Sunday, May 21, 2006

That must be like 58 in blog-years....

I just realized something....yesterday was my 8-month blogging anniversary! I officially left my first blog post EVER, this one on BMA on September 20th, 2005. Here's a portion:
Marketing professionals everywhere can learn much from the massive giving that's coming in response to Katrina. If you have a product that people want, that they can clearly see the benefits of, and that fulfills a basic human need, it will sell itself.

What 'product' is being sold here? Hope. We all need some of that.

I quote myself to make a point: without a community, you're just talking to yourself. The funny/sad thing is, I think that's one of the best posts I've ever written, it was concerning the massive donations that were made in the wake of the destruction left behind by Katrina. But since we had just started, BMA had no community yet, and no one saw it.

That's ok, we would later get that community in place and then I could regail the masses with tales of The King incognito, and meeting Steve Rubel at McDonalds.

I make a point to frequently do a 'reverse-search' with Technorati through the marketing blogs, starting at the bottom of the 'link rankings'. Occasionally I will find a gem that's just started, like I did with Jordan and Ryan, I think I found both of them after they had just gotten rolling.

But so often I will find a blog that's apparently been abandoned. Usually the content is solid enough, but you can see there's no comments, there might even finally be a post from the blogger begging for comments, and usually that's the last post left, and it was 57 days ago.

Again, without the community, you're just talking to yourself.

So if I could give one piece of advice from someone that's learned the hard way, get off your blog. Don't listen to the people that will try to tell you that 'content is king', the COMMUNITY is king. There's tens of thousands of bloggers that start blogging every single day. Find them. Don't worry about the 'A-Listers', because most of them won't even notice you. Find the community, and join them. Go to their blogs and talk to them, and a shocking thing happens.....they follow you back to your blog and talk to you!

Just curious, what's the most important thing YOU have learned since you started blogging? Leave a comment...


Anonymous said...

Reaching almost my 1st year anniversary guest blogging on Road To Forbes, my number one learning is that there is a market for every voice.

When I first started blogging, I got advice from "helpful" bloggers about how I should change my blog to be more successful.

Since my blog is neither commercial nor marketed, I continued writing for me.

Strangely enough, some people actually read my posts. Not enough to ever crack your top 25 (that would require marketing) but enough to keep me blogging.

J.D. said...

I've learned a great deal since beginning blogging. That's not surprising, since I knew almost nothing about it when I started 9 months ago. (Seems longer, doesn't it?)

When I started, I wasn't even sure if I'd do anything with it, and I didn't post much. Then this magical thing happened...I got a comment! After which, I began writing a lot more. Eventually, there were more comments. And then I visited their blogs and commented on theirs. And suddenly, a baby community was forming.

I've learned to still blog about what I want to write about, but that occasionally it doesn't hurt to give the readership what it wants. If you can make those two coincide (and actually enjoy what you're doing) then you've hit blogging gold, as far as I'm concerned.

Also, it doesn't hurt to write about American Idol.

One thing I've attention not to heed Technorati or Alexa rankings, and to only glance at Site Meter once a week. I judge my blog based on the amount of comments, and at this point, I'm happy with the ones I get. I may not be in the Top 100, but I like what I do and I'm proud of it, and if what I do makes it there someday, so much the better.

The extensive list of blogs on my blog-roll get visited just about everyday, and I make a point to leave comments, even if they are inane. I also make a point to visit the blog of everyone who swings by and leaves me a comment. That's the beginning of a new addition to the community, and you quadruple your chances of them coming back. And if it's a half-way decent blog, or possibly of interest to someone in my community, I link them. That multiplies the chances of them diving head-first into your community by about a trillion. That's not to say you should have a link extravaganza, and I do weed mine out from time to time when blogs become inactive, but I find that it gives everybody a place in the community and draws us closer together in the free exchange of whatever ideas we have going on.

I've also learned that I should never take myself too seriously.

Anonymous said...

What I've learned... in no special order:

1. Blogging isn't writing -- it's a conversation.

2. Blogging isn't a job -- it's a lifestyle.

3. Some of the coolest people on this planet are bloggers.

4. Feedback is addictive.

5. It's easy to start a blog; it's harder to feed and water it.

6. A blog is fussier than a newborn; good bloggers are like hyper-vigilant first-time parents.

7. It's critical (as Mack says) to get off of your own blog and check out your neighbor's...

8. ...better yet if you sit down and have a beer. Hang out a little. Shoot the breeze. Chat with them, too.

9. There are no true "A-listers." Some of the best posts I've read have been on blogs written by those who do it for love, not money.

10. My name is Ann and I'm a blog addict.

Anonymous said...

And by the way, Mack:

Eight months, eh? You're an old man now, my friend.

You're right -- a "blog year" is a little like a "dog year." We put so much LIFE into each blog post -- how could it not be?!


Anonymous said...

Congrats on your anniversary. I've just passed my 100th post in about 6 months of blogging and in general I'm having a blast - and if anything I wish I didn't have to contend with this whole "day job" thing that I require to "feed my family" and "keep the roof over our heads".

The main thing I've learned is how much I'm frustrated by a lack of comments. My page views are healthy, if not voluminous, but my readers rarely comment, even when I pathetically beg them to do so. I agree that building a community is crucial to sustaining a blog long-term, but I haven't figured out how to do that just yet.

I put some of the blame, however, on a simple quirk of my blogging application which does not list the number of comments on an article's main page - in other words, would-be commenters never know if someone else has commented previously, so they may be disinclined to start the ball rolling.

So what have I learned so far? To upgrade my application tool the minute my hosting account comes up for renewal.

Mack Collier said...

Great input from everyone, thanks guys!

Burbanked I checked your blog, you DEFINITELY need to find a way to get the number of comments to show. That only attracts more commenters. I left a comment on your 'Sonny Crockett Vision' post, which was LOL funny!

J.D. said...

Also...I learned that if you post more than one post per day, you double the chances that nobody will read the first one, since it gets bumped down. At MOST, post twice, but usually one good one will be sufficient.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the comment and compliment, Mack.

I've long known that my numberless "view comments" link has been inadequate - which I suppose leads me to another Important Thing I've Learned About Blogging:

Review a lot of other blogs before committing to a blogging application tool - and make sure that the one you choose has the capabilities to customize the way you want (and don't necessarily use the free one that comes with your hosting agreement!).

Anonymous said...

In my first few months of blogging, I've realized and continue to realize the importance of understanding your voice.

As a designer, I want to portray my knowledge and experience without sounding like a textbook. But there is also a fine line between being tounge & cheek and sarcastic. So blogging has become a daily fascinating balancing act.

My other lesson is that a rant is a good thing as long as you have something to say. Otherwise, you're just complaining and most of us already hear that on a daily basis.

Congrats on your anniversary and future successful blogging.