I have decided that even though there’s two weeks to go in the year that this will be the final post of 2015 for I’m just sharing. I’m doing that for a couple of reasons that I’m going to get into.
Before I get too deep into it, I want to admit that this is the kind of post that most bloggers shouldn’t write, or at least write that often. That’s because this is not going to be an evergreen article. There are some things that I will say that might be considered as evergreen, but it’s dated because I’m basically titling it has the last post for 2015. So two years from now it would look really stupid for me to be sharing this post again. However, I figure I pretty much have two weeks to promote this post and that’s about the best I can do with it. By the way, for those who don’t know what evergreen post means, that’s a post where you write about something and years later it’s still valid.
Why is this the last post of 2015?
First, I have to admit to being a little brain tired. It actually doesn’t have anything to do with this blog in particular, but all of the other writing, and research, and reading, and marketing that I’ve been trying to do.
What have I done this year? I finished writing my 2nd book on leadership, Leadership Is/Isn’t Easy, where I had to rewrite a lot of the content and released at the end of May. Including this post I’ve written 93 articles here (which included my 1,600th post) and 345 articles across the board, including a couple that went into regular magazines, some on other blogs and one national health care newsletter. I created 70 videos, although not all of them made it onto my YouTube pages. How many of you matched that kind of input this year? That’s only the beginning of my being tired!
For instance, on my business blog, which is called Mitch’s Blog, I have a blog post a day appearing for the month of December. That’s 31 posts, and I wrote all of them before December began. I actually wrote all of those within the space of 10 days, while still having to write other articles.
Frankly, I think that was a pretty good achievement, something I hadn’t done in a really long time, since the early days of this blog where I was writing more than 300 articles a year, and I hadn’t realized how tired it would make me to do that, even though I enjoyed a part of it. All of that without getting paid… man, that’s a lot of work. lol However, it’s also part of an experiment that I will be able to talk about later on.
Second, to be truthfully honest this was not a very good year for me. Financially, I have had to live off of my reserve, which is money that I, as an independent consultant, put away to help me pay my bills during the period of time when I’m trying to get my next big contract. I didn’t get one this year, so I had to survive on both my reserve and smaller projects that I was able to get.
Trust me, marketing and networking takes a lot more work and effort than having a long term contract like the one I had in Memphis for 18 months. It also puts a major strain on the brain, because it feels like your marketing efforts are taking you nowhere, it can be depressing, and it feels like a 24/7 proposition; no wonder I sleep bad.
Third, I actually still have to write for some of my other blogs as well as a couple of blogs for others. I have basically let those go, except for my business blog, but luckily I have some ideas for all of them that I want to be able to concentrate on next week before I leave town to go to Mom’s for the Christmas holiday. Luckily, those blogs don’t need as much attention as this one and my business blog, although one of them probably should get a lot more attention because I have made more money off that website than all the other ones combined over 10 years; now that saying something! 🙂
Fourth, I stepped up my marketing, branding and publicity efforts this year on social media and a little bit more locally, though not close to enough here. I really pushed hard on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook this year with mixed results. I’ll talk more about that later on in this post. Suffice it to say that, in terms of betting it was a “push” year, but Twitter put me over the top… barely.
Let’s take a break and highlight some of my favorite posts of the year, my top commenters of the year, and the best performing articles of the year for this blog. I could probably do that later in the month and turn it into another post, but since I’m going to promote this post a lot over the next couple of weeks it gives me a chance to get more people to read some of those earlier posts from the year that didn’t get enough attention, or maybe did get a lot of attention and I just want more; we always want more.
With that said, let’s get some things out of the way. First, my 5 best performing articles of the year:
Next, my 5 favorite articles of the year (other than those above):
Next, my top commenters of the year, which means 10 comments or more (in no particular order):
And now, a quick commercial and push about Fitbit and walking; check it out and you’ll see what I mean, as it’s something else I did this year… that I just remembered. 😉 While I’m at it, did y’all remember to get mobile friendly this year?
