Monday, August 22, 2011

Tips for blogging everyday

Keep it in motion.
Yesterday, I disclosed my genius idea to take down Google by offering free ads on my blog. The disclosure was made mid-stream on a post about choosing to be a consistent blogger.

Before I began my 'daily blogging' journey I was actually on a different path. I had planned to write a post to help other people blog. A few ideas had been percolating. The first one was to create a great check-off list from ideas I'd gleaned around the web.

Tips for Bloggers:
1. Start with clear objectives
2. Develop a strategy
3. Keep content focused on a topic
4. Have an editorial calendar
5. Measure based on objectives
6. Integrate social tools, allow logins from social networks
7. Encourage for word of mouth (WOM), integrate into all you do
8. Most effective blogs are conversational or controversial
9. Treat your site (and you) as it's own company or brand
10% for fun, stuff you ♥

I never posted my list.

I decided to live it.

My objective would be to test the theory that posting with consistency changes the world. I wasn't sure how it would change my world, but I knew that it would.

My strategy was to post for thirty days in a row. It was June 18 and that month I'd only posted sporadically. Exactly nine times. I began with earnest on July 19.

360 Convos had its incubation when I wanted to write about business topics, as opposed to blogging on fiction writing and life themes, the center point of my other website. When I was building the strategy for this daily blogging adventure for 360 Convos, I considered a wide array of topics. In staying with item three on the above list, I decided to keep the content focused on business.

I did not keep the content focused on business. (I'm practicing, not shooting for perfection). I did, however, learn a few lessons while blogging everyday:

Jot down blog ideas whenever they occur. Do not use paper for this.

The best place a blogger can jot down ideas is somewhere online. I chose a Google calendar. No, I haven't taken Google down, yet. I still find most of their products useful. In keeping with item four on the list noted above, I dubbed my Google amenity Editorial Calendar and made it public.

I wrote down measurements to evaluate my success (item 5). I integrated social media and made sure the icons were large and easy to find (item 6):

I talked about my blog (WOM). I left a screen up on my computer at work and reeled in a co-worker. I played around with style – conversational and tested controversial by using the word 'hell' in a headline. I sought a parental tone, I toyed with a touch of PR. I made a confession and made a personal disclosure that had left me dry-mouthed with guilt. I paraded a cute kitten. I preached to myself. I preached to no one else. I outed myself as a distracted parent (more than once).


I fell asleep, not just once but twice.

I treated my blogging journey as a job. I treated my blog as its own company. I integrated my online presence and it became part of my personal branding strategy.

I love to write. I had fun.

I learned that when I was clueless about what to write about, I could refer to my editorial calendar and pick up exactly where my brain had left off. I learned I was in charge of the calendar and could change it when another topic felt more important. I learned I could take on a writing assignment – I could write not just for me, but for someone else as well.

Library Director abruptly retires
after correcting 360 Convos post.
After I pulled the trigger on my starting post, Literacy is the key to the internet, I received an email. A community member chose to send me a kind note, instead of lambasting me in the comments section on my disarray of facts. (I didn't know the difference between a bond and a levy). He coached me through several re-postings, so I could be accurate, mostly.

(Thank you Bruce Ziegman).

The effort to exchange those eleven emails and set me straight, apparently taxed Ziegman beyond his literary capabilities. Two and a half weeks later, he announced his retirement. Today, August 22, is my 35th consecutive post. I have no idea who will give up and retire today because of it.

Today, is my 35th consecutive post. I have no idea who will give up and retire because of it.

What I do know is that the disciplined effort to blog everyday taught me life lessons.

More on that tomorrow.

If you'd like to read the other posts in the blogging series, try these:

What I learned from Jeremiah Owyang
that allowed me to take down Google*

Tips for blogging everyday

Great is the enemy of good and other
things I learned from blogging

How blogging is like throwing stones

How blogging for 30 days in a row
leads to international acclaim