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What I Did Right: How I Averaged 80 Comments and 135 Tweets in My First Week of Blogging

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My first week of blogging was like a dream. I went through it in a hazy fog of anxiety, excitement, happiness, and disbelief that I never could have anticipated.

As I write this, on Friday, May 21, my first-ever two posts have received 159 comments and have been tweeted 272 times. I'm simply stunned. It would be nice if I could say that I'm glowing, but the reality is that this week has kicked my butt.

My first foray into blogging has shown me that it can be a Herculean task to keep up with responding to comments and tweets while balancing clients and life.

But it's all been worth it. When I look at the amazing comments from my readers in regard to how my blog posts have resonated with them, and in some cases helped them tremendously by giving them a bit of direction or perhaps an ounce of inspiration, then it makes the lack of sleep and sense of discombobulation all worthwhile.

I have to be honest, though, I almost didn't go through with it. The night before my planned launch I DM'd (direct-messaged) my friend Mack Collier on Twitter and told him I wanted to "chicken out and crawl in a hole." He proceeded to send me such an inspired litany of DMs that after reading them I pretty much had no choice but to launch my blog!


So, I did.

I've learned a lot in this first week, and I know there is no magic blog launch formula, but I do have some theories as to what went into the success of the week as I begin to reflect...

I spent a lot of time learning about blogging before I ever considered starting a blog

I attended the MarketingProfs Digital Mixer last October in Chicago, where one of the best seminars I attended was Mack's session on blogging. It was a "hot seat" session where three different types of blogs were chosen as examples for us to learn from. Mack did a masterful job of showing how even small tweaks to a blog or to a blogging strategy can have significant impact on your success. I took a lot of notes!

Up until last October I had been sporadically attending (mostly observing as a "lurker") #blogchat, which takes place on Sunday nights at 9:00 pm Eastern Time on Twitter. After the MarketingProfs conference, I decided to make a much more concerted effort to attend regularly and to try to jump in and participate where I could. The #blogchat community is, quite simply, inspiring! The spirit on Sunday nights during the chat is genuinely one of helping each other to succeed, and I've learned a tremendous amount from the participants over these past many months.

I did a lot of hard work to understand what resonates between bloggers and their readers

I started reading a lot of blogs. I tried to get up a little earlier each day to browse my Google Reader and find blogs of interest to me that day. It gave me a feel for what readers respond to when it comes to some of the top bloggers in the field.

I began making a concerted effort to comment on blogs. I commented on Mack's first because I felt pretty safe with him as a new friend, and then slowly I began to comment on others—Brains on Fire's, Shannon Paul's, Amber Naslund's, Joe Pulizzi's, Beth Harte's, Valeria Maltoni's—and I even realized I had commented on Chris Brogan's about a year ago. By doing so, and by being attuned to their responses back to me, I felt more confident that I had opinions that others would be interested in hearing.

I allowed myself to be inspired

I went to SOBCon 2010. Ever have the feeling that you are meant to be somewhere? That's exactly what SOBCon felt like for me. The fascinating thing is that when I had asked Liz Strauss (SOBCon co-founder) on the phone prior to the event who, exactly, attends SOBCon, her response to me was, "the people who are meant to be in the room always find their way there."

It was a weekend full of blissful inspiration about growing businesses, and mutual encouragement from the 150 attendees who were in the room.

My network wanted me to succeed and helped me do so

I absolutely could not have been so successful in my first week of blogging without the encouragement and support of my personal network.

Since I decided, just last Friday night, to launch the blog, I did not have any lead time to let people know about my plans. So, the morning of my launch, I DM'd about 15 of my friends and colleagues from SOBCon, and from my clients, and let them know I had launched a blog and would be honored if they would stop by. I emailed a few as well. All of them sent out tweets on my behalf and many of them left comments on my post, too.

Having a group of supporters cheer me on and encourage me throughout that first day felt amazing and made the entire launch experience fun and memorable.

I wrote in my own voice, from a unique perspective

Writing in my own voice—that was the scariest part of all. It is the ingredient without which you cannot set yourself apart, yet it makes you incredibly vulnerable.

As a woman who has spent much time working with CEOs and other high-level executives, the majority of whom have been men, I wanted my readers to hear a truly unique perspective on important issues such as vision and vulnerability in leadership.

I felt compelled to put the word "goddess" in my tagline, though I knew it was a risk. I also knew that I am at a point in my career where I am ready for the risks—and the sheer thrill of the journey. And so, with a little nudge from Mack, I jumped off the cliff—with a smile.

It will get harder from here, with the excitement of the first week behind me, but I know that I have a strong foundation on which to build!


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Lisa Petrilli is CEO of C-Level Strategies Inc., chief relationship officer of CEO Connection, and chief operating and marketing officer for the To Be a Woman global platform. Introverts will find an abundance of practical advice in her new e-book: The Introvert's Guide to Success in Business and Leadership. Marketing Profs readers will receive a 30% discount and pay just $5.39 with code "MarketingProfs." The e-book is also available on Amazon for Kindle and at Barnes & Noble for Nook.

