Why You Shouldn’t Beat Yourself Up for Publishing Bad Content

(5 Minute Read. Enjoy!)

Over the past few weeks, I decided to write a number of blog posts discussing the topic of Financial Freedom. I think I churned out 7 posts in total.

Only 1 or 2 of them were decent, in my opinion. To my dismay, the rest were just giant piles of steaming horse poop.

I started to get a little down on myself. I must have spent 15-20 hours on those posts. And all I had to show for it, was 6,000 words of absolute dog shit? I wondered whether I was in a writing funk. ‘What if this funk continues? How could my blog ever generate any interest? Everyone would hate my blog!’ Those thoughts never stopped running through my mind.

I pondered over this for hours. At work. In the shower. Before bed. And I’ve come to a conclusion.

You know what? Publishing bad content is okay. You don’t have to beat yourself up over it.

 

You Have to Start Somewhere

Every great writer, blogger, YouTuber, content creator, started off small. Their writing wasn’t good. Their video-editing wasn’t amazing. Their books were just “meh”. But they just started anyway.

I follow a number of travel vloggers on YouTube. Out of curiosity, I went searching for the videos that they published way back in the day. Years ago. My discovery shocked me. The video quality felt un-watchable. The audio quality was pretty crap. The editing wasn’t good at all.

But they were relentless in pursuing their passions. They kept making videos. Over time, they upgraded their cameras. Powered up their mics. Improve their video-editing skills.

Fast forward a few short years, and they’re making a full-time income from YouTube.

It’s downright amazing.

Go look up your favourite bloggers / vloggers and search for their oldest material. The content they created then, compared to the content they are creating now, will be worlds apart.

I’ve only been blogging for 4 months. Yet, I gave myself hell for not becoming the next J. K. Rowling.

Damn.

 

Learn from the Mistakes of the Bad Content

When I was done writing those 5-6 crappy blog posts, I sat down to mope. I instinctively knew that they weren’t any good, and threw myself a little pity party for wasting hours of my life.

After I was done moping, I took a good hard look at my posts. I questioned myself – why weren’t they any good?

I realised that I hadn’t added any value to the readers who were to come across those posts. Everything was about me. My musings. My ramblings. I was treating my blog like a journal, rather than a source of vital information.

Sure, I had a few bits of information in there that could potentially be useful. But by and large, those posts couldn’t value-add to my readers.

Hell, why would anyone want to even read those?

That was my problem. And I’m determined to fix that in every post I write from now.

The point here is a simple one.

Whenever you create content that you instinctively know to be shitty, take a good hard look at it. Spend some time pondering and evaluating why it’s so bad in the first place.

Learn from your mistakes. And improve all future content.

 

Even Bad Content Can Inspire You

The more you create, the more ideas start flowing into your brain. Sometimes, even a simple word or simple phrase could spark a greater idea in your mind. That’s how it’s always worked for me.

Even when I was busy crapping out a giant 6,000-word-pile of horse poop, a few little nuggets of inspiration popped into my head.

If I hadn’t bothered writing just because I didn’t have any good ideas to write about, I wouldn’t have had the luck to come across those little bits of inspiration.

What’s important is that you keep taking the time to create. Allocate yourself time to create whatever you want to create.

The more time your brain spends creating, the more ideas it’ll generate.

It’s kind of like magic.

Not all the ideas your brain generates will be good, mind you. Some will be real crappy. But some will be real awesome. The more time you spend creating, the more good ideas you’ll accumulate.

 

Bad Content is Better Than No Content at All

Want to know what will make or break your career as a content creator?

Your daily habit of creating.

Sure, you could wait around for inspiration to strike. Or for motivation to fire your body up. But when will that even happen? Once a month? Once a year?

Does that mean that you’re going to publish content only once a year?

It doesn’t work that way.

Here’s what will happen if you don’t create on a regular basis – When inspiration does eventually strike, you’d probably do nothing.

I hate to break it to you, but the inertia from all those days of lying around, waiting for inspiration? It’s going to stop you from ever publishing anything good.

