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!