The Land of 100 Posts

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.

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132 thoughts on “The Land of 100 Posts

  1. Congrats on your milestone. Did you have any other factors helping you reach the 100 mark? Any kind of encouraging support from readers or anything?

  2. Congratulations on reaching that significant milestone. Considering my haphazard approach to blogging it might take me a while before I’m toasting my 100th blog but hopefully like you I will have gleaned some valuable lessons along the way.

  3. congratulations! on being FP! seems liks the celebrations at your blog have just begun. I am sure you will reach all the milestones you aspire to cause you sound pretty focused to me! Good luck

  4. To actually see someone acknowledge the fact that they have failed at blogging and still tried again has just lifted such a burden off of my shoulders. I feel so less guilty for having abandoned a former blog and gives me such hope to strive for greatness. Thank you indeed!

  5. Good post my friend. I will share this with some of my clients as many of them are asking about getting into the world of blogging.

    I did have one suggestion for you about how to keep track of ideas. I find something that work for me is to just start writing the post in DRAFT mode-usually just the title and maybe a line or two and maybe some other bullets. Then I simply save them as drafts and then after a while they all get finished sooner or later. Hope that might be helpful for some.

    Happy blogging

    • Thanks for the tip about using draft-mode to keep notes. I don’t know why I never thought of doing that. I’ve always just kept the notes on a notepad, but using draft-mode would keep them all online and I could get to them from home or work easily that way.

    • Good idea, except date the draft with a future publishing date so it shows up in your list on a future date to remind you to finish it. Otherwise, it gets lost way down the list in “days gone by” and you never see it again.

  6. Double congratulations – writing 100 posts and getting freshly pressed. You have some good suggestions. My problem isn’t the lack of ideas it is the lack of time. I have several posts pending at the moment – so must dash.
    Bye

    • I know what you mean. Once I found my groove I discovered an overwhelming number of ideas and now finding the time to get them all down and published is a job all its own.

  7. BTW, I will be re-blogging this post on my blog toward the end of July. It fits with a theme I’ll be writing about: quit dreaming about writing and do it! Blogging is the perfect way to start.

  8. Reblogged this on Technicolby and commented:
    Congrads of creating 100 posts! I thanks you for the tips and will starts using them around my blog Technicolby! Good Luck and try to reach to 1,000 posts in the future!

  9. Congratulations! I stumbled upon your blog post via the “recently pressed” button on the wordpress front page and your writing style kept me engaged from top to bottom. A sign of a good blog post indeed.

    Like you, I’ve tried so many times to start a blog but kept falling down either with finding the motivation to write, or reading my own stuff and thinking “ack! did I really write that?” Most of the time my blogs have descended into a diary, which isn’t really what I was after.

    Your ideas for focus and keeping track of ideas are great. Here’s to another 100 posts!

    • Thanks so much! I never thought this post would be so helpful to everyone else, but I’m so glad it turned out that way.

      It’s a rather humbling and amazing feeling, that much is certain.

  10. Wow – congrats! You put some great tips in your writing… ones that so many of us can relate to. And thanks for sharing your failures and admitting that it can be a grind. (Was starting to think I was the only one!)

  11. This is fantastic stuff. The concepts are all quite logical, but following them is the key! I’ve always dreaded the idea of posting everyday for a month, but I’m seriously considering trying it soon.

    • Just take the plunge, you won’t regret it.

      When I made that goal for myself this past March I hadn’t figured out yet that I wanted to be a “book blogger” and so my topics were all over the place, but the act of just getting something written broke down a lot of barriers I had built up inside my mind about blogging and whether or not I could actually do it.

  12. You’ve really hit the nail on the head with your ideas about blog development. My own blog is in its early stages and I’ve taken some time (maybe more than I should) working out some kinks and thinking about the big picture of what I want my blog to be before actually publishing too much. Still, I learn something new with each post, so at some point one does have to simply get one’s hands dirty.

