It's no coincidence that my blogday comes so soon after Roger's. It was reading Roger's blog and the encouragement that he gave me, that prompted me to start my own blog. Now, one year on, I'm still going strong.
So what has a year of blogging done for me? The main thing I have got out of blogging is the sense of community that exists between fellow-bloggers and regular readers. I have "met" like minded people I would never have come into contact with otherwise, and felt in close contact with dear brothers I would otherwise only have had infrequent dialogue with.
Next it has been an exercise in discipline. Blogging is hard work! Nothing worthwhile is ever easy is it? I nearly gave up on a couple of occasions. You run out of things to say, and after a while you just get out of the habit. My thanks to Cerys Wood, and Roger Aubrey again who provoked me to get going again at those moments.
I have found it helpful in my own meditations in the word. When you write something down and share your thoughts with the world, it forces you to think things through much more thoroughly than when you just keep the thoughts buzzing round in your head. Also when you have "discharged" your thoughts in this way, it gives a release that allows you to move on to thinking about something else.
It has been rewarding too. All sowing produces reaping doesn't it! I love getting comments on my blog, or seeing other bloggers make reference to my posts. It's great to look at my stats too and see the number of visitors. I had 40 unique visitors yesterday — that's more than attended my first Daniel Masterclass! To be honest, it's the visitors who keep me blogging, so thank you. Special thanks to all my regulars who leave comments: Marcos, Cerys, Anna, Kev C, Joe, Roger, Matthew. It was also through my blog and Google that I got back in contact with a dear long-lost friend. That was a great moment.
So to any would be bloggers out there, or those who are just starting, here are my three top tips from 1 years experience:
- Sowing and reaping! Yes, it works even in the blogoshere. If you want to be linked, start by linking others first. You want more comments, leave comments on other people's blogs.
- Read like-minded blogs (An Aggregator is an invaluable tool for this). Blogging, like any communication, works best when it is not just monologue. Read what others are writing about. If you are feeling uninspired, a good way back in is to take what someone else has written and expand upon it in one of your own posts.
- Install a stat-counter as soon as you can. It will be demoralising at first, but there is nothing like seeing your hit-count rise to keep you posting.