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5 Things I’ve Learned From One Year of Blogging

May 30, 2011 3 comments

Happy Anniversary! A Quantum of Knowledge went online one year ago today!

It seems like the older you get, the shorter the years get. Because it certainly doesn’t seem like a year since I started blogging.

But it has been. 312 posts. 63,000 hits. Not to shabby :)

From what I’ve read, the majority of blogs die out in the first few months after creation. So how do you keep it going?

There are a few tidbits I’ve picked up over the past year that have not only kept me blogging, but kept me loving blogging.

1. Write about what YOU find interesting.

Too often I find myself trolling the news trying to find stories that I think others might be interested in. But this inevitably causes problems.

First, if I don’t find the subject interesting, I’m not going to do a good job writing about it.

Second, you never know what people will find interesting. If you try to pick topics based on what you think people will like, you are just playing a guessing game.

Stick with what you know. Because if you write about things you like and you find fascinating, you will write great posts that people will want to read and share with their friends.

2. Post OFTEN!

It doesn’t have to be a long post. If you are busy, treat your blog like a Twitter feed. Or just post a video you thought was funny. Just post SOMETHING!

Regular posts not only keep your readers coming back, but they keep you in the habit. Just like an exercise routine, you need to keep it up regularly in order to make it a habit.

After you keep a regular schedule for a few weeks, it will be a cinch to continue posting all the time!

3. Talk about yourself

Even if you write your blog anonymously, you should still talk about yourself.

What are your personal feelings on an issue? Have you been happy or sad lately? Did you just go on vacation? If so, where to?

In my case, even though I blog about science, I’ve found that some of my most popular posts were actually about me and not science news.

Whether it be where I spent my weekend, or my Top 10 Sci-Fi Movies, people seem to like hearing about my life. And I’m happy to oblige them.

Not only that, but I’ve found that personal anecdotes do wonders when trying to explain a complicated subject. Inserting a funny personal story into a technical post makes it much more readable.

4. Don’t be afraid to take a break now and then

If you haven’t blogged in a while, it can feel like a weight on your shoulders. You start to think,

“I haven’t posted in a while. I really should…but Dancing with the Stars is on…”

And the more days you miss, you more you feel like you should blog. But when you start feeling like you should, you really don’t want to.

So my advice? It’s ok to miss a few days of blogging. It’s even ok to miss a week or two. In fact, you should probably put the blog aside on purpose every now and then so you don’t get burned out!

And if you’ve intentionally taken a break from blogging, you will soon find that you miss it. You will want to blog again.

5. Do it because you love it

“Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that’s not why we do it.”
— Richard P. Feynman

The same goes for blogging. In my case, spreading the word about good science or disparaging pseudoscience may be in the best interest of the public; but that’s not why I do it.

I do it because I love writing. I love writing about other things that I love. Science, video games and other geekery, it’s all good.

And if you enjoy the fact that you are blogging, it will show through in your posts. People will be drawn to come back and keep reading your stuff.

So that’s it. That’s what I’ve learned. I hope you all have enjoyed the blog so far, and I hope you continue to enjoy it!

My Top 10 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Books: #10 – Watership Down

April 21, 2011 Leave a comment

So yes, I am away on vacation.

You can hear about how things are going by checking my Twitter feed. I’ve never driven across British Columbia before so I’m sure I’ll have lots to tweet about.

But in the meantime, you are getting a special treat. My second Top 10 list! This time it’s my top 10 sci-fi/fantasy novels. (The first was my Top 10 Sci-Fi Movies)

A quick caveat. These are my favourite novels. Not necessarily the most well written, well crafted, though provoking, social commentating sci-fi books of all time. They are simply the books I can read over and over and over again and never get tired of them.

If you disagree, let me know! I’d love to hear about your favourites, and I really enjoy getting book recommendations too, so don’t be shy.

Ok, let’s get started with…

#10 – Watership Down by Richard Adams (1972)


Watership Down

Image via Wikipedia

You might think that a group of rabbits trying to find a new home sounds like a Disney movie. But Richard Adams turns this mundane idea into an enthralling heroic fantasy story.

Engaging characters and a surprising amount of creepiness (the strange rabbits in Cowslip’s warren gave me the heebie-jeebies) set this novel apart from other, more childish stories.

A good deal of violence and religious overtones make this book a grown-up fantasy that anybody would find entertaining. There was also an animated version that follows the novel quite closely, though I would not recommend it for young children. (Apparently there is a Facebook support group for those who were traumatized by the movie as a child)

So this book is a great start to my Top 10 Sci-Fi/Fantasy novels. And there is a lot more yet to come!

All the world will be your enemy, Prince of a Thousand enemies. And when they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you. Be cunning, and full of tricks, and your people will never be destroyed.

– Richard Adams, Watership Down

All Entries

#10 – Watership Down

#9 – The Harry Potter Series

#8 – The Wheel of Time Series

#7 – The Stars My Destination

#6 – To Say Nothing of the Dog

#5 – Doomsday Book

#4 – Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal

#3 – The Farseer Trilogy

#2 – Flowers for Algernon

#1 – The Martian Chronicles