Experience is the best teacher.
As an adult, I look back on my late adolescence and know how things could have been better or different for me if only I knew then what I know now.
As a teenaged blogger, I’ve learned there is so much more. I’ve had this knocking awareness that there are things I don’t know but want to avoid for as long as possible because they are challenging things to know. Or they mean I’ll have to take more responsibility. Or I just don’t want to know because I want my blog’s performance to be someone else’s fault.
Participating in the Blogathon 2012 has forced me into college and made me decide whether or not I want to be serious about making my blog do the work intended. That is, educate small businesses in the art of copywriting and, ultimately, attract prospects.
So, among the things I’ve learned, now know or would do differently are these…
1. Make sure Google Analytics and Tools are on board
Lucky for me, I’ve formed a working relationship with Matt Morgan from Optimize Worldwide. He has shown me that though WordPress does much of the SEO work for me, there is still much to be done to get found. While blogging daily, I’ve been working through pages of detailed homework, setting up Webmaster Tools, correcting crawl errors, submitting sites and learning what my daily analysis means. I wish I had done this work before May. On the upside, now I know that it takes a combination of masterful content AND SEO expertise to make a content strategy really sing.
2. Be a Twitter pro.
I’ll admit I’ve been a Twitter holdout. Michelle Rafter, gotta love her, has been moving me toward a relationship and with her Blogathon 2012, forced me to stop being a hater. I had to learn how to access our “list”–#blog2012–to stay up on Blogathon happenings. I stepped in with a toe and now find myself wading to my knees. The beauty of Twitter is its ability for quick and simple communication. Through it I connected with my guest post partner, Jennifer Fink, and a few others.
3. Know how to use Evernote.
Every weekend I curate the best of both the Blogathon and the rest of the blogosphere. These, to me, are the most difficult posts. Seems easy–to grab what others have already written and post. But trying to track the best of what I’ve read when I read 40-50 blogs each day is cumbersome. Another blogger mentioned Evernote and I’m trying it. So far I’ve mostly failed but with each failure I learn. Using tags to keep topics separate has been helpful but my goal is to be better organized within the program. I know there is so much more.
4. Have Mail Chimp RSS to email ready to go.
5. Write about high schoolers and parenting issues.
Why are there no parenting magazines catering to this audience? Have we all checked out?
Writing my guest post about raising boys who might be criminally clueless, I was reminded I have much to say about this stage of life. With one star pupil, one above average boy and one struggling learner, I’ve been to the rodeo and can empathize, question and offer wisdom. But would anyone read it?
What about you? What would you blog about? What has been your greatest lesson from blogging?