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What I’ve learned from 10 years of blogging

December 7, 2015

typewriter

Photo: Joel Kramer (CC)

I hit a great milestone in October: 10 years of blogging. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to meet and help people, to explore ideas and to use my creativity.

Before I get too far into the next 10 years, allow me to share a few quick lessons I picked up after thousands of posts …

I love leaving comments on other blogs. Commenting on blogs has become passé, sadly, but I still like to think of submitting my comment along the lines of a handwritten thank you note (almost).

(Which is why I die a little when the comment never makes it out of moderation.)

Are you commenting on your favorite posts? (And not via social channels …)

• If I had to do it over again, I’d have started with a mailing list form. I discussed how in my three-part series on email newsletters.

Are you keeping in touch with your readers?

• It’s never too late to do something new. In 2014, I resumed posting daily (in addition to haiku) on my original blog, Wade on Birmingham. Just to see if I could do it. Just to explore. Just for fun.

I could do it. I learned a lot. And it was great fun. You’d think after 9 years I wouldn’t have anything new to try, but different formats, different ideas, different promos kept me moving forward.

Are you trying new things out on your blog?

• You can always surprise yourself. In writing a string of posts on my city, I wrote a long tirade about a university and the damned thing went viral.

My site crashed for a couple of hours from all the traffic, first time ever.

I was a bit nervous before I hit Publish, but I knew it was a solid essay and one that reflected my views and values.

Are you playing it safe or putting out posts that distinguish you and your brand from all others?

• No one cares what you write.

My pal Keith Lee, in a funny series of tweets, pointed out the absurdity of human vanity (a condition that I, too, suffer from often). We all think that people will point and laugh when we let it all hang out, whether in the locker room or on our sites.

Sometimes, they do. (Just read the comments on one of my videos here.) It hasn’t killed me yet. Most of the time, no one reads or cares.

Write what you want, and learn to deal with criticism, abuse and raging indifference.

Have you taken a risk on your blog lately?

• Comparison is the thief of joy. Don’t worry about other blogs or bloggers. I’m proud to know other bloggers who are better writers, faster, funnier, who have bigger audiences, more talent, more revenue and are more helpful and nicer. That’s how it goes.

I can waste time worrying what they’re up to, or I can focus on the handful of goals I have to make clients happy and earn more cash. But I really can’t do both.

Are you struggling because you feel your blog doesn’t measure up to others?

• I’ve been telling myself for 8 years I’m going to update the theme and the look on several of my blogs. This will probably never happen. Sigh.

I can’t wait to learn even more from the next 10 years.

• • •

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Arlee Bird permalink
    December 7, 2015 9:26 am

    I like to try new things and experiment with variations on old things. If nothing else the variations keep me entertained if not keep the blog fresh.

    Most of the time I will comment on any blog I visit. It can be time consuming, but to me social interaction and establishing relationships are the most important aspects of blogging.
    I’m often disappointed that more of the WordPress blogs where I comment rarely if ever leave comments on my blog. Whether or not they actually visit my posts I can never tell without that comment having been left.

    Arlee Bird
    Wrote By Rote

    • December 7, 2015 6:36 pm

      Thank you for being such a good commenter, here. Lee! 🙂

  2. January 6, 2016 9:16 pm

    very nice 🙂 10 years!

    • January 8, 2016 7:09 pm

      Thank you!

Trackbacks

  1. The 2015 index to posts | Birmingham Blogging Academy

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