The Blog About The Blog


So we come to blog post #100. And in all the subjects that I’ve covered over the past two years, there’s one that’s been conspicuously absent every Friday morning – the blog itself.

When I started my business I was determined that social media was going to be an integral part of the marketing – which meant Twitter, LinkedIn and the blog. Has that worked? Yes: not on its own, but social media has been a vital part of the campaign – and a very successful one.

Give or take the occasional holiday and a week off for Christmas, the blog has run consecutively for one hundred weeks. I don’t know how that compares to other business blogs in the UK: there are no league tables. But I suspect that not many have run so consistently for so long.

So for the benefit of anyone who’s thinking ‘maybe it’s time to try this social media lark after all’ or for those who have tried and want to refine their approach, here are three things that I think I’ve done right over the past two years – and three things that, looking back, I could have done better.

The blog has been consistent. I hope the quality has been consistently good; what I know has been consistent is the delivery of the blog. Friday morning, without fail – and if it can’t be Friday morning, it’s Thursday night. I knew I had that right about a fortnight ago when a potential TAB member who’s busy running a very successful business said to me, “Your blog is the first thing I read every Friday morning.” I’ve always taken the view that a weekly blog is like a newspaper – it’s published at the same time each week. I can’t recommend that approach highly enough.

The blog has engaged. In many ways that’s down to you – the comments have never stopped flowing and I’m hugely grateful for that. But I’ve always tried to reply: one of the key things to remember about social media is that it’s a conversation, not a megaphone.

Hopefully the blog has been interesting – that’s for you to say – but the blog has definitely been organised. By that I mean having a clear idea of what I’m going to write about for a few weeks in advance. I jot ideas down and do the necessary research well in advance. I’m not sure I’d go so far as to call it an editorial calendar, but I no longer sit at the PC on Thursday night and have a panic attack.

And now those areas where I might have done better:

I don’t think I’ve made enough use of Twitter. Once you’ve cleared the Beliebers, Directioners and lunatic self-promoters out of the way Twitter is an incredibly useful business tool. I should have made more of it to promote the blog in the early days, and probably should do now as well.

I’m still EdReidYork on WordPress. If I had my time over again I’d have started the blog off on EdReidYork.com – I’m sure that would have been better from a design point of view and from the SEO angle. Moving a hundred posts may now be somewhat time consuming…

Lastly I didn’t appreciate how hard it was going to be. As I’ve said to a few people, writing a weekly blog is a lot like being married; you have to work at it and it isn’t always easy. Sometimes Friday comes round every four days.

So it’s been hard work, but the rewards have been significant. The blog has kept me in regular contact with clients and potential clients and it’s done wonders for my ‘authority’ and reputation.

Would I recommend a regular blog as a business tool? Emphatically.

And there’s one other significant point. Week by week, month by month, the blog has built into a book. 100 posts at an average of 650 words is 65,000 words – a book in anyone’s language. That’s something I could never have dreamed of – if you’d said to me two years ago, ‘go and write a book for the owner of an SME’ I’d have said ‘no chance.’ If anything illustrates the value of simply making a start and taking it one step at a time, that does.

Coming to an e-book store near you? Quite possibly.

And now to make some notes for 101…

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12 comments

  1. Rachel Goddard · June 1, 2012

    WELL DONE Ed! It’s no mean feat to have kept your blog going for so long. I enjoy reading it and always find something useful in it! Having tried to write a blog myself I don’t underestimate the effort and commitment it takes. I think you are a shining example of how to have a good blog- I am looking forward to blog 101!

  2. Ned Hoste · June 1, 2012

    Hi Ed – Interesting blog as ever. Re your WordPress thought – there is no reason why you couldn’t migrate your entire site to your WordPress platform by designing a bespoke theme which will give you your look while taking advantage of WordPress – and then pointing your URL to the WordPress platform. You could also then take advantage of the SEO plug-ins for all your site. Please let me know if I can help/advise
    Have a great weekend
    Ned

  3. Sue Preston · June 1, 2012

    As an existing TAB memebr who is ‘very busy busy’, I can concur that your blog is the first e-mail that I read on a Friday too!

  4. michael shakesheff · June 1, 2012

    Great stuff Ed – agree on the delivery date, without fail a quick read on Friday morning whilst drinking a cup of coffee. Have you thought about pod casts (are they still called this?).

  5. Dave Rawlings · June 1, 2012

    Congratulations Ed on a great feat of endurance! There ought to be a telegram from the Queen at least. I have to admit that the publishing plan for my monthly newsletter is to wait for an idea to hit me and then scramble to get it written down. No good for a weekly blog.
    Looking forward to reading many more of yours.

  6. andrewjbwilson · June 1, 2012

    Well done Ed and happy 100! Agree with all the above but I think you have left out a vital ingredient which is that you have written about stuff you genuinely care about and that comes through in the writing.

  7. Full marks for perseverance (sometimes against the odds?), endurance and most of all for content! I enjoy reading your blog as it always gives me food for thought. Keep writing it until you’re 85 (the new retirement age I’m sure) and you’ll have written an encyclopedia, not just a book!

  8. Andy Gambles (@andygambles) · June 1, 2012

    Ed,

    Get your own domain and add it to WordPress. Cost is minimal and WordPress will handle redirecting to the new domain. Will then give you more flexibility in the future.

    Keep it up!

  9. Michelle Mook · June 1, 2012

    Thank you Ed and Congratulations – they are inspiring, always interesting and brilliant weekly reminders and learnings of what’s important in life and business. They are, of course, second best to seeing you face to face – but you’re there in spirit! Have a lovely long weekend and well-deserved rest – no pressure, but looking forward to #101 🙂

  10. Jackie Mathers · June 2, 2012

    Well Ed I have a confession, I didn’t read it on Friday but worth the wait until today. A real mile stone for you and TAB so congratulations and we should celebrate when you get to 200!!! As I have said many times I look forward to reading your blog every Friday as you always provide a thought provoking blog along with a smile to set me up for the day.
    Don’t stop!!

  11. Mike Santopietro · June 3, 2012

    Ed. Concur with everyone else’s comments. I really enjoy reading your blog as it always has an element of humour as well as being thought provoking. It is now my no1 read during the week (along with Tom’s and Stephen’s if they are reading).

  12. bilderupload · October 4, 2014

    Everything is very open with a precise clarification of the issues.
    It was really informative. Your website is extremely helpful.
    Thank you for sharing!

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