“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” — Abraham Lincoln
Sources of Insight is two years old as of Sep 1st, 2010. A year ago, I posted that Sources of Insight is one year old.
Two years old … Sheesh. It’s hard to believe. On one hand, it feels like just yesterday. On the other hand, it feels like forever. And I hope this terrible twos thing is just a rumor.
Looking back, it’s been a good year and I’ve learned a ton. To keep it simple, I’m just going to use a frame of “three things going well” and “three things to improve” as a way to take a look back, and to take a look ahead.
3 Things Going Well
- Viral posts. A few of my posts went way more viral than I expected like my Lessons Learned from Seth Godin and my What 16 Movies Can Teach Us About Life and Leadership. The irony is I created that last post because a friend suggested that a simple post on my lessons learned from movies would be a quick hit. I tested and he was right. The lesson here is always test your results, and test your assumptions.
- Featured guests. I continue to get some great contributions from people who know their stuff. This past year included guest posts by Ali Hale on My Top Ten Lessons in Life, Dan Schawbel on Top 5 Lessons Learned in Personal Branding, Eduard Ezeanu on Top 10 Lessons in Improving Communication, Linda P. Jones on The 8 Steps to Wealth, Michael Michalko on Dancing in the Rain, and Nadia Ballas-Ruta on Top 10 Lessons Learned in Spirituality.
- Clarity. The best way I can put this is that it’s clear for me that my blog is about empowering YOU with the best skills for thinking, feeling, and taking action. I think of it as filling your bag of tricks with wisdom of the ages and modern sages for improving your mind, body, emotions, career, money, relationships, and fun. There’s also something sticky about “insight and action for work and life.” Whenever I change that people tell me to change it back – and they say that together with “Stand on the Shoulders of Giants” it would make a great t-shirt (Should I start taking orders now?
3 Things to Improve
- Guest posting. I know it’s the single most important thing to grow awareness, and yet I haven’t focused on it yet. That said, I have done a few guest posts, including Finding Your Eye of the Tiger, Happiness is a Skill, and How Do You measure a Life? I tried to vary the style a bit and each one is a bit different. I plan to guest post a bit more in the not too distant future.
- Growth. I’m at ~2,700 subscribers, 30,000 visitors a month, and 50,000 page views a month. I expected more growth, but given that I haven’t invested in guest posting, I can’t complain. What’s important is that the people that need what I’ve got are finding it. I also think that audience is a quality and relevancy game, way more than a numbers game. Some experienced bloggers have told me that my numbers are actually pretty good so far and that it’s healthy growth. They remind me that year three is where the real growth happens.
- Unique value. While people tell me my blog is different, they can’t clearly put their finger on it. Some say it’s because of the work-life blend. Some say it’s because it’s action-oriented. Some says it’s because I’m in the game at Microsoft. Some say it’s because I keep things simple. I’d like to get more clarity here. I suspect it will be my “patterns and practices” approach to things that is really the important differentiator. However, it’s not as important that I know the difference, as it is that readers perceive and value the difference … so that’s one for me to grow on.
I think the most important thing I did this last year was 30 Days of Getting Results the Agile Way. The whole idea behind the system is to be the author of your life and write your story forward. It’s a personal productivity system that helps you manage your time, energy, and focus for amazing results. I wanted to give everybody in the world a simple system for getting meaningful results in work and life. It’s an industrial strength system that I teach inside and outside of Microsoft. It’s a system that I wish somebody gave me long ago, before I went through all the schools of hard knocks and learning the hard way. It’s my way of helping everybody make the most of what they’ve got.
What does the future hold for Sources of Insight? Well, I’m not a fortune teller, but I can tell you that I do have a whole lot more in my bag of tricks that I plan to share with you.
Together we’ll “Stand on the Shoulders of Giants!”
Photo by cambodia4kidsorg.