Monday, April 25, 2011

A few lessons learned, 1000 posts later.

I started this blog 1000 posts ago.

I did so because I like to write, I like to eat, I like to talk about food, and I wanted to learn what this new medium called blogging was all about. I had never read another food blog, as a matter of fact, I'm not sure if I had read a blog post of any kind.

Now, anyone who writes wants to think that he or she can write something worth reading, at least once in a while. Even though that goal is yet unreached on these pages, I have learned about blogging while trying. In particular:
  1. Writing well is damned hard.
  2. Posting something that is even remotely interesting to read, written well or not, is damned harder.
  3. Most food blog readers are looking for an opinion: "Yes, I liked it," or "No I didn't like it."
  4. The writing pros are right: cut the adverbs and adjectives.
  5. If you have an opinion and you make it public someone will criticize not only your opinion but you for having said opinion.
  6. Sooner or later you're going to say something stupid and something you regret saying. In my case, this is a frequent occurrence.
  7. You are not the person people think you are if they only read your blog.
  8. In re-writing, there is a point of diminishing returns, at some point you're making the piece worse.
  9. Be happy with having just a pretty good, local, food blog. Mark Bittman is in no danger of losing his job.
  10. You never know which posts will be the most read. "How to Make Oatmeal, Properly." is the most popular post in 4 years. Second is "Zestfest, 2009." The first is a recipe, the second is an announcement. Not exactly inspired writing, if you get my meaning.
For fellow blog writers who are interested in blog statistics, here are mine:
  1. 1000 posts in almost 4 years
  2. Of the 1000, about 200 pieces have never been publicly posted, they are, usually, opinion pieces of a  philosophical, political, or religious nature, or attempts at humor (emphasis on attempt). 
  3. About 65% of readers come from search engines.
  4. This blog gets 350 - 400 page views a day 
  5. I have made $200 from the Google ads. That's about 20 cents per post. Each post takes me between 15 minutes to an hour to write. The longer, more essay-like posts take days and sometimes weeks.
I have made many friends through this blog, most of whom I have met but some not, and most of whom I would have never met if not for the blog. For that I am very grateful. I don't know if other bloggers feel that way, but I do.

Thanks for reading.



bourgon said...

Thanks for writing. :)

Lynn said...

waving how-do from the phone that is smarter than me; please keep writing

Jake Good said...

+1 "Thanks for writing :)"

John said...

A thousand thanks. Lessons #1 and #2 are so true. Here's #2.5 - Posting frequently enough to keep people coming back is harder still. Here's to posts 1,001 to 2,000.

Francis Shivone said...

Bourgon, Lynn, Jake, John -- thanks for commenting.

Lynn -- a smart phone, I am impressed.

Jake -- Is that a Google plus one? :)

John -- I agree. My post creativity runs in spurts. I doubt I'll make 2,000, but we shall see.

Anonymous said...

Well said!

Congrats on your 1,000th post!