I’m 21 years old yet I have been blogging in various forms over the last 6 years. Before 2005 I had no idea how blogging would have shaped my life. Now 6 years on I reminisce on what I have learnt and if I would have changed anything.
Comments are Gold and Dust
It is much easier to forget positive feedback than the negative. Negative comments build like dust and unless you brush them away it is easy to let them blind your path. Treasure your positive comments and either forget or grow from the negative. Either way comments are good, it shows you are making a difference.
Your learning will speed up – LOTS!
Once I started blogging alongside my PR course at University I realised writing posts was acting as a form of revision. Every student should be aware of the world around them and blogging accelerates that process.
Most of us scan read when browsing the internet. Dwell times are reduced and so it is necessary for blogs to be brief. Sometimes people on Twitter will RT a post just based on the title! Shorter posts generally are more successful, in my experience the larger ones are more entertaining to write.
Old Posts are always Cringe worthy
To this very day I cannot stand reviewing old blog posts. Somewhere on my computer I have a list of posts which I wrote in 2006 and I am glad to say I have progressed a lot since then. The latest post is always one to keep in mind but be careful what you write, the posts you wrote six years ago may still be Google-able. (Nothing is truly deleted on the internet)
Your Audience is two-way
Don’t think that blogging will provide you international fame. Equally don’t think that an audience will just flock to you. Building an audience takes time (this blog’s audience is certainly niche) and requires you to make the effort to interact with other blogs. Even being listed effectively in search engines requires a lot of work. Perhaps in the next year I will become more popular than Darren Rowse?
Blogging won’t make you Rich
We have all heard the stories of people who manage to blog full-time and make a living from it but they really are exceptions. Through sponsored posts and advertising over the course of the year I have probably earned enough money to purchase a Nintendo 3DS. Compare that with the amount of time it takes to keep the blog running; it wouldn’t be worth it.
To maintain an active blog it is important to publish frequently. Quantity keeps search engines happy and causes people to regularly visit for more information. Don’t forget quality though – miss that and you won’t be doing your reputation any favours.