Blogging

It’s Not Perfect. Launch Anyway.

April 1, 2015
Launch Even if it's Not Perfect

I’ve been haunted by perfectionism my whole life. I tend to be very hard on myself for making mistakes or not getting the results I’ve envisioned. Starting my own business brought this to light even more, but also helped me overcome it (to some degree). I’ve made so many mistakes since starting my blog, alone.

A Few Mistakes I’ve Made Since Launching My Blog:

  • Just last week I forgot to change the subject line in my email newsletter, so it ended up going out with the same subject as the week before. (Sorry, guys, I’m sure that was confusing! My open rate was still 34%…this is why I love my readers.)
  • In fact, I’m not that great with emails in general. That little description at the top of the email in MailChimp? My enemy. (Sorry, Danielle!)
  • I almost always edit a blog post after it’s already gone live.
  • I had image examples for this blog post that I’ve been saving for awhile…but now I can’t find them.
  • I constantly forget to share things to my Facebook business page.
  • I’ve shared things to the wrong Facebook business page! (ugh!)
  • I’ve spent money on WP themes I’ve never used.
  • I had two websites when I launched. I’ve been doing this long enough to know better. Oh well.
  • My SEO plugin was messed up for an ENTIRE YEAR. I specialize in SEO.

But you know what? Nothing bad happened. I survived. If anything, I’ve learned from all these little mistakes and have learned to move on quickly. I don’t have time to worry about it because I’m already moving on to the next thing (client work, blog post, ebook, redesign, etc, etc.)

One of the hardest parts of starting a blog was the fear of putting myself out there. Creating each blog post and planning each social media post can be a laborious process, even without the nagging feeling of making them perfect. So I get it.

I’ve gotten that same response from clients time and time again. For some, it’s so paralyzing that they don’t launch at all.

Yes, you want a decent looking blog or website.
Yes, you should write quality content.
And yes, you should interact with your followers with care and authenticity.

But does ANY of it need to be perfect? No!

Other common complaints:

  • My tagline doesn’t feel right yet. Let me think about it some more..
    • This is something I’ve dealt with personally, but honestly, it has not made one bit of difference this past year.
  • I’m waiting to get better head shots.
  • My website doesn’t look as nice as X, Y, Z (usually being compared to people who have been doing this a loooong time).
  • I want to complete this course before launching so I have more to offer.

My advice is to just get your stuff out there. You will evolve and figure it out as you go. 

You have to start somewhere, and you can’t learn what your audience wants if you aren’t building one. twitter icon

A cool trick that I read about a few weeks ago was to look at your favorite blog in the Wayback Machine. See where they started. This particular example was of Marie Forleo (click there to see a very early version of her website). We all know she’s a blogging and business genius now, but she built that over years of hard work. She’s evolved over the years, changed her tagline, changed her look, etc. You will too. I promise.

Start with what you have and build from there. The experience is more valuable than how your website looks, or how many courses you’ve completed, or your tag line.

In the comments:

What mistakes have you made since starting your business? Or what fears are keeping you from starting?

 

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  • Jennfer April 1, 2015 at 8:27 am

    Danielle, thank you so much for posting this! I fall into all of the categories you described above. I just recently allowed myself to let go of all of the things that were holding me back and just jump in. It is all a work in progress and I’m learning to enjoy the journey, mistakes and all! I still have a ways to go but you confirmed what I’ve been thinking. Thank you!

  • Kathryn Hall April 1, 2015 at 11:00 am

    LOVE this post. I learnt quite early on that there’s no point in comparing your website to someone else’s. (I spent the early days of my business journey grumbling because everyone else’s site was better than mine – but of course they were the people that were way ahead of me). Way back machine is one of my favourite tools if ever I need a wake-up call!

  • Erin @ Erin's Inside Job April 1, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    I wrote a post recently about being scared to take my blog and my career to the next level. I realized that I had been paralyzed into inactivity by being afraid of failing. I would say “it would be nice if my blog could grow, and if it happens it happens,” when in reality I have complete control over that. I just need to take the step and doing the work that I keep toying with in my head! Thanks for this post 🙂

  • Becky April 1, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    This is oh-so-relatable. Thanks so much for sharing!

