Writing the demise of social media reminded me of all the “mistakes” I’ve made in social media in the past. I say “mistakes” partly because there are a lot of things I would do differently, but also because when the heart behind the mistakes is right, they aren’t totally mistakes (at least in social media…that isn’t a theological statement).
Social media is an interesting thing. I started blogging way back when simply because I thought I had something to say, I had no idea if anyone would want to read it.
I haven’t made a dime off of this. I’ve gotten a few free books and I’ve gained a lot of new friendships that wouldn’t exist had I not started blogging and using Twitter.
But always in the back of my head are the things I would change if I could become a social media virgin again. Some of these things I am in the process of changing, some things I can’t ever do again. So learn from my mistakes.
Here are some things that I would absolutely do different:
- Started with a self hosted blog. I say this because I started with Blogger, switched to WordPress, and now I’m dying to have a self hosted blog. It would be more work and I don’t have the money to afford to do it, but the freedom and creativity a self hosted blog has would be worth it.
- Stopped trying to be the guy who doesn’t want to follow the crowd, ever. I’m stubborn. Sometimes, very stubborn. I’ll admit that. At first I thought twitter was lame and would fail, and then after a few of my friends joined I was adamant about not joining simply because I’m stubborn and didn’t want to be a late adopter.
- Found a focus from the beginning. This is the biggest mistake bloggers make. They start a blog and they have no idea what they want to write about. I was the same way. I blogged about politics, faith, sports, my life, my family, where I live. This is all well and good, but most people would much rather read a blog that has a specific focus rather than someone who writes about everything.
- Not posted everyday. I’m a consistent guy. I run 3 to 4 times a week, about the same distance, every time. I show up to my job and leave at about the same time each day even though I don’t have set hours. I do homework at the same times each week. When I started blogging I knew the only way for me to do it was to post every day. I’m trying to get away from that internal expectation, but it isn’t easy.
- Left self-promotion alone. I get that part of social media is self promotion. I don’t write this stuff so no one can read it, so part of the process is to get more people to read it. BUT, too often I let that get in the way of just simply serving others with what God has placed on my heart. I wish I would have devoted half my time to posts on others’ blogs and not just my own. I wish I could get over the innate feeling that I have to tell others about my posts because no one else will. And what happens if no one cares about what I wrote?!?! That would suck. My identity would be gone…or something. Too many of us Christian bloggers are more worried about becoming like Carlos, or Anne, or John…rather than just serving the readers who take the time to care about what we have to say.