    As I have read many blogs during the year, the ones that impress me are the ones with focus and a clear voice – or at least the intent of getting to that point. The best blogs are destinations of inspiration, insight, education, resources and links to other people and places. And they have a sense of sustainability even as they evolve or even if they end.

    I came across a blog the other day that has so much meaning for me now as a new reader, yet the blogger had already announced his final post. However, he has left a complete body of work that can serve for years to come with a sign pointing to another destination that will carry on where he left off.

    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed, and more importantly for finding your groove and tapping into the riches of your creativity and purpose with your blog.

    PS On keeping notes: I have a file on my computer where I collect notes and ideas for posts, pages. As I get an idea I write a potential title of the post, a line or two about what the content will be, and even the category and tags of where it will go. Then as I go along I can collect links and resources that will help me write the essay in question when it’s time. Since it takes me a while to compose each post this relieves me of the stress of trying to say it all at once, or risk losing it forever. I’m sure you’ll find a system for organizing the stream of your thoughts.

    Regards

  13. Nice Blog 🙂 Has given me some ideas and inspiration for what I want to achieve on here… I only just started and I think the first few must be the hardest to gain some momentum, but after reading this I have some encouragement to get up and going 🙂

    And Congrats on the milestone.

  14. Good read! I’m writing “140 Days to Prague” currently – 140 posts before I move to Europe about things I love about life right now. My concern is this: Are my followers going to become irritated that I’m posting every day? I love the act of sitting down and writing, but I’m worried it’s egocentric to think that people care enough to hear what I have to say everyday. What are your thoughts?

      • That seems like such simple advice, but you are right! At the end of the day, it’s about what interests me – so they don’t have to read if they don’t want to, I guess. I was trying to combine posts so I published less often and it was becoming tiresome. I’m reverting back on my mission. Thanks!

      • I learned a personal life lesson a little while back that if you want to do something, just do it. Don’t waste time worrying about if anyone else is going to like it.

        The important part is that you like it. That’s what matters and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how many others will wind up liking it too, especially on the internet.

  15. Creative ideas! I hope you get on with them. It is little hard to go on with all the daily life but I hope you will succeed. Best of Luck for them! And Congrats on completing 100 posts! Also, Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  16. Yay to the milestone!! Like you, I’ve started a number of blogs in the past (a professional music promotion blog, a wedding blog, a photo blog, etc.) but it was always a bit rough trying to keep up with it since I felt like the topics I chose were a bit confined. Hence why I like your point about writing something that I’m super interested in–if only I realized that sooner!! :] Very awesome and practical ideas. I’m sure I’ll be coming back!

  17. Thanks for these ideas. I’ve been trying to figure out my focus for a while and this helped. It’s not just the goal in terms of the number of blogs but the thematic content and nuances of style that’s hard to figure out.

  18. Congrats on the 100th post and getting Freshly Pressed. Your blog is worthy of both! You have some great ideas to keep motivated and keep momentum going: as simple as setting a goal. Thanks for this.
    irunibreathe.wordpress.com

    • Awesome! I’m glad it could be helpful to both you and the friends you are sharing it with.

      When I wrote this post, I did so mostly for myself so I could remember some of the things I had learned. I had no idea it was going to wind up being so useful to others.

  19. Reblogged this on The Kit-Kat Sisters and commented:
    Here’s a post from 20four12.wordpress.com that I found on Freshly Pressed. I thought it was a very well-written post so I wanted to share this with everyone, even if almost everyone in WordPress read it. 🙂

  20. Hi, very interesting what you’re saying. I’m just a newbe over the Blog, this is the first time I’m writing to someone (comparing me at you… I’m still at the Stone Age) and it’s great. My compliments.

  21. Congrats on finding what you want to do and on being Freshly Pressed! Not too shabby. What I do to remember all the things I would like to write about in the future is to jot my ideas down on a notepad. Some are used, some are not, but it is always useful.

