reality, you are making great strides and accomplishing so much, so it's actually inspiring to know you do such great work AND backslide a little too :)

  39. Jake LaCaze June 17, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

    The lesson from this post: Sometimes we have to give ourselves a swift kick in the ass and get ourselves back on track. It is hard to stay focused. All we can do is try our best and set the best examples for others that we can.

  40. J.D. Meier June 17, 2010 at 3:48 pm #

    It's funny you mention it because I planned on doing way more list posts than I do. Not to chase metrics, but because distilling insights into little nuggets really does help people make the most of the time they spend reading. I've seen life-changing lists and really crappy lists — so I think it's a beautiful blend of art + science to write compelling lists that matter. That's a skill I'd like to hone and improve.

  41. virginbloggernotes June 17, 2010 at 3:51 pm #

    Right you are, Jake. I'm just grateful that these days I seem to make more forward steps than backwards ones overall!

  42. virginbloggernotes June 17, 2010 at 4:16 pm #

    Totally agree with you on the benefits of lists, JD. And it's not a traffic-chasing thing for me either. As a reader, I love them when they're packed with powerful, do-able bits of info. Here's to honing and improving!

  43. lesterpuppo June 17, 2010 at 4:55 pm #

    Good post!! Nice reading it.It is good to encourage people in the blogging activity not to give up and to keep on fighting to achieve their goals the best way possible. We all make mistakes and that cannot be avoided, we need to work on the solutions.

  44. Kim Maglinti June 17, 2010 at 5:50 pm #

    What are you talking about? I'm perfect! Haha — yeah, right! I've learned a few lessons so far — go for personal excellence vs. perfection, go easy on yourself (we're in charge of our own life script), and manage time by allocating xyz project to its allotted time. One person can only do so much. It takes a village — blah, blah, blah.

    You bring a smile to my face, Jean. Thank you!

  45. rob white June 17, 2010 at 7:50 pm #

    Well done, Jean. I think we have all had the experience of needing to take our own advice. The world of blogging and Social Media is so different from the traditional business paradigm I have known my whole life that I can get flustered with it at times. I have to remind myself to practice the advise I hand out to other people; patience, persistence and a willingness to do all the things nobody else wants to do is the secret to success in any endeavor… and lots of “oopsing” along the way.

  46. Vince June 17, 2010 at 8:25 pm #

    Hi Jean
    Every time I spend a day away from you blog I come back to another days worth of reading!! I have just read and will now go back again and again. You are so right it is easy to give advice but sometimes not take ones own.
    Thank you for another sleepless night:) I feel so lucky I have found your blog… its a big world…

  47. virginbloggernotes June 18, 2010 at 1:11 am #

    Well Vince, I think the moral of this story is clear . . . you simply cannot take a day away from this blog. :) I'm really glad you're finding useful info. on here – sometimes when we blog it's sort of like throwing darts in the dark. You think you aimed right in providing useful content, but you're not quite sure!

  48. virginbloggernotes June 18, 2010 at 1:15 am #

    I know that flustered feeling all too well, Rob. I'm used to 'normal' business practices too, so I've had to rethink a lot of things since moving to an online business model. In the end though, there are actually a lot of similarities . . . a sound plan, treating people right, doing the work, networking, great products, etc. And lots of that oopsing you mentioned :)

  49. virginbloggernotes June 18, 2010 at 1:18 am #

    Hello, perfect one :) I like the sound of personal excellence vs. perfection, by the way. Now that's a motto I can live with!

  50. virginbloggernotes June 18, 2010 at 1:18 am #

    Hello, perfect one :) I like the sound of personal excellence vs. perfection, by the way. Now that's a motto I can live with!

  51. virginbloggernotes June 18, 2010 at 1:19 am #

    Yep, we need to keep on keeping on! And really, our mistakes are like a GPS that shows us how to get to 'better.' Thanks so much for stopping in and commenting today.

  52. virginbloggernotes June 18, 2010 at 1:19 am #

    Yep, we need to keep on keeping on! And really, our mistakes are like a GPS that shows us how to get to 'better.' Thanks so much for stopping in and commenting today.

  53. Scott Barron June 18, 2010 at 1:25 am #

    Yah, it's funny how I started out. I was writing articles for “beginners”. I actually had 2 friends that talked about starting websites. They told me to “go first” and teach them what I learned along the way.

    Well, they haven't started and changed their minds. Then I found Ryan on Planting Dollars where I met other bloggers & after awhile my audience became bloggers. Which is great :-)

    But like I asked Sally in her latest post, what or how can you sell to another bloggers? For example, I know many people, including Sally that follow Alex Jeffreys. So why would his students buy from me when they got everything from Alex?

    If they just bought a new Mercedes, how am I going to sell them a Hyundai? (I'm not putting Hyundai down, they're awesome. But they're not a Mercedes.) I'm stumped.

  54. virginbloggernotes June 18, 2010 at 1:38 am #

    We must have the same kinds of friends, Scott, because the same thing happened to me. The ones who prompted me to blog about blogging never started blogs :) Oh well, I'm having tons of fun and aren't a bit sorry about going this route.

    As one who has bought way too many blogging products, I can assure you that people will continue to buy products even when they've bought a pricey package elsewhere. Plus, new bloggers enter the market every day, so there's lots of opportunity there for connecting with a quality product or service. See, the thing is . . . until I started meeting Sally and some of the others, I'd never heard of Alex Jeffreys and I truly still don't know anything about his products or background. So I'd be just as inclined to buy a marketing course from you or Sally!

  55. Ricardo Bueno June 18, 2010 at 1:41 am #

    Sometimes yes. I think we can always do a better job. Last month I challenged myself to one blog post (at least) per day. I kept up with most of the challenge and then, I went a week without posting (eek!). Nevertheless it was a good exercise and although I didn't keep up with the posting schedule, I did commit to write and publish my ebook (so there!).

    Anyway, here's to happy blogging!

  56. Leah McClellan June 18, 2010 at 3:21 am #

    Definitely a slacker here! Well I've been keeping up with my 2 articles per week goal, but not even close to the days I planned on lol PLUS…nobody can see it but ~gasp~ I haven't been getting my keywords etc in! Since I switched over to the new URL and all that, content has been queen, or at least trying :) With my two articles on time this week, think I'll do that over the weekend.

  57. Chania Girl June 18, 2010 at 6:30 am #

    I, dear Jean, am what you'd call a Buffet Blogger. I read all the ways to make my blog an A-List blog, a better blog, a way-to-feed-my-self-and-family blog, and then I pick and choose what I want on my little plate ~ a little of list post? sure why not, a smidgen of posting schedule? okay, I'll try that, shake things up a little with guest posts? that sounds do-able.

    If I did all the things all the blogs recommend, I would have a very full plate and one could safely say my eyes were bigger than my stomach. I don't feel like a backslider at all.

  58. darrenlcarter June 18, 2010 at 8:26 am #

    Hi Jean,

    I definitely admit to being a backsliding blogger at times. It's really easy to get swept up in everything that's going on, especially at the fast-pace of the blogging world. Good post though! And a real wake-up call for everyone.

    Peace,
    Darren L Carter

  59. Prerna June 18, 2010 at 11:24 am #

    Hi Jean,
    Am so glad I read this post.. One, you've inspired me to get my blogging act together-editorial calendar, etc. and Two, you've helped me understand that it's alright to backslide as long as we can bounce back in time:-)
    Best wishes

  60. virginbloggernotes June 18, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    Hi Prerna. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Yeah, get that blogging act together and don't make me come after you :) You'll find blogging a lot easier with an editorial calendar. You can still change things around and be spontaneous, but it's nice to have that foundation of ideas there.

  61. virginbloggernotes June 18, 2010 at 12:59 pm #

    Hi Darren. There are about 7.3 gazillion things to distract us, aren't there? So much great stuff in courses and ebooks and that's not even counting all the fabulous blog content to read. It's a wonder any of us get anything done :)

  62. virginbloggernotes June 18, 2010 at 1:02 pm #

    A buffet blogger . . . now that's a concept I like. Pick and choose what resonates with you. And it's true that sometimes in our own blog posts we give out tips for readers to pick and choose from, so it's not realistic to think that we'd follow all of that advice either.

  63. virginbloggernotes June 18, 2010 at 1:04 pm #

    Hey, I was wondering why I wasn't seeing more keyword focused posts on your blog. Haha. Yep, just keep focusing on content because as long as our body of content is strong, we can get by with a little backsliding now and again.

