I just noticed that my last post was my 99th, which makes this my 100th post. Tada! After blogging for almost exactly 18 months, that number seems surprisingly low. All you bloggers who post 3, 4, 5 posts a day, I don't know how you do it. If I have that many in a week, it's an extremely busy week. These three today are a record for me.
Anyhoo, after 18 months and 100 posts, here are a few lessons that I've learned about blogging:
10. Blog on Tuesdays: Since today is Wednesday, I obviously don't follow my own advice. However, as a general rule, traffic is better on Tuesdays. If you have something profound to say, say it on Tuesdays. I suppose people actually try to work on Monday, but by Tuesday they are ready to play around.
9. Blog is a Verb: Apparently blog is also a verb (to blog). I don't question it, I just accept it. I learned my lesson questioning the use of rodeo as a verb. Apparently, as my wife once pointed out, one can rodeo, which means to participate in rodeo and rodeo-related activities, as in, "What do you do for a living?" "I rodeo."
8. Don't Blog on Fridays: I personally blog on Fridays. It's a relatively slow day for me at the office, but traffic stinks. If you have something profound to say, don't say it on Fridays.
7. Check Your Emotions at the Keyboard: Bloggers burnout. Blogs fizzle. Why? I suspect it is because blogger has something new, exciting, revelatory, earth shattering to say, and no one reads. By contrast, same blogger quickly jots some silly little comment about this or that trivial little thing, and the readers and comments come out of the woodwork. Example: my short little post wherein I simply ask, "Why is the Tithe a Tenth?" generated 56 comments (almost double any other post). Not that tithing is trivial, but the post was. I was busy answering comments on that post for 2 weeks. Yet, some of my other, more profound, groundbreaking, earth-shattering stuff, nothing, zilch (oh, and it was good stuff, too). But, I'm not bitter, and neither should you be.
6. Write Short Posts: Okay, I know, I can't help myself. I didn't say I've implemented the things that I've learned, only that I've learned them. Your reader's attention span is...well, I'm not even going there. See 3. above.
5. Write "Top _____" Lists: It solves multiple problems: you can write longer posts, you can generate traffic, and it doesn't matter if you're right or not, readers will chime in about your list. Let "top," "best," "worst," and "most" become your friends. For example:
- Top 5 Overused Words in Christian/Bible Blogging
- Top 10 Reasons to Put The Sundry Times on a Top 10 List
- Top 5 Authoritative Bible Translations
4. Ask Questions: I know I complained about it above, but short posts asking questions get a lot of traffic and responses.
3. Write "How To" Posts: Not that anyone cares how you do stuff, but it gives others an opportunity to tell you how they do stuff. How I Mark My Bible was a huge hit because everyone else was sharing how they marked their Bibles. It wasn't my idea either, which brings up another lesson: participate in the blogosphere (comment on blogs, link to blogs, acknowledge others, in other words, apply the Golden Rule).
2. Be Yourself: I'm not a Bible scholar (believe it or not :) ), and I don't pretend to be (anymore :) ), I just love writing and what I write about. I spent six months trying to make this blog's traffic grow, and it didn't until I stopped worrying about it. Find your niche, stick with it, be patient through the slow times, and appreciate the audience you develop.
1. Have Fun: Blogging about the Bible, ancient Hebrew, and religious stuff can be pretty heavy, but it's what interests me. I realize it doesn't interest everyone (although when I first began, I assumed it would), but if you write about something you enjoy, you will never run out of stuff to say. Keep blogging.