Happy Birthday To Me

sweetgirl

Please join me in wishing Remarkable Communication a happy birthday! I started the blog exactly a year ago, on August 11, 2007.

You’ll get a real post later this week, but today I hope you’ll indulge me as I look back over the year. I’m not one whose blog rocketed out of the ground–I’ve build traffic slowly and steadily, and I’m just now rounding the bend of 1,000 subscribers. (Welcome and thank you to all!)

Growth online is rarely linear, and I have some ambitious expectations for the year to come. (Along those lines, I want to start posting somewhat more frequently again as soon as my mysterious project X is completed. I’m thinking Septemberish, but stay tuned.)

Early days

On August 15, I wrote a post called Setting the Table, in which I said “It’s been kind of eerie in here as I’m working on providing a reasonable baseline of content before I try to drive any traffic in. It’s a little like setting the table before a big party. Who’s going to show up? Will everyone get along and have a fabulous time? How drunk are they going to get?”

The next day, Seth Godin was my first commenter, on a post called The Joys of Eclectic Blogging. I will confess that this cheered me up quite a bit.

(By the way, Seth, if you’d like to make that an annual tradition and say howdy in the comments, that would be just fantastic. Let’s see, how can I set some bait that might make that happen . . . umm, Triiibes, otaku, permission, Squidoo and Little MissMatched. OK, it’s a cheap trick, but it’s done with love.)

On September 6, Brian Clark showed up in the comments on a post called Make Something for Its Own Sake, getting me all flustered and pleased. Copyblogger linked to that post on the 9th, which was even nicer.

Since Brian was nice enough to link to me, I thought the least I could do was to follow his advice and try to think of at least one decent headline. So I wrote a post called 5 Editor’s Secrets to Help You Write Like a Pro, which was the first post I wrote to get any significant StumbleUpon traffic (it still does).

The now-infamous Naomi Dunford found Remarkable Communication right around the middle of September and showed up for the first time in my comments. She proceeded to start a little blog on home business marketing that instantly trounced mine for traffic and subscribers, but I love her anyway.

On September 20, without making any effort to do so, I wrote my first post that got any significant amount of Google traffic, called How to Tell a Story. This one still ranks very nicely for “how to tell a story” on Google, and still sees traffic every day from that search.

On October 5, Seth Godin linked to a post that I had written to try to attract his attention, so I guess that worked pretty well. It was called Transparency and the Meatball Sundae and it brought me a nice whomp of traffic and picked up a few hundred subscribers for remarkable communication.

I’d walk you through the rest of the year, but I’m fairly sure that violates the Geneva Convention’s rules on torture. Here are just a few more highlights:

Slow and steady growth

A post called We Are Not Powerless revealed to the world just how big a bleeding heart I actually am. Helping kids who are in bad situations is a big part of what drives me, and it actually provides me with a lot of fuel to grow my business. I try to keep the do-goodery to a minimum here, but I’m kind of leaning toward creating a post along these lines every September 17 to keep it real and remember what I’m doing it for.

My relationship marketing series has slowly grown a nice following. This post, written in November, was the first: Create a Human Connection.

The Ten Commandments of New Social Media was pure social media bait, and it worked–I got a great flow of Stumble traffic for this, as well some nice links. I also happen to think it was a pretty decent post.

Life since Copyblogger

In March, I screwed up my courage and sent Brian Clark a tweet to ask if he might maybe some day, if he got sick or broke his fingers or something, maybe want a guest post? To my happy shock, he asked me if I’d be willing to write for Copyblogger regularly. More cheer. My first post there was 3 Sure-Fire Steps for Beating the Boring Content Blues. Writing for 40,000 readers was lots of fun.

I’ve done a post every week for Copyblogger since then; you can see the whole collection at Copyblogger.com/Author/Sonia. Sadly, it also introduced the era of “1-2 posts a week for remarkable communication, if you’re lucky.” I’m hoping to improve on that later this year.

I wrote What a Toddler Easter Egg Hunt Can Teach You About Success shortly after I got back from SOBCon, inspired by communicatrix’s advice to go ahead and get a little more personal with the blog. It got great traffic and lots of love, so I guess she was right. She’s pretty smart about these things. That advice, combined with taking some extra care to produce the best I could do, since I wasn’t posting as often as I’d like, led directly to posts like How to Take a Punch, The Nice Guy’s Guide to Authority, and The Complete Flake’s Guide to Getting Things Done.

Probably my biggest linkbait of the year was 50 Things Your Customers Wish You Knew, which was inspired by Copyblogger’s Cosmo Headline technique. (I think the Cosmo original was something like 50 Things Guys Wish You Knew.) Lots of folks loved that post and shared that love with their friends. I actually re-read it myself every once in awhile, it’s the kind of advice we know but keep forgetting.

So what’s up next?

There it is, your guide to a year of remarkable communication. For the second year, as I said, I’m going to try to post somewhat more frequently, but my first priority is to keep up post quality, rather than posting a lot of fluff or filler. Since my posts in the past months have been doing well with traffic, social media referrals and comments, I’m going to assume that’s still what you want!

I also want to start making better connections with the hundreds of amazing blogs and bloggers that I haven’t been making time for lately. So look for more links and pointers to the amazing variety of terrific stories on the Web (and not just at Seth’s site).

And I’d love to create a survey for my peeps here, to get a better idea of who you are and the stuff that interests you.

Thank you to the three people who are still reading this post. You are a dear for indulging my reminiscences. I’ve got a “real” post cooking for you that I think you will like–with a little luck, I’ll get that for you later this week.

Thank you to every one of my fantastic readers, you are an amazing bunch and you have taught me so much. Let’s go kick another ten miles of ass together in the next year, ok? I think that remarkable communication is going to see some pretty cool stuff in the next few months.

And if you don’t subscribe now, go ahead and do that. I only post about once a week, you don’t want to miss it!

Comments

  1. Hi Sonia

    I loved reading about the milestones in the life of your blog so far. No need to apologise. My blog is 5 months old so it’s fascinating to read how things have developed for you. I found your blog through reading copyblogger – I enjoyed your posts greatly and so subscribed to you. I have written some of your advice on a post-it which is stuck on my monitor. Your writing has helped my writing heaps. Thank you. Olivia

  2. Dave Davis says:

    Congratulations Sonia and congratulations to the remarkable communication blog.

    Here’s to many more!

  3. Hi Sonia!

    Happy Blogday!

    I don’t remember how I stumbled across your site shortly after you launched it but heck, I’m sure glad I did.

    Your appearance at Copblogger is well deserved; I was thrilled for you when I read your first post!

    Your posts inspire me to keep writing and find new angles in my topics.

    You rock. :-)

  4. Connie says:

    Happy Birthday RC!That is a huge accomplishment Sonia.

    Just look at how far you came the first year – and think of how much further you can go in the second.

    This is one of my top five places to come for information. You’ve got it where it counts, make it stick!

  5. Lance says:

    Happy Birthday, and congratulation on one year! That’s awesome!!

  6. Brian Clark says:

    Congrats on a great first year Sonia… hopefully many more to come!

  7. Sonia Simone says:

    Thank you all! My goodness, five of you read far enough to make a comment, that is heartening.

    Year two is gonna be even more fun. :)

  8. Sally J says:

    Congrats, Sonia! In this B-day post, you mention almost all of my favorite online biz writers. My Dream Team, if you will. Thanks for all your sage advice and entertaining writing. Who knew marketing could be (gasp) enjoyable?!

  9. Jesus Christmas. All this in one year? I have been slacking!

    Congrats, and here’s to more to come. Now, let’s get back to work!

  10. Yael Beeri says:

    Am a relatively new fan but i am here to stay. Happy Birthday ! That is an accomplishmet to be proud of!

  11. Congrats Sonia! Best to you for providing such rich content here and here’s to many many seriously stumbled trailblazing fun posts to come.

  12. Sonia Simone says:

    Sally, tell me if there are any of your faves I’ve missed! If you like ‘em, I bet I like ‘em.

    Yep, I’ve put hundreds of hours into reducing my own fear and loathing of marketing and reframing it so I could actually love it. Hope to do the same for y’all. :)

    Welcome to you, Yael!

    Janice, always so nice to have you here.

  13. Sonia Simone says:

    (and Connie and Thomas and, well, all of you. xoxoxo)

  14. Seth Godin says:

    Bit by bit, drip by drip.

    Great work triumphs.

    Good to have you here. Makes it better for the rest of us.

  15. Sonia Simone says:

    Ha! Thank you, Seth.

  16. Happy birthday, you crazy marketing chick. You RULE.

    And congratulations on a well executed piece of Seth-bait. Well played.

  17. Dave Navarro says:

    Hey, I’m here, you didn’t even have to bait me. :-p

    Congrats on the 1,000 RSS!

  18. Gina says:

    Happy Birthday! Don’t know you very well, yet.. but have been enjoying your tweets and looking forward to getting to know your blog better! Don’t forget to make a wish!

  19. Ali says:

    Happy birthday!

