Bloggers often mark their website one year anniversary with a post about…well, whatever the hell they feel like.
There's no template and there's no describing why people feel the urge to do it. I'm not going to try and explain it either so let's j
ust go with the flow here.
So here's whatever the hell I feel like and 10+ valuable lessons you can learn from my mistakes and wins.
Humble Origins of a Poorly Structured Mess
Remember the very first post here?
No? Good. It was terrible.
When I started Enlightened Resource Management, I intentionally left the topics to be a free-flowing evolution. I still do in case you couldn't tell.
From the worst posts – now deleted because they're irrelevant and a waste of your time – like what a software application can teach us about philosophy – to the best posts – like those about the biggest risk I ever took and Daily Money Management, there isn't exactly a “Greatest Hits” yet.
Somehow I need to create great content that's less than 6,000 words. I guess my intro to collaborative consumption counts but there should be more of those.
And there should be less about smashing snooze buttons, asking you to ignore me, asking you to judge me, and talking about dead horses and video games
And then there's everything in between.
Some of you are stats nerds like me so I'm going to eat a giant slice of humble pie with these.
- Number of posts: 28
- Number of legitimate comments: 9
- Number of Facebook fans: 8
- Number of Facebook fans that aren't family or friends: 1
- Number of Twitter followers: 10
- RSS Subscribers: 3
- Newsletter Subscribers: 3
- People who have contacted me through my Contact Me page: 0
The following information is courtesy of Google Analytics from December 16, 2010 – December 16, 2011.
What I Learned
I learned many, many things from blogging this year. The two biggest ones are about who reads what you publish and what action they take once they read it.
Nobody just “gets” an audience to come visit their blog and that will keep coming back. You have to earn the right and privilege of people paying attention to you.
Even those fortunate to have people care and value what they have to say need to continuously re-earn it.
The goal at ERM is to have you absorb what I have to say and take positive action as a result. Sometimes it might be a physical action. Sometimes it might be a mental action like decluttering an area of your brain. Sometimes it might be sharing the link to a post I created so that other people who don't come here can benefit.
But if you're not taking action then I'm not doing it right.
Other Important Lessons
There are other important lessons I learned like:
- Silence should be the default in life. Unless you can improve the silence (like publishing a post), maintain the default at all costs (like not publishing anything). Wasting someone else's time, even for 5 seconds, is to be avoided at all costs.
- Asking good questions is hard. Comments were almost non-existent and it's partially because I'm not asking you an important question you feel the need to answer.
- Infuse personality into everything you do. You couldn't tell from reading here but there are a lot of people who care about me, enjoy the way I think, and like my writing. Every post needs to ooze “Joel wuz here”.
- I need to be better telling people what I'm all About. Read my About page and you'll see what I mean.
- Ignore the formulaic list posts and attempts at a super clever headline. Do you really need to read about “The Top Ten Reasons You're Wasting Your Time Reading This Crap”? I don't think so.
- Maintain your outposts better. You should have a reason to care about more than just what I have to say here at my hub. Nobody likes a YouTube ghost town, right?
- Don't be so hard on yourself. There are much better ways to motivate than beating yourself up.
- My priorities in life are sound. I didn't sacrifice time with friends and family (or sleep) for ERM. This was a great decision.
- Speaking of priorities…Unless blogging is a top priority in life it won't be rewarding to me or you.
- WordPress is bad-ass! What an amazing platform to publish through and leverage.
What I Didn't Learn
There are half a bazillion things that still need to sink in or become habit forming. Here are some examples:
- Pressing the “Publish” button faster and with more confidence. It shouldn't take numerous sessions at the computer before a thousand word article is ready to go.
- How to be concise. Working on it (see what I did there?).
- How to follow through on promises. Earth to my supposedly reoccurring Free Resource Friday shtick! Are you still alive?
- Where my first guest post is going to come from.
My Heartfelt Thanks
Very few people came to visit ERM in the past year and I don't blame them. I need to give people a much bigger incentive to come, stay and help me create a community.
I extend a tremendous amount of gratitude to those of you who visited even once. Seeing that people care about this blog moves me to push forward and blow up the roadblocks in my path.
Do You Want to Help?
Do you want to help me make ERM ten times better in year two? Here are some simple and quick things you can do to make this possible.
- Leave a comment in this post with what you'd like to see more of and less of. It can be specific like “More information about purple monkey dishwashers please!” or general like “Less walls of text! Keep it brief man!”
- Tell me if you want to see some audio and video. Depending on your feedback, I might adjust my plans to expand into the podcast and Vimeo/YouTube realms.
- Communicate what you need to see in an email newsletter to make it worth your while to sign up
- Embarrass me with what the most atrocious parts of the blog design are and what you'd like to see instead.
- Notify people I exist. Sharing links to my Facebook and Twitter outposts are always good as is emailing your friends about this place.
Thanks again for reading everyone! It's truly special to share myself, my resources, powerful ideas and this communal space with all of you!