I blog a lot. And I love it!
To me, blogging is a special place I go where I always feel good.
If I'm happy, I write. If I'm sad, I write. If I'm excited about life, I write. If I'm going through a difficult time, I write.
You get the idea.
A few months ago, I reached a blogging milestone. I can now say I have written over 4,100 posts. It's an obscene amount of writing. And I'm not sure if this is something to be proud of or not. LOL!
But each post is special to me in its own way, and I keep track of them all. I can still clearly remember writing my first post in July 2009.
These are the top 10 things I've learned about writing blog posts. I'm grateful for each lesson, and I'm excited to learn more as I continue the journey.
>> Click to Tweet <<
10 Unexpected Lessons I Learned While Writing 4,100 Blog Posts
1. Each Article Represents a Moment in Time
When I look back on the blog posts I wrote in 2009 -- I cringe!
I was such a newbie blogger back then, and I had yet to learn the importance of being meticulous about grammar & formatting.
Some of those blog posts are downright embarrassing. I look back & wonder what I was thinking to publish some of that stuff. But if you're planning to be a blogger for the long haul, you'll learn that each article represents a moment in time.
You'll grow as a blogger, and your readers will join you along the way. There's no need to go into those old blog posts & dress them up to fit your personality today. They were good enough for you to publish on the day you published them, and they represent the person & the blogger you were at that moment in time.
There will always be cringe-worthy blog posts from the past. I have a saying that "once it's laid it's played", meaning once it's published -- it's done!
Instead of looking back, look forward to all your present & future blog posts. To maintain blogger happiness, I recommend always looking forward.
>> Click to Tweet <<
2. Create Random Acts of Social Kindness on Your Blog
I've often heard about brands that create random acts of social kindness.
I read an article a while back on Social Media Today that cited examples of random acts of social kindness. For example, a hotel upgraded someone's room & an airline went above & beyond because of feedback they received on Twitter.
That hotel & that airline created unforgettable experiences for those customers, and in the process, they gained priceless loyalty.
You can do the same thing in the blogging world. I've done this in my posts many times. If someone tweets me a video, infographic or innovation that I think a particular audience will like, I'll write about it & send that person a "thank you" tweet along with the link after it's published.
It's a great way to show your readers you're available for engagement & receptive to their feedback & suggestions. Those experiences also create longtime readers who become loyal to your articles.
It's a wonderful way to give back, and it feels good too. It's almost like the universe gives you a hug after you do it!
And there are countless ways to do it!
Create those random acts of social kindness while writing blog posts, and you'll create special memories.
3. Wear Your Heart on Your Hashtag
A blogger is an artist.
Whether you're writing songs, painting masterpieces or writing blog posts -- you're an artist!
There's a way to connect with people & tickle that part of them that makes them relate to you as an artist. When you connect with your readers, you make them want to share your content with others, and you make them want to come back for more.
To connect with your readers in that way, you need to show your personality & be true to yourself. It's OK to show your insecurities or your vulnerable side. Those are the things that make us human. They're also the things that make your words jump off the page & hug your readers.
"Wear your heart on your hashtag" is how I describe this type of connection.
Dig deep within yourself & reach out to the people who take time to read your blog posts.
>> Click to Tweet <<
4. Embrace Change (Even Though it Sounds Cliché)
If you plan to blog for the long haul, you'll need to embrace change. If you normally resist change, the nature of blogging will require that you learn to embrace it.
In the blogging world, things are constantly changing. There are always new SEO strategies to learn, new plugins to try, and new WordPress updates to become familiar with. You'll also want to keep the design & features on your website fresh & inviting.
Writing blog posts mirrors life in that it requires flexibility & a bit of flying by the seat of your pants so to speak. The faster you can learn to embrace the change, the easier it'll be to grow as a blogger, and keep your inspiration high while writing blog posts.
5. Draw Strength & Motivation from People You Admire
What I've found is that one of the best ways to stay motivated & inspired as a blogger is to continuously learn from the people I admire. There's a long list of people who inspire me daily. This includes people in my Twitter stream who inspire me a lot.
