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30 Bloggers To Watch in 2010

In this post Jade Craven shares her thoughts on 30 bloggers worth keeping an eye on in the year ahead!

Update: You can now follow all these guys from the one twitter list! Check out Blogger To Watch.

1. Dave Navarro

Follow @rockyourday

Dave was featured as one of tomorrows star bloggers in 2008 and has continued to impress in 2009. His tenacity and hard work have helped cement himself as a leading blogger and  coach. He has a truly impressive resume with guest posts on Copyblogger, two product reviews here on Problogger and joint ventures with other high profile bloggers.

2009 has been the year where he strategically built up his profile to become a respected member of the blogging community. In 2010, I expect he’ll be leveraging that profile to provide more awesome resources to help bloggers succeed. You can check him out at The Launch Coach and be sure to sign up for his advance discount list and for advanced notice of his More Buyers Every Month training.

More on Dave:

2. Skellie Wag

Follow at @Skellie

Skellie has kept quite for most of 2009. She has focused on her work at Envato and providing the occasional killer resource at Skelliewag. Despite her absence, many bloggers still credit her as one of their favorite bloggers.

I hope we will be seeing a lot more of Skellie in 2010.

More from Skellie:

3. Sarah Prout

Follow @sarahprout

Sarah Prout runs a boutique publishing company called Sprout Publishing. She creates cool products targeting business, bloggers, social media professionals and entrepreneurs.

She has caused quite the stir in the local social media scene with her blog, Entreprenuerial sparkle. She has built a strong reputation on delivering quality products and being really useful to her twitter followers.

You can check out my review of her Twitter Success Blueprint at Twitip and find out about her new course, Sprout Buzz. I am so keen to learn what awesome projects she’ll be working on next year.

4. Johnny B Truant

Follow @johnnybtruant

Johnny B Truant was rocking it at his humor blog before getting the attention of Naomi Dunford. He offered to be a guinea pig of her Online Business School and started guest posting on Ittybiz about his attempts to build an online business.

He raised his profile quickly with strategic guest posts and free offers. He quickly became a fixture in the blogging community and restructured his online presence so that all posts are hosted at Johnnybtruant.com.

He now makes a considerable income through technology consulting, affiliate commissions and sales of his product Zero to Business. You can check his new venture with Charlie Gilkey at Charlie and Johnny Jam sessions.

I hope he expands his products available in 2010 and that he continues to provide his awesome guest posts.

More from Johnny:

5. Leo Babauta

Follow @leobabauta

Leo was already widely regarded in the blogosphere, but this year he has shown why he commands so much respect. He has released two new blogs – Mnmlist and Zen Family Habits as well as courses at A List blogging Bootcamps. He has also released the free minimalist theme, the ebook on minimalism and the motivation handbook.

He has done this on top of promoting his book The Power Of Less and maintaining the high caliber of writing at Zen Habits. He shows no signs of stopping in 2010 with rumors of more projects in the works.

More from Leo:

6. Ali Hale

Follow @alihale

Ali Hale has made waves in 2009 with her staff blogging, guest posts and subsequent release of her Staff Blogging Ebook. She has set a new standard for high quality guest posts.

She has recently launched her blog at Aliventures where she provides in depth articles and comprehensive product reviews. I believe she will be contributing even more to the blogging community in 2010.

More from Ali:

7. Yaro Starak

Follow @yarostarak

Yaro Starak has shown bloggers’ just what they can achieve if they dominate a niche. Yaro started blogging at Entreprenuers Journey and has created a drool-worthy product funnel.

He has released a series of membership sites targeting bloggers at all levels of success including the very successful Blog Mastermind. I’m hoping he releases some new products in 2010 and continues to show bloggers what can be achieved through perseverance and delivering high quality content.

More from Yaro:

8. Joanna Penn

Follow @thecreativepenn

Joanna has been the hidden success story of 2010. Her blog, The Creative Penn, has had a lot of success in both the local and international blogging communities. She is developing a strong reputation for providing high quality content and is famous for providing high quality links on twitter.

She shows how rising stars can be useful and gracious. I know her blog is just going to get even better in 2010 and feel honored to be part of that journey.

9. Naomi Dunford

Follow @ittybiz

Naomi Dunford is awesome. She has a shaved head, conspires against a duck and likes to swear. She also has one of the freshest blogging voices online.