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  • by Wendy Flanagan Tue Jun 1, 2010 via web

    Great job Lisa! Your strategic approach to building personal brand and reputation is matched by your professionalism. Glad to be connected via MENG. Recognition well-deserved! @wendyflanagan

  • by Shelly Kramer Tue Jun 1, 2010 via web

    Great job, Lisa. I think the message here is to invest in building your "community" first ... then, they are invested in your success just like you are. That's the beauty of mediums like Twitter and Facebook, etc., because they allow you to do that first - by simply being yourself - and then reaping the benefits of what those friendships ultimately bring!

    Kudos to you!!! Sorry we didn't get to spend any time together at SOBCon ... it was a wonderful event, wasn't it?

    Shelly
    @shellykramer
    http://v3im.com

  • by Jonathan Saar Tue Jun 1, 2010 via web

    Lisa I feel privileged to see what you described in todays post in action. I was so happy for you and for the immediate results you received. I look forward to many more posts from you.

  • by Lisa Petrilli Tue Jun 1, 2010 via web

    Wendy - Your kind words mean so much to me and I am honored that they are coming from a fellow MENG colleague! Thank you for the support and encouragement!

    Shelly - Yes, I think you're right. And it takes time, doesn't it?! Thank you so much for your excitement and support - and for taking the time to comment! I genuinely appreciate it. Yes, SOBCon was wonderful - next year we'll have to spend some time "masterminding." :)

    Jonathan - You've been such an incredible friend and your support and happiness for me means more than you know! Thank you so much!

  • by Jeff Shuey Tue Jun 1, 2010 via web

    And to think I knew Lisa before she was a world famous blogger.

    Rock on Lisa --- You are an inspiration to us all.

    Jeff
    jeff_shuey@hotmail.com
    @jshuey
    http://jshueywa.blogspot.com/

  • by Lisa Petrilli Tue Jun 1, 2010 via web

    You certainly know how to make me laugh, Mr. Shuey!

    Thanks for the encouraging words - they mean a lot to me, Jeff.

  • by Polly Hopkins Tue Jun 1, 2010 via web

    Jeff--I knew you before you were a big-time comedian!
    Great article, Lisa. You've inspired me to stop lurking and start sharing.
    Polly
    Splash Services
    polly@splashservices.net

  • by Lisa Petrilli Wed Jun 2, 2010 via web

    Polly,

    Knowing that you'll stop lurking and start sharing is the greatest compliment! Thank you - and all the best of luck!

  • by DJ Waldow Wed Jun 2, 2010 via web

    Lisa -

    Love it. I think the other key that you alluded to, but didn't state explicitly is that you asked. Yup. A simple, yet powerful ask. You built up credibility and trust with a dozens of folks, then used Twitter and email to alert them and ask them to read.

    I'm glad we connected face to face in Chicago last year at the MP Digital Mixer. Looking forward to MENG preso in a few months!

    DJ Waldow
    Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory
    @djwaldow

  • by Lisa Petrilli Wed Jun 2, 2010 via web

    DJ,

    Yes, I absolutely did ask - in a more subtle way as I invited them to stop by, but you're right, because of the connections I had built they took my invitation seriously and were amazingly supportive.

    I wrote about the power of asking in my 3rd blog post, "What I learned about networking when I asked a stranger for a kidney." So, I am right there with you on how powerful it can be to simply ask someone for help! I'm so glad you wrote about it as well. :)

    I'm thrilled we met as well, DJ, and look forward to collaborating this Fall!

  • by Don Don Wed Jun 2, 2010 via web

    SOBCon?
    Son of Bitch Conference? Seriously, what a smart name to pick!

    Lisa, what subject matter do you blog about? Or maybe I've missed it...

  • by Lisa Petrilli Wed Jun 2, 2010 via web

    Hi Don,

    I blog about executive leadership and challenges that C-Suite leaders face. Would love to have you stop by at www.LisaPetrilli.com. :)

    All the best,
    Lisa

  • by tlmaurer Thu Jun 3, 2010 via web

    Thanks for sharing this, Lisa. I'm at this point myself, getting ready to launch my reworked consulting web site, complete with blog. The closer my launch gets, the more nervous I become about getting my feet wet in the world of blogging. Your no-nonsense, simple...yet strategic... approach has made me realize that this is not rocket science and everyone started out somewhere. Like you, I've been 'lurking' a bit recently on #blogchat soaking up words of wisdom from Mack Collier and the other participants

  • by Lisa Petrilli Thu Jun 3, 2010 via web

    Hi Terry,

    You're so right - it's not rocket science! You're doing the right thing by soaking up Mack's words of wisdom and spending time at #blogchat. Please say "hi" at the next one and don't be afraid to participate by asking questions - as you know, the #blogchat crew is great at reaching out and helping people!

    Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! Please let me know when you launch so I can be of help to you. :)

  • by Kaila Bostick Thu Jun 3, 2010 via web

    Hey Lisa,

    This blog was very inspiring! I just started a blog of my own for a class that I am taking this semester. I didn't do all the research that you mentioned that you did before you started your blog but I wish I would have. I just jumped into it head first! And although I do have required topics that I must write on I feel like I want to expand my blog to do more than the requirements but I just don't know where to start. Reading your post has inspired me to just start somewhere! I am looking forward to becoming a successful blogger like yourself!
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  • by Lisa Petrilli Thu Jun 3, 2010 via web

    Kaila,

    I can't tell you how much it means to me that my experience provided a bit of inspiration! I wish you all the best with your new blog and your class, and hope you'll keep me posted on your progress.

    Please let me know if I can be of help to you in any way! All the best,
    Lisa

  • by Social Chadder Sat Jun 5, 2010 via web

    Lisa,

    Hi, your story is an inspiring one for a new blogger such as myself. I can appreciate your perspective and relate to your experience. Great to read. Thanks for sharing.

    Best, Social Chadder

  • by Lisa Petrilli Sat Jun 5, 2010 via web

    So glad to hear that you found it inspiring - thank you so much. Wishing you all the best as a new blogger,

    Lisa

  • by Marla Wed Jun 16, 2010 via web

    Thanks for the very encouraging words. I'm about to launch an eBook, using blogging as my chief means of drawing attention to my website. Been wondering how often you post a new blog?

    Marla
    Marla@BeyondNetiquette.com
    http//:www.BeyondNetiquette.com

  • by Lisa Petrilli Wed Jun 16, 2010 via web

    Hi Marla,

    One thing I learned at #blogchat is the importance of being consistent with your blog. Decide on a schedule you are comfortable that you can commit to and stick to it. For me, that's been twice a week - usually on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

    Mack Collier has great advice on this topic here: "You don’t have to blog every day," - http://mackcollier.com/you-dont-have-to-blog-every-day/
    that I hope you'll find helpful.

    Best of luck with your eBook!

    Lisa

  • by steve olenski Fri Jul 16, 2010 via web

    Hey Lisa, I am obviously late to this dance but what the hey... what you wrote is timeless... it really is. And I can honestly say without Social Media and all its trappings, I would not have had the chance to meet folks like yourself, Tom Martin, Drew McClellan, Beth Harte and on and on...

    Thanks for this inspiring post and all the best!
    Steve O

  • by Lisa Petrilli Fri Jul 16, 2010 via web

    It's never too late to dance - glad you joined me on this particular dance floor!

    I can't thank you enough for your kind words - they really do mean a lot to me. I am glad that you see some of these concepts as timeless. I couldn't agree more and I only wish I had understood them myself at an earlier age.

    So glad that Drew (and social media) have connected us!
    All the best,

    Lisa Petrilli

  • by Rob Fri Jul 16, 2010 via web

    Wow, that's a big impact. I also noticed it was what seemed like a year of pre-work to understand the game and make that splash. Daunting. What are the posts?

  • by Lisa Petrilli Fri Jul 16, 2010 via web

    Hi Rob,

    What CEOs Can Learn From the Goddess of Vision:
    http://www.lisapetrilli.com/2010/05/14/what-ceos-can-learn-from-the-goddess-of-vision/

    And

    You’re Just Not That Into Me (the introvert’s guide to attending a conference)
    http://www.lisapetrilli.com/2010/05/16/youre-just-not-that-into-me-the-introverts-guide-to-attending-a-conference/

    All the best,
    Lisa

  • by Rob Fri Jul 16, 2010 via web

    Great posts. Very interesting to see how they rolled out. You did a great job of fostering communication in the comments as well. Again, a lot of pre-work...but that's what blogging, and blogging for any sort of impact is about...long term building and the ability to make impactful "pushes" and responses.

    ...Or you could just be Old Spice and pull off a ridiculous video stunt that goes viral. Although by next week it'll be old news.

  • by Lisa Petrilli Fri Jul 16, 2010 via web

    Thank you, Rob. :)

  • by Andy Pearson Tue Jun 21, 2011 via web

    Great article - thanks for taking the time to write this. Very interesting to hear about the "support" element, I think the main problem a lot of people run into is relying on "google" to drive all of their traffic - when in fact modern SEO knowledge is that google is in fact listening to social activity and driving traffic there based on social activity.

  • by Lisa Petrilli Tue Jun 21, 2011 via web

    Thank you, Andy. I certainly don't want to minimize the importance of search traffic, especially as you look to truly grow your blog, but when starting out the emotional support in terms of traffic and comments from your personal network is so much more impactful! Thanks for the comment. :)

  • by Shraddha Mauskar Wed Sep 28, 2011 via web

    Lisa. I m absolutely late in writing a comment but i think better late than never. Thank u for sharing ur success mantra with us. I now know what r the prerequisite for blogging and what make a really good blogger.

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