"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Albert Einstein

25 October 2016

My 1,000th Post

This is the 1,000th post to appear on this blog. Wow, it's been a long ride. I started this blog back when I was a fundamentalist teaching at a private religious academy on the island of Guam. I've come a very long way since then, and along the way I have deleted some of my older (and scarier) posts, mainly because they reflect views that I no longer agree with. So my 1,000th post probably came a few months ago, really, but this is the 1,000th post to stay on this blog.

In the last six years of blogging, I have had a few posts that became very, very popular. Here are the top ten posts from this blog:

  1. Far and away the most popular post is the one about consent at storytime.
  2. My post about the results from dividing the fiction section into genres.
  3. Why I let kids make noise in the library.
  4. The one where I get rant-y about observing holidays in the library.
  5. How I made display signage.
  6. A science club post about race cars.
  7. The original genre dividing post.
  8. A science club post about color.
  9. The post about hungry kids at programs.
  10. And last but not least, my library bingo post. 
Now that my blog has been around for more than ten years (although you can only access six years' worth of posts), I have a few tips for maintaining a blog online. This blog, after all, is one part hobby and one part professional development for me. 

Pick a Topic. Pick a specific topic for your blog. My blog is both book reviews and library programming, but both of these things related to youth services. In the course of this blog, I could have written about a number of things that I enjoy - Harry Potter, LEGO bricks, Pokemon, crocheting, etc. - but I decided to focus exclusively on youth services. That means when I have something important to say that doesn't relate to the library, I save it for a Twitter rant or a Facebook post or some other venue. Keeping to one topic will make it easier for your blog to find followers.

Build up Your Posts Pre-Launch. Before you launch your blog, have a few posts ready to go. You can still post just once a day or once a week or whatever schedule you pick, but have a few posts lined up before you go live. This will ensure that you have material ready for your new followers to read.

Keep It Current. It is a lot of work to maintain a blog. When I'm not posting programming ideas or book reviews, I have to think about what other things I'd like to have up, because my goal is to make sure there is always fresh material on my blog. I take occasional breaks - when I've moved cross-country, when I'm in the middle of summer reading, etc. - but I always announce those. If you gain followers and then all of a sudden stop posting because you've run out of ideas, then you will lose those followers. I currently post twice a week, and I always have at least three posts pre-scheduled so that I have time to come up with other things to post. 

Connect to the Community. Find other blogs that post material similar to yours. Comment on their posts. Post links to their blogs on your page. Share the love. This will bring followers to you and will also send followers to those other sources of information. It definitely gives me a boost for my day when I check my stats and realize my post has been shared somewhere else. 

Have Fun! Blogging should be enjoyable. If it becomes too much of a chore, perhaps consider if you need to tweak your topic or if you should take an announced sabbatical from your blog. Consider bringing in guest writers to post, or make a few posts a compilation of links to other locations or something fun and different. 

Is there something I should start writing about that I've neglected in my first thousand posts? Let me know in the comments!

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