  22. I’m finding that blogging is a great way to relieve stress. I just put up my 60th post myself. can’t wait until I make it to 100! Congrats to you!

  23. Pingback: Blogging ~ Blah or Boom | Bloom Where You Are

  24. Congrats and welcome to the 100+ post club! I could not possibly sympathize more with the numbers of failed blogging attempts I had before winding up here… they’re floating around out there somewhere!

  25. You’re so right about setting goals! I’ve got 4 more posts to go – trouble is, I’m stuck – do you ever get that?

    You’re right about the blog needing a focus too – a hanger to hang posts on…

    And what next…? Well I’m going to try and turn my blog into an e-book. 😮 Scary.

    Wonder what happens to all those defunct blogs?? :/

    • Most of my defunct blogs just got left behind and ignored. I don’t know that I can even remember the URLs for them anymore, let alone the login information.

      As for getting stuck, sometimes that happens for me and luckily I’m always a few days ahead on posts, so if I just can’t get the words flowing I can just walk away and do something else to clear my mind.

      • Yeah! Sometimes you just have to wait til the thought’s been processed! I’ve noticed that.

      • Yeah! Sometimes you just have to wait til the thought’s been processed! I’ve noticed that.

        I’ve also been ahead with posts at times – it’s just that I haven’t got any spares atm. Ah well!

        I also keep a file of ideas going…

      • Just to say that I finally did those 4 posts. I now have 366 posts (leap year) of varying standards. I’m going to edit them some more (!) and plonk them into an e-book now. 😀

  26. Being new to this whole “blog” thing it’s nice to hear that other people have the same problems I have. I think about how book writers have post-it’s all over their walls with book content ideas. I don’t really think of myself as a serious writer so never really thought about taking goals seriously. But after realizing that I too have lost good ideas to lack of writing them down I think I need to rethink the post-it wall! 🙂

  27. Great post! My first milestone is 30 and I am running towards it. I am taking it in a cruise speed but liking the ride 😉 Anyways, I am off to check out what books do you write about.

    Your fellow book blogger 😉 Renny

  28. 30 day challenge sounds like a great idea. I’m already on a 30-day-challenge, not for blogging purposes but to just get myself get going to study for GRE. Congrats on your 100th post!

  29. Interesting how many of your ideas popped up in my post on the same subject on Monday: http://rightwingnutsandbolts.wordpress.com/2012/07/09/two-weeks-of-blogging-what-i-have-learned/
    Congratulations on reaching 100. I’m only at 26, but 12 were reposts, so really only 14. I also have the goal to blog every day, and it is life-consuming at times. But it does help organize your thoughts and gives you a “body of work” that gives credibility to your thoughts.

  30. Congratulations! You must really feel great about yourself to reach lucky number 100. I actually reached post number 120 just today but I’m still just floating around there with no centralized idea with my blog but I think I hit something today that I might have a solid frame for!

    Either way, enjoy the Freshly Pressed and keep at it!

  31. Grats on reaching the milestone. i started my film review blog because I never managed to get anything I started writing finished. I figured that if I started writing short articles about something I love then I’d be able to prove to myself that I can finish stuff. Gone past my 250th post recently and my next review is my 150th. Been going since late April last year. Had an idea recently that would tie my film blog into my desire to write (and finish) a film screenplay.

  32. Congratulations on reaching 100 posts! Being a new blogger, I think this post was something I needed to read, as I’m still in the ‘I don’t know what to write about/is blogging even worthwhile’ stage. I really liked your tips though. It’s got me thinking of thing’s I’d like to write about, rather than what I think others want to read. I suppose if my writing makes me happy, it will come through.

  33. Well done on 100 posts and you can see you have finally worked it out! You wrote something genuine and expressed yourself honestly. People like that and they support you. Just keep following up on those ideas because you are right, once it’s a grind you need a blog break and then you can reinvent yourself.

