My wabisabi blog


There’s a asking what people would do if they had to start their blog all over again. And recently, there’s been a lot of activity and the usual frustration in trying to figure out how to work with a new blogging platform in the personal finance blogging world, thanks to a very generous offer from an established author to move blogs over from Blogspot to WordPress.

I’m here to give a little perspective. Like my previous post about not having goals per se on this site, I wouldn’t change anything I’ve done with my blog. Here’s why:

Before I started blogging, I perused, read, and re-read a lot of information on Problogger and other sites, so I was probably better prepared for what blogging involved more than some others out there. I still read these sites regularly. But here’s the reason I did it originally: for me, writing stuff publicly available on the internet isn’t something you do on a whim because of concerns over privacy and security. I’ve worked enough in the past in IT departments (and been around hacker-ish friends) to know that there are a bevy of ways in which you can be unexpectedly impacted by what’s out there on the internet. So I use a strange moniker, and I was probably a little slow to embrace RSS feeds and adding any publicity to my site. I’d do the same thing again if I had to. On the other hand, I learned to use WordPress and get my own domain, too. Also things I’d do again.

Even the “mistakes” I made were useful. I’ve mentioned in the past that this blog didn’t start out as a finance site. It started out as an experiment in polyglot blogging (hence the domain name) and was discontinued once I realized I couldn’t do a good job at it. That’s alright too, since nearly all the time at the beginning of any blog is spent putting the darn thing together and figuring out what goes where. Once that was all done and I refocused my topic in April, everything has progressed at a rate way beyond my expectations.

Blogging’s still a very new thing. Sure, it’s been around a few years, but it’s like a startup, ever-evolving. Have you seen the array of new plugins that are developed each week? Or changes in layout trends? Or all the peripheral services springing up each month to service blogs? There’s no manual for setting up or starting a blog…that’s the nature of it. Don’t like something you did? It’s easy to change — low switching costs! It’s a different beast to each person, be it in the purpose for running one, the writing voice that’s presented, its look. For once, there’s really no right answer, and no right way to measure a blog’s success. There’s no such thing as a perfect blog, even to its owners.

: (??) An aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”.

My purpose in writing this is to encourage anyone who’s new to just take the first step and not worry about setting up a “perfect” thing, and anyone who’s redoing their blog not to be frustrated. We’ve already got too many other things in life that already exert this type of pressure: “Don’t forget to do this. Watch out for that. If you do X, you might lose Y.” Investing and the very real prospect of losing money comes to mind.

And we’re already being measured in a ridiculous number of ways, like at work via productivity metrics and KPIs (key performance indicators). Let’s not get lost in the numbers for once. Why not take advantage of a rare, low-risk opportunity like blogging and approach it with a creative eagerness rather than cautious fear about all the mistakes you might make? As long as it’s true to you, you probably can’t go wrong. It’s worked for me.


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22 Feedbacks on "My wabisabi blog"


Wabisabi? Sometimes I read that blog too! That’s not also you is it?

I think you have really good advice. MFC is my third blog and it’s still evolving. Just jump in and start writing. The technology part will come later to meet your needs. Sure you could become an expert web designer, but blogging is about what you *say* and not how it *looks*. Looks help, i.e. enhanced readbility, but ultimately people will come back to visit you when you say things they enjoy reading.

I’ve blogrolled a few really fugly sites because I love what they have to say. Fortunately, I can avoid visiting them too if I want just read the feed through something else.


Nope, sadly none of those are me! I was just borrowing the term for my post :) It didn’t occur to me that there were so many blogs out there with that name!


I think you are exactly right – everything can be changed and everything does change, I’m always updating something on my blog, I think it’s the nature of it. I wrote for the project as well, not sure it was as nice as your entry tho ;).

Matthew Bennett

I don’t know about going wrong, I think it’s just a case of if you read around a bit and think about what you want to acheive, you’ll be able to get there better and quicker.


So what you’re saying is you never really made any mistakes? How lucky.

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@Leon: Not that I didn’t make any mistakes, but that they didn’t matter. Part of it was luck and timing: I started blogging when there was already a site like Problogger to help prepare me, so I didn’t make a lot of the more commonly complained about mistakes, like using blogspot, or not getting my own domain name, or using the wrong permalink structure. And I chose to use WordPress right when v2 just came out, which has many more useful features (publish ahead, full preview, etc.). If I’d had to upgrade from 1.5, I’d probably have had plenty of headaches to deal with.

What I mean is that blogging is so flexible and open that you might not know you’re making a mistake until you’ve tried it, and what one person considers a mistake isn’t necessarily true for the next.

But taking my own site as an example: if I’d started using RSS sooner, I wouldn’t have had a strong enough body of posts prepared to keep an audience (e.g. low content). If I’d started focusing on writing that body, then I wouldn’t have had time to configure my blog’s layout and learn some CSS and PHP. And so on.

We can always wish we’d everything right and all at once, but in my opinion, this sort of effort is better off being focused on different areas in our lives. Of course, if you’re running your blog as your business, this is probably not true.


Nice post :)

And remember, one man’s mistake is another man’s smart move!

Peter T Davis » What would I do if I was starting over again?

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“Why not take advantage of a rare, low-risk opportunity like blogging and approach it with a creative eagerness rather than cautious fear about all the mistakes you might make?”

Well said!


Jersey Girl

I agree to your comment, “Every mistake I made has been useful.” I have been playing on the web for over 10 years and all the mistakes I’ve made along the way have taught me so much! Best to you.


Thanks everyone for your responses!

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