Lessons from Three Months of Blogging


This blog launched three months ago today. Not very long in the blogosphere, but long enough for my initial web-hosting package to expire. I first set it up on a whim. Saw the domain was available, click, I owned it.  I figured I’d give blogging a whirl and see where things stood in three months, half expecting that I’d have abandoned it by now and have one of those “oh yeah, that thing” moments when the renewal e-mail arrived.

So while a tad presumptuous for this baby blogger to offer blogging advice, here’s my thoughts:

Posts take some time to write. At first I planned on updating the blog once a day, then that fell to five days per week, and then to two days per week. This is manageable. I’m also working full time and writing short stories in the mornings before work, so any more blogging time would take away from writing time. Fiction comes first.

You can blog and write. On a related note, I’m also getting more writing done. The blog hasn’t taken away from the writing, but has cemented it to the rest of the world. Rather than scribbling in my back room, and having it all stay right here, at least some of it leaks out. I’m no longer writing entirely in a vacuum, and that inspires me to write more.

That “publish” button is awesome. My day job is with a major website. I own a handful of pages that get gabonker traffic. Every update is reviewed, every pixel debated, results reported, strategies justified. Which is all as it should be. It’s a business. I have a great job that more than pays the bills and leaves me with enough headspace to write. But I love owning this teensy site here from end to end, and publishing posts that take shape quickly and go live instantly… plus no meetings.

It’s called a “web” site. I just started tweeting, got six whole followers. Woohoo! Never would have done that without the blog. I also got over my perennial lurker status and started commenting on the blogs I visit, when I have something to add. My day job has conditioned me to see websites as destinations, this experience is all about… well, a web. Whether my thoughts are read here, on Twitter, or on someone else’s blog doesn’t matter. It’s that they’re getting read at all that does.

Stop tinkering, just post. At first I thought I should write about 20 posts before I put anything up so I had squirreled away some acorns. Then, once I started the blog I tried about a hundred different themes before picking this one (still not sure about it). Then I decided to play with the CSS to get the link colors just right. Not sure how much of that, if any, matters. And it can always change. Just post, then post again. Take care of all the window dressing as you have time.

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3 Comments

Filed under Tangent

3 responses to “Lessons from Three Months of Blogging

  1. David-

    Thanks for the timely advice. I just launched a blog intended to help set the market for my next book (THE BOOK OF BASTARDS), and had already come to the same conclusion as yours regarding the need to post frequently and how good posts take a while to write. In fact I was originally going to call the blog “The Daily Bastard,” but have since settled on the far more manageable “The Weekly Bastard. Needless to say, my girlfriend is thrilled at that change, as she thinks I spend enough time on writing-related stuff as is.

    I’ve got two posts up so far over on the blog, the first about a medieval pope who dug up a predecessor and put his corpse on trial for heresy, and the other on the Cherokee Removal. Up next a profile of that arch-schemer and outright demagogue, Alcibiades.

    I’d love your input if you get a chance to take a look:

    http://bookofbastards.wordpress.com/

    Thanks again for the advice!

    Yer Pal-

    Brian

  2. P.S. I linked to your blog on my Facebook profile. That’s something you can use in conjunction with Twitter to help get your words exposure.

    B.

  3. D.J. Morel

    Love the clean look of your new blog, very spiffy. Look forward to reading it as it develops. And of course the book too once it’s out. Thanks for the Facebook link, and welcome friends of Brian.

    I haven’t linked this blog up to my Facebook profile yet. It’s on the list, but haven’t quite got to it. One advantage of Twitter is that as all pages on it are public, it’s crawled by search engines so links from it help with organic traffic too.