I took a risk last week. I have never believed in blogging or writing a social media post ‘for the sake of it’. However I knew I wasn’t blogging often enough and I want to hone my writing skills. So when I got back into work on January 4 I decided I would blog every day for a year, starting then and there.
I’ve blogged about my first year in business, setting goals and artificial intelligence. I haven’t planned what to write until each morning, sometimes with a rising sense of panic as the end of the day draws near. I wrote one blog on my phone while sitting in a car park because my toddler had fallen asleep in the back of the car. My longest post was just over 1,000 words long while the shortest was just 43 words.
What have I learned?
Blogging really does drive traffic to your website
I wrote a blog last year about how blogging is good for driving traffic to your website. However, my own efforts had been sporadic up until now. A few days into the challenge I checked my Google Analytics. There was a marked spike in traffic to my website, giving me an incentive to keep on with the challenge.
I didn’t just blog though. I put every one of my blogs out on social media. I used my Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to share them and also posted them in some groups I’m a member of. Writing a blog post is only the beginning of the process. You have to market your work as well.
You need to make time to blog
This sounds obvious but it’s one thing to plan to blog and quite another to actually get it done. You need thinking time, writing time and, just as important, publishing time. You need a headline, to think about any sub-headings, pictures and formatting. Have you got an image to go with your blog? If not, you will need to source one. Factor in these additional tasks when you’re thinking about when you’re going to write your blog.
I found myself writing in the late evening a couple of times because I hadn’t had time during the day. By the time I was putting the blog out on social media, it could be past 10pm. Far too late for many people to see it.
My most popular post was not the one I thought it would be
When I wrote about my new business planner and my trepidation at filling it in, I thought it might spark some comments. What I wasn’t expecting was for the comments to be about people not wanting to spoil their beautiful new notebooks! It turns out people love to talk about stationery. One person even revealed that a previous company had stopped giving out pristine planners because nobody would dare write in them.
My favourite post, which was about content marketing, was the least read blog of the week. This could be because I stuck with its cryptic title The Content Fridge or it didn’t resonate with my audience. Give it a read and let me know what you think.
It’s ok to be honest and show yourself
There were times when I revealed things I wasn’t expecting to. I wondered if it was alright to say “I don’t know,” to talk about my plans and say I’m still learning.
I talk to clients all the time about letting your customers see the people they are dealing with, being authentic and giving people a glimpse behind-the-scenes. I believe you should practice what you preach – after all, this is what this daily blogging challenge is about. But I still felt nervous when I pressed publish on a couple of my blogs this week.
I needn’t have worried. No-one has had a go at me about something I’ve written and I’ve had lots of lovely feedback.
Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my blogs. I am thinking of starting a newsletter. If you would like to join my mailing list, you can sign up via the pop up box which is hopefully in the bottom right corner of your screen. I promise not to spam you.