Her blog, Ittybiz, is one of the best resources on how to market your blog and business. She provides tonnes of free material and affordable courses as well as other courses like Marketing 101, Marketing School, SEO School and Online Business School for her loyal customers. So many of my friends credit her for their inspiration and success. She is fresh from a recent redesign and I can’t wait to see how her site evolves in 2010.

10. Chris Guillebeau

Follow @chrisguillebeau

Chris has received a lot of attention with his blog, the Art of Non Conformity. His unique philosophy and compelling writing style propelled him to authority blogger in less than 279 days.

He has released a number of unconventional guides including the Unconventional Guide to the Social Web, Unconventional Guide to Art and Money and partnered with skilled writers to deliver niche products. His full range of products are fantastic.

2010 will see Chris travel to fascinating countries, release more unconventional guides and the publication of his first book.

More from Chris:

11. Mike CJ

Follow @mikecj

Mike has created a name for himself in the blogging niche. He become a Problogger in 2008 thanks to Mikes Life and his two travel blogs.

He stood out with his practical blog posts and fast developed a community around Mikes Life. In 2009, he released his blogging course  and twitter guide. In 2010, he has just released Beyond Blogging (cowritten with Nathan Hangen.)

12. Dan Schawbel

Follow @danschawbel

Dan Schawbel is a brilliant example of an authority blogger. He has risen to the top of the personal branding niche having released a book, magazine and awards.

In 2009 he expanded the personal branding network with the creation of the Student Branding Blog. His content is syndicated by Forbes, Reuters and Fox Business.

In 2010, I think we will see Dan take niche blogging to a whole new level. I feel privileged to watch it happen.

More from Dan:

5 Ways Blogging Can Make a Difference For You in This Economy

13. Jonathan Fields

Follow @jonathanfields

Some of you may not know Jonathan. He is a blogger, author and speaker. That’s the simple version. His bio described him as

a giddy dad, husband, New Yorker, multi-time health & fitness industry entrepreneur, recovering S.E.C./mega-firm hedge-fund lawyer, slightly-warped, unusually-stretchy, spiritually-inclined, obsessed with creation, small-biz and online marketing-catalyst, speaker, direct-response copywriter, entrepreneur-coach, yoga-teacher, columnist, author, once-a-decade hook-rug savant, pro-blogger and career renegade™ gone wild.

He wrote a fantastic book called Career Renegade and released a killer report, The Truth About Book Marketing. He’s spent this year helping as many people as possible – whether it be through his speaking events and workshops or the creation of new projects like Tribal author.

It will be fascinating to see what he accomplishes next year.

More from Jonathan:

14. Marko Saric

Follow @howtomakemyblog

Marko has had astonishing success during 2009. He marked a year at How To Make My Blog and successfully launched his Twitter Marketing ebook. He earns a consistent income through his Thesis theme reviews and blog consulting. He did a fantastic presentation about how to build a better blog at a recent meetup in London.

I hope 2010 brings more products and presentations because he brings a lot to the blogging community.

More from Marko:

15. Charlie Gilkey

Follow @Charlie Gilkey

Charlie Gilkey is many bloggers secret weapon. He is a business and productivity coach that writes at Productive Flourishing.

He recently launched Email Triage and has joined with Johnny B Truant to produce monthly Jam Sessions.

He will be released more affordable products in 2010, as well as helping more bloggers kick arse. I cant wait to see what he and his clients achieve.

16. Robb Sutton

Follow @robbsutton

Robb has impressed many with the success of Mountain Biking 198. He has received over $100’000 in review products which he spoke about in his book Ramped Reviews . He now works on his network while blogging about his journey to success at Robb Sutton. You can check out his comprehensive free ebook, Ramped Blogging, while there.

He shows how people can apply practical business schools to the blogosphere and what you can achieve when you don’t doubt yourself. He does done multiple guest posts and podcasts this year and I look forward to hearing about his future projects.

More from Robb:

17. Gary Vaynerchuk

Follow @garyvee

What can I say that hasn’t already been said? He crushed it during 2009.

He launched Vaynermedia, a business specializing in building brand equity. He signed a 7 figure book deal with Harper Studio and released his best-selling Crush it. He has had many high profile press mentions and television appearances.

Gary has given many bloggers something something to aspire to. Knowing him, he’ll give us even more next year.

18. Chris Brogan

Follow @chrisbrogan

Chris has accomplished so much this year. His book, Trust Agents, became a New York Times bestseller. He touched a lot of people with his overnight success video series and grew his blog to almost 40’000 subscribers. I’ve had trouble with keeping up with all he’s accomplished this year because he has done so darn much. He works incredibly hard to ensure that his work helps as many of us as possible.

Judging by his business wishlist, he will be achieving so much more in 2010.

19. Michael Martine

Follow @remarkablogger

Remarkablogger has been a good friend this year and it has been a pleasure to watch his site grow. On top of his blogging and coaching duties, he helps market the Headway wordpress theme. This theme has really impressed a lot of my designer friends, and I know they have great plans for it.

Michael is definitely someone to watch in 2010. I just hope that, despite his success and accomplishments, he’ll always be the awesome guy I’ve come to respect.

20. Lea Woodward

Follow @leawoodward

Lea and her husband, Jonathan, have shown that you don’t need to stay in one place to rock the blogosphere. They have taken one blog, Location Independent, and developed an entire community around it.

The expanded the blog to create a network – using the birth of their daughter Mali as motivation for Location Independent Parents. She also expanded to develop a series of Location Independent guides.

2010 will see them expand their product range as well as develop the Location Independent community. If you are aspiring to blog while traveling, they are a must read.

21. David Risley

Follow @davidrisley

David is now a fixture in the blogging community. He tells it like it is at his DavidRisley.com blog and makes 6 figures a year from his PC Mech blog and products such as the Blog Masters Club.

He has taught us so much this year and will continue to do so during 2010. It will be interesting to see what new projects he comes up with.

More from David:

22. Glen Allsopp

Follow @viperchill

Glen Allsopp has a resume that would make many established bloggers envious. He has guest posted at many high profile blogs and is a successful staff blogger. He launched Cloud Living to much acclaim and has followed that up with another killer ebook - Reality Switch. I’ve loved learning about Glens story, both at PluginID and Viperchill.

More from Glen:

I’m confident that his business will skyrocket in 2010 – especially with his $1 million case study.

23. Laura Roeder

Follow @lkr

Many bloggers owe a lot of their success to Laura Roeder. She has shown how you can leverage social media effectively and how to market with class. Her blog, and business, boomed in 2009. She released a paid version of The Dash, launched her Creating Fame course and developed that into the Creating Fame Classroom (and more like Backstage pass to Twitter).

I hope she continues to create more brilliant information products in the new year and that she continues to provide so much value to the community.

More from Laura:

How to Make Deals with Bigshots in Less Than 10 Minutes

24. DM Scott

Follow @dmscott

DM Scott isn’t the sorta guy you normally see on these lists. I met him at a Social Media Masterclass and was blown away by his blogging knowledge. He has written two successful books – World Wide Rave and The New Rules of Marketing and PR. He has released many killer free ebooks and blogs at Web Ink Now.

He is someone you should get to know if you want to learn how to get world wide attention using social media. He knows his stuff and I’m sure he’ll be providing high quality content beyond 2010.

25. Darren Rowse

Follow @problogger

Darren already rocks the blogging community. He has a top 100 technorati blog, is one of the co-founders of b5 media and is the inspiration for many leading bloggers.

He took things to a completely new level in 2009. He launched Problogger.com, a personal blog as well as 31 days to become a better blogger Workbook.

I’ve heard that he has amazing things planned for his other blogs and can’t wait to see how he develops Twitip and Digital Photography School.

26. Collis Ta’eed

Follow @collis

Collis Ta’eed is many bloggers’ worst nightmare. I don’t want to know how much money I’ve spent on market places like Theme Forest and Graphic River.

Envato has grown so much this year. They have launched many new marketplaces, blogs and tutorial sites. They have cemented themselves in the creative communities.I’m really excited to see how Envato will develop next year. I hope that I can somehow even be part of it.

Also valuable are the E-books that Collis is part of from Rockable Press – how to be a Rockstar WordPress designer and how to be a Rockstar Freelancer.

