Four years and 455 blog posts — I suppose for more prolific bloggers, that’s nothing. But for someone who had a hard time updating a journal more than once every couple of months, it’s a pretty significant achievement. So happy anniversary to me and to the Red Jacket Diaries!
Happy anniversary as well to strategic communications planning expert Les Potter, ABC, who launched More With Les about the same time. In fact, thinking we had by cosmic coincidence started our blogs on the very same day — it was actually two days apart, so still pretty cosmic — led to online conversations that have resulted in a treasured friendship. And that’s one of the valuable things about blogs; you meet and have conversations with people you might not normally encounter.
What else have I learned in my four short years of blogging?
- You need to set aside some time for blogging; to find and check links, find an image, write something thoughtful.
- It helps if you get into a rhythm. Decide how often you’re going to blog and make a point of meeting that number (always supposing you have something to say!).
- A busy stretch of work can derail frequent posts, but you can still squeeze in a short post on something meaningful to you. It helps if you…
- …Keep a cheat sheet, a Word document where you drop the interesting links or random thoughts that inspire you to write a post. Then you have something to expand on later when you have time to write.
- It’s okay to tell other people about your newest post (say, using Twitter), and more than once, given the fleeting nature of social media. It’s even better if someone else sees it and does the telling for you.
I’m not sure I’ve found my blogging voice, but some posts have spoken to my readers, and some of you have been kind enough to say so. You particularly responded to my post about referrals helping independents diversify, and another fondly remembering a print newsletter; about going back to school, why you need balance in your life, and how to find balance. You were also touched by expressive writing, as I was, in a book about love letters, and a post encouraging lurkers to come out of hiding and comment.
So thank you to the people who have told me, either in comments on this blog or in conversation, that you read and enjoy what I write. Here’s to my fifth year!