I just published a post this morning, Use Google Analytics for Illumination and Actionable Insights. As I wrapped it up and pushed “Publish”, I noticed something kinda cool. That was my 100th blog post on this site!
I hadn’t been keeping track, and hadn’t even wondered how many there have been. It’s kind of like the odometer in the car. You don’t really pay any attention to it until it rolls over to a milestone number, like 100,000 miles. I’ve been writing for so long, it’s just part of my routine.
But this is MY blog, and the one that I’ve been nurturing for so long. It’s the one I care the most about. That’s cool.
How Did I Get There?
The first post was “way back” on January 28, 2009, and it talked about how to use press releases to generate traffic quickly. So it’s taken me almost 7 years to get to #100. Not a huge feat, and I’m sure I could have gotten there more quickly. I haven’t been entirely consistent about writing all the time and have had some times where I’ve gone dark. But I keep coming back to it.
But I think the things that are most important along the way if you want to get to a “big library” of information on your website and blog, these are my thoughts:
- Slow and steady wins the race – you’re not going to get there overnight. Posting consistently whether it’s weekly, or less than that, will get you there in time.
- Write about what you love – There are a thousand topics you can write about in your specific business, and your readers want to hear it. Educate your readers about your “stuff”, and give them bite-sized chunks they can absorbe
- Get in the habit – Either block out a time on your calendar every Friday at 8:00 a.m. or whatever time you’re most creative and productive. I’m an early riser (4:30 or 5:00 a.m. typically, 7 days a week), and that’s when I’m most clear-headed and creative. Writing at the end of the day is terrible for me.
- What do your readers want? – Do some quick keyword research to find out what other people want to know, and write about that. Use Google Suggestions (or as they call it, “Autocomplete”) to find things people search for. I recently did this for a client, spent 20 minutes in the Google search bar, and came up with 75 topics to write about. Boom, that’s a year’s worth of content at one per week. Easy.
What Did I Learn?
Lots. People have left comments on my posts that have taught me things. They’ve asked questions which have spawned new blog posts. People have shared, tweeted, liked, +1’d and linked to my stuff just because I’ve published it (and hopefully because it’s useful).
- Always share your posts in social media. Facebook and LinkedIn probably get the most views, but don’t ignore Twitter, Google+, and any others you can think of.
- Install social sharing buttons! Make it easy for OTHER people to share your stuff. It travels further.
- Try to have a compelling or eye catching (thumb-stopping!) main image. That will get people to notice the post as they scroll in their feed, and possibly stop to click on you. Here’s a good one from my friend Chuck Bankoff: How to Pick Killer Images for your Blog! A really cool, simple tool that I like to use for graphics is Canva. You can easily create great images without any graphic editing software.
- Copy/paste your blog post into LinkedIn posts. Nope, it won’t cause a duplicate content issue. I promise. Then post those in your groups that you belong to. Don’t belong to any groups? Join those groups where your customers hang out, NOT your peers. They’ll love you for the fresh perspective and new content (and that graphic you created will catch their eye!).
- Ask a question. I like to pose a question at the end of the post, which prompts people to leave me a comment. Then monitor your questions/comments and respond to them. It keeps people engaged with your posts and shows that you’re paying attention to them!
- You’re not going to calculate an ROI. Sorry, but if you think you can put a dollar value on your blog posts to figure out the return on that investment of time (or dollars if you’re using paid writers), there’s no way to do it. It’s just something you have to do to build a following, trust with your potential customers, and a boost from the search engines.
So now that I’ve reached this milestone, am I done? Have I conquered the mountain? Nah, not even. As Dory sang in “Finding Nemo”, “Just keep swimming!”
Here’s to the next 100 blog posts.
What have you learned from your own blogging experience? Tell me in the comments below and include a link to your blog!