Today (August 25) marks the one-year anniversary of this blog. Although a long-time fan/reader of several blogs, I first started researching and learning about the blogosphere for a corporate project. Still, I was intrigued about sharing my writing in my own space. I did know I wanted to avoid deeply personal, journal-like revelations of writers like Emily Gould, who wrote this 2008 New York Times Magazine article “Exposed: Blog-Post Confidential.” I’m either too shy or too much of a Scorpio to be that revealing!
Since sticking my toe in the Internets, this blog has gone through a few changes, starting with the typewriter key look below. Once the logo for my company a.k.a writer was finished, I launched it with a new header here, too.
And that’s when things starting clicking. As part of debuting a new look, I also changed my approach to blogging and saw some great growth as a result. Here are the top five things (in no particular order) I’ve learned from my experience – so far.
- Schedules are good*. Rebellious by nature, I tend to avoid overly scheduling my life and there was no logic to my early posting routine. My first full month of blogging, I posted a total of three times. Now I’m posting three times a week. Committing to a Monday-Wednesday-Friday posting schedule has helped me set goals and it forces me to write. This is especially helpful since copywriting pays the bills: my blogging commitment reminds me that I also write for me.
- Blogging is better with others. Early on, I posted that I was “okay” with people not commenting here. I was just happy to know people were reading. Today, commenting is very important to me. I make sure to respond on other blogs I enjoy reading and I make a point of engaging with the comments you post. It’s helped me learn more about readers and fellow bloggers – and I’ve connected with some amazing people.
- Goals are good. I really like to promote my blog through social networking sites like twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. It’s also where I frequently discover new sites and writers. To help me evaluate the effectiveness of my time on such sites, I set goals for how many new readers I would like to add each month. By forcing myself to analyze the numbers each month, it keeps from falling into bad habits, like spending too many unfocused hours on twitter. (I also use these sites and others to make helpful connections for my business.)
- Focus works. I was a little bit… well, I was all over the place when I started blogging and I struggled with ideas every week. The “aha” for me dawned when I realized that my primary desire to write stems from storytelling. I grew up listening to my grandfathers share their adventures – and that’s exactly what I want to do. I also want to help other people share their stories, whether it’s through interviews with entrepreneurs, writing tips or a peek into my journey as a freelance writer/ business owner. Since finding my focus, the post ideas just keep flowing.
- Personal can be pertinent. Sharing personal experiences, such as my first month on my own resonated with people, including readers who were thinking about freelancing or starting a business. It’s not just providing useful content, it’s about being a real person – mistakes and all. Since I keep my portfolio on this site, I do try to keep every post carefully balanced on a professional line.
*Okay, so I broke the schedule this week. It’s my blogiversary!
Do you have blogging tips or questions? Please share in the comments. The floor is yours!