Inspired by Jeff Hester’s blog, I thought I’d write about the lessons that I’ve learned during my blogging every day so far this year.
People judge a post by its title
It’s surprising how important a title is to hook people in. From the last couple of weeks, here’s the dates that have spikes. January 21 – Who I miss and who I’ll miss; January 30 – Looking ahead in Web Design; February 3 – How I lost 6kgs in a month (without paying a cent); February 6 – The show that makes me cry. These are titles that make people think that it’s going to be interesting. I think one of the best post/title combinations I’ve had was one that was titled “Secret Confession” and I wrote the first paragraph as if it was going to be some great big, shameful secret confession. I probably tricked a few people, but I think it was a good hook.
Post regularly, post often
I think even if I wasn’t participating in the Postaday aspect, Posting regularly and often helps in so many ways. You get more visitors to the site (simply through having more posts for people to read), and you also get more experience in writing. While some of my posts haven’t been great reading, the more I write, the better I get at writing and formulating posts that do make good reading.
Link to get links
Since starting this, I have always tried to link to 4 posts participating in Postaday2011 on every post (except for the ones that I’ve had to schedule due to being away). I did this for two reasons: firstly, linking to someone’s post sends them a pingback and they then will come and view my post, generating traffic on my site. Secondly, people who read my post and see the links may click on them to see why I linked to them, giving them some traffic as well. While I haven’t received many links back, there have been a number of people who I have linked to, who have then come to my site and commented on my posts. It’s a great way of generating some community through this venture.
Having posted 46 (47 posts with this one), I’ve also learnt some things that I’m going to attempt to do in the future. I want to try to get a couple of posts completed as drafts so that I’ve got some there in case I run out of time one day, or have no inspiration. I also want to start writing a couple of longer posts, ones that I can work on over a week or so, to really get some good content on here. I want to get more involved in linking – so that I not only link, but I comment on the people who I link to. Finally, I want to try to end more posts with a question to encourage comments. Seeing stats that people are reading my website are great, but I want to get to know them, and that can happen through comments.
And I’ll start with that now: are you participating in Postaday2011? What have you got out of it so far? What are you going to try to do into the future to make sure you get through the year?