10 Weeks as a Blogger with Over 400 Feed Readers: What I’ve Learned

I’ve been hard at it for just over 10 weeks, writing post after post. I’ve seen some article become successes based on the number of hits they received. A few of these are:
12 Things I Learned By 42 That I Wish I Knew At 22
Things I DIDN’T Learn in College: Part 3 – How I Learned to Study
Things I DIDN’T Learn in College: Part 1 – Networking
7 Bad Decisions That Cost Me Over $1,000 Each
Things I DIDN’T Learn in College: Part 5 – How I Manage Multiple Priorities

The first thing I’ve learned is people seem to be genuinely interested in what is going on in the life of a blogger. They want to hear about my successes and failures. Unfortunately, my failures have been easier to write about and remember. Could it be a simple matter of quantity? :oops: If it is, I have plenty more to write about!

People also love to hear about successes, though. John Chow publishes his monthly blog earnings and people simply love to read about how much he makes. His blog has gone from generating about $10/day in September of 2006 to a whopping $1,000+ per day in February of 2008. It should be noted that John donates his blog earnings to churches and charities! I eventually plan to blog about some successes, though I guess that’s what I’m doing right now.

Christine OKelley (aka the Self Made Chick) wrote a blog post about the ONE word that helped her blog grow to 800 subscribers in 17 weeks. I’ll spoil it for you here (but please read her post) and tell you that word: I. Yes, the simple letter I. Why? Because people love to hear what you’re doing. People love to hear what’s going on in your life. People need to feel connected to your life if they are going to consistently read your material. I noticed that 70 percent of my top posts use the word “I” or “me” in the title. That’s enough validation for me.

The point is, people (myself included) enjoy the connection they feel when they read about what’s going on in another person’s life. Life today is so interconnected, but people feel more isolated than ever before. Could it be that reading about another person’s life, their ups and downs, their experiences and travails lets us fill a social void in our own lives?

The second thing I’ve learned is the incredible generosity and just, “nice-ness” of people in the blogosphere. Linking to other bloggers is like welcoming them to the neighborhood and I have to thank people like Patrick of Cash Money Life, who linked to me in several round up posts. Thank you Patrick.

Other bloggers in the M-Network,have also been a big help. Lynnae from beingfrugal.net, Glblguy from Gather Little By Little, and of course, Pinyo from Moolanomy. :smile: There is just a large number of people to thank. If I’ve left anyone out, remind me. I’ll hurriedly add you to this published list! 😳

I also have to thank my fellow bloggers in The Life Skills Network. Originally founded by Ciaran McKeever from Chance Favors, Jeff Nickles from My Supercharged Life, Jason of Frugal Dad, and myself, we recently added Madison of My Dollar Plan and David from The Good Human. We’re an assortment of bloggers who want our network to be a “one stop shop” for people looking to improve their lives in areas such as:

  • Motivation
  • Frugality
  • Financial planning
  • Business and marketing
  • Online education
  • Green living
  • Personal finance
  • Cooking
  • Gardening
  • Home improvement
  • Landscaping
  • Parenting

Couldn’t we all use a little help in at least one (if not more) of these areas? Our site is under construction, but is a functional thoroughfare to each of our sites.

Lastly, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve rediscovered my love of writing. I’ve found that some things (like television) are not as important as I thought. If you were to judge what someone thought was important by the number of hours spent on that activity daily, you’d think that sleep and television were the two most important things in our lives.

I’ve also discovered that I need to practice what I preach. I now find myself putting a halt to my bad habit of interrupting, as well as refusing to watch that crazy television. Hey, I have better things to do with my time!

So, here’s my formula for successful blogging:

  1. Create personalized, relatable, remarkable content for your readers. Make sure you connect with them.
  2. Create friends across the blogosphere. It is full of amazing, friendly, helpful, and interesting people.
  3. Create a spirit within yourself of personal discovery. Figure out what you enjoy, what turns your head, what makes you sit up and notice. Blog about THAT.

Everything else is just details.


[tags]blogging, lessons, learn, readers, blogger[tags]

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 1091 articles on The Wisdom Journal.

Ron is the founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal. He has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a partner in a national building materials company.

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