Exactly one year ago today I decided that I wanted to start a blog.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into and I certainly didn't know what would come from it, I just started.
I still don't track website traffic, bounce rate, email subscribers, or any of that stuff. My blog is a true labor of love. It's what gets me up early in the morning, keeps me going throughout the day, and wakes me up in the middle of the night. Not the blog, per se, but the ideas that go into each and every blog post.
After one year of blogging every day, I've learned a few things. And I wanted to share with you what I've learned here:
When I started my blog, my goal wasn't to get 'x' number of subscribers. It wasn't to be featured in 'xyz' publication. My goal was to start something I am passionate about and do it every day. Maybe if my goal revolved around other metrics my blog would be drastically different, or maybe it wouldn't exist in the first place because I would be worrying about pleasing too many people. But my blog does exist and it now has 365 posts all because I decided to start.
Don't overthink it or overcomplicate it. After you start something, don't worry too much about the details. You'll get better as time passes. It's like committing to working out, again. If you go too hard in the beginning, you'll burn yourself out and end up going on another 3-month hiatus. Start small. commit to doing it on a regular basis, get into a healthy routine so that you create for yourself an environment in which it becomes easy to keep your commitment.
3. The power of 'one a day.'
365 posts multiplied by (about) 300-500 words per post gets me a total word count of around 164,000 words! That's enough for at least two non-fiction books, maybe three if they are small. That's the power of starting something, committing to it, then doing it day in and day out. It turns molehills into mountains. Want to write a book? Write 500 words a day, every day. Want to start a business? Make one phone call a day. Want to learn a new language? Learn 5 new words/grammar principles a day. Want to get better at your job? Read for 30 minutes every day. Want to have a best friend at work? Learn something new about someone new every day. And the list goes on. Rome may not have been built in 'one' day, but it was built in a day—day after day...
4. Look vs. see.
Committing to writing a new post every day means coming up with stuff to write about. Simply put, it has forced me to look for things, notice stuff, observe what is happening around me, then try to make sense of it all, as opposed to just seeing it. It's amazing how much you can learn when you are actively looking to learn.
5. Everyone should blog.
(Or equivalent). Do something that puts your ideas out into the world. The internet is an amazing place, but it's also a place of people being against stuff. Be for something. Stand for something. State your opinion, stand behind it. Then, when you learn something new or your paradigm shifts, be humble enough and willing enough to admit that you were wrong and that you change your mind. Position yourself as a thought-leader. That's a buzzword these days, but it still carries klout.
It's surprising to me why more people don't blog. I am where I am today and have been able to work at some incredible places and meet amazing people thanks to my blog. It opens so many doors that you don't even realize are closed.
6. What it means to be generous.
The digital world is progressively becoming more and more selfish. Ads are popping up in more and more places, people are charging more for 'premium content,' and companies are upselling features that were previously free. But the thing is, the people that really get it, the 'influencers' that have massive followings are the ones who are the most generous with their time and knowledge. We talk about generosity like it's something that involves monetary means. That's certainly not the case. We can be generous with other resources: talents, skills, gifts, time, and knowledge.
7. Make blog posts, not money.
There are plenty of blogs that make a lot of money. Mine makes nothing. I use my blog as a proving ground for my ideas. I use it as a way to remember what I've learned. I write to hopefully help others think about things more seriously. I personally believe that as soon as blogs start making a lot of money, they lose the one thing that made them interesting in the first place. I'm not writing to meet some metric, please some stakeholder, or increase my revenue, I'm writing to add value.
8. Do what you love.
I would write every day even if no one read it. The reason why is that it helps me improve my thinking, analytical skills, attitude, and overall strategy. In this regard, it is a selfish endeavor. I love sharing my point of view and perspective with others. And nothing makes me happier than knowing that what I had to say actually helped someone with something. The habit of writing every day is possibly the best career decision I've made to date. It started because it's what I wanted to do. I keep going because of the incredible high I get from hearing how it's influencing people.
So thank you—and see you tomorrow!