If you want to create good content, you must create regularly. Take the time out of your every day, or every week, to create.

And even if your content is not up to standard, publish it anyway. Don’t get hung up on the sub-par quality of your old content. Just keep creating new content.

Some content you publish won’t be any good. But some will be.

And it’s those pieces of brilliant content that will keep drawing new audience members in.

 

Accept that It’s Okay to Publish Bad Content, and Stop Beating Yourself Up

We have “to come up with the bad ideas, on our way to having the insight to tell them apart from the good ideas.”
– Seth Godin

That’s why it’s okay to publish bad content. It’s okay to not feel inspired. It’s okay to only have bad ideas in your mind.

But you must start somewhere. And learn from your mistakes.

Ultimately, the bad ideas will lead to less-bad ideas.

And those less-bad ideas will lead to great ones.

Soon, you’ll be on your way to becoming someone real great.

So, stop beating yourself up over publishing bad content.

 

Love,
Liz

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6 Comments
  1. Very inspiring! Also interesting because my experience is almost the opposite 🙂 . You mentioned that after examining those ‘bad’ posts that they were bad because they were all about you. I may be a lone weirdo (like in most things…), but that’s precisely why I read blogs. I want to hear about someone’s experiences so I can expand my mind beyond my own. I want to hear what it’s like almost buying a $800K apartment 🙂 or living in an Airstream or being a digital nomad. I might not be interpreting what you meant properly, but I love to hear your stories and experiences. It’s what makes every person unique.

    As for inspiration: I know everyone works differently, but to give an opposing perspective – I only write when I feel inspired. Luckily for the past year or so that’s meant at least a blog post a week. That’s how I determined my posting schedule: how often the inspiration comes, instead of imposing it on myself. I’ve taken a lot of creative writing classes and would always feel stuck and frustrated writing at a specific time or a specific number of times a week/month. That experience actually made me stop writing for a long while. So now I’m on this path, but I’m going to try your way 🙂 . Maybe now that I’m older and wiser it will work. I’ll keep you posted.

    1. Hey APL, thanks so much for your kind words! I really appreciate it. Perhaps I have been completely misinterpreting the purpose behind having a blog. I recently read a book titled “Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t” by Steven Pressfield. So, every time I start a post, I convince myself that nobody wants to read my posts. Then, I try and think about how I can value-add to the reader so that people would WANT to read them. To be honest, it’s been a little tiring. I’ve been refraining from writing anything that seemed like rambling to me. But what is the purpose of blogging, if I don’t enjoy the content I write, right? I think it’s probably time for me to re-think about my vision for this blog.

      I just want to say that it’s incredibly heart-warming to hear that there are people out there (like you!) who enjoy reading about people’s experiences and stories. Hopefully my ramblings would be of use to people out there? 🙂

      It’s awesome to hear that you get inspiration pretty often! I feel that I get the most inspiration when I’m writing, so I try to write as much as possible. I don’t get time to write on weekdays, so I spend a large chunk of my weekends writing. I’ve personally felt that by compelling myself to sit down and write, writing became easier and easier. Somehow!

      About the frustration that you feel – I don’t force myself to write anything good whenever I sit down to write. At the end of a 4-hour block of writing, if nothing good comes out of it, then so be it. That’s how I deal with frustration. Perhaps you were forcing yourself to be inspired, which is why you felt frustrated?

      Nevertheless, I think blogging and writing is incredibly personal, and you should continue to do what works for you! My greatest fear is that you would try to write every single day, be frustrated, and that kills your joy of writing. Then I can no longer look forward to awesome posts from you 🙁

      Thank you for the insights! You really gave me a lot to mull over, especially when it comes to the creative side of things.

      1. Oh my – what a book title! Doesn’t sound too positive 🙂 . I think we’ve both been proven wrong about no one wanting to read our “shit” and it’s a great idea to examine your reasons and vision for the blog. I should do that too. And I know I’m only one person, but that’s why I read blogs (stories). It’s very possible other people read them for other reasons, such as looking for value add to their own lives. I’m just not one of them…or maybe that’s because I’ve already read all the “how to” articles on how to retire, have a plan and am basically just waiting for my pile of money to be big enough. Hmmm! Maybe that’s it! As for the rambling, I’ve read the posts you claim are ramblings and I totally disagree 🙂 and enjoy reading all of them. They’re definitely useful and help me see life through your eyes.