More from Collis:

27. James Chartrand

Follow @menwithpens

2009 has certainly been a busy year for James. When he isn’t pumping out content on Men with Pens, he is actively commenting or connecting to the community via twitter.

2010 will be for interesting for James after the recent revelation that he is, actually, a she. James is still one of the best ‘blokes’ I know, but this story has really set the blogosphere on fire. It will be very interesting to see how it unfolds in the new year. Will she release a book? Will mainstream press pick up the story? I don’t care – as long as she continues to bring class to the blogosphere.

Also co-authored by James is the Unlimited Freelancer e-book.

28. Caroline Middlebrook

Follow @cmiddlebrook

Caroline Middlebrook was one of the star bloggers during 2008 but has slowed things down this year to work on her software project.  Her income has been consistent despite only spending only one hour a week.

Caroline will be launching her software project later this month. It will be interesting to see how her blog and project evolves in 2010.

More on Caroline:

29. Adam Baker

Follow @manvsdebt

Adam shows that you don’t need to be a metablogger to be successful. He has indirectly taught me, and many others, so much about engaging your community. He writes at Man Vs Debt and has spent most of 2009 traveling/working in Australia and New Zealand.

Adam celebrated the 6 month anniversary of Man Vs Debt with a fantastic article about how NOT to suck at blogging. I’m genuinely excited to see how he develops the blog over the next 12 months.

More on Adam:

30. Sonia Simone

Follow @soniasimone

As the senior editor at Copyblogger, Sonia has the finger on the pulse of the blogosphere. She shows how you can make writing informative and fun. She’s joint ventured on many awesome products this year including Freelance X Factor and Marketing For Nice People. She recently launched the Remarkable Marketing Blueprint – something I’m still annoyed I missed out on.

If you want to excel at content marketing, Sonia can help you. I’m sure she’ll be providing many opportunities to do so during 2010.

Who would go on your list?

These are the people that made it onto my radar this year, but I know there are many fabulous bloggers I haven’t met yet.

Share who you think are the bloggers to watch and why. Some of them may be featured in future Problogger posts.

Disclaimer: While there are affiliate links in this post, none of them are mine.

52 Blog Tips to Kick Start Your Blog in 2010

Over the week between Christmas and New Year I took the week off from blogging here on ProBlogger and posted a simple series of ‘best of posts’ from 2009 in 5 different categories.

I had so much good feedback from sharing these links (a couple of them went pretty wild on Twitter particularly) that I thought I’d repost the complete list for those who also took that week off.

All in all those lists contain 52 links to the most popular posts on ProBlogger in 2009 and hopefully they will help resource you for 2010!

Advice for Bloggers: Karate Kid Style

After a week off I found it a little hard to get myself going again this morning. So I procrastinated on Twitter by posting some adapted Karate Kid quotes with some pics. It never was intended to be anything more than just the first one…. but my followers kind of egged me on (shifting the blame).

Here are the pics I pumped out over about 10 minutes – I thought putting them together into a post might serve as a permanent and public reminder of the dangers of wasting time on Twitter (a great lesson for bloggers going into the new year.

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PS: don’t read too much into them or base your blogging upon the following :-)

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Photo on 2010-01-04 at 10.39.jpg

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The Blah Blah Blah Blogging Rules. F It.

I’m having a rule-following problem. As in, don’t want to follow them.

Which rules? These ones:

  • Use snappy titles containing a question, the words “How To” and jarring adjectives. Do not be cute, arty, or poetic. Copy-write. Read the titles on the cover of The Enquirer or Cosmo and do what they do. Your title is more important than the post, itself.
  • Give advice. Provide value. Solve problems. Don’t talk about your cat or your sex life.
  • Make it scannable. Break up text with headers.
  • Make is scannable. Use lists.
  • Make it scannable. Use boldface and italics to emphasize your point.
  • Be brief, simple and stick to one topic. Your readers are only scanning it, anyways.

The Blogging Rules, Flouting Them, and the Faux-Rebellion.

Here is my confession: I’m a lit-on-fire blogger (who hates the word blog, cringes when I’m called a blogger, and resists the word “post”) but I don’t want to play by these rules.

I want to write wild, long, passionate, raw and real. I want to create art. I want to write words that land and burrow and inhabit my people. (I should just admit that I’m a wannabe poet and call it a day. Then no one would EVER read/scan my stuff. And so I blog.)

Here is my second confession: I adhere to the Gospel of Doowhatchalike. My titles are posts in and of themselves. I often write loooooooooooong pieces – sometimes 2,000 words or more. I insert my opinions and streams of consciousness and wackadoo digressions all over the place and they’re usually more interesting than the ostensible topic. And then I post pictures of my cleavage.

But just between you, me and the double D, I’m not a rebel.

I may have a vivid imagination and torrid/insane romantic life (thanks, vivid imagination!), but otherwise am so screamingly normal that it makes your normal tawdry. This is me: 9-5, kids, stability, friends, family, education, achievements, regular oil changes, a yard that doesn’t raise the wrath of strata, blah blah blah.

Why then, in my blog – my baby, my heart, my love, my creative offering to the world, my own thing – do I have to follow the rules? Why do you?

The Revolution Will Be Blogged

Recently, at my own site, I asked: Why do you blog?

The answers were many, varied, and invariably wonderful:

I blog because I love to write; blogging is just another form of expression for me. – Amanda Farough, Violet Minded

Though I may never become a writer who makes millions through my craft, blogging has given me the opportunity to affect the lives of others with my words. – Maven, A Fabulously Good Life

I blog because I’m the savior of the world and if everyone would just listen to me, we would all be better off, but then, I can’t even save myself sometimes so I guess that’s not true either.

I blog because I love run-on sentences.

I blog because the Infinite source of the cosmos calls me to it, that or is constantly warning me to stay away from it. Either way, I’m pretty bad at listening. – Steve, Life Change For You

I started blogging initially because it I was bored, dateless and cold on one January Friday night in Chicago. True story – Laura Cococcia, The Journal of Cultural Conversation

I am a glutton for personal development. whut.

I blog about it because I do my best thinking when I’m talking. I learn things as I explain them to others. I realize truth about myself, ugly ones and damaged ones and foreign ones, when I’m not stuck in my own head.

I blog because blogging is gangsta, and I got a gangsta lean. – Carlos Velez, Conscious Me (coming January 2010)

I needed a space where I could support my own interests, where I’m the Queen Of My Own Domain! It was also a challenge to push myself to try something completely new…to get unstuck and out of a rut. – Eileen, Blue Bird Luxe

I also consider it a creative act and a political act – any woman blogging now is raising a voice for all those womens’ voices which were silenced throughout history. And as the famous quote by Adrienne Rich states: When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility for more truth around her. – Lianne Raymond

…I blog because I want a revolution, I’m adverse to guns, and toddlers aren’t great at protest marches (unless they’re protesting the lack of third bowls of ice cream or fourth green bananas). – Arwyn, Raising My Boychick

To recap: we’re blogging for creative expression; to affect the lives of others; because the-cosmos-made-me or we’re bored and dateless and got a gangsta lean; for challenge; as a creative and political act (be the revolution), and lions-and-tigers-and-bears, OH MY.

Nobody said this:

  • To follow the rules
  • To do what everyone else is doing
  • To turn my blog into a cliché
  • To make money (whaaaaaa????? NOBODY? – okay, a few)

My point: blogging can be transformational.

You know why?

Because it is writing – and we might say, oh you don’t have to be a good writer to be a popular blogger, but for the most part that is a big wiggly lie – and we’re doing it daily.

Those two things, together, mean we’re thinking about THINGS and working through them. A-ha moments are practically guaranteed.

And then there are the people. Wow, the people. Blogging lets us find our people and that is a revelation. It is like coming home to a love-in, only everyone keeps their clothes on (usually) and talks pretty about thinky things. It is beautiful. It is soul food that doesn’t make you fat.

Transformation, community, freedom, creative expression.

That’s why some (most?) of us are blogging. We’re not looking for another set of rules to obey.

Nope. Not even one person jumped on the couch to scream “I LOVE THE RULES. Katie Holmes, Schmatie Holmes, I WANNA MARRY THE RULES!”

So WHY all the Blogging Rules?

So what’s up with the rules? Who made these rules anyway? Why do we need them?

Even more importantly – let me put my social science hat on here and run a really good query – where do they come from?

Dearest Reader, I knew you’d ask, so I did the research. And this is the answer:

F it.

That’s not a code and I’m not alluding to a bad word. That’s really the answer. That’s how people read online.

F for fast. That’s how users read your precious content. In a few seconds, their eyes move at amazing speeds across your website’s words in a pattern that’s very different from what you learned in school.

In our new eyetracking study, we recorded how 232 users looked at thousands of Web pages. We found that users’ main reading behavior was fairly consistent across many different sites and tasks. This dominant reading pattern looks somewhat like an F and has the following three components:

  • Users first read in a horizontal movement, usually across the upper part of the content area. This initial element forms the F’s top bar.
  • Next, users move down the page a bit and then read across in a second horizontal movement that typically covers a shorter area than the previous movement. This additional element forms the F’s lower bar.
  • Finally, users scan the content’s left side in a vertical movement. Sometimes this is a fairly slow and systematic scan that appears as a solid stripe on an eyetracking heatmap. Other times users move faster, creating a spottier heatmap. This last element forms the F’s stem.

That’s not reading. That’s scanning – that’s a person who ended up on your site thanks to Google, and who is searching for an answer to a question. A solution. Maybe even something to buy. And that’s where The Blogging Rules come from.

Readers read the headline, maybe the first line or two, and then scan the body of the piece. Hence: great titles, strong leads, headers and lists.

Blogging Rules: Your New Best Friend. Alas.

The rules aren’t random. They’re a guide to crafting effective online content that gets read (errr…scanned).

Larry Brooks, the writing guru behind the rampant writing usefulness that is storyfix (and he’s so much more than that, too – he’s in love with me although he doesn’t know it nor does his wife. Vivid imagination, say hey!) writes in his blog about the importance of following the rules.

As in: if you’re a writer, and you want to get published, you better learn the storytelling conventions and rock them out. To the letter. Or resign yourself to being an undiscovered ungenius.

The same is probably true with blogging. The rules are about how people read online. And you want them to read your stuff, right? I mean that’s why we’re blogging, yes?

My inner imaginary rebel just nodded, sighed and said F it.

________________________

PS – Want more on the rules? Here’s a quick, top ten list of good stuff you can find here at ProBlogger. (Ah-choo!)

  1. Striking Findings from an Eye Tracking Study
  2. Behaviors of the Blogosphere Study Results
  3. What is a Blog?
  4. 18 Lessons I’ve Learnt as a Blogger
  5. Writing Good Content
  6. Post Length – How Long should a Blog Post Be?
  7. Granular One Topic Blog Posts
  8. Using Titles Effectively on Blogs
  9. Scannable Content
  10. Writing Blog Content – Make it Scannable

__________________________

Kelly Diels is a wildly hireable freelance writer and the creator of Cleavage, a blog about three things we all want more of: sex, money and meaning.

Do You Have Any Blogging New Years Resolutions?

The new year is here and in chatting with a lot of bloggers this past week I’m hearing a lot of optimism and planning going on when it comes to blogging in 2010.

Do You Have Any Blogging New Years Resolutions for 2010?

Would love to hear your thoughts on where you’ll be heading and what you’re planning?

My plans are coming along for ProBlogger. I’m planning on a review of the whole brand of ProBlogger in the coming weeks, a redesign (that will flow out of that), new features and levels on ProBlogger.com, a new E-book in the coming month and a lot more.

What about you?

Writing It Down: The Importance of Forecasting your Blog’s Performance

Guest post by Christine Pilkington, a digital media veteran who recently launched VancouverMom.ca, a hyper-local blog that shows Metro Vancouver moms the unique, intelligent and beautiful side of their city. Christine also can be found at GoGoMamaGo.com, a blog for mom entrepreneurs.

Eight weeks ago, I launched my second blogging venture VancouverMom.ca and I’m thrilled to say that the site’s initial performance is exceeding my expectations. I’m hitting my pageviews and unique visitors four months early! In my mind, I’m way ahead of schedule and breaking out the bubbly.

Now I know what you’re thinking: either you’re breaking out the bubbly with me or you’re a skeptic and think that I estimated badly. And my response to you is this: It doesn’t really matter. Not really – especially when you consider the more important step I took: I wrote it down.