    I’m a newish reader (last month or two) and don’t usually comment but wanted to wish you all the best today.

    I was surprised that you only have 1,000 subscribers — remarkable communication really has excellent content, and you deserve tons of readers! Hoping you’ll get plenty more before the next birthday, at least.

  20. I didn’t know you a year ago, but damn am I glad I know you, now! Congrats on a year and your success. Here’s to much, much more success in the future!

  21. James says:

    Congratulations and best wishes for the coming year. RC is a favorite read, as are your posts on CB. Keep it coming.

    James

  22. Sonia Simone says:

    A great big smooch to all of you.

  23. lizthefair says:

    Congrats! I know I don’t really know you in real life but having been with the blog since before the table post your success feels like the success of a friend. I am so pleased for you!

  24. Janice Chan says:

    See, way more than three! Congrats on your first year! I really enjoy this blog but have found that if I “subscribe” to something that I am much less likely to read it than something I have bookmarked and can go “take a break” to check. Must be psychological or something. Anyhow, keep on, keep on. I’m looking forward to year 2!

  25. Judy Dunn says:

    Wow, Sonia. What a year.

    I am starting my own Savvy Blogging classes in the Seattle community but I know I have such a long, long way to go.

    You are what I aspire to be and I hold your blog up as a perfect example of authenticity, usefulness and humor that keep your readers coming back for more.

    Congratulations and keep those posts coming!

  26. Sonia Simone says:

    I’m having a Sally Fields moment. :)

    Special shout-out to Lizthefair, what a long strange trip it’s been . . .

    Judy, you’re a doll. Just keep writing about what you see and what you experience! We all have a long way to go.

    Janice, how funny, I do the same actually. When I subscribe, I feel like I’m all done, and often I don’t go back, or I get back only rarely. I have my daily/weekly haunts that I just type in the URL to say hi and see what’s up.

  27. Kelly says:

    Sonia,

    Wow wow! Happy birthday. It’s so neat to look under the hood of one of my favorite blogs.

    I’m glad you took the time to do this post. I know what a pain these are to write!

    Many happy returns of the blogday.

    Regards,

    Kelly

  28. Hi Sonia, belated happy anniversary to you and your blog! Manny happy returns and hope to see much more of your work both here and on Coppyblogger :)

    All the best,
    Alina

  29. Sneaky, sneaky… Three readers my ass. Now everyone’s chiming in to say, “HEY!”

    So… HEY! I’m here! Congrats, Sonia.

  30. Carole says:

    Happy birthday, RC! As a complete flake, I’m late in wishing it, but that doesn’t make it less hearfelt. : )

    Also, as a total flake, it’s taking me longer than it ought to work my way through your archives, but this year-in-retrospect, chock-full of links as it is, will give me some sort of guide…. Thanks!! : )

  31. GirlPie says:

    Very clever Seth-bait,
    which was Naomi-bate,
    which the MWPs couldn’t resist — and all in a true lesson about comment-bait!

    Happy Blogday Sonia, keep up the good work ~

  32. Sonia Simone says:

    Carole, this is a safe zone for flakes of all varieties. :)

  33. Only a year? Based on the way I instantly got hooked on your blog, I thought you’d been at this a lot longer. Congrats! I’d wish you many happy years of blogging, but at the speed things keep changing, who knows whether we’ll even still be blogging in a few years.

  34. Sonia Simone says:

    Who knows, right Jeffrey? Content is content, but the shell can change a lot. It will definitely be interesting to see how that evolves, given the rate of change over the past 10 years.

  35. Todd Smith says:

    I love your blog, Sonia! It’s one of the ones I read every time. Thank you for everything and I look forward to great things to come.

  36. Writer Dad says:

    Happy anniversary, happy birthday, and happy blogging. Glad I found you. Have a great weekend.

  37. Drew Kime says:

    Thanks for posting the numbers. I started mine a year ago this November (and *WOW* was my photography bad) without any real plans to make it a regular thing. I started (mostly) regular posting in March of this year, and just topped 600 feed subscribers.

    I keep reading about the people who hit multiple thousands within a few months and wonder what I’m doing wrong. It’s reassuring to see confirmation that those are the exceptions.

    Happy birthday, and here’s wishes for many more of the same.

  38. J.D. Meier says:

    Happy birthday Remarkable Communication! You’re a true source of insight and a giver of goodness.

    > Helping kids who are in bad situations is a big part of what drives me
    Why not add this in your mission or values for your blog? It’s one of those very real, very human values that resonates, and it’s probably a common bond with your audience.

    J.D. Meiers last blog post..Social Loafing