Finally, let’s talk about some lessons I learned this year as it pertains to both blogging and social media.
The first thing I learned is just how important it is to promote your own content… a lot! I have always said that the best way to drive people to your blog is by commenting on other blogs. Whereas that’s still true, this year I found out that I could get a lot of attention by promoting previous blog posts and new blog posts way more often than just once. Adding hashtags was a major thing also. I can’t believe how many lists I have been added to in 2015 on Twitter; it’s just been amazing.
The second thing I learned is that if you don’t own it you can’t control it, and what you think is happening might not necessarily be true. I started off the year publishing articles on LinkedIn that were getting thousands of views. I thought this was going to be the holy grail for me. Instead, I’m ending the year where my articles sometimes don’t get 20 views, and I’m probably not going to be submitting any more articles after I reach 101. I picked that number because I’m curious to see if LinkedIn gives you any respect after you have at least 100 articles on their site, though I’m skeptical about that.
The same kind of thing happened on Google+. When the year began there was still something called Google authorship. Once they took that away suddenly putting something on Google Plus, whether it was on your page or in your community, meant absolutely nothing. So, I may be reducing the time I spend over there as well, which isn’t saying much because I don’t spend a lot of time there anyway.
Third, I learned that if you’re doing videos, you’re never going to know when you do a video that suddenly takes off and why it takes off. I did a video at the end of April that was a review between Time Warner Cable and Verizon FiOS that has over 8,000 views, which is stunning because is a long video. As late as Tuesday I’m still getting new comments on that video.
The thing is, I’ve been doing videos for 5 years, getting no traction whatsoever and that one took off. It almost makes me think I should just do videos fussing about stuff, but I don’t want to fall into the trap of trying to talk myself into doing things that aren’t necessarily part of my personality. Still, I had some fun doing my videos, even if I didn’t get to do as many interviews as I had hoped for this year.
Here are my 5 favorite videos of the year, and I’m only sharing the links rather than embedding them:
Fourth, I participated in my first blogging carnival this year, along with Troy. To say it was less than successful would be putting it mildly. What we both learned is that there are a lot of bloggers who have no idea what commenting on other blogs actually means. We also learned that there are some tough blogs to comment on because they either have little content, aren’t written well, or talk about topics that… well… I’ll just say that Troy & I were the only 2 guys who participated and let you gauge the rest. lol
I left all the bad comments on that post, which was the one above about the 10 blogging lessons, in case you want to check it out and learn what NOT to do when commenting on other blogs. I also encourage anyone who decides to try to be in one of these things that you write a post that’s GLOBAL, highlights the best of you, that everyone could possibly find something to comment on. If you’re not going to share your best… stay home!
Fifth, even though I already knew this, I came to the realization that a post I wrote in 2013 is more true than I ever imagined, that being that we all know and don’t know anything about blogging. This year I came out against experts who said that we needed to be writing posts between 3,000 and 8,000 words, and we were both right. I came out against people who are using too much automation to help promote themselves, and it turns out we’re both right.
In essence, the issue is that I still meet a lot of people who are afraid to write their opinion about something or to even share their knowledge with others as it pertains to blogging and social media because they’re worried that someone will disagree with them or not like it. We shouldn’t care what others think about our writing or content unless we’re being hateful towards somebody because, as I said in this piece about haters, even famous people who have had great success have people who hate them (heck, I hate some of them lol). Becoming successful means you have to deal with hateful or jealous people, or those who just aren’t feeling you; that’s just the way it is. So, we’re all right and wrong at the same time.
This is becoming pretty long, so I think I’ll end it here. I thank everyone who participated on this blog in 2015; y’all all rock! I hope everybody has a wonderful holiday season, and I expect that I’ll have one of those post at the beginning of 2016 talking about my goals for the year. Hopefully I’ll figure out how I hope to achieve them over the next couple of weeks. For now, it’s both rest and research time. Y’all take care. 😉