Three Years of Blogging

I recently went through my blog to review and reprint some of my blog posts. I realized I’d been blogging for a little over three years. And I was a latecomer to the game.

I’ve learned some things as I’ve done it, and I’ve gone through phases with blogging. It has been a bit of an evolution, and it has changed some over time, due partly to factors particular to ME, and due to some factors inherent to online changes.

About five years ago, blogging spammers really started to saturate the blogging arena, changing what had been a fairly simple way to get attention, back into a harder one. This happens to every method for promotioning. It is the nature of the web. At that time, quickie marketers were still telling people two lies:

  • “You just GOTTA blog”
  • “It’s easy to get attention online from a blog.”

Neither one was ever true, then, or now (and they still get repeated regularly). Blogging is actually hard work – you have to do it consistently, and you have to produce stuff that people actually WANT to read – not everybody has the knack for that. And cheap sources for content just don’t do the trick, because all they produce is tired and overused stuff with no new information.

I came into the game fairly late – I didn’t blog for a long time, because I knew it didn’t fit my life or goals at the time. Eventually I decided to, because I had a purpose, and knew how I wanted to use it. So that is now my first rule for success with blogging – know what your purpose is with it, and what you hope to share and achieve with it.

At one time, I had four active blogs, but I found that posting to them took all my time, and worse, all my writing energy. I had nothing left for instructional writing, creating training materials, etc. It just sucked me dry! So I let three of them go – life had changed and they were less purposeful and necessary then anyway.

Social networking has also changed, making it easier to use a blog productively, by feeding it into other venues. Because of that, blogging is something I recommend for any business owner who can write. In fact, it has replaced article marketing for me, and I find it to be much more effective, and simpler to do and accomplish goals with. But I only recommend it once the groundwork is laid, and once a business owner feels the time is right to take it on.

I think I’ve matured some as a writer from blogging also. I can better distinguish between “good enough” and “print perfect”. When I produce long term resources, they have to be “print perfect”. But blogging can be “good enough”. It can be done in a hurry, off the top of my head, and reviewed once for anything embarrassing before publishing. I don’t agonize over posts. I can change them later if I need to. It has helped me learn to write very fast, and to get it more accurate the first time through.

Blogging is hardest when life is hardest. When I’m buried in things that are too private to share, and when my thought processes are taken up by stresses and difficulties that I don’t quite know how to overcome yet. Then I feel like I am just wrung out and have nothing left.

I find that with some effort, I can actually produce one blog post per day. But it does take effort. Over the last three years, I’ve produced just over 250 posts. That’s roughly one every four days. Of course, that included spates of daily, and many times when I posted weekly, and sometimes when I was sunk in the mire and skipped weeks! It was kind of fun to read back over them and remember some of the discoveries, and some of the events surrounding the posts.

Three years, and counting. Somehow, that seems significant, even though I think that what I write is largely insignificant.

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