I’ve always loved writing.
So having the ability to blog is fantastic.
I know a lot of other bloggers write for pleasure and many, like me, have a blog that supports our professional life with some business goals attached.
This blog has evolved over the years as my career and goals have changed and I have learned a lot. When I started this blog (in Blogger) in August 2009 I wasn’t sure what it was going to be – only that as a social media professional it’d be a good idea for me to experience blogging and keep learning. So my posts were random notes about things like Art Guilt and whether to stand at a rock concert and not necessarily about social media.
Since 2009, here’s some interesting things I’ve learned about blogging:
- Readers love personal stories. And this can be difficult to achieve in a business-focused blog. But you can bring personal anecdotes into your posts, in particular in your intros, and via stories of what was happening to you when you formed the idea for a post. My most popular (and Freshly Pressed) post was quite personal and about growing up. I almost didn’t publish it. I didn’t think it fit the remit of this blog, but you know what .. lots of people loved reading it. And it’s a salient reminder that people like stories; and a reminder that we can share some of ourselves with our audiences and clients.
- Passion makes for easier writing, but not necessarily a more popular piece. Sometimes I’ll get sudden inspiration for a post, excitedly type for 10 fluid minutes and hit Publish and be absolutely certain that it’ll gain a lot of readers. I was so passionate about the topic, surely they would be! But I’m sad to say that’s not always the case. You could put it down to timing, or just the reality that not everyone’s passionate about the same things as you. So while the post may have been super-easy to write, that doesn’t guarantee success.
- You never know how people will react. This is closely related to the point above. I’ve been surprised by what works and what doesn’t work. That’s the nature of social media – compare blogs to YouTube clips for example. The content quality varies and you cannot predict what will go viral (even though you might have used ‘all the right techniques’).
- Your post might get a lot of readers and shares, but zero comments. This can be a downer. It’s nice to have readers and that’ a great indicator of popularity and interest. But let’s be honest: we crave comments too, don’t we? We’re here for a bit of conversation. So for example, my previous post about the parody Kevin Rudd Twitter account was a hot link on Bitly and had hundreds of views yesterday afternoon. How many comments? Zilch. I’ve learned that in some cases, people just want to read what you’ve said. They don’t have anything to add. Writing a comment is a big commitment. And that’s okay.
Are you a blogger, too? What have you learned about blogging?
It goes without saying … I’d welcome your comments!