If you have a blog and have written 1,000 posts, you’ve learned a lot. There’s no way you can write for that long without picking up some wisdom along the way.
I hit the 1,000-post milestone about 60 posts ago. Earlier this year, I knew I was getting close. Then I got busy preparing for the 2013 WordCount Blogathon and forgot all about it. Next time I checked, I was at 1,040.
It took me about five years to make it to 1,000 posts. I could have gotten there sooner if I’d been more consistent about posting 3 to 5 times a week in the early years.
Running a blog is like being in a relationship: at first it was a rush to see my words in print with no editor, no buffer of a copy desk, no waiting weeks or months between when I finished a piece and seeing it go live. There were rough patches, when I had too much other work to do and I’d like days go by without giving it another thought. Every year around the Blogathon, I fall back in love all over again, as I see first hand the amazing motivation the challenge has been for so many hundreds of bloggers, and what they’ve gotten out of it.
Just like I started the Blogathon in 2008 to mark my birthday, I’m celebrating my achievement by inviting other bloggers who’ve reached the 1,000-post mark to share what it’s meant to them, and what advice they’d give other bloggers who aspire to accomplish the same.
My call for successful bloggers netted so many I can’t include all of them in one post. So for the next few weeks, I’ll be highlighting a handful every Monday. To get things started, I’m sharing my own experience building this blog as well.
I’ve asked successful bloggers to share a little about themselves, their blogs, how long they’ve been at it, what blogging software they use, whether they run ads on their site, their most popular or favorite posts, what other blogs they read, and any advice they have for beginning bloggers.
Blog: My 5 Monkeys
Description: Book reviews
Blog birthday: Sept 2007
WordPress, Blogger or something else: Blogger
Blog design theme: My 5 Monkeys by Parajunkee
Ad networks: None
Total posts to date: 1,650
Most popular post of all time: Wednesday Whine and Cheese @ Smart & Final
Favorite posts: Beta Book Review was about a book that I really wanted to read but ended up hating. Seraphina Book Review was about a book I really loved. I also love the blog confession, Blog Confession: Google Reader and Goodreads.
Why blog: I love letting others know about books.
Blogs you read regularly: Parajunkee, for her BB101 on Thursday and (becaus she’s an) amazing friend.
Advice: I have been at it a long time. The number of followers doesn’t always equate to comments or to getting that advanced reader’s copy from the publisher. I have found myself to be happy with how I blog and I love the book blogging community because we all love books. I have some amazing friends. Enjoy it.
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Blog: Queer Joe
Description: Knitting, queer politics and personal thoughts
Blog birthday: November 11, 2002
WordPress, Blogger or something else: Blogger
Blog design theme: Customized base Blogger template
Ad networks: Amazon Associates
Total posts to date: 1,401
Most popular post of all time: Work Ethic/Koigu Linen Stitch Scarf on Monday, January 16, 2012, which received 30,220 page views. Interest from social web sites (Pinterest and Ravelry.com) in the scarf that’s featured in this post is likely why it’s had so many page views.
Your favorite posts: Retreat to Joy, I was able to truly express an intense experience in a way that resonated with readers; and Tips and Tricks for Learning to Spin, one of the better tutorials I’ve ever come up with.
Why blog: Originally, it was to document my knitting. Now it’s more to express myself, both through my ideas on life as a gay man but also through my knitting.
Blogs you read regularly: Eramosa River Journal, Van’s writing is incredibly beautiful, his sense of artistry in his blog is apparent; The Panopticon, Franklin is never less than entertaining to read and is one of the most professionally accomplished knitters I’m friends with.
Advice: Assuming the advice is for bloggers that want to be long-time bloggers:
- Write about what you like and what interests you. I rarely run dry on topics about things that I enjoy or that interest me so I can always come up with something fresh for me and the readers.
- Come up with a standard format that readers (and you) can get used to and comfortable with.
- Allow for comments and encourage comments – even angry ones.
- Network anywhere and everywhere. Leave comments on other blogs, join Blogathons, use Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest to promote your blog.
- Include a lot of photos.
- Be controversial and incite conversations.
- Participate in forums associated with the topic of your blog.
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Description: What it takes to make it as a successful independent journalist or writer.
Blog birthday: January 2008
WordPress, Blogger or something else: Self-hosted WordPress site
Blog host: BlueHost
Blog design theme: Customized version of Hybrid theme, designed by Ron Doyle, Waterday Media.
Advertising networks: BlogHer, and I’ve sold a smattering of ads directly.
Total posts to date: 1,060
Most popular post of all time: 10 things J.K. Rowling taught me about writing, with close to 32,000 page views. Rowling is such a popular author, every time she’s in the news — like last week when it was revealed that she’d published a new mystery novel under a pen name — people search online for stories about her writing style and wind up on this post. It’s also been shared on Reddit and StumbleUpon a lot, which add to the page views.
Your favorite posts: Top 10 qualities of a good editor — I think writers find this in their quest to crack the code of what editors are looking for in a freelancer; and Back to backs: The nut graph — Nut graphs are essential components of well-written news and features, but there’s not a lot of information about how to write them online. I’ve had journalism profs ask if they could share this post with students.
Why blog: After so many years in the business, it’s my way of giving back. Plus, I get to be the boss.
Blogs you read regularly: Tom+Lorenzo, for their “Mad Men” recaps and “Mad Style” fashion posts (I’m a closet fashionista); and blogs in the annual WordCount Blogathon — the variety of things people write about blows me away.
Advice: Post early and often. Use an editorial calendar and pre-plan posts. Find out what readers want and give it to them. Engage.
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If you blog and have hit the 1,000-post mark, I’d be happy to consider including you in an upcoming list in this series. Answer the questions above for your own blog and send them to me at [email protected].