15 June 2009

A year in the life


A year ago today, I challenged myself to write at least one blog post a day for a year. Out of those 365 days, there was just one day that went post-less. I ended up writing 537 posts in the last year and that far exceeds what I thought I was capable of, even if I missed a day. I did it for the exercise of writing every day but at the same time, I wanted to see what would happen if I really threw myself into this medium.

I've made a couple hundred bucks (thanks to my sponsors!), met and befriended an entire community of people who have grown up around this thing, I've had great interviews with people I admire, I've been flown across the country to go to meetings at companies like Google and GE (Google! I can still barely believe that one), I've had posts translated into Italian and Polish and run in European web sites, I correspond regularly with people around the world, I've landed a couple of freelance writing gigs (more please!), I've been reprinted in major newspapers, I've picked up a few design clients, I've advised a number of new bloggers; and most importantly, I can look back over a year's work and be proud of it.

When I jumped into the blogosphere, my plan was to put together an online resource for my design clients. I had no idea that any of the benefits I just listed were possible. I knew nothing about HTML or sitemaps or backlinks. I don't think I'd ever actually read a blog before I started. Pretty shortly after I committed to daily blogging though, I noticed that my traffic started to increase. They were some heady days, let me tell you. I think I had 500 hits last July and I thought I was the king of the universe. If I don't get that in a day now I think some thing's terribly wrong.

I've been looking forward to this anniversary and for a long time I viewed it as an end to my commitment to write every day. I've toyed with the idea of cutting back to a five day a week gig, and I may do that some day. Just not today. Over the course of a year, writing every day has become so ingrained in my schedule, so much a part of me, I'm not real interested in going without it.

I am making some changes though. Eventually, there's going to be a revised layout around here. It's slick and clean and very much still under construction. I'm also going to start running guest posts from time to time. Franki Durbin's going to take over when I go on vacation in August for example. Guests posts are open to anybody who's interested though. Have something to say? Want to say it in front of an audience? Let me know and we'll work something out.

Anyhow, many thanks to all of you for reading my screeds and rants. Keep coming back, there's more fun stuff to come.

24 comments:

  1. It is the readers who need to thank you for such a fabulous publication! It's done much more than simply provide me with entertainment. It makes me think, provides me with useful information and just may turn my house into something spectacular!

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  2. Congrats on your milestone. I do so enjoy reading your posts!

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  3. Many thanks to the Restless Sybarite! http://restlesssybarite.blogspot.com

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  4. I wish I would have found your blog much sooner then I did, it really helps me get out of the design rut one gets stuck in from time to time.

    Thanks!!

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  5. Thanks Jeff. I can relate to getting into a design rut. I don't know how typical my experience is, but I have a hard time finding opportunities to actually talk design with other designers. One of the real benefits to this bloggery stuff is that I now have no fewer than 10 designers from around the world I can bounce ideas off of. I highly recommend it!

    Thanks for finding me, whenever it was and thanks for adding your comments.

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  6. Congratulations, Paul! Has it already been a year? When you're famous, remember us little people! ;)

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  7. Congratualtions Paul!! I am in awe of your ability to post daily- I do not know how you find time to post such great information each day! As you know I have long been a fan of yours and i am so glad we are blog friends!!
    xx-Gina

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  8. It's been a year of daily posts, my blog itself has been around for a year-and-a-half. You were the first other blogger I connected with and a heartfelt thanks goes to you Kelly.

    This blog thing is really horizon-extending, isn't it? It's strange to think that only a year ago I was whispering into the void. Those early connections were a real thrill, let me tell you.

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  9. Congratulations, Paul! What an accomplishment. I love reading your blog -- it's informative, educational, a bit sassy. Thank you so much for your posts -- I hope you keep them coming!

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  10. No hay mejor que un blog que tenga un monton de informacion muy importante y pueda hacerle sonrisa:) Gracias Paul. Elizabeth

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  11. Thank you Rae and Elizabeth. And Elizabeth, me ha gustado conocerlo demasiado, me gusta leer de la vida argentina por su perspectiva.

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  12. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY Paul! For many, the age of Technology has certainly opened up the doors of communication and knowledge.

    As a reader of your Blog I too also wish to thank YOU for the opportunity to meet your acquaintance and broaden my horizons a tad more. :) You are one informative guy! Looking forward to the next 365 posts.

    Sincerely -Brenda-

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  13. Brenda,

    Thank you and be sure to include yourself when I say "met and befriended and entire community." I appreciate your reading me and your pithy comments.

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  14. Gina,

    Yes, I'm glad we bonded over Christopher Peacock last fall. It feels like that was a long time ago, doesn't it?

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  15. Happy Anniversary! I was a little bit scared reading the beginning of your post that you were going to say you were quitting ... Phew! Don't scare me like that again ...

    You are an inspiration to me -- you are a regular source of knowledge and laughter via your fearless wit, and I am so glad you started a blog and that I have had the chance to get to know you, and I congratulate you on all of your hard earned success!

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  16. Thanks Adrienne! I had a backlink from you before I even knew what one was. Hah! I get plenty 'o inspiration from you too. I never would have met Sara Baldwin or the gang at Sonoma Forge were it not for you. Thanks for the great contacts and thanks for being a part of things around here!

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  17. Yay, Paul!!!! :-) You were one of the first bloggers we started following when we started our blog in January. You provide us all with such great information, links to wonderful resources, and a witty and wonderful sense of humour :-) Your bidet post is one of my most favourite blog posts ever!! :-D

    But, ummmm, hey -- when am I going to win one of your giveaways?! ;-)

    Happy blogging!!

    Kelly

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  18. Hah! You can blame the rules of chance for that Kelly. I was pulling for you last night when I pulled the winner's name. You and Victoria have become great blogosphere pals and I enjoy our correspondence hugely Kelly. And hey, you may not have won anything yet, but you did get tile samples!

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  19. Yep, I did get tiles, and great kitchen advice too :-D And really, I'm here because I like you :-) Winning one of your giveaways would just be an extra added bonus :-)

    Kelly

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  20. Awwww stop. Well, not really. You can keep going if it will make you happy.

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  21. Thank you Paul. I'm honoured. -Brenda-

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