The blog turned one year old earlier this week. Hard to believe how quickly a year flies by. Thanks readers for making every day special and memorable in some way. The last year has been a lot of fun as I’ve gotten to meet several new friends (#MennoNerds among others), have found a passion and voice in the blogging world, and have gotten to be a part of some pretty special things. One of the things I’ve also found is that new blogs start up all the time and never seem to last very long. What was once a promising young blog dies within a few weeks. Below are some thoughts on this one year reflection, along with some top posts.
1.) Blogging (and all of social media) is fun… but only if you want it to be.
Let’s face it, blogging can be hard work. New content several times a week is exhausting. It needs to be smart, compelling, sharable, and engaging. The ‘business’ side of it can drag down the fun part of it if you aren’t careful. I’ve loved blogging and needed to remind myself to have fun.
2.) Start out with a clearly defined niche.
I didn’t right away, and it cost me some valuable time. At first, I posted a little on this, and then a little on that, and only after blogging for several months did I start to find my voice. If you can do this legwork ahead of time, it saves a lot of pain later.
3.) Evernote is essential.
Don’t kid yourself. If you don’t have Evernote, hop on over and get it. Quick, easy, and multi-platform, it is the ONLY way to store, generate, and categorize ideas.
4.) A little bit of planning saves a lot of time (and energy, and frustration).
There’s nothing quite like getting to six in the evening trying to enjoy dinner with family and then thinking, “Oh shoot! I need to get a post out!” Developing a rhythm or schedule to blog writing lowers stress, raises the quality of the posts, and saves you, your readers, and your family a lot of frustration.
5.) Community is key.
There’s a reason it’s called social media. Engage with your followers, invite new ones in, and find other compelling stories that you want to share or contribute your voice to. Finding an online community enhances the greatness of the online world.
A year can be a lot of blog posts. Easily lost in the works, here are some of my personal favorites and the top views by all of you: