10 things I learned from blogging for 10 years

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Today is a very special day, today this blog turns 10 years. I can’t believe I have been blogging for a decade already. Back then in 2004 blogging had not yet become mainstream. This was the first Swedish PR blog and I have this blog to thank for a lot of things. So to celebrate a decade of blogging I decided to list 10 things that I have learned from blogging:

1. Bloggers are generous
It didn’t take more than a few weeks of blogging before I realized that the blogosphere was populated with people who were willing to help you and share knowledge without demanding anything in return. It was a liberating feeling, you had a problem and all you needed to do was ask. I had no idea how I could active the RSS feed but out of nowhere I got the advice that solved the problem.

2. Blogging is fun
I have noticed that I like to express myself through my blog. I also enjoy the hunt for new stories to share and there is never a shortage of topics to blog about. This is my little corner on the web and I can fill it with anything I want. Today that may be something we take for granted, but back in the early days it enabled a lot of people to express their opinions online for the first time, without deep technical knowledge.

3. Blogging takes time
For me, blogging just don’t happen. I don’t write about my daily life or other “routine” topics. Most posts are the result of research, fact checking and carefully crafted texts. Not that all posts are extremely long, but it takes some work, especially since I write in a second language which sometimes is a chore. It’s a labour of love, but it doesn’t happen if I don’t set some time aside now and then to write a post.

4. Blogging is networking
In 2004, there were more PR blogs in Iran than in Sweden. It was fantastic to be able to network with likeminded people across the world, even in countries where you might think that public relations as a concept barely exists (clearly it did). In fact, you may have more in common with someone on the other side of the planet than with your neighbour. Since I started this blog I have made acquaintances, mainly here in Sweden but also from other countries, that I later have met in person. Having  a blog is a great way to network.

5. Blogging is brand building
Without this blog, I probably would never have had the opportunity to work as a freelance consultant for more than three years and I wouldn’t have my current position as Social Media Manager at  a large Swedish company.

I have been quoted in tens if not hundreds of articles in media such as BBC, CNN, Toronto Star, the Wall Street Journal, Boing Boing and Tech Crunch. I have been on Swedish radio and tv several times as well, all thanks to my blog which have let me position myself as someone who knows a bit about digital PR and social media.

I have also been on the cover of Swedish Internetworld twice (headline: “Hans Kullin knows how to succeed in social media”).

6. Blogging is rewarding
Every time someone shares a post, comments or just simply reads what I write, it is a positive signal that I have created something of interest to another person and that is a positive feeling. Knowing that others can see my blog as a resource is rewarding in itself. My blog has never been one with many comments and nowadays I rarely even get any trackbacks from other blogs. So blogging has changed in that aspect that the reward now comes in form of a tweet or a share/like on Facebook.

7. Blogging is learning
I have learned a lot, not only about blogging, but about the topics I write about. Speaking out publicly forces me to do research, fact check and read conflicting opinions on topics I write about. It is said that you remember a higher percentage of what you write down than what you read or see, so the just the fact that I write stuff down makes me remember more. The blog also becomes a resource that I can go back to because I know I’ve written about something before.

8. Blogging still has a place online
I am active on many social networks such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+ and so on. Still, there is no other platform that fills the same purpose for me as the blog. This is still in my view the best platform for long form content that includes text, image and/or video. One difference now from the first years is that back then all you needed to do to be read was to get your posts out in the RSS feed. Now, I can have the most brilliant scoop ever and nobody would know about it until I push the post out in my other networks where people can discover it. Nobody finds my blog without Facebook, Twitter, Reddit or other such sites. And Google of course.

9. Blogging is about details
I never liked dealing with html code, plugins or WordPress templates. That’s why I haven’t changed this blog at all in several years. But to get noticed and get your content out to readers you still need to know a miminum of how stuff works online, like how to install plugins, how to tag content, how SEO works and so on. You can do a lot without any coding knowledge but to get real effects it helps to be a geek 😉

10. Blogging is not dead
Even if I don’t blog as frequently as I used to, I still like to try out new things. It is quite fascinating that after 10 years, the most read post ever was actually the post I wrote just before this one. I tried to apply a bit of the Upworthy formula to a post in
order to see if I could make it at least go slightly viral. And it did. The post about how Sweden is unique was shared or liked more than 5,000 times on Facebook and sent tens of thousands of visitors my way. Blogging is still alive and kicking and will continue to be for a long time. It just needs some new ideas now and then.

