Celebrating 9 years of bloggingJanuary is a big month here at Get It Write headquarters. In this month of new beginnings, I celebrate the leap of faith that launched my business in 1991, and I also mark another year of sharing my thoughts on the Red Jacket Diaries blog. Yes, I recently marked my ninth “blogversary.”

Nine years have flown past, and 735 posts — that’s a surprising number for a gal who had trouble keeping up a journal without months in between entries.

At first I tried to post here a few times a week, but over time have settled into a more realistic weekly rhythm. I’ve shared tips for writing and experiences running my own business, had fun with words and recapped interesting workshops and presentations. Occasionally I’ll post something that makes me laugh, or that touches my heart.

Here are nine things I’ve learned about blogging in those nine years:

1. Just about every year, you’ll see a flurry of commentary that blogging is dead. It still isn’t, although it’s changing — some people are publishing on LinkedIn in lieu of blogging, for instance.

2. A blog is an important cornerstone of your marketing efforts. What you say on Twitter is gone in seconds, but your blog is your own real estate. Plus, Google likes sites that are regularly updated.

3. So-called experts will have all kinds of advice on how often you should post, including daily, but feel free to ignore this and set your own pace.

4. Engaging, useful content is the key to a successful blog. Even if you only post sporadically, if what you say has value, readers will appreciate it. In fact, they’ll appreciate that you don’t just post because it’s Monday.

5. Blogs are becoming less conversational. Instead of commenting on your blog, though, your audience may be sharing and liking your posts on social media.

6. So, include social sharing buttons; otherwise, readers will have to copy and paste the URL, and many people won’t take the time.

7. You don’t have to apologize if you miss your schedule. In fact, please don’t. Chances are, you’re the only one who is aware of it. If you missed your usual timing, just pick up where you left off.

8. Images or photos really do make a difference, something I didn’t pay much attention to early on.

9, Don’t be shy about letting people know you’ve blogged, especially on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. People are busy, and it’s helpful.

Thank you for stopping by the Red Jacket Diaries. If you blog, too, what have you learned from blogging?

Image: Nine of hearts by “foto76” and FreeDigitalPhotos.net.