According to the New York Times and a survey published by Technorati, blogs have a higher failure rate than restaurants. Yes, you read that correctly. I would have a better shot at succeeding if I started a sandwich shop down the street. Technorati’s survey (now fairly dated) found that 95% of blogs are abandoned after 120 days.
That is the negative news. The positive news? I am the 5%.
This blog has been active since January 12, 2015. We are past the 120 days mark. I just celebrated that by eating a piece of really amazing chocolate cake. What have I learned so far?
When you are nervous about something, rip the Band-Aid off and just start. I had been brainstorming about starting a blog for several years. I messed around on Blogger for a few months, but wasn’t able to find a good rhythm. As I posted about earlier this year, when I decided to try again with WordPress I didn’t give myself time to agonize over the details. I jumped in and I will refine as I go. I was also really nervous about finally posting the link to Facebook and inviting my peers to read it. Now I know that I didn’t need to be. Which leads me to my next lesson…
Most people will be very supportive, and everyone else will keep quiet. I have been overwhelmed by the support I’ve received from friends and family. Former colleagues, high school classmates, and friends have all read posts and given me a little boost to keep going. And just as exciting, when I have reached out to other bloggers and published authors, they have very gracious in their responses. So far, the negative voices of the world have kept pretty quiet. I know that this will not always be the case, so I am saving another piece of chocolate cake for when I get my first nasty comment or mean tweet. That’s when I’ll know I’ve made it.
Authenticity garners the best results. To date, my most popular posts have been:
- The Benefits of Launching Imperfectly
- How to Makeover Your Mornings Without Adding Stress
- The Key to Surviving the Worst Day Ever
In the Morning Makeover and the Worst Day Ever posts, I reference published authors who were kind enough to tweet and/or retweet links to their own followers. As you can imagine, that helped to expand my reach exponentially. But I still remind myself that they wouldn’t have shared the posts if they hated them, so I must be doing something right. The Benefits of Launching Imperfectly did not have a “celebrity endorsement,” but it is still the most popular post on the blog. I like to think that means it resonated.
What does this teach me? Authenticity wins. While I absolutely want to share great resources with you, you want to hear what I have to say too. I can do that!
Without question, my personal favorite post so far is The Key to Surviving the Worst Day Ever. In case you are wondering, I did look up to see if @ballerproblems was taken on Twitter (it is) and to see if a baller problems blog already exists (it does). However, @99ballerproblems is still available…