Archives for posts with tag: Blog

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’.

 

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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!

Well that’s the 750 up, as we would say in cricketing circles. We wouldn’t say it all that often, as amassing 750 runs in a single innings is a pretty rare occurrence. Well before then, the other team would have got us all out or we’d have declared, which is the cricketing version of ‘we’ve had a good go, let’s see what you can do.’

I guess 750 blog posts is a pretty rare occurrence too. At 3 times a week it’s 250 weeks’ worth of blogging, which is 10 weeks – or 30 posts – short of half a decade of committing thoughts to virtual paper. Put that way, it sounds a lot.

I’m not sure if that puts me in the top 10% of prolific bloggers – and a quick check on google leads me to conclude that it’s not that easy to find out – but it’s a decent quantity. As to the quality, well that’s for others to decide.

When to stop though? All good things must come to an end and I’ve always said that I’ll stop when the fun stops, to borrow a gambling compliance term.

Going completely against that sentiment for a moment, though, 1,000 posts seems like a good number to finish on. I might have run out of things to say by then. There’s also the added bonus of it not being easily divisible by the 3-posts-a-week cadence. We’ll see.

 

Better late than never, as they say, which is typically true I think.

I usually like to celebrate the anniversary of this blog post in two ways. First, on the anniversary itself, an annual reminder of when I started it. Second, every time I hit a 100-post milestone.

I noticed today that I’ve recently clocked up 700 posts – enough for two full and fairly random books. In fact I think this is number 704 – at 3 posts a week that’s two hundred and thirty-some weeks’ worth – so please excuse my ‘institutional’  tardiness.

Sometimes late is not better than never, you need to bury it and move on. On this occasion, I think it’s pretty harmless.

Onwards and upwards!

4 years blogging. That’s 620-odd Monday-Wednesday-Friday posts over 208 weeks. Blimey. It’s a long time, isn’t it? For nearly 7 and half per cent of my entire life, and roughly 20% of the existence of the medium, I’ve been blogging regularly.

The one thing that strikes me when I hit these milestones is this: where the bloody hell has the time gone and why is it going so damn fast? It doesn’t seem that long since I penned my first post on ‘domino chain’ theory, complete with fancy self-made picture.

Over this time I’ve stayed very true to the blog’s strapline, putting into words my ‘musings on things that I come into contact with’. True to that, I’ve written on a range of topics, from sales and marketing through to language and communication, behaviour and attitudes, cultures and conflicts, travel and tribulations.

As I’ve always said, I enjoy the discipline of penning the regular post, and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the odd one too.

How long will I continue doing this? Well, to borrow from the gambling phrase that sits under all ads, at least in this country: when the fun stops, stop.

600 up! Yup, this is blog post number 600. I feel like I should take a bow, but it’s probably you that should be taking one.

For a while I wasn’t sure I was going to get to 600 blog posts or 4 years of blogging first. It’s rather like when you’re on a treadmill, running at a pace that doesn’t make for a simple arithmetic calculation of your distance within a certain time. You don’t know if you’re going to hit your distance target before your time target.

I should have done a better job with my maths though. 3 blogs a week is 156 a year, and since 4 x 156 is 624, I was always going to get to the quantity target before the time target. Speaking of quantity, I hope that its opposite, namely quality, has been there as well, and that you’ve got something out of the posts so far. I’ve enjoyed writing them. They’re quite relaxing.

There is one thought that always returns when I hit these milestones. That thought is this: where has the time gone? Can it really be 200 weeks since I started the 3-blogs-a-week thing? Was it really 8 weeks short of 4 years since my first post?

It’s always a reminder that time moves quickly and you need to fill it with the good stuff.

Hello. It’s Wednesday 9th November 2016. I know there’s been an important election, but I’m not focused on it right now.

This is my 500th blog post.

500. It’s a decent soccer or rugby win rate, a great test cricket score, a phenomenal baseball batting average. It’s a long book if you sew it together. I’m very pleased.

For the last 3-and-a-bit years, I’ve been sharing my ‘musings on stuff I come into contact with’, not caring that I finish my statements with a preposition. I’d like to think it’s a symbol of what I’m about; not quite iconoclastic, but certainly calling things and writing them the way I see them, without any sugar coating.

When I started this blog it was early September 2013. I had a little time and wanted to get into the discipline of writing regularly. I didn’t know how long it would last. I didn’t set myself a goal; maybe I should have. I’m surprised and delighted that I continue my Monday-Wednesday-Friday thing into a fourth year. I’m not quite in the Seth Godin league of 7-day-a-week pronouncements to the marketing masses for the last 7-plus years, but I’m still very pleased. My posts are generally longer than his short ones, and shorter than his long ones. I’ve always tried to go for consistency and occupy your attention for about 1-2 minutes, 3 times a week. I think that’s about the right level of intrusion for blog posts.

