On Jan. 18th, I made a commitment to start posting every day here. No set schedule in mind, I just wanted to start posting every day, and to track what changed here. I had a few set things in mind that I wanted to track, but I also wanted to see what would happen/change as a result of switching my posting schedule from 1-2 posts a week, to 6 or 7. Here’s what I learned about blogging from posting 22 out of the last 23 days:
1 – Momentum is everything. I keep an eye on my traffic every day, I know in general how my traffic will ebb and flow throughout the day. Prior to Jan. 18th, my traffic would normally dip to only 2-3 visitors an hour from 2am-5am, then inch up, and be up to around 15-20 visitors an hour by 7am or so. By 8am on most days, the traffic here would be around 60 visitors for the day.
This morning, there were 158 visitors for the day here by 8am(it’s 11 am now and traffic is at 428 for the day). And for the past couple of weeks, there has been around 100 visitors for the day by 8am. My ramping up my posting schedule has meant that more content is being shared, and as a result, my visibility has increased. I assumed this would happen, but it’s still cool to see the numbers in action.
2 – Visibility for individual posts fell, visibility for the entire blog rose. This is a ‘duh’ lesson, but one that’s important to consider. Before Jan. 18th, every post I left here would have 3-5 days as the ‘top’ post and more chances to be viewed. After the 18th, some posts only had a few hours as the top post before being replaced.
The 10 posts published here prior to Jan. 18th averaged 104 ReTweets each. For the posts since Jan. 18th, they have averaged 53 RTs, almost half as many. But traffic has continued to rise, as you can see here:
3 – It’s imperative that you try to ‘break stuff’ on your blog if you want to be a better blogger. With EVERY post here, I had an experiment in mind. I was changing something to see what effect it would have on something else. I learned a TON, some of what I learned I am sharing with you here, and some of it I’m keeping to myself You should do the same thing.
Kathy Sierra once said that the people that are the experts are the ones that always assume that there’s a ‘better way’ to do whatever it is they are good at. They are always looking for improvement and ways to become better. If you want to be a real social media or blogging expert, you need to do the same thing. Constantly break stuff and see what happens.
4 – Blogging every day was EASIER than blogging once a week. This one totally blindsided me. My biggest fear in starting the experiment of posting every day was that I would have to ‘mail in’ a few posts to keep the streak going. I definitely did not want to do that, but I was committed to this experiment to see what I would learn (see previous point about the importance of breaking stuff).
What I learned was that there were a lot of blogging opportunities that I was leaving on the table. A perfect example of this is this post I wrote on using Tweetdeck to track who is favoriting your tweets. I was having a Twitter conversation with @be3d one night, and I favorited one of his tweets, and he mentioned that he knew I had done it. I asked him how, and he explained how he was using TweetDeck to track it. That was a great tip, so I decided to turn it into a blog post! All I had to do was take a screenshot, and just recall the above conversation. But I realized that I am constantly learning tips and tricks on using social media tools like that, why not share them?
5 – You don’t know what you don’t know. I made a lot of experiments and changed a lot of things here over the past 3 weeks. Often, I wanted to change something because I knew it would have an affect on something else, and I wanted to measure that impact. But sometimes, changing one thing would alter something else, when I had no idea the two things were connected.
So while it’s great to listen to and get advice from the so-called blogging expert, you still need to go out and make your own rules. Figure out what works perfectly for YOU, and you do that by experimenting. So go break some stuff