The first blog post I ever wrote, was a ghostwriting project for an internship. In fact, the first couple hundred blog posts I ever wrote were of that nature. It started my freshman year of college. I was working on in-house social media for a company in my hometown, trying to leverage new e-commerce opportunities. Our entire e-commerce department was made up of two people: the e-comm director, and the intern (me) that he happened to snatch up from the print marketing staff.
When I wrote those first blog posts, I had no idea what I was doing. My boss at the time said I had a good feel for what a blog post should be capable of, but in many ways I was totally feeling my way through the dark. This all started over three years ago, and a lot has happened since then. I’ve personally operated two blogs of my own, which I then consolidated into the project you see today, kellymrivard.com. I have contributed to several blogs as a featured writer, as well. I have a lot of experience under my belt for having started all of this as a hobby.
So, if I look back on my blogging “career” and consider what I’ve learned, what are some things I would change or reconsider?
- Someday, I might get married. And following that, there is a good chance my name will no longer be Kelly M. Rivard. That means, if this site is still operational, I will have to worry about things like redirecting and whatnot. I did not think that one out very well, but in the name of self-branding I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.
- I need to listen to my own advice more. I have had several internships where a part of my job involved teaching others to blog more effectively. I can rattle of best practices and blog reviews, yet often times mine does not align. I can’t always just sit down, write 600 words of hogwash, and expect people to read. I need to consider the advice I give others, act on it, and work hard to continue making my blog the best it can be.
- Back in my Midwestern Gold days, I was very creative about finding fun ways to bring agriculture to my audience. I used video, photos, anecdotes, and tidbits of humor to spice up the content. Because my life is currently in a place where I’m learning a lot of hard and profound lessons, my voice has transitioned to something a bit more serious and reflective. I’d like to bring the fun back.
- I’d like to have more time to read more blogs. Recently, I rediscovered the joy of a weekend away from computers. I would like to spend more time unplugged, but at the same time there are so many other things I’d like to do that involve computers…such as, reading blogs. I love my blogging friends, and I love the unexpected joy of stumbling across a new blog you’ve never read, but completely “click” with. Reading makes you a better writer, reading blogs makes you a better blogger. I need more time for this.
- I’d have not used a few designs I had. In hindsight, some of them were ugly, some of them were hard to read on them, some of them were just poorly compiled or didn’t make any sense. The current one? I’ve had it for several months now, and I’m still just as “in love” with it as I was when I set it up. In fact, I’m somewhat dreading my next blog redesign, because this one has been everything I wanted. Change is natural though, right?
- I’d have been wiser about the things I publicized on my blog. I had always been very, very open on my blog, lapsing from “transparency” into perhaps “over-sharing.” While I was fine with it and comfortable at the time, large changes (like, say, a major breakup) can change the way you feel about what you share on a blog. Transparency = good, over-sharing = bad.