I’m conscious that this post has been almost all about me, which is something I always try to avoid, especially in the advice I dispense about marketing, sales, business and life. I think, however, that it’s OK to give yourself a pat on the back when it’s deserved, so I trust you will forgive this minute or 2 of self indulgence.

 

Hello. Today marks three years of blogging at pauldilger.com. Exactly three years. To the day.

From humble beginnings on the second day of September 2013, to today’s humble ongoing efforts, I’ve been sharing my ‘musings on stuff I come into contact with’, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, come rain or shine, work day or holiday.

This is post number 471, after 157 weeks of 3 posts a week. 471 posts is a very large book. Can I say that I’ve written my first book? I don’t think so. It’s more a collection of thoughts, rather than something that is stitched together conceptually by a broad idea and physically by a spine and covers.

I started the blogging because I enjoy writing and sharing my thoughts, and also because I thought the discipline of having to post 3 times a week would be a good habit to acquire and would keep the creative juices flowing. I wasn’t sure how long I would last. After all, anyone can start something, but it takes a certain resolve to keep it going and see it through.

Through ’til when though? When do you finish something like this? Is there a natural end? Perhaps it’s when you’ve nothing more to say. But since my guiding strapline is musings on stuff I come into contact with, every passing day brings new insights and learnings that I think are worth sharing.

I will finish blogging at some point, I have to, although I’m not sure when and have no plans to finish soon. And, when I do, the end will most likely go largely unnoticed by the world, just as the start did when I published the first post and just as the middle does, from the stats I see on my posts.

That’s hardly the point though, is it?

Here’s to the next three years of blogging. Thanks for reading :-).

I was at a commemoration the other day, to mark the centenary of an important event in Ireland’s history. As part of the ceremony they sounded a baleful and well known song called The Last Post.

Ironically, it reminded me that that very same day I’d forgotten to publish my morning’s blog post. From The Last Post to The Late Post, as it were.

My posts go out every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I’ve probably forgotten to post 3 times in 400-some posts. I’m usually a few weeks ahead on posts, but the combination of two weeks travelling pushed me out of my routine and all of a sudden I was one blog deficient.

A chap I used to follow a lot is Seth Godin – less so now because I spend quite a bit of my own free time writing. The eponymous Seth’s blog probably has in excess of 6,000 posts under its belt – or should I say roll? – at this stage. I’m sure he hasn’t ever missed one. He’s probably a lot of weeks ahead compared to my few, and either he has help to do the scheduling so that he never runs out or forgets to hit publish, or he is a superbly infallible machine that never misses. I suspect it’s the latter, since when I used to catch every single post I would on very rare occasions find a small typo that I would make him aware of. He never failed to come back within a couple hours to acknowledge my email and the fix.

Either way, I suppose it’s better that occasionally it’s my late post, rather than my last post…

 

If you’re a regular reader of this blog you’ll know that my blog posts are Monday, Wednesday, Friday things, relatively short and designed to be read in a couple of minutes.

I thought it would be useful to let you know how I write them. I use WordPress as my blog engine by the way.

First, the idea. I either come up with a series of posts based around an involved topic or I get a specific thought which prompts a standalone post. Then I pen the title and scribble some notes in the body. Then I click save draft. About 1 per cent of the time, I click publish by mistake, and since the default time is set to publish immediately, this results in a largely blank post being sent through social media and emailed to be subscribers :-(. Then I have to remove it. But let’s stay with the 99%.

My next task is to schedule the publication for a time in the future. I always set my time window between 7:30 and 8:30 in the morning Irish time, since for Irish and UK readers that’s a good time for them to be checking their social media. I then set the categories for the blog post and think about the tags that are relevant for this post. Then I click save draft.

Now I’m ready to write the post. I compose the post, staying on topic so I don’t mismanage the expectations of the reader and for SEO purposes, though I don’t use sub-headings since my posts are so short. I click save periodically, especially if I’m on the move and my wifi is flaky. I also insert outside links and links to other posts where I think they enhance the post, never for their own sake.

When I’m finished writing, I save the draft, then re-read the post carefully for spelling mistakes, typos, sentences that don’t make sense or that could be improved. I iterate, clicking save draft which each iteration. Then I click Schedule, before reviewing how the post will look to you the reader. I might further refine the post and then follow the same process.

Then I’m done! For a post that runs smoothly, it’s 15 to 20 minutes from start to finish. For a longer post or one that doesn’t flow as it might, it could be an hour. But that’s not an onerous responsibility for 3 times a week, at least in my view.