When I rolled out of bed on October 26, 2013, I had no social media presence whatsoever. Just an email account. That’s not to say I was a n00b. I’d been studying the blogosphere for more than 10 years at that point. I had an online life in the early 2000’s, and I enjoyed it, but eventually I walked away. I am one of the lucky few who have experienced the joy removing oneself from the Internet, which is all but impossible today. I am reincarnated, in a way. I managed to engineer a fresh start.
I joined Facebook on Oct. 27. @parttimemonster and @quaintjeremy helped me, and we built a network of about 100 followers for me in 3 days.
Of course, it did not just occur to me on Oct. 27 to get into the social media. We’d been planning since spring. We thought very carefully about my entrance. By the time I joined Facebook, we’d tested various approaches to blogging and decided to go with WordPress.
On Nov. 2, Diana started blogging. I’m not sure why that day. I remember a conversation in which I counseled her to wait a little longer. I was designing two blogs and figuring out how WordPress tags work at that point. The next thing I knew, she was posting, and sharing to her Facebook timeline. So I stepped it up.
It’s crazy when I look back on it now. Twelve days after I joined Facebook, I was running two blogs. In the interim, all kinds of crazy creative things happened. Emails that read like memos were exchanged. Meetings happened. There were late-nite phone calls and early morning phone calls. It was a wild, crazy two weeks. And here we are, six months later.
I had no idea the implementation part of it happened in 12 days until I looked at the timestamps. In my memory, those 12 days feel like six weeks.
I built Sourcerer and The Writing Catalog under the radar. I didn’t even use my name on WordPress until the day they went live. And for those few days, while I was getting things together, Diana was blogging.
We came here with a Facebook following of about 400 people – mostly Diana’s and Jeremy’s friends. Those, and whatever we could get from news feeds by smart tagging and posting at the right time of day were all we could count on. So I decided to make the debut of these blogs an event. I wrote 4 posts ahead of time, then spent Nov. 6 talking to people offline about it and overselling it without letting on that I was about to debut two blogs. Here are the four posts:
- I posted a teaser packaged as a Ribbon Cutting announcement at The Writing Catalog at 9 a.m. and shared it to my Facebook timeline (we had no fan pages at that point).
- At 2:30 I published my first real post at The Writing Catalog.
- Half an hour later, I posted Sourcerer‘s introductory post. Aside from a handful of people, no one knew it was coming until I published it.
- At 7 p.m., I posted a Thank You for everyone who’d visited that day and helped us figure out how we wanted to go about setting up our blogs.
I was hoping for 30 or 40 page views and 20+ visitors that day. We actually managed over 100 views and several dozen visitors on all three of the blogs. For the most part, we’ve grown steadily since then. Part Time Monster has more than 900 followers and its traffic is fairly consistent. Sourcerer has more than 500 followers, and our traffic is more erratic, but we have a lot of good days.
The Writing Catalog is closing in on 350 followers, and it doesn’t get the attention the other two do, but that’s only because I don’t have time to do as much blogging there as I do here. Interestingly, Sourcerer has generated almost as many page views as the Monster. PTM is only about 1,000 views ahead as of today, and only started pulling away in the last month or so.
Thanks to everyone for visiting, reading, and commenting here. I’m proud of the quality and consistency we’ve managed to maintain here so far. If the next six months goes as quickly as the last six, we’ll be celebrating a year before we know it. And the more we blog, the better at it we get.