Like a lot of people, I tried several times before I figured out the blogging thing. There are the remains of about half a dozen blogs out there somewhere from my failed attempts, but with 20four12 I’ve finally managed to figure out the winning formula for me and my blogging style. Reaching 100 posts (which happened a couple of days ago) was a huge milestone for me and I can’t put into words how excited I was to realize I had finally made it to that mark. I’m fairly certain I never even made it to 20 posts on any other blog.
WHAT I’VE LEARNED SO FAR…
First and foremost, the biggest lesson I’ve learned is you have to make goals for blogging and stick to them because otherwise you will find yourself drifting along trying to find some sort of direction you want to take your blog. The goal that really changed things for me was when I told myself I would write a post for every single day in March. When I made that goal I had no real idea what I would write about each day, but as the month went on I managed to find something, even if it was something small, for each day. And you know what, by the time I was finished I had learned another important lesson…
Make sure you are writing about something you find incredibly interesting or the grind (and a grind is what it truly is sometimes) will wind up taking all the fun out of it. Once I figured out that I wanted to write about books it felt like things all just fell into place for me. All of the sudden I knew what I wanted to write each day and I quickly reached a point where I have too many ideas to get down at any given point.
Which brings me to my next lesson: you have to make sure and keep track of ideas somehow. After finding my focus for 20four12 I had so many ideas I thought were cool I couldn’t keep track of them all. I know there are some ideas I’ve thought of and forgotten because I didn’t take the time to write them down. I still haven’t found the best way of keeping track of my ideas, but I’m getting a lot better at it and I can now comfortably say that I could simply stop thinking and probably have post ideas for at least a month or two, every day, and that is a good feeling to have.
WHAT DO I WANT TO DO NEXT?
One thing I really want to focus on moving forward with the blog is consistency. I want to tighten up my posting schedule a little bit to make sure I don’t miss odd days here and there. I also want to get started on some regular “columns” that readers can look forward to on certain days of the week or certain times of the month. I’ve already got a couple of things along those lines, but I want to polish the process a little more.
Another thing I really want to get into soon is the development of a collection of 30 Day Challenge lists for people to think about using. I think I could come up with some really thought-provoking ones that would result in some very good blog posts for people who wanted to use them. I also really want to figure out that one thing that is going to make me a little bit unique in the big pond that is book blogging. I feel like my idea for BRICKs is pretty solid, but it could probably still use a little work to really make it shine.
A little further down the line I would really like to start getting into the whole guest posting world and have other book bloggers write posts for 20four12 and maybe write a few posts here and there for others as well. It might take a little bit of time to get going on that sort of thing though.
The last thing I really want to do, and soon, is some general sprucing up around the blog. I need to write a better about page, outline a reviewing scale/policy, and a few other small things I’ve been meaning to get to and haven’t found the time as of yet.
All in all, I’m excited that I’ve made it past 100 posts and I’m looking forward to reaching 200, 300, and beyond in short order. It’s been great to finally find my stride and I hope I never lose it.