What To Do When You Screw Everything Up

I screwed up.

I spent seven years building blogs and an audience. Then I threw it all away. So, it’s back to square one.

What do you do when you screw everything up?

A few years ago I got so fed up with this online world of trying to promote my work and myself that I did a major housecleaning. I deleted most of my social media. I tried to clean up my mailing list and lost the whole thing. I screwed up.

Then I found a new hosting service, let all my old blogs die and started this one. When I started this one, I had a plan. My plan was well-intended but stupid. Here are some of the things it included:

  • No blogging (just a showcase)
  • No photos (later changed to no stock photos)
  • No newsletters
  • No share buttons
  • No popups
  • No sidebar
  • Less clutter
  • Less links

My goal was simply to make this website a place where readers and listeners could sample my creative work. Well, I screwed up.

By giving myself so many limitations, I essentially abandoned most of my old audience. This site’s stats have taken a huge dive. Past websites I’ve operated were getting upward of several hundred visits a day. Here, I’m lucky to get a handful of visits.

I screwed up.

So what do you do when you screw everything up? Admit you screwed up and start over.

That’s exactly what I’m going to do here. It might be too late with the traditional blogging format losing favor to audio and video formats. But it can’t hurt to try. While I plan to continue to keep things simple, you’ll be seeing a few changes to the site this year.

  • Newsletter/email list
  • More frequent posts
  • Simple share buttons
  • Less photos but only my own

I still love the minimalist approach to blogging. So the site won’t look much different. But I will be sharing more content. I also may experiment with audio and video in the future.

The bottom line is simple. The build-it-and-they-will-come mentality is dead in today’s overcrowded digital space. When I limited myself to bare bones, I screwed up. So what do you do when you screw up? Fix it.

I’m not sure what that will look like exactly, but I do know that I want to be here for you, to serve my audience and teach you more about being a creator. – dse

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Author: Dan Steven Erickson

Dan Steven Erickson is a great undiscovered American songwriter.