I just 700 blog posts on {grow} and I thought this would be a good time to pause and share some of my lessons learned for all you budding Blog Whisperers out there!

CONTENT

  • Yes, it really is all about the content.
  • One blogger said he was afraid his lengthy posts are diluting his keywords. Are you kidding me? Forget trying to “engineer” your content around key words. Who really wants to read that? Just let ‘er rip.
  • Challenge yourself to write a post that ONLY you can write.  This is how you find your unique voice.
  • Taking risks pays off. I think readers recognize and reward you for stepping out of the echo chamber.
  • I am trying to use video a little more. It’s not my thing but I recopgnize that it needs to be added to the content mix. Have you tried it?  You my love it.
  • Lack of confidence is the biggest reason people don’t blog. I think that if you can tell your kids a story, give nurturing advice to a friend or tell a joke, you can blog.  Just Do It.

TIME MANAGEMENT

  • {Grow} readership (page views) has grown 600% in the past 12 months. Here is the secret to success:  Work like hell!
  • My undergrad was in journalism.  I was trained to crank out copy in a hurry. That sure helps. In fact I recently had some conversations with Jay Baer and Jason Falls and learned they were journalism grads too. A coincidence?
  • Somebody asked me if blogging is my full time job. Ha! I probably spend 10 hours a week on the blog — half of that answering questions and comments. No, I have about three other jobs!
  • I like Chris Brogan but he is the worst role model you could have as a blogger.  He has set an impossible, super-human standard. If you try to blog like Chris you will die.  And honestly, who wants to read three posts a day from one person any way?  Not even Oprah is that interesting.
  • I realize these tips are pretty lame so here is the real ultimate guide to blogging when you don’t have time to blog.

MONETIZING

  • At some point, I think it is probably fair and necessary to find a way to bring in a little money from all this content. A revenue stream would actually help justify spending more time on the blog, which will improve the quality of the content too.
  • I’ve been putting this off because I have been so busy. Yes, I’m too busy to make money. That makes no sense but it is true in my world right now : )  I’m working on a video training series based on my classes. I think you’ll enjoy that.
  • I will never do sponsored posts. I HATE those. I think we can regard sponsored posts as a failed blogging experiment. Unless you don’t mind writing ad copy and calling it a blog post for people who can’t tell the difference.
  • The business benefits I have received from blogging are astounding. Far exceeded my expectations.  I am so fortunate to have you as a part of this community and I never, ever take that for granted.

BUILDING A COMMUNITY

  • So many people have told me that the comment section on {grow} is remarkable for the depth and intelligence of the people who participate.   Of course I might be a little biased … but I agree.
  • How did this occur? I honestly don’t know.   Part of it may be that I never talk down to my community. I never preach because I realize you are almost always smarter than me and the comments are typically better than the original post. I’m not threatened by that.  I love it. I’m learning too.
  • Engaging with my blog community is the best  job I have ever had.  Every day is like Christmas.
  • If you are part of this community, I will try to do anything I can to help you and your business out. We’re in this together.
  • A rule of thumb for most bloggers is that less than 2% of the people who read your blog take the time to comment. It’s higher than that on {grow} but still, it takes a ton of blog traffic to start resulting in comments. That does not mean people aren’t engaged.  So keep plugging and have faith.
  • About 85% of the blog visitors are first-time visitors.  Again, that seems to be universal among bloggers but it was an eye-opener! Most people who visit blogs are tourists, not residents : )

PROMOTION

  • I have done a terrible job promoting my blog.  I just don’t have the time to figure out the politics of Digg and Reddit and all these other applications with too many consonants.
  • Twitter and blogging go hand in glove.  I tweet each post twice to hit people at different times. That’s the extent of my promotion. I am not a role model in this area!  Basically, I rely on your tweets to keep things going. So thanks for that!
  • I guess writing a good headline also counts as good promotion, right? Don’t underestimate the power of a headline.
  • One of the standard ideas to promote your blog is to do guest posts. Estimated increase increase in traffic to my blog from guest posts = 0.001%  … and I have done a TON of guest posts. In the end, it helps my friends so I will always do them but it is a myth that guest posts build traffic to your blog.  Do it to help others, not yourself.
  • For some reason I hate identifying myself a blogger.  I don’t have the right wardrobe to be a blogger.  I’ve always been a writer. Why stop now?

So those are a few lessons learned. And I still have a long way to go. Can I just tell you how much I appreciate the way you have helped educate me along this journey? Thank you!  What have been your most valuable blogging lessons?  Are you becoming a Blog Whisperer?

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