    On one of my recent newsletters my subject line revolved around a paragraph that I ended up taking out *face palm*.
    It was probably super confusing haha but it is what it is!

    • Dzeigler April 1, 2015 at 5:43 pm

      Haha glad I’m not the only one! People are very forgiving though.

  • Sophie April 1, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    Oh its hilarious that I do pretty much all the same things as you, right down to the messed up SEO plugin! It completely destroyed my google rankings by the time I realised and its so overwhelming the process of fixing it and starting over. I kinda always do things too fast which yes is good to get it out there, but I’m slack on the then refining it front. Near enough is good enough seems to be my ego’s motto. Working on it now

    • Dzeigler April 1, 2015 at 6:49 pm

      Doing things too quickly is my problem too. There’s a balance to it…you don’t want to ignore the mistakes or become sloppy, but you can’t get wrapped up in making it perfect. So yeah, I totally understand!

  • Nora (A Clean Bake) April 1, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    I love this list, because despite all of your “mistakes” your blog is still fantastic. I make tons of mistakes too and sometimes that’s all I see/dwell on but I try to look at the big picture. Just yesterday, I posted a recipe for chocolate chip ginger cookies only to realize a few hours later that I’d forgotten to include the ginger in the recipe. FACEPALM. The silver lining was that a couple readers emailed me about it because they wanted to make the cookies… so it wasn’t all bad and it gave me a chance to interact with some of my wonderful readers! 🙂

  • Marisa Hendrickson April 6, 2015 at 9:11 am

    Thank you so much for this! I’ve been blogging for roughly three months now and these questions are things I’m constantly thinking about. I’ve even thought about launching a new site/project and I’m afraid to do anything with it since I don’t have a logo yet. I might have to take this into consideration.

    -Marisa | http://marisahendrickson.com/

  • Stephanie Shar April 10, 2015 at 11:42 am

    “I almost always edit a blog post after it’s already gone live.” BAHAHAHA, I thought I was the only one who did this! You rule.

    • Dzeigler April 10, 2015 at 9:03 pm

      Haha thanks Steph! I’m so glad I’m not alone.

  • Stephanie April 24, 2015 at 1:02 am

    What a great post Danielle! The first line sounds EXACTLY like me. Your post actually made me realize that a big reason I’ve been struggling with creating content for my blog is not because of lack of ideas, but rather because I keep wanting it to be earth shattering perfect full of quality blog posts. I’m smiling as I write this because they probably don’t exist lol. Thank you for the great blog post and food for thought 🙂 Keep it up!

  • Caroline Lindsey August 6, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Thanks for this post! I just launched my food blog last week and was spending so much time tweaking things like the layout of my front page, how my recipe index looked, the social media share buttons, I needed to paint just one more tomato for my header… and I finally decided I just needed to go ahead and get it out there or I would be taking photos and accumulating posts that no one would see. I can always refine it later! It’s good to be launched. 🙂 Maybe I’ll paint that tomato this weekend.

    • Dzeigler August 7, 2015 at 8:47 am

      Exactly! You can always refine later. No one is going to know that you’re missing that one last tomato you wanted! Cute site, by the way. You’re food photos are so crisp and appealing!

      • Caroline Lindsey August 8, 2015 at 8:53 am

        Thanks for checking out my site! Glad you enjoyed the photos! 🙂

  • Christine January 2, 2016 at 9:58 am

    Thank you for this post! I am also guilty of all the points you made and it took me 5 months to finally publish my site (wish eventually came back down cause I learned from some mistakes). If you don’t “do”, you wont learn anything. It’s like being stuck at the top of the slide as a kid, too scared to come down so you freeze (I actually did this when I was 7). If you don’t just slide down, you won’t learn that it’s a tremendously fun ride and that you won’t actually die. I won’t learn how to be a good blogger or writer unless I actually start, make mistakes, then learn from them and get better. This article gives me the confirmation that I will be Okay and to just to go ahead and publish; doesn’t need to be perfect, it just need to be out there. Happy New Year!