Mack’s post about how, with the benefit of hindsight and wisdom, he wishes he had done some things differently in getting started is very familiar to me. I often think back about some of the things I’ve done and wish I’d done differently.
As Mack says, there’s probably not a single person out there who doesn’t have some sort of regret regarding how they’ve setup or handled their social media publishing experience. If anyone says nope, they’ve done it all perfectly right from the start they’re probably trying to sell you a consulting service and you probably should apply more than a single grain of salt to what they say.
So here’s my take on my biggest mistakes:
- Way too many false starts and misfires: Yeah, I know that experience is the best teacher, but I’ve left a trail of abandoned and deleted blogs in my wake that I wish I hadn’t. Some were deleted for a real purpose and some just because I was tired of the idea. What I’ve done, though, is maintain most of that content either here or at CT.WP, so it’s still around, just not necessarily in its original spot. I wish I had started off with just two main hubs and not done all the flailing.
- Said “yes” to too many things: Over the years I’ve done freelance writing for a number of online publications, each one fizzling out when my schedule got too overwhelming or the inspiration ran out. They were great opportunities but I wish I had either declined or just powered through and kept going.
- Been more consistent with my online persona: I’m “cthilk” on X service and “cethilk” on another and “mmmthilk” on another. It’s stupid and governed generally by whatever I thought would work at that particular second when I was signing up. I wish I could change all my profiles to one consistent identity and might make that a project if I ever get the time.
- Done more marketing of myself: I’m a lousy self-promoter and tend to take myself down a peg when someone compliments me, saying things like “Thanks, it’s not much but it’s mine.” or some such like that. I keep thinking it’s in bad taste to be that proud of my work but what I wind up doing is encouraging people to not take me seriously. Damn Lutheran humility.
One of the things I’ve told people repeatedly is that if you’re considering getting started in social media you shouldn’t be discouraged by the pressure you might feel. If you start a blog it should be with the knowledge at the outset that where you wind up six months from now will most likely not be where you thought you’d be when you start. Things evolve. Things change. You find your groove and make it work. I’m the biggest example of just evolution.