Do you ever feel embarrassed as a blogger? Maybe the grammar police came a-calling. Or maybe you forgot to post when readers were expecting something. Or maybe you missed a publicly self-imposed deadline. Here's what I have to say to that: lighten up!
Coming to Terms with Typos
Blogging is a relatively casual and conversational medium and yet we sometimes get worked up over simple things. It's okay to have typos from time to time. Anyone who knows anything about blogs knows that they're an instant publishing platform.
Ignoring that and trying to pre-plan everything weeks in advance just so you can have fully fresh eyes for editing defeats part of the purpose of blogging. You can't stay on top of the latest issues in your niche or industry that way. Remember, you're not writing for a literary magazine.
That doesn't mean you should publish any old drivel that spews from your fingers. At least take the time to give it a read-through -- preferably aloud. Then hit that publish button and move on to something else. Blogging isn't about perfectionism. And yes, I know your blog is a living, breathing writing sample if you work as a writer. But that doesn't mean your blog has to be as formal as a client project.
If clients want absolute perfection, that's one thing. You should have more professional portfolio samples for them to review. And if they hire you to blog for them and they want to let posts sit for days or weeks before editing and publication, that's on them. But it doesn't have to rule your own blog, and it doesn't mean you should feel embarrassed when little things slip through the cracks.
Dealing with the Grammar Police
If those grammar police stop by to point out your typos, how can you handle it? First, don't let them get to you. Remember, these are people with such a sad existence that they have nothing better to do than troll blogs to criticize your writing.
You can ignore them if you want to. You don't have to let a few typos weigh you down. Most people (again, those who actually understand the blogging medium) do not care unless the errors are a constant problem. Another option is to fix the problems and leave a quick "thanks" in the comments.
When they're obvious trolls, I personally don't mind confronting them about it outright. But if we're talking about a really silly error or a regular reader pointing something out, I suggest the "quick fix and be done with it" method.
Returning from a Blogging Break
The embarrassment bug tends to hit me more when I get distracted with other projects and I can't blog for a while. I've gotten better about consistency over the years and have learned to bring in other contributors to help out when I need to. But in the past I'd come back after a blogging break and the first thing I would do is post an apology.
Stupid move on my part. That's the last thing you should do. First of all, no one actually cares as much as you do. They're over it. If anything, regulars are happy to see you back. Or at least they'd be happy if you'd shut up with the apologies and get back to offering real content.
A better approach? Jump on a timely issue and cover it as though you were never gone. Leave the apologies alone or at least confined to the comments if anyone gets snippy. Don't assume you owe one, and don't be embarrassed by the fact that you're human and you have a life outside of your blog.
What kinds of things embarrass you the most as a blogger, and how do you react in those situations? Do you possibly make it worse by bringing more attention to the issue, or are you able to shrug it off and get back to business? Share your thoughts, stories, and tips in the comments below.
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