  34. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! This is great blog! I’ve learned something just from this one post that I will use on my own blog thanks!

  35. Pingback: Reconnecting and Finding Meaning « Skimming Deep

  36. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed and reaching 100 posts. This post, reminded and helped me to review the goals I made for my own blog towards the beginning of the year. Your 30 Day Challenge idea piqued my interest on two counts. (1). I’ve done two this year. (2) I struggled with posting consistently, because although it was fun it first, it became a chore. Who likes chores? That’s what I thought. Your point on writing about things that REALLY interest you is important – don’t write for the sake of writing. Write because you are inspired.

  37. I just started my blog yesterday. I really needed to hear this. Thanks for the post. I am looking forward to my 100th post 98 days from now! I am also a bibliophile. When I have a bit more in my journal for you to judge by I would be happy to do a guest post for you, if you would like. Gratz!

  38. Good Evening & Congratulations: I just reached the 100 mark a little over a week ago. I have kept an irregular schedule of anywhere from 2-5 posts per week and never the same schedule from week to week. I have heard of a software company whose blog missed its usual Wednesday post by one day and suffered a 80% loss of readers for that one post. However, a casual blogger such as myself probably does not need such a rigorous schedule. Keep posting whenever you please, and keep up the good work! Vonn Scott Bair

  39. This was a great piecve to read! I just started blogging about a month ago and my first problem was making goals for myself. Now the next thing I want to work on is tags connected to my blog. Any suggestions? Thanks again, this was very helpful. You inspired me to start a new blog for this year!

    • Tags are super easy! The way I do it is after I’m done writing a post I pretend I wanted to find my post with a search engine. I then add tags for the words I feel would help people find that post.

      Take a look at some of the posts from the past and their tags and you should get a decent idea of what I mean. 🙂

  40. Keeping track of ideas is hard! I don’t know about you, but I always seem to thinl of the best lines, and perfect wording when I’m trying to get to sleep, or in the middle of the night. Sigh.

  41. Yay! 100 posts certainly makes you feel like you are getting somewhere. What a boost!! I appreciate your lessons shared and your confessions about what you still have not gotten to. I can certainly identify! It is fun though, because in this blogging world you can write posts that readers fall in love with and fine-tune your schedule as you get the time. Keep setting little goals for yourself that push you a little further than the last one and you’ll get there!

  42. Love this post and your goals. Good insight and ideas.
    I have been blogging for a few years now and found it to be a great outlet for the random and rants that have come and gone. I am what some would say a “Vox Refugee” as that site shut down. Luckily I was able to bring all of my posts with me here to WP, without the music.
    Consistency is key but I find sometimes my life just isn’t that interesting. Months can go by before I feel passionate enough to write something I want the world to see.
    I rewrote my About page recently. I agree that is an important yet changeable connection.
    Keep posting! I’ll see you at 200 and beyond!

  43. Ahhhh! I just made me fourth blog post ever trying to use one of the thirty day challenges and all of your tips I can understand! this was very useful and structured ! thank you and goodluck with your blogging.

  44. Congratulations in reaching your 100 posts and on being Freshly Press. I myself reach that.milestone about 8 posts ago. While I was surprise that made it this far, is very hard to keep up. Keep it up.

  45. Very true! I think the most imporant was to write about something you’re interested in. I like to think of blogs as a way to showcase your art, talent, or ideas, rather than a way to just showcase youself or your ego. Thanks for the great post, and keep at it…Cheers!

  46. RE: keeping track of ideas. I’ve been having good success with Microsoft’s OneNote (which is included in the Office suite). Basically, it is a giant scratch pad/sticky note/notebook/scrapbook where you can type notes, paste in images or links, or drop in whatever else you’ve got for future reference.

    An added perk – my OneNote notebook is shared so I can access it on my work PC, home laptop, and my smartphone. Yesterday, I was driving home when inspiration struck, so I pulled into a parking lot, got my phone out, and made some quick notes in OneNote. Since it syncs automatically, when I had time to write (several hours later) everything was there waiting for me.

