Starting all over again

As much as I try to fight it, I’m only human. Because I work hard and have a family, the wheels occasionally come off and things like this blog unfortunately go quiet for a few days. This time there hasn’t been any new content for nearly a fortnight. Sorry about that.

The greatest challenge with social media and the web is that the premise of today’s news being tomorrow’s chip paper is even more poignant. The traffic to this blog has totally (naturally) fallen off because of the lack of continued new content and promotion.

Building a content asset

I knew this would happen because I recognise the importance of building a content asset and working hard to maintain it. This means if you are going to commit to producing a blog, a series of white papers, webinars, podcasts, email newsletters – whatever it is – set yourself a manageable schedule and stick to it. People over time come to expect it without knowing it – you’ve gained their permission thus it isn’t an interruption any more. Unsubscription or worse, ambivalence is a disaster. And doing all this gives you the content to push your profile on Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook meaning you are never short of something worthwhile to say.

Gaining permission again

I get frustrated because I have worked hard to build a profile and a credibility which has created an appetite for my content. This means well over 100 email subscribers, countless RSS subscribers, close on 2,000 Twitter followers, 350 Linkedin connections and 20 groups are primed for my latest musings – not to mention the traffic that comes from Linkedin, Stumble Upon, Digg, increasingly Facebook (soon to be YouTube) or any other aggregation site I use.

WordPress tells me 98,010 pages have been viewed since June 2009. I estimate the same again on syndication, so it know the content is relevant and engaging.

Learnings from ‘taking a break’

Before the automators suggest I could have scheduled content throughout this period, I personally prefer to keep that to a minimum. Keeps things personal. What this unplanned experiment has illustrated to me though is that sometimes you do have to take time out, take stock but then come back harder and more focused. Tell your friends, colleagues, family this blog is starting out all over again. Expect some interesting things over the coming weeks and months.

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So, other than Microsoft paying over the odds for Skype, footballers taking on Twitter in court, Linkedin being valued at $9billion despite only making $15million profit in 2010, the IMF looking for a new head, Manchester dominating English football, and Empire Avenue filling the minds of early adopters (and my Twitter stream) with nonsense, what’s new?

Image: Visualise.us

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7 responses to “Starting all over again

  1. It’s ok to be human!
    However it is reassuring that I hadn’t accidentally unsubscribed because I was concerned that nothing had appeared in my In Box.
    Look forward to reading your thoughts, but perhaps posting every day was an unrealistic target. For me personally I would enjoy reading a good quality once a week blog. That way you keep the family happy, keep us followers happy and still work hard but not so hard that you don’t have a life.

    • Good on you Jane. I have too much to give to restrict it to once a week! It’s a cross I have to bear but I will have more of a life too!

  2. Rene – I’m following you on Twitter and RSS … if you blog every day or once a month I’ll have mny eye on it.

    Tech helps to keep my eye on your thoughts – full of admiration for your efforts and great thoughts as always.

    Keep up the great work … at whatever pace suits you.

    I’m blogging at my own pace … that seems to be very very slow at the moment!!!

    M

    • Thanks Michael and likewise. It was your presentation in Manchester a couple of years back now that kicked this to a whole new level!

  3. Hi Rene,
    I have to agree. Although maintaining a successful blog does require a certain level of consistency, I also think it’s cool to mix things up once in a while. It’s a good reminder to all of us that sometimes considerations pertaining to family and other non-work priorities will take precedence. It keeps things real. Plus, if the scheduling becomes so routine and automatic, doesn’t that take the spontaneity out of it? We are human, after all! And I personally like being reminded of that through someone else’s expression of his humanity.

    When the trappings of our technological commitments begin to trap us, it’s time to take a break or make a change. Nothing permanent. Just a little interlude… Nicely done!

    – Deborah

    • Thanks Deborah. It does make me wonder how the more prolific do it in addition to running companies, speaking around the world and everything else. My gut feel is that they probably have an army of ghost writers and support teams, or never sleep – either way their families can’t be best pleased with them!

  4. Ha ha! Agreed… reminds me of something my 8-year-old son said to me one day as we were driving through a private neighborhood filled with big mansions, not far from our home. When I told him I wouldn’t want to live in a house that big, because “…who would keep it clean?” he replied, “Mom, the butlers, of course!”

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