2013 saw excellent growth for my public speaking blog. It was named one of the top online resources for public speaking, and my articles were picked up by Ragan and PR Daily. My post on why introverts make the best speakers really hit a chord with introverts and extroverts alike. It’s been successful year. I've helped people speak up with confidence and get their message into the world.
Who can ask for anything more?
As I stare into the abyss of 2014 – I’m feeling burned out.
My first anniversary post was all about surviving your first year of blogging. Knowing the vast majority of blogs go to blog heaven after the first 3 months – it’s a huge feat to get to your first anniversary! I stand by my advice for blogging survival.
Looking back on my second year as a blogger, I wish I would have done things a bit differently. Perhaps, I'd feel less burned out and would have created more content in different forms.
Now, as I jounrey into my third year with some very counterintuitive advice about the marathon race of blogging.
Consistency is key but don’t over do it
For a blog to grow, you’ve got to be publishing content consistently. Last year I set the audacious goal to blog twice a week and for the most part I accomplished that goal! HUZZAH!
Good for me, good for you, but holy crap I didn’t do a great job of promoting the content that I wrote.
I was always writing new content. Writing like a mad woman every chance I got. It was a lot of fun as I enjoy writing, but I realized I was NOT promoting my content as much as I should (or at all in some cases).
After a year of 2 posts a week – I’ve got a lot of amazing content some of which I did NOTHING to promote. I've got the stats to back it up!
Creating new content takes up a lot of time and space – I'd rather write 4 awesome posts a month that I actively promote than 8 posts a month that languish out of the limelight.
Lesson: Create one great post a week and promote the hell out of it
Blogs don’t have to be all about tips
The Internet is addicted to “how-to” post.
I spent the first 8 months of the year doling out tips on public speaking, communication, and presentations . These blog posts helped form the foundation of my book “Speak Up for Your Business” which was wonderful.
No matter how popular “how-to” posts are in the online world, there comes a time when they get boring to write. I don’t know how people who churn these types of post out 5-days a week do it, but I need a lot more variety.
I began experimenting on my 40th Birthday with my declaration of my why and how this year is the year to begin living it. I talked about how second grade nearly ruined my life. Now, did these posts get as much traffic as my “how-to” post – NO. Did they fulfill me creatively? Yes. Did they spurn more discussion on social media? Yes.
The best part was both of these posts got used in Keynote Speeches I gave this year. How’s that for repurposing content?
Lesson: Blog to fulfill your creative void – the audience members who love you most will come along on the adventure.
Follow your rants
Yep, I write about speaking your truth and worry that somehow what I write about will offend. What I learned is that your rants set you free! Don’t worry about offending – write your truth.
My first year of blogging I posted an epic rant about how NOT to be a motivational speaker based on some horrible professional speakers I saw at a conference. It was one of my most popular posts of the year and even landed me a new client or two.
The rant of this year (and my most popular post) was the huge difference between communication and communicationS. Based on a conversation I had with an “expert” in public speaking who was a bit of a douche bag when I pointed out he was using the wrong form of the word. If you're going to call yourself communication guru – you should know the difference between communication and communicationS. Just sayin'
Passion and rants get you traffic. I believe firmly in what Danielle LaPorte said:
“I can trace all of my failures to my silences. And all of my successes to being mouthy.”
Lesson: Be mouthy. Take a stand
As I look into 2014 this is what will keep me blogging on:
- 4 posts a month that I’ll promote the hell out of
- Creating beyond writing – video and audio blogs – a webinar – more speaking
- Telling stories that inspire others and light up my creative muse
- Being mouthy and following my rants wherever they lead me
What does your 2014 blogging outlook? What do you want to create?