Back at the beginning of July, I issued a challenge to myself. I wanted to see if regular updates on our blogs, Threaducate and SubliStuff, made a difference in our readership. So I decided to write a blog post for one or the other of the blogs each of the five days of our work week, for the entire month of July. The goal was to see if this made a difference in the attention people paid to the blogs, in the readership of older posts, and simply to see if I could fit daily blogging into a schedule that always seemed to be packed with things to do. I won’t lie, the goal I’d set for myself was challenging, but I learned a lot as I worked to meet it. Here are some of the most important things I learned.
Ideas come from everywhere – One of my main worries was coming up with ideas for a new post every day. Some days, that was tough. Gradually, though, I learned that a post idea can come from anywhere – someone I follow on social media, a discussion with a co-worker, looking back through older posts, something I read, something I watched, something a competitor said. Anything could be fodder for a post, I just had to figure out how to frame it to make it applicable to the subjects of our blogs.
I had time, if I made time – Anyone who has any part in managing or running a company knows that there are always more things to do than there are hours in which to do them. The things that get done most often are the things you consider priorities. Prior to the month of blog posts, blogging had slipped on the priority list, since there were always other demands on my time. In July, I made blogging a priority and rearranged some other things on my schedule to make it happen. Sometimes that meant I wrote a paragraph a day until I got a post done. Sometimes it meant I wrote several posts when I had a spare few hours. I won’t say it was always easy, because it wasn’t, but the time was there, if I made blogging a priority.
There are no old subjects, only old posts – I’ve been writing about machine embroidery since 2007, and about sublimation since 2010. That’s a lot of informative posts with helpful tips and thoughts that are now several years old. Looking back through the blogs allowed me to reprise subjects that were still relevant, but had last been touched on in a post several years ago. It’s a good reminder that old content can often be repurposed and reintroduced to an audience that may not have seen it before.
Not every post will be a home run, and that’s o.k. – A lot of us, I think, get focused on making things perfect, and so we tinker and tweak and do everything but actually put the content out there and let people see it. We got so focused on what we don’t like about something, we forget to notice all the stuff that’s really good. Yes, I have certain standards for my work. Yes, I always want it to be the best it can be. Yes, sometimes my best isn’t as good as I’d like it to be and yes, that’s o.k. Sometimes the important thing is putting your work out there, despite what you see as glaring mistakes, or clear imperfections. The likelihood is that what you see as huge, blaring problems most people won’t even notice, and that they’ll still benefit from interacting with your work.
In the end, my blogging experiment did seem to have an impact. We had increased readership, both of current posts and old posts. We had new subscribers to the blogs. Writing every day reminded me that writing is what I do, and I needed to do it more often. While I don’t expect to, or really want to continue writing a post a day, I will be blogging more frequently. I hope you’ll be reading when I do.