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What I’ve Learnt After Writing 400 Blogs

By January 30, 2019June 23rd, 2022No Comments

A few weeks ago at Altrincham HQ I published what was to be our 400th blog on the website

In the world where people who’ve published 4 blogs are selling blogging workshops, I felt it was important to write a blog that shows what you really learn when you have a true depth of experience

Before I set up Altrincham HQ I was a journalist and the number of article and blogs I’ve written over the years are in the thousands

You could say I know a lot about writing

Here’s what I’ve learnt after writing 400 blogs

1. My Life Would Be Very Different
When I think back to 1999, I can’t help but think if I hadn’t written that very 1st blog my life would be very different

I’d have probably been a Supermarket Manager or in Middle Management contemplating what went wrong with my life at 40

If you’ve never blogged or are just starting out on your journey you might question how it will help you or exactly what will change

You have to be patient. Success doesn’t happen overnight. My first ever blog got something like 17 readers, my 2nd one 35. It was stepping stones until my most read blog was read by over 550,000 people

I then went on to write for the BBC and major publications in London and the US

So when I set Altrincham HQ up I knew that blogging had to be central to it and it was the one USP (unique selling point) or POD (point of difference) that would set me apart from Social Media experts who felt that sharing other people’s content and not having an opinion or content of their own actually made them an expert

I still see that now across every industry from accountancy to law to HR – businesses help everyone else’s audience grow apart from their own

I honestly believe that if it wasn’t for blogging, Altrincham HQ would be 10% of the size it is now. That is how much blogging has changed my life

In short – blogging sells stuff

2. Perfection Syndrome Stifles Us All

When you 1st start blogging you worry that every blog isn’t good enough

When you’ve been blogging for 2 decades you worry that your latest blog isn’t as good as your last one or your best one

Deep down we’re all perfectionists scared of what other people think and you have to let go of that

I can tell you right now somewhere in this blog there will be a typo or a grammatical error that passed me by when I re-read it 10 times

What matters more to me than the odd spelling mistake or typo is this: I care much more about this blog inspiring people to write, than I do about a hidden typo stopping me hit the publish button

Let go of perfection

You have passion inside you and you have something to say

The world needs to hear it

3. Your Best / Most Important Blogs Won’t Get The Most Reads

Most well-known authors best work was discovered after they died

I’m not saying that to scare or comfort you

But you have to realise that when blog and you hit publish it’s entirely down to the audience

Sure you can optimise the title, SEO and distribution … but ultimately it’s down to the audience

Your best blogs may receive half of the readers as your most popular blogs

But don’t change your style. Don’t change what is important to you

Carry on writing because what you feel compelled to put down on a screen is important

Deep down you want to be broadsheet rather than tabloid

4. Someone somewhere has written a blog on the same subject – you are the USP

When I worked in music there was the saying that “every single song has been written and every single chord progression has been used – everything else is an interpretation”

And it’s true with blogging

It’s very rare you will write something ground-breaking unless you work in science or robotics or AI

What makes your writing unique is you, your personality, your experience and your take on a subject

Who cares if Dave from Ohio has written a blog on a similar subject

You are your USP. Your voice is unique even if the subject isn’t

5. In the age of video and podcasts – people still love the written word
I’ve heard the phrase blogging is dead for at least a decade now

And I know that most of you reading this will have only discovered blogging was a tool you could use to grow your business in the last few years

It’s usually pushed by video production companies or those not actually blogging

There’s no denying video is on the increase, but it doesn’t mean people are reading any less

When you’re multi-screening, i.e watching TV whilst also looking at your device, you often will read a blog or social media whilst watching a film or a football match. You don’t watch 2 videos at the same time

If your reason for not writing that 1st blog is that written blogs are disappearing then think again – written blogs will still be with us for decades



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Alex McCann

Author Alex McCann

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