I feel like my writing reflects that inspiration, and I'm very thankful for them.
Some of the people I draw inspiration from have an incredible sense of business or innovation. Others are very savvy writers. Some of them just have a cool view of the world.
They're all very special to me!
Develop your own list & use their online energy to fuel your writing.
6. Stay Humble (Regardless of Your Blogging Success)
This is the most important one on the list.
When you become a more seasoned blogger, you'll become more influential in the blogging community & on social media. The more traffic your blog has, the more evident this will be.
It just comes with the job!
You have 2 choices when this happens. You can let your head swell & get ridiculously cocky.
Or, you can remain humble & always remember that if it weren’t for the people who read your posts every day, you wouldn't be where you are.
My advice is to stay humble!
When you become too big to say thank you, or too busy to read feedback about your blog, you become ugly to your readers. Be thankful!
>> Click to Tweet <<
If you don't understand why this is important now, you'll learn it later.
7. Think Twice Before Leaving a Nasty Comment on Any Blog Post
I'm not suggesting that you prevent yourself from expressing your opinion in comments you make around the Internet. What I'm referring to goes beyond that.
Everyone was shocked last year when Popsci.com closed their commenting system because of trolls. That's just one example of a popular website that has made this decision.
Unfortunately, the trend is that many ordinarily nice people type nasty comments on blogs & Facebook. I've read several articles about this phenomenon.
When I suggest you think twice before leaving a negative comment, I'm simply suggesting that you think twice before contributing to this behavior. Instead, contribute to quality conversations that engage people & allow them to express their own opinions.
It's our differences that keep the Internet interesting!
As you become a more popular blogger, you'll become a blogging role model whether you like it or not. People will watch how you comment & how you treat other bloggers. This goes for comments on your posts & other blogs.
>> Click to Tweet <<
8. Your Passion for Writing Transcends Any One Blog
One thing I've learned after writing over 4,100 blog posts is that a writer's passion for expressing himself or herself transcends any one blog or book. When proficient writers are writing, they know that feeling they have inside cannot be taken away by anyone.
If you've had a bad experience writing for a blog, don't let that bad experience steal your joy & your love of writing. Your writing reputation will stay with you no matter where you go, and that's something nobody can ever take away from you.
Protect your happiness, and protect the joyful place you go when you write. That place will always be there, forever. Your writing is part of who you are, and it always will be. A writer forms a very special relationship with a keyboard, and I treasure that very much.
9. Blogging Keeps You Up-To-Date in Your Niche
Online news travels fast, and you can miss a lot in just a day or 2. I always say online news is like a Hollywood marriage -- enough happens in one week to feel like a year in the offline world!
One of the benefits of blogging is that it will keep you up-to-date in your niche. When I sit down to write my blog posts, the first thing I do is start my research. That inevitably leads me all over the Internet, and before I know it, I have a dozen links open with articles I want to read.
If you're offline for even a few days, you can miss major updates. If you're a frequent blogger, you'll stay up-to-date by default.
If nothing else -- that's a reason to write a lot!
10. Successful Writers Read a LOT
One of my all-time favorite writers is Stephen King.
His books are the best!
In April 2003, King gave a lecture at Yale University for students interested in becoming writers. Someone asked him for his best piece of advice for aspiring writers.
I was expecting a profound answer to that question, but his response was very simple.
You need to read a lot & write a lot. Those are the two major things. You can't put it off. You have to do the work. You have to be well read. I don't have patience for people who want to be writers, but they say they don't have time to read. You've got to read just about everything.
>> Click to Tweet <<
I was very inspired by that lecture, and as a result, I consume a lot of content every day.
I have a list of about 100 blogs that I peruse almost daily. I don't use a reader because for me, there's something about each blog's design that contributes to the experience.
I do it the old fashioned way & load each blog individually into my browser.
Read & write a lot!
Before I close out, I'd like to thank you for reading my blog posts over the years. I've had loads of fun sharing the journey with you.
I look forward to many more years of fun!