Five years ago this week I published my first post. 295 published posts later, the subject matter has obviously changed. Whenever the anniversary of our first post comes along, bloggers like to write about it because
it’s a clever way to make a post about me we sometimes just cannot think of anything else to write about.
I’m gonna share what I’ve learned either in one not too long post or many smaller posts, depending on how much unsolicited wisdom I feel like imparting.
I’m going to focus on blogging at ChicagoNow, though I’m sure a lot of this advice and experience would translate to other platforms. We are lucky to have the ChicagoNow audience which is backfilled through the Tribune Ecosystem. Enjoy it while it’s here because nothing lasts forever.
Lesson Zero: Do not say you just published a new blog!
When referring to a post that you just published, don’t say “I just published a new blog” or “New blog up at MyBlog”. Unless you literally went from publishing your posts on Baby Sideburn to Mothers who Drink and Swear, It’s incorrect and just makes you look like a moron.
Lesson one: Don’t set yourself up to fail
One of the gimmicks bloggers fall pray to is the 30 days of blogging challenge or promising a series that is way too long. Unless you already have half of that content ready to go, don’t make promises you cannot keep. Life will get in the way. You will lose steam.
Lesson Two: It doesn’t matter when you publish
The real anniversary of my first post is October 1. But it doesn’t matter when I hit the publish button, within reason. Obviously I don’t want to wait until November but the Blog Police won’t come after me if this doesn’t post until the middle of the month. The thing to remember is that a published decent post is infinitely better than an unpublished perfect post.
Lesson Three: Keep it brief though
I try to keep my posts between 300 and 600 words because society has the attention span of a litter of concussed kittens. There are some of course where I have more to say but as I learned from my editor days, most articles can be trimmed by ten percent. There are a handful of bloggers who can get away with excessive wordiness but I’m not usually one of them.
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