    Congrats on your milestone and best of luck in the future!

  47. Congratulations on achieving your milestone! And good luck on achieving any other goal you might want to go for in the future.

    This blogpost surely is food for thought and inspiration. Thanks for writing it 😉

  48. Outstanding! I’m a professional writer and editor who’s been blogging on WordPress steadily since 2007, and I’m still working it out. You’ve already got a great blog! Your theme looks so good, you’ve chosen an excellent typeface. You’ve made me seriously think about switching to ThemeMin.

    Far as writing and focus, I think you’ve found it. I’ve done a few multi-part book reviews, and I think your BRICK concept is brilliant. A separate post for every chapter might be overkill, but I’ve found that posting several times as I read helps me nail down the book much better than waiting ’til I’ve finished the book and then try to organize the thing into one coherent book review.

    Your About page is already better than most. You’ve got such a busy life as a Web designer, father, gamer, and daily blogger, I don’t know how you do it. The secret must be youth! Or maybe you just don’t need much sleep.

    Great work, wishing you continued success.

    • The real secret is being able to type 120 words per minute, and having regular downtime at the office. 😉

      Thanks for the kind words! I’ve been working hard to get the blog to a place where it looks clean and fresh for those who choose to visit.

  49. Way to go! 100 posts is a big milestone. I’ve tried to figure out how to improve my blog over time… but found the best thing to do is what I set out to do… write. Yes sometimes it is a grind, but I always love the result, both on and off the blog!

    • Forgot something. I keep track of my post ideas by creating a draft. Sometimes that is only a title to begin with. I’ll add some quick ideas to it as they come up. I get uncomfortable if I have less than 10 drafts in place at a time, right now I have 15. Sometimes by the time I get to finishing these posts up they seem to write themselves, because all the ideas are right there in a draft on WordPress to organize and flesh out.

  50. Wow, 100 posts. I’m another newbie to blogging and I find this amazing.. Well done and thanks for the advice and inspiration. 🙂

  51. This is great! 100 posts is really impressive, I myself hope I finally settled into one blog I can stick to for a while. I also have several other ones floating in the world wide web. Thanks for the advice and some hope in there too (maybe one day I’ll have my 100th post)

  52. Pingback: Week’s End: It’s Been Awful Busy Around These Parts Lately « 20four12

  53. Congrats on reaching your goal! There are some great thoughts in this post. I’ve posted for four years and just moved to WordPress. One way I keep track of ideas is to go ahead and put them in post drafts and let them sit there until I am ready for them.

  54. LOL Having read your About page (which I enjoyed) I’m dying of curiosity about whether your large feet are actually disproportionate or not. Most people can place their bare foot on their arm between the elbow and bend of the wrist and it will fit in that space. I wonder if this would be true for you.

  55. Thanks for posting this! When I started blogging many years ago, I had no problems with “blog fodder” and always managed to find something worth blogging. Lately though, it’s not as easy.

  56. Good post, grats on the acomplishment.

    What thoughts do have about diversifying blog content? I just made my eighth post on my first blog which seems to focuses mostly on social justice content but I am always checking out new albums that would also be fun to share. Is a mutli topic approach considered a no no or am I good to go? Time to start another blog?

    Cheers.

  57. Congrats on achieving your goal. As you mentioned you’re looking for a way to keep track of you ideas, a good method i use is to type it in my phone using the “notes” app or the “evernote” app on the iPhone. It helps me remember my ideas and i always go back to it for inspiration. I hope this helps.

  58. Congratulations on your 100th post! It is a great feeling! You’re right about having a blog about a topic that interests you – I think that is one of the key factors of good (and fun) writing.

  59. Pingback: Top 10 Tuesday: Posts That Give You the Best Picture of Me « 20four12

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