        It’s really cool that writing becomes easier after you start writing. I’ll test that out and see what happens! I’m not certain where my frustration came from, but I suspect it’s because I dislike routines and repetitiveness. I like to go with the flow and do what I feel like in that moment (work, write, clean etc) and if I force myself to do it instead I usually don’t enjoy it and it seems to take foreeeeever, but if I’m “in the mood” to do something I gain joy from it, even something mundane like cleaning. And don’t worry, I won’t bite off more than I can chew and stop writing 🙂 . I’ll be sticking to 1 post a week for the foreseeable future. I’m no Zach AKA a superhero 🙂 . That should allow me to keep going and cataloging my journey without feeling overwhelmed or pressured. And anytime on insights! Glad my weird and contrarian perspective could help a little 😉 .

        1. I agree, but it’s an interesting read though. 🙂 By the way, you’re right. I spent the past week mulling over your comments, and realised that I also read blogs for the stories. There are bloggers who write in a way that I enjoy, and I keep reading their posts to learn more about them. About their lives. Their perspectives. I rarely read “how to” articles either. But somehow I keep getting the impression that that’s the way to value-add to people’s lives! Definitely got a lot of thinking to do, but I will definitely update you when I find more insight.

          RE: “I’ve read the posts you claim are ramblings and I totally disagree.” – I can’t believe you went to read them! That’s incredibly nice of you. Thank you sooo much for all your encouragement and kind words. It really means so much to me.

          RE: “I suspect it’s because I dislike routines and repetitiveness” – I suppose in this case it would be better for you to stick what works for you. If you don’t derive any joy from forcing yourself to sit down and write, then what is the point? 🙂 You could try sitting down and just writing, but if it doesn’t work then don’t force it. I think what we’re all chasing is happiness, and you should be happy in everything that you do. 🙂 I’m glad though, that you find so much joy in even the mundane things. Even cleaning!

          Definitely looking forward to your 1 post a week!

  2. It took me over a week to write my latest post. That meant that I only had one post that week. But it was important to me not to rush it, so forgoing an extra post was an intentional decision I made. I had written an earlier draft of it months ago, and it was bad. Like, really bad. But I came back to it and knew that I needed a lot of time to sort my thoughts and turn it into something else. So in my case, no content is better than bad content.

    However, in the beginning it’s important to post at least twice a week consistently. This is where a lot of people fall off the map, because doing this is really hard. But that’s how you earn people’s trust. And when you have their trust, they’ll be a lot more forgiving later on when you only post once that week 🙂

    I also perused your stuff. None of it is bad. I’d say you might want to add more than one way for people to see all your articles. I found it difficult to browse. I’d also spend time writing an About page. That’s where people go to figure out whether or not your blog is for them.

    1. Hi Luxe! Thanks for stopping by. Your latest post is awesome, I’m really glad that you came back to it and eventually published it. I’ve been doing quite a bit of thinking about blogging and about publishing bad content as well. I’m starting to feel that perhaps I shouldn’t rush through my posts either. I posted a lot over July and August, and looking back, there isn’t much that I’m actually proud of. I really want to publish high-quality posts that I can be proud of. So this month, September, I took some time away to work on other projects and decreased my rate of publishing drastically.

      It’s incredible to hear how much you wrote in the beginning. Hats off to you! 🙂 Hmm. I’m not sure if I’m able to publish 2 high-quality posts every single week! Would it be better to publish just 1 high-quality post a week instead of 2 perhaps not-so-high-quality posts? But 2 posts a week is something I definitely want to try after I finish off this other project I’m working on!

      Thank you for your feedback as well! I really appreciate it 🙂 I’ll definitely work on it in the upcoming weeks!

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