After publishing my 100th blog post (!), I am taking some time to recap what I’ve learned and the benefits I’ve received along the way. Like many others, I started blogging after countless people shared with me the amazing benefits of doing so. It turns out they were right – it’s been an amazing experience. Here is a summary of what I’ve learned, the benefits I’ve received, and some advice on getting started and creating content.
Teach to Learn. After blogging and teaching classes via Udemy and Skillshare, I’m a big believer that the best way to learn is to teach. Actually sitting down to create content requires thinking through everything and helps identify the knowledge gaps on the topic. I then feel compelled to learn what else I need to. The process of teaching also helps reinforce what I already know.
Writing as Therapeutic. I’ve grown to really enjoy the process of writing. Some posts I publish just for enjoyment…not necessarily to get traffic or promote my brand.
Quantity vs Quality. I think there’s value in both frequent short posts and less frequent highly thought-out posts. Both have pros and cons. Long-form content is generally posted on my HuffPost blog and short-form content is here. Publishing frequently has been great for getting myself in the habit, however I feel I am in the habit now and I’m going transition to longer form, more thoughtful content. I will be loosening my frequency goals to focus more on quality then quantity. I’m completely impressed by people, such as Fred Wilson, who can blog every single day or close to it and still maintain quality.
Meet New People. I’ve met some great people through the blog. It’s a great way to reach a new audience and it’s a great feeling to know that people are enjoying and getting value from my writing.
Build Rapport. The blog has proven to be a great way to stay in touch with friends and colleagues and is a great way for new people to get to know me. Old friends with whom I don’t have regular contact tell me how they keep up with what I’m doing by reading the blog. There have also been multiple people I’ve met for the first time that already know a great deal about me because they’ve been following the blog. When new contacts do some research and come across the blog, its an opportunity to show that I’m (hopefully) a bit interesting and worth responding to or staying in touch with.
Hit or Miss. Some of my posts get shared a lot and get a lot of traffic and others don’t. I’m fine with that. It’s really rewarding when people feel strongly about a post. You know which posts don’t get any traffic? The ones you never publish 😉
Traffic and Monetization. When I started the blog my goal was never to reach a massive audience or monetize in any way. It was just to help people within the startup world get to know me. However 1) I’ve learned of the great business opportunities that a blog following can create and I’ve started creating some paid content and 2) Creating great content is the best way to accomplish my original goal and to monetize. This is part of the reason why I’m shifting to longer-form content and trying to create content that’s valuable to my readers and not just helpful to me. Don’t worry, I’m not going to start getting spammy or anything, I’m just putting more emphasis on creating valuable content that people want to read and share.
Comfort Zone. Sharing my thoughts with the world has actually pushed my comfort zone. I remember the first several times I clicked “publish” it was actually a pretty big rush. I’m a big believer that extending my comfort zone and improving my tolerance for fear will help me accomplish both my personal and professional goals. Blogging has been a simple way to push myself a bit.
Writing as a Skill. I think I’ve gotten both better and faster at writing. I think writing is a valuable skill to have. It’s helpful for many jobs, and in creating content. I’m finding it much easier and less time-consuming to write blog posts and books (I’m writing another one on customer development now).
If you haven’t started blogging yet, I highly recommend you do so! Starting with short posts and pushing yourself to publish frequently is a great way to get started. For all the reason I have mentioned, I’ve benefited tremendously.
Thank you to my readers and subscribers for hanging out with me for 100 posts! I want to deliver the best content possible, so please let me know if you have and suggestions, feedback, or advice!