A year ago I set myself a challenge. After talking about social media, blogging et al, for many years and telling others to get on board, I had never done much blogging myself. I had written some guest blogs and blogged a bit for my company, but not really grasped the nettle.
So 2012 rolled around, and my New Year’s resolution was to set up my blog (originally 48yo.wordpress.com – ‘musings from a 48 year old‘). I started blogging anonymously about anything in particular. I set off like a bull at a gate, posting 26 times in January and 17 in February. I had a few pent up topics, but settled down a bit as I got into the rhythm of posting 1 or 2 times a week. I then decided to ‘go public’ and name the blog CharlieGunningham.com. And so, here I am typing away at my 100th (and last) post for 2012. 100 posts. A nice round number.
- a third have been on “management” topics (things I have seen at work, or previous workplaces, how to improve management, advice, learnings along the way)
- a quarter have been on “life” generally (being a Dad, attitude, behaviour)
- a fifth have been on “technology” topics and a further fifth on “internet” – my day job I suppose, and what I am passionate about
Along the way, some generous souls have deigned to read my posts – some of them have had over 100 views each – and some even decided to make a comment (118 comments in all spread over 99 posts) and even sign up and follow my blog (38 of these people get every post I sent out in their InBox directly – God Bless You!).
What have I learned by blogging?
- Blogs are like catnip to Google. My various posts occupy 80% of the results of the first ten pages of Google results for “Charlie Gunningham” – I ‘own’ my name on Google, and more importantly, am in control of my online reputation.
- It’s not hard to start. 5 minutes to set it up on WordPress, and then 5 minutes to hook up my domain name charliegunningham.com
- It is not expensive. Sum total cost of my blog has been $20/year (the cost of hosting my own domain name on WordPress)
- You don’t need to write a lot. 15 minutes to write and complete and post including adding an image.
- It’s cathartic. You can get down some thoughts which also help organise your ideas in a constructive manner. You feel better for having ‘got it out’. You sometimes solve your own problems in so doing.
- I did not blog at work or about work (directly). I tended to post at weekends, in evenings, spare time. When the moment took me, I suppose you could say.
- A short post is a good one. 3 or 4 paragraphs is plenty.
- Always have a main image. I put one at the top, 590 pixels wide so it fitted across the page. Neat and consistent.
- Tagging your posts is a great way to organise your whole blog, and it creates sub-domain links (charliegunningham/internet) in Google results
- The wonderful WordPress apps on iPad or iPhone make it easy to blog from anywhere. I once blogged by speaking Siri-style into my iPhone and the thing just wrote it out for me. Incredible.
So I made it. 100 posts in 2012. If the Mayan calendar is wrong and we are all back in 2013, I will do some more. I wonder what 2013 will bring, blogging or otherwise.