Today is this blog’s first birthday. Things I’ve learned:
- In a year I’ve managed to spew about 48,000 words on disconnected topics in this venue. That’s not much output for a writer. Which is why I’m an editor. Of course, I’ve probably written half a million words or more in private emails, mailing list posts, newsgroup posts, and, oh yeah, paying work. Still, if I were trying to write a book in my spare time instead of a blog, I wouldn’t have much to show for it.
- I’ve done a pretty good job of staying on the declared topic of the blog, with only the occasional foray into food, tourism, and local color. I think I’ve done okay at steering clear of politics, too, something that’s hard for me. On the other hand, I’ve been all over the lot on posting frequency and post length. You can’t have everything.
- It’s possible to let go of errors. Whenever I go back and read an old post, I find a typo or a factual error. I could, if I chose, fix those mistakes and republish the post. Doing so, however, would pop the post up in subscribers’ feed readers as new posts. I find it annoying when that happens on blogs I read, so I decided not to do it to you. I’m letting the old errors stand, evidence that, opinions of some to the contrary, I’m human.
- The real value of having a blog, for me, is that it’s a way to engage with potential clients in a human way. I am who I am, and if you read my blog and decide I’m not the guy you want to work with, that’s better for both of us than if I were to hide behind bland, focus-group-tested marketing language on a corporate-looking site designed to be totally inoffensive to everyone. The whole point of seeking out an individual freelance rather than a corporate vendor is the possibility of transcending the ordinary and achieving excellence. But that only works if you and the person you work with resonate with each other. This blog, along with my site, is where you can come to decide if you’re going to resonate with me.
- Everybody needs an editor, including me. Okay, that’s a lie. I didn’t learn that this year; I’ve known it a long time.
- Google works in mysterious ways. When I supported their bottom line by including Google ads, this blog never showed up on a Google search (other than for the name of the blog itself). Since I dropped the ads, the blog is near the top of the search results for all manner of strange search phrases, but now Google gets no revenue from me. Go figure. (I never made a nickel on the ads, so it’s moot for me.) What’s most astounding about the search results is that this blog actually gets very little traffic–well under a hundred people a day stop by–but the search bot apparently is a fan of the way I write. Who knew? I’m loved by a robot (see number 3 above).
Happy birthday, blog.