The following post was submitted by Thom Singer as part of the ProBlogger Case Study Series
A year ago I attended a business lunch where the topic was blogging. I like to write, and was awaiting release of my first book, but did not know about blogs. The panelists spoke about how easy it was, how popular blogs were, the benefits of SEO and the ease of getting started. Later that night I started “Some Assembly Required: The Biz Dev and Networking Blog“. I used Blogger.com as my platform solely because that was what the panelist had recommended (and because it was free).
A year later I have learned a few things:
1. Traffic is hard to get. But with over 100 regular readers, I feel okay about my blog. If there are tricks to jumping to the next level, I am still looking for them.
2. Spam comments were ridiculous. They drove me crazy until I turned on the verification. People abuse blogs, and hide behind anonymity….that is bad.
3. SEO to my blog and my website went through the roof because I post 4-6 times a week. That has been a huge perk. Search engines like fresh content and regular posting is the key.
4. I have made some new friends with other bloggers who write on similar business topics. Bloggers have their own version of social networking. These people have become valuable resources for me and my career (outside of the book and the blog)
5. I have sold copies of my book to many who read my blog. (That makes me happy). That was the purpose of starting the blog…and so that part is successful. It also is an interesting topic when I do speaking events around my book.
6. It takes real dedication to keep a blog current. If you are not posting regularly, your blog becomes stale. A blogger must be committed to posting daily (or close to daily). People have so many choices they will tune you out fast if you are not providing new material.
7. After a year, I am still “new” to blogging. To gain real traction takes a long time. I hope to see the regular readership and traffic go up in the second year. I find I still have a lot to learn.
8. Sites like Problogger and the Blog Herald are important tools to read. They helped me learn without having to make some of the common mistakes. They also inspire me to keep going with their reports of others who drive their traffic, monitize their blogs, etc….
9. Blogger.com is not as flexible as I would like, but it would be hard to move at this point, so I just have to deal with the limitations.
10. Blogging has turned out to be a therapeutic experience. Writing everyday allows me to teach, vent and / or clarify thoughts. I am more focused at work and at home because of my regular writing.