Lessons from a year of blogging!

It’s been a  little over a year since I started this blog. Quite a journey I must say. I learnt quite a few things about myself and quite a bit about blogging. My first personal learning was the realization that I really enjoy writing. I wonder how I ever managed without blogging. The most important personal benefit is the idea that when you share you learn twice over (a twist on the original ‘when you teach you learn twice over’). The very act of putting pen to the paper (or more like key taps to the screen) has been a liberating and refreshing experience. It has forced me, or rather inspired me to read more. From RSS feeds, to tweets, to magazines, books and more! Besides all the positive personal experiences I also learnt some crucial lessons about blogging itself. Lessons which I hope to apply in the year to come. At the same time I believe anyone who has recently embarked on the “Adventures of Blogging” or is considering a start should find these tips useful.

Lesson #1: Frequency of Posts

First and foremost is frequency of posts. To start with I wanted to keep a realistic target for myself – one post every month. Aiming for quality over quantity and trying to manage everything else in life made it seem the sensible thing to do at the time. Moving forward, for a number of reasons, I believe frequency of posting is critical. Not only does the quality improve as one writes more, it creates more content which in effect drives more traffic. Now how frequent is frequent is debatable. It’s definitely not once a month. From some professional bloggers I have come to learn that an ideal target should be four small posts and one big post every week. Quite a challenge but something I hope to embrace at some level in the coming year.

Lesson #2: Naming a Post

After analyzing my source of traffic over the years I realized Google has been a key driver.  I thought it would be Twitter or Facebook that would play a more crucial role but no doubt it’s Google. Now this is another profound lesson for me. Why? My naming strategy for my posts has always been to make them interesting and out-of-the-box. I believe they should catch attention in a Twitter Feed or a Facebook News Feed. If I am talking about Creativity and Viral marketing the title of the post would be something like “Remember Passing the Pillow”. Now this strategy would work out fine to get your friends or followers attention in a news feed but from an SEO point of view when content is being actively searched for this kind of naming will bear no result. Unless someone is looking for information on the party game “Passing the Pillow” they will not come to my page and when they do you can imagine how much time they would be spending there. Therefore my goal is to easily reach readers who would find the content most relevant.

Lesson #3: Focusing on specific content for a Post

I guess this lesson is related to both the naming strategy and the frequency of posting. When you write once a month you really want to make your post count. You want to be profound, which is great I guess but does not quite work for a number of reasons. You end up writing about a lot of things, lose focus and end up with broad titles that get you nowhere in web search. Imagine writing a post on Advertising and one on a specific ad in the Super Bowl. Which one is going to get you more traffic. Ofcourse this does not mean that one compromises on quality and focuses on things that simply drive traffic. But with a series of focused and relevant posts on advertising the reader will not only get what they are looking for but also get a glimpse of the larger picture if they so desire.

So going forward in 2011 I hope to write more frequently, focus on specific topics and use sharper titles that get the right people to my blog! Thank you Google for making it so easy to be found! Cheers.

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