How’s it going? A bit of a different post for today, for laughs. Sort of. I still hope we can all learn something from it. Here are three stumbles to launching a blog, in no particular order (feel free to imagine your own):
Do almost no pre-launch marketing or planning. Who needs to think through solid, specific topics ahead of time, and work things out in detail about an audience? Not you! And whatever you do, don’t get meaty posts lined up to launch with—flying by the seat of your pants takes less time. And your idea of an audience will crystallize over time—don’t worry about targeting the ideal reader right away. And never do a pre-launch to gauge interest among your target readers, either. That’s just tomfoolery.
Plan the launch for the week of a major holiday. Sure it’s fun because you have time off to do things. It doesn’t matter that your audience is doing holiday prep and can’t be bothered by your announcement. They can catch up later. Who cares if they have to search through dozens of other social media updates to get to yours?
Breeze through all the blog tech in less than a week. That’ll show everyone what a super-wiz-techie you are, darn right. And besides, any level of in-depth preparation is something you can blow off, with no problem (see step 1, above). After the basics, who needs to know how dynamic a blog can be, anyway? Don’t readers like to have everything the same, all the time?
It sounds a bit haphazard, I know.
But it’s also how this blog, Fiction and Copy Decoded, came to be.
After a call with my mentor Jay one week before what would become launch day, I went over the idea with him to start a blog on something. I got the germ of the idea finalized during that Monday call (things had been knocking around inside, as you’ll see).
I’d settled on WordPress by Thursday and started picking through themes. Friday I told all my Facebook friends I was going to start a blog, and I told some friends that Sunday in person over dinner the same thing.
Then the next Monday I launched (during the week of Thanksgiving) with two posts, because I thought the “welcome to my blog” vibe was too lame-ola.
Anyway, you can read the first post I made way back on November 25th, 2013 (a year ago) here:
And the line from Fall Out Boy’s “My Songs Know What You Did in The Dark” that was supposed to form that blog title is “light ’em up” not “it.” For those of you who don’t know, the takeaway is I got a song quote totally wrong.
For those of you who do know, the takeaway is…exactly the same.
To be fair, I’d thought of launching a blog of some type for a while before this all came together. There was inspiration in there too from posts on Copyblogger that dealt with the subject of what became this blog. And part of the post you’re reading now.
What tipped the scale was a Missouri guy who ended up shoving me off the fence (gently, of course). I didn’t think anyone would want to read what I had to say, really.
And on the other hand, I wanted to get something done, because I’d thought so long (only in general terms about things) that there were times I thought I wouldn’t do anything about it, if I didn’t act after the push my mentor gave me.
So I went for it. Not knocking anyone who launched a blog in exactly this way…I’m saying I could’ve done things better, is all.
And for those of you who don’t know, there are times I don’t do things just because (or just the way) everyone else is doing them (like an anniversary post, for instance).
An anniversary post?
Yeah, I kinda buried the lead—under a ton of pixels, to boot.
And I hope whether you write fiction, copy, or both, you can learn something from what I did with my blog and audience, and apply it to your stories, emails, or what-have-ya (especially with things like prospects and their problems, or characterization–where it all starts, in my opinion).
But that’s enough of that.
It’s been a great first year, without a doubt. I had to alter my posting schedule because of part-time editing and management duties (kind of a two-edged blade on that deal), but things have been going great.
Most of all, thank you to everyone who’s stopped by to read, comment, or follow in the past year.
It may not seem like a lot, but it is. Really. And 170+ posts and 140+ followers is a great start. And it’s all because people matter.
As far as growth, I’ll probably have to get on the guest-posting train, I suppose, to broaden my reach. I’ve thought about it a couple times, but haven’t pitched anyone yet. I’ll need to get over my “they’ve heard it all before” schtick and just get out there.
Or maybe I can link to other blogs, or make comments.
Seems like trying to fit 20 “to do” things on a 10 space scratch pad, but we’ll see.
Drop me a line in the comments with any ups and downs you’ve had starting your own blog. I’d like to hear your thoughts.
Until next time,