  64. virginbloggernotes June 18, 2010 at 1:07 pm #

    Doing one blog post or more per day would make me keel over. I'd probably have that same experience of taking a week (or more!) off. But it sounds like you gained a lot in terms of your ebook, so you're off the hook :)

  65. Zengirl @ heart and mind June 18, 2010 at 4:50 pm #

    Hi Jean,

    I am seeing you face and comments on most blogs I visit, so had to come and check it out. I am glad, You have some good articles on blogging.

    I write about zen and slow life but sometimes with 2 noisy and cranky kids, zen thinking is not so simple. Yet we have to keep trying to improve. I am glad you wrote about this, as we are all humans and we do make mistakes and it is okay to admit it.

  66. virginbloggernotes June 18, 2010 at 11:59 pm #

    Thanks for stopping by. Practicing a zen way of life is a lot harder than it looks, isn't it? People think you just need to do a lot of deep breathing and meditation and it will be smooth sailing after that. Not quite the way it works :)

  67. Ricardo Bueno June 19, 2010 at 7:03 am #

    It was fun to write. And some pretty interesting lessons learned to tell you the truth.

    I've been reading a lot lately. The more I read, the more I get inspired. Inspired to write. But really, I'd love to get back to writing those personal posts that I used to write when I first started. I'm inching my way there little by little…

  68. Keith June 19, 2010 at 7:32 am #

    Hi Jean

    “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

    Guess it's all about finding time to do things.
    Best to accept that you can't do it all and just do the essentials and the bits you enjoy.
    As a part time blogger I write bits and pieces as and when I can fit it in.
    I'm pleased with the results so I'm fairly relaxed about it all.

    And for the WordPress bloggers… WordPress 3 is out… more upgrading!

  69. virginbloggernotes June 19, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    Hi Keith. Staying relaxed about blogging is a good thing. It's easy to get so attached to outcomes that we forget to enjoy the process of writing and connecting. I've got lots of family activities this weekend, so I'm doing the blogging in bits and pieces thing myself. Not too many of them either :)

  70. virginbloggernotes June 19, 2010 at 11:41 am #

    I totally relate to finding inspiration in reading. Reading plus spending plenty of time away from the computer fuels my creativity like nothing else.

  71. clearlycomposed June 21, 2010 at 3:21 am #

    *lol* I am sliding as I type this but I am understanding how I am a better blogger when I do remember to take little breaks and keep things in balance. I get very passionate about writing and reading blogs and sometimes need to turn off for a bit so I don't neglect the other wonderful things in life!!

  72. Kaizenvision June 21, 2010 at 5:47 am #

    well you are “one heck of a bodacious blogger” already so I'm guessing you want to take it to yet another level of fabulous. – little steps work and self forgiveness helps.
    I've been wanting to write a review post since I read your “how to write a review” post – I've started a few but not hit the publish button that often intimates me. – it's like it's challenging me saying, 'are you sure?'

    I must say you gave yourself quite a bold “self review” and that deserves a standing ovation!

  73. virginbloggernotes June 21, 2010 at 3:44 pm #

    Hi Aileen. I think I'm becoming the queen of baby steps these days :) With life so full and unpredictable, completing big projects can feel impossible and intimidating, so sometimes I say, 'okay, just work for 15 minutes on this.' I'm finding I can get a lot done in a little while if I just focus on the little step in front of me.”

  74. virginbloggernotes June 21, 2010 at 3:46 pm #

    Breaks + balance + baby steps = success. There, I've just created our new success formula :) I know what you mean about reading blogs/writing and ignoring other aspects of life. It's easy to do!

  75. Joseph Archibald July 11, 2010 at 12:17 am #

    You got me to comment again – and within 5 mins of reading your first post too Jean. If that’s the signs of a “backsliding blogger” then goodness knows what it takes to be a forward “slider”!

    I have been facing my own online battles too – being deeply involved in ALL THINGS SEO up till now. Its such a refreshing change to “court” with the blog-o-sphere, and all the better when good folks such as yourself delve into aspects of emotional turmoil that we (as bloggers and/or internet marketers) can and do face quite regularly!

    Retweet from me!
    Joseph Archibald recently posted..Social Media is Driving me Insane-

    • Jean Sarauer July 11, 2010 at 6:20 am #

      Thanks, Joseph. I used to write keyword-drenched articles for clients and thought that’s how a person ‘had to’ write on the web for any kind of success. We won’t talk about what a backslider I am i the SEO department these days :) Thanks so much for reading, commenting, and RTing!

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