I couldn’t find anywhere that Darren had posted a quick compilation of all the answers for his group writing project “What would you do differently if you had to start all over again?”, so I’m doing it here for you, oh interested one.
Click on the bloggers’ name to see their full response at ProBlogger.com.
- Hugh MacLeod from Gaping Void - Would have written more ‘unique’ posts. Hugh recommends you let your own inner voice shine through, so that what everyone hears is a unique voice - not the same drone coming from everyone else. Brilliant.
- Theron Parlin from Thought Mechanics - In a sense said: “Stay Focused”. Dont let distractions change your course or you’ll never get where you’re going.
- Seth Godin - Offers to ‘reinvent yourself’ every day. If you don’t like something, change it. Seth also mentions the importance of your own domain name, rather than a blog hosted domain (yourname.blogspot.com)
- Gina Trapani from Scribbling.net and Lifehacker - Gina had a lot to offer, but my favourites are; “I would have:…never assumed no one would ever read it, thought more about the consequences of posting, taken things less personally, focused more on posting things that got me jazzed up, rather than worrying about lack of updates, and never, ever published a post that started with “Sorry I haven’t posted more.”
- Merlin Mann from 43 Folders - I have to quote Merlin: “If I’d thought ahead a little, I would have realized that stuff like a wiki, forum, job board, etc., would all be a good fit, and that I’d better build out around the idea that the highest value for readers would be in having those pieces work well together — seamlessly, in context, and very much not like a blog plus a few strap-on subdomains.” He also says “it really pays to watch stats and search traffic, listen to comments, and then try to evolve around the way fans _and_ strangers are trying to use your site. Visitors are unconsciously teaching you lessons every day, and it’s wise to make sure you glean those fields as often as possible, and then turn it into smart site changes.”
- Duncan Riley - Duncan expands on these thoughts: 1. I’d use WordPress, 2. I’d learn more about search engine optimisation, 3. I’d pay for a professional design, 4. More original content, 5. Networking/ relationships.
- Guy Kawasaki of guykawasaki.com - Would’ve started blogging sooner.
- Mark Frauenfelder, Robert Scoble and John Battelle - were grouped together because they all had the same insights to offer:they wouldn’t change a thing. But as Darren points out, there is wisdom in them words.
- Kathy Sierra from Creating Passionate Users - Cathy offers some basic tips: 1) Use my own domain name instead of a typepad domain!, 2) I would never–not for a moment–change/filter/censor what I write simply to keep the harshest detractors at bay (which doesn’t work anyway).
- Andy Wibbels from AndyWibbels, Six Figure Blogging and Blog Wild - Some great insights from Andy: “Stop talking about yourself and start talking about your topic in relevant, topical, real-world keywords and language - be findable, be searchable. Also crucial is an email newsletter. Newbie/luddites still think inside the inbox. RSS adoption is growing but ‘real people’ are still wanting information in their email. I also would have been less nuts about wanting to be the first to blog on a topic.”
- Mike Rundle from Business Logs and 9rules Network - Mike discusses why he got into blogging, then offers these treasures: “When I first started blogging, I would comment on 15+ design blogs every single day with something valuable to say and a link back to my own site, just to get my name out there.” and “That’s my one piece of advice for everyone who’s trying to make a break into a tech industry: write great blog content, and then make sure to get on and stay on the radar of those that matter. Befriend those who are your idols, study what they’ve done in the past and learn from their mistakes, and then take all that knowledge with you as you make your path.”
- Wendy Boswell from Lifehacker, Snarky Gossip and Stewies Playground - Wendy offers some brief wisdom: “I wouldn’t worry about being everything to everyone. I would have more fun, lighten up, and laugh at myself more and the geeky world that I tend to move in. “
- Jeremy Schoemaker from ShoeMoney and Webmaster Radio’s Net Income Show - After stating that he’d have used a less complex URL structure, Jeremy says: “Maybe my bad grammar and bad web design makes it what it is ?”. Another example of a unique voice being heard.
- Hugh Hewitt of HughHewitt.com - Hugh offers a bakers dozen of tidbits, but I like his first one: “Find a blog program with spellcheck.”
So, oh ye of new bloggerhood, did you learn anything? I think these are some great tips for newbies and veterans alike.
Here’s what I would have done differently:
I would have blogged, more, sooner, about more things. There is one thing for sure, the content doesn’t disappear unless you delete it. And I have learned that a page equals a dollar. The more pages you have, the more dollars you make. Make the pages interesting and usefull, and your dollar value goes up. Simple.
Um, start blogging. More. Now. (That was a note to self, too.)