It has been four years since I started this blog, and two and a half years since I committed to blogging very regularly.
Wow, what a ride it has been. Blogging has skyrocketed my career. I’m now not just an IBM Champion, but also an IBM Gold Consultant. I have spoken at two conferences, written two developerWorks articles, and am planning for more. I have some idea of how much there is that I don’t know, and how many people know more than I do, so I hesitate to say that I’ve reached my career goal of becoming an internationally recognized DB2 Guru. But what I do know, I do my best to share. I’m starting to get to the point where I have opportunities to help other up and coming speakers and writers, and what fun that is!
I don’t blog for these benefits, though. They’re great, but the real reason I blog is because when I search for things online, I don’t always find the answers. I have some answers to share, and can prevent that from happening to others, at least on some topics. I also search my own blog for something at least once a week. I don’t remember all the details of things I’ve written or done, so it’s great for remembering the details and syntax things that I haven’t done in a while. I get my own blog quite frequently when searching for answers online, and most of the time I’m annoyed because it’s the stuff I already know. Sometimes it puts a smile on my face because I know if Google shows it to me, it’s showing it to others. Finally, a couple of times a year, I’m surprised to find that I’ve already solved the problem and forgotten so completely about it and am surprised to find the article.
I get a warm glow with every comment, every email, every person I meet who tells me they read. It’s not as surprising as it used to be, but it is so good to know that I’m really helping people. Even the comments that disagree with me or correct me – a good disagreement is great for learning and for others to see how many perspectives there are in the DB2 community.
I’ve been blogging for 4 years, 2.5 of those with weekly posts, and just in the past two weeks have had 3 days finally above 1,000 page views per day. I recently saw a sustained 20% jump in page views, and suspect that it’s due to a change in Google’s algorithm, since well over 60% of my traffic comes from search engines and very heavily from Google.
Writing a blog is hard work. It’s especially hard to keep up with the consistency that will really build significant readers. Finding Guest Bloggers is helping me in this area. Mike Krafick is a regular guest blogger who is great at helping me with content in a pinch, and is just full of ideas for social media and online presence.
This post is not all navel gazing. I want to encourage the budding bloggers out there to find a way to consistently blog. It helps you advance in your career, for sure. It helps you write more clearly and correctly. It helps you retain technical knowledge. It helps you gain technical knowledge as you read and research and fact-check yourself and try experiments. It helps other people. Even if you write about topics that others have written on, it still adds another perspective and good details.
Here’s to another 4 years!