My Horrible Blog Post


Blogging can feel like walking a tightropeMy stats page notified me last month that someone had visited one of my old posts from April 2011.

I always liked that particular post. I wondered why it had never generated much traffic or any comments. There was no love for it at all. And it was about a circus. What’s not to love?

Let me count the ways.

First, I hadn’t read the post since I had originally hit the “publish” button. Had I taken a few moments to double-check it, I would have seen that I’d totally botched a nice little story.

The phrasing that was supposed to be ever-so-clever sounded phony. Entire sentences, and paragraphs, made no sense. 

There was a missing image. It just disappeared.

But wait, there’s worse.

The story was supposed to reach a literary climax, and reveal an uplifting moral.

I don’t think anyone ever got that far. But if they did, the whole thing was so poorly reasoned, they’d have wondered what the point was.

So what’s my point, now?

No, I wasn’t inebriated. I was working alone, with no second pair of eyes to edit me. But that’s the excuse, not the point.

Here’s the point:

If you have a small or midsize business, you probably ought to blog.

You may be afraid that you don’t know what you’re doing. That it won’t be good enough.

Don’t worry. You’ll figure it out as you go. People are very forgiving.

A wonderful thing about blogs

They’re not set in stone, or even in ink. You can edit or delete or explain or apologize. It’s not like sending a brochure to the printer. Or an ad to a publication.

Maybe making mistakes in public scares the heck out of you

But the benefits of blogging, and blogging a lot, far outweigh any downside. You will improve, and as you do, blogging will present real opportunities for your business.

So, I apologize to anyone who read A Story About The Circus any time between April 2011 and this week. I’ve made some corrections. A bunch of them.

And I’ve made my peace with the fact that it was just an OK as blog post with an OK point.

I only wish that before I cleaned up the mess, when it was truly awful, someone had told me.

Business blogging, like any part of business, will have its growing pains

Do you have any you’d like to share?

By the way, here are three posts about blogging from the past month. They inspired this post.

7 Responses to “My Horrible Blog Post”

  • Gini Dietrich Says:

    The great thing about blogging is NO ONE reads it the first few times you try. So you can make all sorts of mistakes and no one will ever see them (unless you point them out like you’ve done here and like I recently did by revealing our very first blog ever – which was a disaster). The only way to get good at blogging is to do it.
    Gini Dietrich recently posted..Entrepreneurial Lessons Even if You’re Not Starting a Business

    • barrett Says:

      That’s very funny, actually: You write your early blog posts, and no one reads them — and that’s a good thing! Yes, it is. I wish I had understood that 3-4 years ago.

      Learning by doing is definitely the way to go. Especially in a relatively new and still evolving discipline, like blogging in particular, or social media in general.
      barrett recently posted..How To Avoid The “Solutions That Matter” Trap

  • Ted Weismann Says:

    Self reflection on blogging is essential and having the fortitude to tell others what you’ve learned from this is even more important. It’s helped me a great deal.
    Ted Weismann recently posted..The Value of Social Data to Storytelling

    • barrett Says:

      Thanks for visiting, Ted. One thing I really like about your blog (Down to Social Business, is how, even when you describe its purpose, you get very personal: “This is a space for sharing how I continue to evolve from PR person to social media and digital marketing pro.” I think that’s a very powerful way to frame what you write, and it helps make it all very engaging.
      barrett recently posted..Rethink B2B Marketing

  • Resident Pixie Says:

    Thanks for writing this post! I am struggling to write for our company blog. Like your circus story, I frequently start with what I feel are great metaphors or clever ideas…but when I later re-read my posts I realize that I need to take the time to develop them. The absence of comments makes it very clear to me that I need to improve my writing style. Making a mistake in public does “scare the heck out” of me!
    Resident Pixie recently posted..Opinion: Samsung Vs. Apple: Justice?

    • barrett Says:

      You are so welcome, and thanks for the kind words. Yep, I’ve made some mistakes, but at least in the digital domain they’re generally correctible. If anyone were so inclined, they could navigate this site’s archives and find plenty of typos, or ideas that just aren’t clearly stated.

      I let a typo get through in magazine ad I wrote years ago, for the North Carolina Economic Development account: “North Carolinia”. The ad ran extensively, but no one ever mentioned the typo. Maybe people just didn’t pay that much attention. But I have the ad, laminated for all time, in case anyone wants proof.
      barrett recently posted..Two Grocery Stores, Two Lessons

  • My Horrible Print Ad, circa 1984 | The All Inbound Blog Says:

    [...] just wanted to follow up my previous post about blogging – and how it’s not the end of the world if you occasionally make mistakes. Try to avoid [...]

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge