Archives for posts with tag: Blog post

The current climate has brought out my public spiritedness in the form of writing some good cheer. I’ve been making good use of the time I would have spent blogging these last 2 months to progress the publication of my book, but now is time for another post.

Here are 25 positives I can think of to an enforced and lengthy period of being at home.

You’ll have plenty of time to remind yourself how totally awesome the people – and their partners – on the front line and in the caring professions are, how they continually put other people like you and your sick rellies before their own, and how lucky you are that they chose to directly serve the community they live in

You can be safe in the knowledge with your young kids that if you can parent through this, you can parent through anything and you might actually be a record-breaking, all-time, Olympic podium-clinching parent

You get to spend more time with your immediate family instead of being like ships passing in the night

You can re-discover the undiluted joy of doing large jigsaw puzzles and playing with other toys and games

You can help your kids with their homework and generally parent in a proper fashion, like you wish you could have done when you busy out gallivanting

You can take a perverse pleasure in the fact that your elected representatives are finally earning their crust and fulfilling what they signed up for

You can take box set bingeing to a whole new – and hitherto unachievable – level

Your lack of outside activity, mixing with your fellow humans and not making enought stuff is allowing the planet to take a massive, deep and well-earned healthy breath of air

You finally get to run down the food in the freezer and defrost the damn thing

You can be thankful for that enormous mortgage you took on to move into a bigger house, which is still worth less than you paid for it years ago, because now your family has some breathing and personal space for the long haul

You get plenty of chance to hug your partner and offspring and remind them you love them, unless you’re self-isolating

You can share your diary, blog, and social media posts as a pick-me-up to the population

You get to practice cooking, baking and other life-handy skills

If you do have to head out, you can be astonished by how friendly, tolerant, helpful, community-focused and pulling-together the vast majority of people are in the face of adversity

If you’re managing people remotely, you get to practice several times a day your skills of empathy, concern and ‘it’s OK to take your foot off the gas abit, these are unique, surreal challenging times’ words of comfort to the people who depend on you for a good portion of their financial and emotional wellbeing

You can finally get to that long list of things to do around the house; the list that until now never seemed to get any shorter

You can spend time writing and sending physical letters – the ones that used to go in an envelope with a stamp on – to your nearest, dearest

Failing that, you can take time to text, email, SnapChat, WhatsApp – and so on, other delivery mechanisms are available – your entire circle of friends and acquaintances, individually, to wish them well and let them know you’re thinking of them. Copy, paste and some subtle but judicious editing works a charm here

Now that you’re working from home, but with a family audience, you’ll be so much more productive because they’ll see first hand how often and how long your breaks are

If you’re laid off, you can use the power of internet-based devices to let your entire network know that you’re available for hired help, no job too small. ‘Essential supplies’ providers can’t get additional people fast enough and you get a new experience for a few months

You can get your kids to design home-based exercise and nutrition plans for you

If you’re like me, a veteran home worker, you can give tips and tricks on how to stay productive and sane in the home office, even if your home office is a shared room, and not really an office at all

If you’re OK for cash, and you can earn money from home and you live alone, there has never been a better time to lock yourself away and pen that first novel

You can amuse yourself with the hundreds of hilarious memes and videos, created by people who are lightening your load, going round the social universe and making laugh out loud and in an unrestrained manner, thereby releasing good-time endorphins

And finally, you can use the word ‘carnage’ to describe the world you see without a trace or irony

I’m going to stop now, as I think I could go on forever. I’m sure you have a million more you could add, and that’s probably mot much of an exaggeration.

Paul Dilger 1000 blog posts

1000 blog posts

This, folks, is my 1000th blog post since I started a regular Monday, Wednesday, Friday thing on the 2nd of September 2013. It will also be my last, at least in this 3-times-a-week cadence.

Have I run out of things to say? No, I don’t think, fortunately, that will ever happen, otherwise what’s the point to anything? It’s simply that I started blogging to generate the discipline of regular writing, writing in a style that I enjoy both doing and consuming. I wanted to write a book. I wrote the book, and a designer is currently putting her magic touches to it, making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. It’s almost finished, and then I’ll publish it.

Of course, with 1,000 posts under my belt there is held, within this blogroll, at least another book or two as well, anthologised versions of my ramblings. The best ones put together if you like, although some of you might argue that if it’s only the best ones that make it in, they’ll be pretty short tomes.

I’ll still be blogging from here; after all I’ve a book to flog and some of you have been good enough to check in fairly regularly to read what I’ve had to say. Perhaps you’ll buy a copy. It’s on the subject that I’ve only briefly touched on over the last 1,000 posts, but the savvier among you might have an inkling as to the subject matter, especially since I’ve written small bits on a very wide range of topics.

Speaking of which, thank you. And thanks also to Seth Godin, who has done this sort of thing for longer, more frequently, and far better than I, but whose example got me kick-started.

So, 1,000 blog posts, over and out, until the next time. It does feel odd to be finishing mid-week, though. I don’t know what I’ll do come Friday…

It’s blog number 999 for me, but this is not an emergency. Instead, as I stand on the precipice of a 4-figure blog post career, I want to share what I’ve learned about this art form, or is it a science?

Of course, I’ve never been an example of the classic blogger, someone who writes to build a following. That was never my intention; rather, I’ve revelled in the joy and discipline of a regular write-up. This means that I’ll offer none of the lessons on acquiring readers, SEO, ideal blog length, influence, following people that follow you, that kind of thing.

No, this is what I’ve found over the years on the content alone, these 5 observations:

  • The one-off posts that come from something I come into contact with take longer to do, but are more fun because I don’t know where they’ll end up
  • The work-related blog post series on things to do with marketing, sales and general business are less fun because I know where they’re going but they’re more valuable to the readers
  • The blog post series which are not really series but posts grouped together to get me over a creative hump are the least valuable, and I apologise if you’ve had a sub-standard experience wading through them. At least you never have far to wade
  • If you sit down in front of your laptop needing to write a post but you don’t have a topic, it can be tough. The best thing to do is to let your mind wander where it wants and something will emerge. It doesn’t always have to be the light bulb moment that you must jot down for a future topic; sometimes you have to grind them out, crank them out
  • Fifthly, and perhaps most importantly, every single blog post is a mini product, a mini product of you, even if you’re not trying to sell your products, or services, or company. It’s your output, so it’s you. You’re giving away yourself, and in the course of repeatedly doing this you amass a body of hopefully honest work that can become something greater than the sum of each individual post. Even though sometimes you’re a slave to the schedule, to that standard of discipline I talked about, try and make every one a good one, the best it can be in the time you have

 

 

I was recommended to listen to a podcast the other day by a customer’s CEO. It was from the series Anatomy of a Strategy. The link to the podcast, which is well worth listening to if your business is content, is here.

In the podcast, Alex Hillman draws the difference between thinking of a blog post as ‘just a blog post’, a piece of ‘throwaway’ content, and viewing it as small product, in fact a ‘tiny free product that delivers value’. From here you can then deliver content which works up to your own paid product which delivers even more value.

This is, of course, correct and I agree with it. It treats a single piece of content as part of a process, or a strategy to build your customers.

It did, however, get me thinking about my own blog posting, since I’ve done several hundred of them at this stage. I seem to be not practising what I preach. My posts are often throwaway and often do not lead to a more engaged conversation on the topic or on what I do for a living.

Then again, you have to think about the end goal for me. I get most of my business from my network and profile within that network, but blogging is not about building my business. It’s about the joy and discipline of writing. And at its root it’s also about process.

So, while I agree that each blog post is indeed a product of Paul Dilger inc, a mini-destination if you like, it’s also a small journey for me.

 

 

What’s the right blog length for a post? Isn’t a bit like asking how long a piece of string should be, and that of course depends on the purpose for the string.

That said, there’s never a shortfall of best practice articles trumpeting the right length for a blog post. It’s an old chestnut, and it keeps changing. A few years ago it was about 450 to 500 words. These days, for long term SEO they reckon 1600-1800 words, which is clearly way more than 500 words, and waaaay more than my typical post. Perhaps the advice is not exclusively for blog post content, but you get the impression it is.

As with all things marketing, you have to keep your objective in mind. SEO is about attracting people to your stuff and building a following. I’ve always said that the purpose of my blog is rather self-serving, to keep the discipline of writing, in which case I can make them as short or long as I like. As it happens, they retain a striking consistency of length.

The current vogue for longer ‘anchor’ or ‘capstone’ blog post content doesn’t seem to hurt Seth Godin. An early inspiration for my own blog, Mr G seems to have garnered an immense following with a pithy style and length that hasn’t changed in a decade. Mind you, he has broken ground in marketing on numerous occasions and has a large bunch of other strings to his bow.

I introduced the notion relatively recently that I might stop blogging on this page after 1,000 blog posts. I produce 3 blog posts a week, always on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and that cadence works for me, so 1,000 posts will take me a fraction over 333 weeks, the guts of 7 years.

And then I read Seth Godin’s post yesterday, which talks about the first 1,000 blog posts being the most difficult…Mr Godin’s blog is one of the inspirations for me starting my own back in 2013, but then again he writes a daily blog post, and we aren’t talking weekdays only. That’s over twice my input. That cadence obviously works for him.

His first para reads: “For years, I’ve been explaining to people that daily blogging is an extraordinarily useful habit. Even if no one reads your blog, the act of writing it is clarifying, motivating and (eventually) fun.” I could have written those words myself, except substitute ‘thrice weekly’ for the daily bit, because the sentiment is spot on.

Some of Mr Godin’s posts are very short indeed, and then some of them are quite involved, whereas I try and stick to a 4-to-5 para, 250-or-so words, couple-minutes-to-read kind of a thing. That said, his output is prodigious, helped no doubt by an enviable book-publishing remit that allows him to kill two birds with one stone.

Interestingly, Mr G sees a trend where people get the bit between their teeth after 200 posts or so, which is a little over 6 months. Maybe the time in the saddle is more important than the cadence, since 200 posts take me 15 months, which is a different proposition altogether. Or maybe it’s the cadence that counts…

As for the first 1000 posts thing, for me it could well be the only 1000 posts, and I think the daily discipline would become a daily drag, perhaps for you too, as the ‘customer’.

 

Well, bloody hell, 800 blog posts out the door! At a total elapsed average time from idea to creation, to fine-tuning, to scheduling of half an hour per post, that’s 400 hundred hours of blogging.

It’s also 10 solid weeks of nothing but blog posting over the last 5 years, 1 month, 1 week and change. There has to be a book in it somewhere. That doesn’t mean it’s a book worth publishing or buying, and if it’s not bought is it really a book? If a tree falls in a forest and no-one hears it does it make a sound? If I signal to turn left and no-one seems my signal, has it been received, to make it a signal to someone?

When I published my 750th blog post I talked about the possibility of packing it in at post number 1,000. That’s in 200 blog posts’ time, just over 15 months away, roughly the dawn of 2020. That seems as good a time as any, like when Forest Gump had run thousands of miles and then simply stopped, because for him the time was right. Maybe I’ll keep on going after the 1000th blog post, having become institutionalised to commit my musings to digital paper.

For me the act of blogging has always been a self-centred thing, something I do for the discipline and flow of regular writing. I’ve never actively promoted the blog and the size of the readership and followership is not important to me.

For now, though, the next thought is blog post number 801. Thanks for reading!

When Paul McCartney and John Lennon were writing songs in the early Beatles days, they would come up with a memorable melody, piano riff or guitar riff, with no way of recording and saving it at home, before they could get to the studio. If they couldn’t remember it the next day, it wasn’t good enough to be worked on.

Writing my blog is not quite the same thing, and the end result doesn’t have the same world-beating quality either. The process is different. In some cases you come up with an idea for a series of posts, such as a 7-step B2B product launch process. In other cases, a thought comes to me or an observation mushrooms into an viewpoint I can talk about.

I usually write it down straight away, or tap a few words into my phone. If the thought or observation comes to me while I’m driving, and I’m on my own, then I have to try and commit it to memory, until I can stop and record it.

If I can’t get a thought down on phone or paper before it disappears, it’s often lost forever. I would say that over the last 50-plus months dozens of ideas, thoughts and comments have gone to the ether, never to return.

Is that a bad thing, or a good thing? I don’t know, but probably neither. It is what it is.