As a web consultant, I’ve encountered many new web site owners, including bloggers, who were afraid of putting numbers down – fearful of guessing and being wrong. Sure they know what they should measure – pageviews, unique visits, RSS feed subscriptions or whatever – but oftentimes they’re paralyzed with the question: I can guess, but how do I know that my forecast is a good one?

The truth is – you don’t. Unless you have prior experience estimating pageviews or site visits, or know someone who has, your estimate will be a wild guess or just an educated guess at best. There are so many factors that make a new blog successful that in reality, even “experienced” experts are really just guessing.

I’m here to tell you that a wild guess is better than nothing at all. Here’s why:

You get sense of accomplishment

I love that I’m months ahead of schedule and I feel like I’m on track. When I wrote the numbers down, I was giving my absolute best guess at the time. I’m projecting advertising revenues from the site and wanted to know when I could reasonably expect to start selling ads. I admit: like many new business owners, I was relatively conservative but I knew being too conservative wouldn’t serve me well. I still endeavoured to give it my very best guess. Even so, just knowing that I’m out performing those projections has encouraged me to continue – critical for the owner of a new blog.

You create a record

If you don’t write it down, it’s easy for your mind to reinvent history and adjust to a new baseline. For example, I’m touting my success, but the reality is that I have a ways to go before my visits are anywhere close to what a site like Problogger would get. It would be easy for me to beat myself up over my relatively small numbers. But writing it down creates a touchstone. It’s something for me to return to and see how I thought a site like mine should be performing. It’s important for you to have something factual to remind you of where you thought you might be so that you can objectively evaluate how you’re doing.

A record incites action

Suppose I wasn’t doing very well compared to my “fictitious” projections – what then? I might be a bit depressed but I’d quickly move into action, looking for the weakness so I could improve my efforts. If, for example, I were spending too much time on Twitter without results, and not enough on creating better content, then maybe I’d shift my efforts. Only you can determine the type of action that is required; the important thing is that a written record tells you that action needs to be taken. You can adjust your efforts and improve in areas you need to. Alternatively, if you are exceeding your forecasts, you can analyze what you’re doing right and continue to do more of it.

You can see how well you estimate – and improve

In the beginning, you might not be a very confident estimator. You might even be downright bad at it. But writing it down shows you how talented you are at forecasting and you’ll be able to see where improvements need to be made. A record acts like a personal score – you’ll know how you’re fairing and can make adjustments to improve.

It’s simply good business practice

If you’re reading Problogger, you probably aspire to be in the business of blogging. All well-run businesses – large and small – have a forecast for metrics like sales projections, units sold and other key performance indicators. If you’re serious about blogging and plan to run it like a business, then run it like a business. Write it down.

A few closing thoughts: after you write it down, be sure to share it with someone. By declaring your goals to someone, whether it’s a fellow blogger, mentor, friend or spouse, you’ll not only have someone to be accountable to, but you’ll also have someone to share your successes with.

Finally, remember that even if you write it down, these numbers are not permanent. Even the most successful companies get it wrong and make changes so that they can recover from poor performance or expand if they are exceeding targets. Think of your projections as a “living document” that provides a compass for where you’re heading. If you find that you’re getting off track, make adjustments.

Just write it down.

11 More Blog Tips from the Archives: Best of ProBlogger

Happy New Year (at least it is here in Australia)! I hope that as you read this you’re full of all kinds of inspiration and motivation for the year ahead.

As the last post in our Best of ProBlogger 2009 series I wanted to share a list of 11 more general topic popular posts from ProBlogger. Enjoy!

  1. 13 Quick Tips to Make Your Blog Stand Out from the Crowd
  2. Let Me Show You Inside a Secret Blogging Alliance
  3. How to Create Great First Impression on New Readers and Convert them into Loyal Readers
  4. How to Take Your Blog to the Next Level…. Once You’ve got a Start
  5. 7 Questions to Ask on Your Blog to Get More Reader Engagement
  6. 5 Plugins to Make Your WordPress Blog Blazing Fast
  7. 10 Ways to Get Fit While Blogging
  8. 13 Things I’ve Learned About Successful Blogging [My 5000th Post on ProBlogger]
  9. 8 Tips for Building Community on Your Blog
  10. 6 Reasons Why You Need to Consider Email as a Communication Strategy on Your Blog
  11. Brainstorm 10 Ways to Expand Your Blog: Homework