How Should I Celebrate My 11th Blogging Anniversary?
It’s almost impossible to believe that on Saturday, it’ll be time to celebrate my 11th blogging anniversary.
I was 34 years old and had worked in television 13 years when I wrote this blog’s first post in February of 2004. While I’d prefer not to think about my current age, in a few months I’ll begin my 25th year in television.
Eleven isn’t a particularly exciting anniversary. We tend to like round numbers like 10 or 20 (and I hope there’ll be a 20!) or even multiples of five for making a big deal about anniversaries.
Last year, I did a two-part post about ten things I’d learned after a decade of blogging. I suppose I could rerun the list and add one; surely there’s at least one new thing I learned this year!
From the start, I was breaking blogging rules left and right. The main one I broke was not finding a narrow niche to focus on. I don’t like narrow niches, even if I understand the audience may. For me, if I want to write on a few topics instead of one specific topic every time, my choice is to either start a different blog for each topic or do one blog with a larger umbrella topic, like “Regular Doses of Common Sense.”
For a brief while, I did the multiple blogs trick. And I’ll be as honest as I can possibly be: I hated it. I felt fragmented, unfocused, and I never felt any individual “mini-blog” was getting the attention it deserved because I was fretting so much about which blog I needed to focus on at a given minute.
I was never so happy as a blogger as I was the day I merged everything back into one blog.
How the Top 5% Blogs
Just the other day, I ran across a survey answered by about 1,000 with the goal of determining how the best bloggers actually blog.
The survey, over at Orbit Media Studios, asks only 11 questions.
See what I did there? Eleven. I know, sometimes I’m so clever I even scare myself.
Because I’m the nosey type, or perhaps the slightly masochistic type, I couldn’t resist answering the questions myself.
How long does it take me to write a typical post? Between one and three hours. (That actually encompasses two answers on the survey, in which most said one to two hours. Apparently, the “top five percent” of bloggers, and I’m not entirely sure how they measure that, spend more than six hours on a typical post. If I had to spend more than six hours on every post I wrote, I can promise you I’d have made it to 11 years!
When do I blog? Day and night, weekdays and weekends. Just not at work. Eight percent of those who took the study say they blog all the time. Hey, I got one right!
Only three percent publish daily. The majority publish between two and six times per week. Honestly, I’ve thought about dropping to six days per week. The problem is, I can’t decide which day (and possibly with it, which topic) I’d drop.
I nearly spilled my coffee when I reached the, “Do bloggers use editors?” question. Without looking, I’m sure I failed that one.
The interesting thing is that we bloggers are told that one of the most important things we can do as bloggers is to be as authentic as possible. We should be ourselves, not put on pretenses.
There are times when I wonder how far “being ourselves” actually goes. Shouldn’t that include, granted, to a much lesser degree, the mechanics of running the blog as well as our blog’s public face?
Should I spend my 11th blogging anniversary changing everything so that I blog the way someone else does rather than the way I do?
It’s not that I’m opposed to change, but I’m at least suspicious of change that I can easily imagine cramping the authenticity of this blog’s personality. Even if the “top 5% of bloggers” do something one way, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the only way or that it’s even the right way for the rest of us.
And until someone tells me general procedural traits of top 5% bloggers are the undeniable reason they are in the top five percent, I have to try to offer what I think is of value in the best manner I feel that I can.
Even after 11 years, I still haven’t figured out how to do it any other way.