Thank you all for being a part of my network all this time.

 

 

Celebrating 9 years of blogging

Box nine.

I started blogging nine years ago and the first public post that remained online is from February 17, 2004.

Back then we didn’t have Twitter or Facebook or Instagram, so it has become increasingly hard to find the time to post longer texts. I still enjoy blogging as much as I used to and I wish I could blog more. I now have two blogs, the second one is about social media and is in Swedish.

The post during the last 12 months with most views was the one titled “Fake photo of hurricane Sandy goes viral on Facebook” with close to 8,000 views to date. Also worth noting is that a blog post from January 2009 about chosing Twitter handle, still attracts so many views that it was one of the top ten posts of the last year.

Other than that, posts about Instagram and Cinemagram are among the topics that are most viewed on this blog.

With that said, I am starting the countdown to the next anniversary which will mean a full decade of blogging. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more.

Image by gak on Flickr.

5 years on Twitter – infographic

Apparently I joined Twitter five years ago today, on Nov 14, 2007. It’s been a fascinating development and back then I couldn’t envision how important Twitter would grow and how many followers I could gain in these years. In fact, 8 months earlier, in March 2007, I mentioned Twitter for the first time on this blog and my first impressions were all but positive. Here is my first comment about Twitter:

“I’m clearly totally out of fashion when I say that I have no desire to try out the new mega hype Twitter.”

At least, I have no problem admitting I was wrong. Today, Twitter is one of my most important news sources and tools for building relationships online. That said, here is a short infographic of my first five years on Twitter, courtesy of Visual.ly and Amstel Beer (!). Click on the image for a larger version.

5-years-on-twitter-infographic

Footnote: The detailed data for the infographic probably is only for the last 12 monts, so there is a possibility that other tweets and dates have generated more engagement. I am @kullin on Twitter, by the way.

8 year blog anniversary

Today, I have been blogging for eight years. That’s an incredibly long time and I have published more than 1,500 posts here on Media Culpa, or almost 200 blog posts per year. The first posts were nothing more than short notes, but the posts soon developed more inte longer articles.

∞

To celebrate the occasion, I thought that I would share some small details about the past year for this blog.

  • 80% of my visitors are from outside of Sweden (up from 72% previous 12 months). During the last year, the blog has gotten visitors from 174 different countries/territories (up from 162), including Greenland, Kiribati and Turkmenistan. Sweden is no longer the top country, instead USA is first (26%), followed by Sweden (20%) and UK (7.8%).
  • 56% of all visits came from search engines, up from 50% previous 12 month period.
  • Top referring search key words: “zlatan ibrahimovic twitter” and “twitter handle”. Top word previous year was “twitter handle”.
  • Top referral sources: 1) Twitter, 2) Facebook
  • Busiest day, Dec 21, 2011
  • Media attention worth mentioning are for example that I was on the front page of Swedish Internetworld and that The Next Web picked up my piece about Instagram growing faster than Flickr.

It is interesting that only one of the top five posts (most visits) has actually been published during the period. All the other four are older posts that still attract a lot of visitors:

If you want to follow my blog, don’t forget to subscribe to the RSS feed or “like” it on Facebook.

Photo from Flickr.

7th blog anniversary

Yesterday, I had a long talk with a journalist about personal branding and social media. We talked about how I started this blog and how it has developed over the years. As a matter of fact, today I am celebrating seven years of blogging on Media Culpa, which I started on Feb 17, 2004 (actually a little earlier, but those first test posts were deleted before going live on this domain).

Seven

To celebrate the occasion, I thought that I would share some small details about the past year for this blog.

  • 72% of my visitors are from outside of Sweden. During the last 12 months, the blog has gotten visitors from 162 different countries/territories, including Turks and Caicos Islands, Kyrgyzstan and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Sweden is the top country (28%), followed by USA (23%) and UK (7.1%).
  • 50% of all visits came from search engines.
  • Top referring search key words: “twitter handle”.
  • Most read post, is an old post from 2009: Strategies for choosing Twitter handle (see above).
  • Most read new post: BP oil spill and social media, which still ranks in the top 10 in Google for “BP oil spill”, between Huffington Post and the Guardian.
  • Most retweeted post (79 times): Flickr reaches 5 billion photos, which also was picked up by TechCrunch, CNN, BBC and hundreds of blogs.

If you want to follow my blog, don’t forget to subscribe to the RSS feed or “like” it on Facebook.

Media Culpa

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Photo credit: Melanie Hughes.