One year of blogging – what I’ve learned

Today’s post marks 1 year into my time as a blogger. I thought I’d take this opportunity to share what I’ve learned for my post this week as well as what I’ve found to be the most valuable parts of maintaining a site like this one. I’ve learned a lot so far and have a few people to thank as well.

Today’s post is my 57th on this site, which I launched on September 13, 2018. The site has had 2,288 unique viewers and 4,356 views since the launch. The majority of views come from the United States, followed by Canada, Israel and India. The response is more than I could have hoped for and I so appreciate the readers who have checked out my writing so far. Thank you!

Readers looked the most at my post on the book Trillion Dollar Coach which I reviewed on the day it came out. One of the best things I have gotten to experience as a blogger is receiving early releases of some great books that I get to review. Thank you to Harper Collins and Penguin Random House for the advanced copies.

black calendar close up composition

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’ve wanted to write this blog for a while and this year finally started. My big fear was that it would be hard for me to keep up writing weekly. So my first 25 blog post were already written before I launched the site. That was a great way to allow a safe launch. Finding time to write the posts has been challenging, at times, but just sitting down and putting pen to paper helps my productivity and gives me a chance to think some things through, even if I don’t publish them. Writing here also challenges me to always be thinking. Occasionally in meetings, I’ll pull out my phone and start a draft of an idea for a good post.

The best part of writing publicly are the chances when people get in touch to engage on the topic. I enjoy hearing people’s thoughts on what I write and learning about their interpretations. My favorite thing is when people tell me that they use the tools or concepts I write about with their teams.

I think writing is an extremely important medium for communication and sharing ideas. If you are thinking about starting a blog, stop thinking and start doing. My biggest regret about the blog so far is that I didn’t start sooner.

I have found that the biggest challenge in maintaining this blog is staying disciplined to the three topic areas: Leadership, innovation, and the way we treat each other. As you have seen from my previous writings about Presidential libraries, I believe politics teaches us many lessons about leadership, both positive and negative. I have decided to avoid that topic because I don’t want to lose the important focus of this blog, but I have been very tempted at times to deviate.

I have also avoided personal things that I’d love to write about, like my current feelings about the Washington football franchise or about the nuances of Davey Martinez’s (who is recovering from a heart procedure and I wish him well) management of the Nationals bullpen. My plan is to stick to the topics for the foreseeable future and resist temptation.

Thanks to the stats on WordPress, I’ve been studying how most of your find these blog posts. On social media, Facebook has been the most important publishing source, followed by LinkedIn, the WordPress Reader App, and Twitter. I was surprised by these results initially but it’s been very consistent. One of the next frontiers I want to explore is Search Engine Optimization.

About 65 of you are subscribed either via email or through the WordPress feed. My heart lights up every time the blog gets an additional subscriber, so thanks especially to you!

I wanted to give a special thanks to my most loyal readers, including all the subscribers (two shout-outs for you!). My parents read every week and their support means a lot to me. Isaac Snyder is a dear friend and a loyal reader, it’s meant a lot to me when he has suggested some additional topics to write about. My in-laws, Joel and Maureen, also read and comment weekly, which makes me smile every time we chat as well. Thanks to all my family, friends, colleagues, and new folks who have visited and read the content.

I also would not be successful without my “copy-editing team.” My wife Sheryl has been a great copy editor and overall support in everything, reading almost every post before it is published. My colleague Jennifer Harrison (who reminds me all the time that the period goes inside the quotation mark even though it is ugly) and my father have helped me clean up whatever we may have missed after publishing.

My goal is, with your support, to build on the first year and try to learn from the stats and write more about topics of interest. I hope to provide you with more to read, learn, and share in the coming year. Bottom line – thank you!

KEY TAKEAWAY: Blogging can be both exciting and challenging. If you are thinking about sharing your ideas through a blog, stop thinking and start writing. It is a great way to allocate time for personal thought and to spread ideas.