Writing 1,000 articles is like launching 1,000 hot air balloons. Some get attention and some don’t. Some come across as “hot air” while others create value in the content and context of the opinions expressed. Some are crafted well while others are filled with grammar and spelling errors that the “crowd” is keen to point out (and I am improving on this). Some soar across the landscape while others fall to the ground gaining little distance. Overall launching 1,000 post over a three-year period has taught me a lot and provided me with more than expected.
What Have I Learned?
I probably could write another 1,000 post reflecting on what I have learned but instead I’ll give a summary of the most valuable lessons learned.
- I am not a professional journalist and my readers don’t care
- Social distribution of content is an extremely powerful force that reaches more people than we know and creates an affinity to thoughts, ideas and valuable conversations.
- The exchange and referrals from readers is the most important and valuable learning process and the experience accelerates more learning. Learning begets innovative thoughts on the fringe of new discoveries which attracts more readers.
- Creating and distributing content is like laying pavement for a road that takes you into the future. You may not know exacting what the future looks like but the conversations will guide you there and the future becomes clearer as does its directional forces.
- People are thoughtful, kind and appreciative of conversations they can identify with and the “virtual relationships” become as strong as traditional relations. It is this strength that creates and motivates a never-ending desire to learn about yourself and the quality of the world we create online and off-line.
- Conversations create opportunities. Opportunities to apply your skill set to creating value that justifies an economic exchange. Your content establishes the quality of your thinking which reflects your true skill set that others may want to use. We live in a knowledge driven digital economy. Both the knowledge of and effective use of digital wares is what fuels this economy.
- Sharing what you learn is a very rewarding experience that helps you learn more.
The Right Kind Of Exposure Fuels Opportunity
Creating the right kind of content exposes you to the world of consumption. If your content is distributed to the right audience and consumed by the right people then opportunity will be attracted to or created for you. Lets look at the exposure created by this blog:
First the numbers. 1,000 post created over 180,000 visitors, over 7,000 comments, over 6,000 retweets, rankings in the top 50,000 sites in the USA and top 100,000 in the world. Traffic created from relative and relevant content creates exposure which begets opportunities.
Besides the numbers there are qualitative gains including: noted as featured blogger in Business Weeks Business Exchange, chosen as Blogger of the month by Social Media Today, ranking in Advertising Age Power 150 and top 100 blogs in The Daily Reviewer, added as a contributing columnist in Personal Branding Magazine, asked to serve on Business Weeks Market Advisory Board, featured blogger at New Media Hires, Content Management Connections and AlwaysOn. Ask to speak at dozens of media events and corporate conferences, produced dozens of videos with Social Media Connections, published two books and five white papers and each has been downloaded over 5,000 times. All of this came as a result of this blog.
So What Is My ROI?
Ah, the ever pervasive question about ROI that seems top of mind for everyone. Let me try and put this into perspective to my experience with this blog.
First of all the above quantitative and qualitative results came from the content and context to specific audiences interested in my perspectives. The content and context created a “pull” which resulted in an ever-growing audience. Subsequently came the qualitative results which produced the exposure this blog received as a result of many distribution points. Thus it started with distributed content which fueled exposure and pulled an audience to the blog and the authors. The process never ends and if it does so will any chance you have for a transaction.
My investment was time, a little technology cost and a lot of thinking about content and context. My return on investment was, is and will continue to be more than I expect because I am developing relations with excellent people and organizations and some of them actually pay me to help them learn what I have learned and apply it to their own business. You ask how much? That’s for me to know and you to learn and create on your own. The rewards have been both qualitative and quantitative. With the greatest reward being valuable relationship that help me continue to learn.
It doesn’t matter whether you offer the market products or services getting results is dependent upon the content, context, the process and the relationships you build.