How to write a blog for 10 years

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This October will mark a full decade since I started posting entries to this blog. (Some version of this website, without very regular updates, existed for more than three years beforehand.) That's longer than I've worked at any job, studied at any school, or owned any car. The site overall is older than either of my daughters, and I've been blogging since before my youngest could walk.

Most blogs—most websites—don't last that long. Many bloggers are comfortable letting their writing peter out, or just stopping and deleting the thing, and maybe starting up another some other time. For some reason, even though I've never regularly written a diary, I've been more stubborn than that, and wanted to keep this thing going.

Some years ago, I set two guidelines for myself that seem to have kept this site from stagnating:

  1. Publish one post per day, on average.
  2. In each post, include at least one link.

That's it. It doesn't mean I write something here every day, but that some days I write one entry, some days two or three, and some days nothing. Some are a few words long, some many pages. Every once in a long while, I do a quick calculation, and now that I have thousands of posts online, my average has been a little over one post per day for a long time (as of today, it's about 1.03). At this point, I'd have to publish nothing for close to three months before that average would dip below my self-set guideline—and I can always collect some Twitter links to avoid that.

I tell myself to include at least one link because this is the Web, and that's what it's about. It also means that even if I write something really short, people reading this site will probably find it interesting, since it sends them somewhere else with more to look at.

Over time, I've also decided that my archives are important, and that I want them to stay online as long as possible. So instead of several personal blogs scattered at various domains, I've kept everything here. A lot of those outbound links I've put into posts are now dead, of course, but for the most part, if someone else linked here, even six or seven years ago, that link will still work.

Does it matter? It does to me, and the results seem to bring a couple of thousand people a day here, somehow. That's enough.

10 Comments

You were definitely one of the few blogs that inspired me to start blogging. I think I also downloaded one of your songs on my computer. I admire your heart/courage to continue to blogging for that long. And it definitely comes across in a lot of your posts.

You're a pioneer for sure! I'm going to take a few tips from you. As a relative newbie, I do find the more I blog, the more I blog, and the less I blog, the less I blog. I like the linking out aspect. Hand out, not in. If it works out next year, it would be great (if health permits) for you to speak at Northern Voice if even on a panel. I know lots of people would love to hear more about your experiences on the Web.

An average of 1.03 posts per day for 10 years?? That's a lot of posts! And to make it even more amazing, you always have interesting things to say. I mean, some people post plenty of blog postings, but they aren't worth reading. But I'm always excited when I see a new post from your site pop up in my Google Reader, because I know it will be something worth reading.

I also like your guideline about having at least one link per post. I think I'll adopt that one!

Kudos on the anniversary! I'm a 1.5 year-old-newbie. Also in Vancouver. Looking forward to your upcoming posts. Thank you for the inspiration.

As an avid reader though seldom (if ever?) poster, I really appreciate every blog entry. Thanks.

Nicely done.

I scooped up cyberbuzz.com in 1996 and this year marks my 15th blogging (if writing weekly "cool site of the week" columns for radio station websites counts as blogging).

Just wish I would have squatted on some domains back in the day. Yknow, like YouTube, iPhone or Google?

Congrats! I'm about 18 months your junior, blogging-wise. It's interesting that you had rules--I never did. I was a super-zealous blogger in the early years, writing lots of short posts, but I've recently reduced the volume to three or four posts a week. I'm not sure what the cause of that is, but it's been interesting to observe the evolution.

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