If we only had five minutes to talk about the blogging lessons I've learned over the last two years, I'd have to narrow it down to five things.
Five things that seem like common sense to me now, but when I started back then, I wasn't sure would work.
But I can't deny the results:
- Two years ago, I ended the month with 2,800 pageviews.
- A year ago, I ended the month with 86,000 pageviews.
- This year, I'm ending the month over 140,000 pageviews.
So here they are – my five lessons. And with each one, I've given you even more resources from the content and copywriting experts.
Don't focus on yourself
There's no reason to start anywhere but here. Because our inclination is often to start writing about our intentions, our beliefs, and our own personal story.
But here's the thing – no one has time for that.
Sure, over time people have come to want to know me, my story, and some of the personal dynamics in my life. But it never starts there.
People are busy enough that when they go looking for content, they're looking for themselves.
So be helpful. Always.
Write helpful content and don't turn your site into a journal of your personal rants.
When you're self-indulgent and self-focused, you're making a big blogging mistake – and here are ten other blogging mistakes you might be making.
Don't write for a crowd, write for a person
If you go back to some of my earliest posts on this rendition of my site, you'll note that I write things like “some of you may…” and “not all of you may….”
It's because I began writing to a crowd. But I realized, as I read posts from others, that the ones I felt most connected to felt like they were written directly to me.
So I changed up how I thought about my posts and how I wrote them.
Today I write these posts for you. I focus on you. And hopefully you feel it. Hopefully you're not distracted by posts that try to be everything to everyone.
Now I write for a single person – you.
Again, my friends at Copyblogger go even deeper.
Discipline requires some help
It's true that writing regularly helps you get better. I write faster these days than when I started two years ago – no doubt.
But I'll share with you the trick that really helped me when I wasn't sure I had the discipline I would need.
I set up a consistent place and a consistent time to write.
That way, when the time came, I was in the place that I'd conditioned myself for. I was ready to write.
It's a fantastic way to build discipline and one I highly recommend. For me, most afternoons after a quick nap are perfect.
Copyblogger calls it the prepared writer's process.
Embrace note taking and use an app like Evernote
Here's a little truth about writing I've come to discover everyone already knew.
Sometimes you don't know what to write. Even if you've been doing it a long time.
But other times you have five or ten ideas. Or you read an article and think, “I have a lot to say about this.”
Unless you're writing a blog that requires five posts a day, it's a good bet you'll learn to love note-taking apps.
I use evernote but you can use anything you like.
Just create a quick way to capture ideas so that later, when you're stuck, you can look at them and rekindle the spark you need to sit down and write.
It's just one of the 35 tips Copyblogger has for you.
If you know me, you know I couldn't end this post without sharing with you my single most important lesson of all.
People don't remember facts. They remember stories.
If you want to share information, stick them inside stories.
And learn from great storytellers. It will have a serious impact on the impact your messages have.
And don't take my word for it – Copyblogger agrees.