5 Lessons I Learned From Looking Back


Recently I went back through all the posts I’d written here on the blog. While looking back I learned some lessons which might be useful to other people, so I thought I would share them with you. :)

5. About Categories –

I wrote a little about this in an earlier post – Sephyroth Is A Genius – I think the most important lesson I learned was to come up with a decent plan for categories and then stick to it.

4. About Better Post Titles –

Before I learned anything about blogging, my post titles were in general pretty terrible. Sometimes they did not relate in any way to the text of the post. Here are a few examples of crappy titles I once used – Quick BlogYeah I knowEek!W00t!

How To Fix This –

Write better titles. Read some articles about writing better titles. In general my titles now tend to give people an idea of what the post itself is about, but I still think I could do better. :)

3. About Posting Images –

Sometimes images that I had posted were no longer available. Many of these were my *own* images which Blogger had deleted as a surprise to me. They actually do that fairly regularly. I did not delete any Picasa albums, so I have no idea why my images vanished, and I can’t be bothered trying to figure it out. If a post relied heavily on pictures that were now missing, I had to make the difficult decision to delete those posts and move on.

Also, with some images I had done a bit of a bad thing – back in the days before I knew better – I had “hot linked” to images on other sites. I had no idea that was not the done thing. I know better now. :)

How To Fix This –

Now I keep all my blog images on my own blog, plus I put them into a folder called “posted” when I have posted them, so I could easily find them again if I needed to. Plus, Absolutely No Hotlinking – eg posting an image that resides on another site here on my site.

2. About Posting Links –

Blogs disappear. They move without leaving a forwarding address. News articles disappear, too. I had based several blog posts on a post from another blogger or a news article without including enough information – and when the post or news article disappeared, my post no longer made any sense. Those posts had to be deleted.

Take this post – I want to work here – as an example. If the post I had linked to no longer existed, how much sense would that post make? Zero.

How To Fix This –

When I write posts in the future, I need to make sure my posts can stand alone – if I am linking to another post or a news article, it might be an idea to take a screenshot of the article and include that in the post or save a copy of the article somewhere, in case the original disappears. Links should play a supporting role, not be the star of a post I write.

1. About Posting Videos –

I had to delete about 40 posts where I had posted just a title and a youtube video. In almost all of these cases, the title was something like “I Love This Video” or “This Video Is Awesome” and nowhere in the post did I happen to mention the NAME of the video or the artist. When I went to play the video, I got the youtube message “This video has been removed due to X, Y or Z reason”.

Without a name or an artist or any idea what video I might have posted, it was impossible to fix these posts to resemble the original post. They had to be deleted.

How To Fix This –

Going forward, I will always make sure to include the video name and artist when posting videos.

Similar Posts:

blog housekeeping, blogging tips

16 thoughts on “5 Lessons I Learned From Looking Back

  1. I’m sure I have the same issues, although I haven’t been that far back to check. I’m sure the links are gone(outdated), the pictures might still be there,but the videos of Alison’s gymnastics are probably not the right format to survive. I prefer to read my words anyway–see what I was doing, how I was feeling, etc. So much has changed for me since I started my blog!

    • I was surprised that probably 50-60% of the links were still available.. It just turned out that 99% of the ones that truly mattered had vanished.. :)

  2. I haven’t checked back to my very beginnings, but when I’ve searched for a particular post, it’s been there, photos and all.

    • You’d be one of the lucky ones if you haven’t lost any. :) And even worse, it is almost impossible to get any help from Google when things go wrong.. :(

  3. I have used WordPress from the very beginning (Nov 20, 2006) and have had all of my blog materials intact. I wonder if all BlogSpot blogs are affected the way yours has been.

    • Gigi – quite a lot of people have complained of missing images. I also think many Blogspot bloggers might not be aware that any of their images are missing. Not a lot of people go back through their posts very often. :)

      I only know because I started blogging over there before I moved to WordPress and when I imported my Blogspot blog to WordPress it left all my images on Blogspot. When I was going back through the posts here, I discovered some of those images were missing.

      Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment here! I love your blog.. :)

  4. I definitely find it difficult to come up with titles sometimes, and I’m not very good at categorizing. At some point I should go through and clean up my categories. Something I’ve noticed is that the search function on my blog is terrible. I know for a fact that I have lots of posts that mention goat cheese (LOVE the stuff!), but when I search “goat cheese”, I get only three hits. makes no sense to me.

    • Dawn – Sephyroth once did a post on how to make a better search box for blogs, I am not sure if it is still relevant but I might ask him to check into that and make a new one if not. :)

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