Wow, my blog is officially a year old. I can’t believe how fast the last twelve months have flown by. In no time, it’ll be headed off to college, getting a job, and hopefully giving me a grandblog. But we’re in no rush! Let’s get him married first! LOL
I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed blogging this past year and I thought I’d share a few lessons I’ve learned along the way.
1. If you name your website after yourself, no one can take it from you.
That’s what Conan O’Brien eventually learned with television shows and that is why I own wadebearden.com.
2. Everybody wants to be a blogger, nobody wants to blog.
I’m not an expert writer, but the biggest lesson I’ve learned this year is that to be great at blogging you have to buckle down and write. Write even when you don’t want to. Because, there will be times when you won’t want to. Dorothy Parker once said, “I hate writing, I love having written.” This is often true.
3. You will never know the scope of your impact.
Here’s a screenshot of one particular day’s search engine traffic.
Someone Googled “did noah wear pants?” and they landed on my page. You guys, I’m changing lives.
4. Numbers don’t say everything.
I received the most feedback on a blog I wrote about losing my job. It didn’t get an insane amount of traffic, but it really didn’t matter.
5. Have someone provide honest feedback about your writing.
My wife has saved me more times that I can remember. She’s my biggest fan, but she’s not afraid to be upfront about my work. Get someone like my wife. That sounds weird saying, but it’s true.
You’d rather have one person say they aren’t interested in a blog than have scores of people not interested in a blog. I’m thankful for the friends and family who’ve helped me be a better writer.
6. I wrote a blog about Taylor Swift’s “22” and I’ve gotten more search engine traffic with this title than any other piece.
7. Blogs that are honest, self-revealing, and authentic resonate with others the most.
It’s difficult to be open—at least for me it is—but people want to know they are not alone. C.S. wrote, “Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: “What! You too?” There are times when I have to be vulnerable to help others.
8. My writing is much better when I’m reading books, blogs, and articles like a madman.
If you want to be a good writer, you have to be a great reader.
Tip: Best book I’ve read on writing? Stephen King’s On Writing.
9. Don’t write on an island.
It’s hard to measure how much I’ve learned from talking to, interacting with, and reading others (this is especially true about the team over at christandpopculture.com). Find some friends who love to read and/or write, then give them your work to look over.
10. Be accountable to someone.
This is not a popular idea, but we all need guidance and correction when we get off track. Whether you realize it or not, your blogging will impact someone. With this great power comes great responsibility (I think Gandalf said this?). Whether it’s a pastor, mentor, or editor, write under someone’s authority. Give them permission to keep you accountable.
11. “I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.”
– James A. Michener
Thanks for a great year everyone.