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The First 20 Blog Posts Are the Easiest


A few random thoughts on blogging after writing 22 posts and hitting 4,000 views.

Blogging is fun. I’ve enjoyed this more than I realized I would. Writing really is its own reward. I guess a paper journal might be a good outlet, but the social aspect of this is great. You get to join the conversation at large.

Blogging is work. Figuring out what to write is an ongoing activity for me. Seth Godin said, “I spend most of my blogging time deciding what not to post.” I wonder when I’ll hit that stage.

Long-form blogging. Most of my posts are long form. I enjoy writing through and around a subject. But others seem to be quite talented at delivering posts that are short and a good read. I may have to mix some of those in here.

Spamming Marketing your blog. I’m experimenting with ways to get the word out about this blog. Just the act of publicizing my blog was a hard thing to take on. I don’t like a lot self-promotion, but if you don’t do it, who will? Of course, one could ask, “why do you need to market it?” I’ll answer that a bit more below. To get word out about my blog, I do the following:

  • Add posts to del.icio.us, LinkRiver, StumbleUpon, reddit
  • RSS on FriendFeed
  • Share posts, which turns them into news feeds on Facebook via Feedheads
  • Twitter
  • Comments on other blogs

Marketing via Twitter. The 140 character limit of Twitter requires a bit of creativity. But I try to avoid just putting the blog post title and tinyURL. How do you capture the blog post in a way that makes someone want to read more? This is actually kind of fun.

Marketing via comments on other blogs. This is one that must be done with care. I’ve seen godawful attempts to spam blogs. My favorite poster over at TechCrunch titles himself “I’m not commenting to spam my blog” (or something like that). Here’s my philosophy on this:

  • Your comment should be able to stand alone. The comment should be such that it adds to the conversation, not just link to your blog. After all, you’re a guest on someone else’s blog.
  • If your comment is relevant and useful, someone might actually want to click on the URL you include to read more on your blog.

Karma. Share the blogging love. Add new blogs to your RSS reader. Add links to interesting posts on other blogs. Post on others’ blogs. Add others’ posts to LinkRiver, del.icio.us, StumbleUpon, etc. And do it for the smaller bloggers, not just the A-list. This is something I need to improve on.

You Can’t Win If You Don’t Play. You never know how things will turn out when you blog. This blog continues to get a lot of hits off the search term “peanut butter“. My post about writing a farewell email is the most-read post on the blog. Pay By Touch had a following out there, and this was one of few blogs talking about it. I’m sure there will something in the future that will surprise me. Marketing the blog is a great way to figure out what people are interested in, and I treasure every comment and link to this blog.

No clue how to land on Techmeme. This is apparently a big deal for bloggers. No idea how that happens. May not ever for this blog. I’ll sleep at night.

Don’t put a period after the TinyURL. I use the TinyURL service to shorten the URLs for my blog posts. This is handy for putting a link to a post on Twitter or on a comment at some other blog. Well, it turns out if you put a period at the end of the TinyURL, you get a 404 page. Quite embarrassing, to tell the truth.

That’s it for now. Gotta think about my next blog post.

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About Hutch Carpenter
Chief Scientist Revolution Credit

7 Responses to The First 20 Blog Posts Are the Easiest

  1. Julie says:

    Great post!!! And you are so right, blogging is fun. And it’s somewhat addictive. I mean, have you noticed that there is a bit of a rush from knowing that people are reading what you are writing? Maybe it’s just me but I was stoked to see that 16 people that I have never met before in my life spent several minutes out of their day yesterday reading MY writing! Very cool.

    Thanks for the marketing tips. I think those will be very helpful for me in getting my blog out there more.

    Julie

  2. bhc3 says:

    Thanks Julie. It IS fun, isn’t it? I just checked out your site. Nice posts on family, lifestyle topics. You have something there that I’d like to do more. A recurring post theme you come back to: “Useful Websites of the Week”. Great way to share what you’re finding out there and spark discussions with your readers.

  3. Pingback: things I do on the web lately | struggling dreams

  4. crazyhecallsme says:

    See, the problem I think is this. I’m on my third blog now. One is just an observation type blog that I use to share thoughts and keep my family up to date.

    The other was a “personal blog.” I put it on a live feed at one point, then went to a few blogger happy hours, and all of a sudden, it wasn’t so anonymous anymore. I couldn’t write about personal matters, because some of these bloggers became friends.

    So I’m on attempt #3. Another “thoughts/reflections” type personal blog. Getting traffic will be tough; I can’t put it on facebook or any of the like since I want to keep it anonymous.

    A post on how to get traffic on an anonymous blog would be interesting.

  5. Jones says:

    Great suggestions. I think I’ll try a few.

    http://www.jonesview.wordpress.com

  6. Gaetan Dhont says:

    Nicely developed post. Wise advises.
    * About “Blogging is fun”:
    I share your thought on the writing side of it. If it wouldn’t be fun I would stop it as I approach blogging as an inner leisure activity.
    * About “Blogging is work”:
    Deadly true. It takes time to write decently interesting articles
    * About “Long-form blogging”:
    Many styles exist. I like a mix of short and long articles. Typically short ones are to spread an info you read while giving your opinion. Long ones tend to be more as a deeper thinking on a specific subject that requires more researches and readings to build the article. For very long articles I like the idea of mini-series. I found in various blogs that idea of splitting a subject in multiple posts and linking them like part 1, 2, 3, etc.
    * About “Marketing you blog” and “Marketing via comments on other blogs”:
    Finding a subtle mix of the point you highlighted is certainly key. I’m probably old fashioned but I used personalized email to my contact to advert on some posting I do. But I guess this is because I recently started and I try to get some attraction for recurring readers.

    Finally I’m surprised you didn’t comment on adding “color” effects to your post: with or without pictures, screenshots, graphs etc. My point is that it must complement your writing not fill the gaps. I like to see that you are nicely complementing your posts with graphs and screenshots.

  7. eksith says:

    I think the “work” part depends on your own exposure to interesting topics. Usually it rolls off the tounge (or fingers) when you find something interesting to write about.

    I can’t see blogging as “work”. At least for someone who isn’t really doing it to garner readers. I never really intended to publish anything I thought about. This is just a public vent for me.

    In fact, not having many readers can be a blessing in disguise. And I would be cautious of monetizing a blog as that would mean you may have to censor yourself of certain topics.

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