Happy New Year everyone! I hope you had a relaxing and enjoyable holiday, filled with lots of geekiness. I, for one, definitely made sure to sprinkle a little bit of geekiness into my Christmas/New Year's, but more on that in a future blog post. For now, I'd like to take a look back at this year and share a few things that I learned and plan on using for the new year. Read past the break to find out what...
Between getting married and buying a house, I have learned quite a few things this year. However, for this post, I want to specifically talk about the things I learned surrounding podcasting and new media and how I will be utilizing them in this new year. I have been podcasting since 2009, but this past year I decided to do things very different than what I had been doing. Most of these things will be common sense to many of you, but I had to discover them myself. Here is what I discovered along the way:
1) Get a direction (it doesn't matter where it's going)
I finished off 2011 needing to do something new and spent the first couple of months of 2012 without any sense of direction in my content creation. It wasn't until about halfway through the summer when I started to get my act together and get a sense of direction. That was when I started blogging more, Relative Dimensions became a podcast with a focus instead of just a show to talk about whatever I felt like, etc. I realized that my goal in creating content was to entertain people and show them how geeky I was and to encourage them to do the same. Also, I realized that my cohost Philip and I had much more to talk about in the realm of multiplayer games and it was something we were both passionate about, so why talk about something else?
2) Doesn't matter what you post, just keep posting
The above picture is the stats for my website in 2012. I look at this picture and nothing about it surprises me at all. Each of the dips in traffic I can pinpoint and associate it with a period where I was not posting much. From getting married to times where I was working a lot to moving into a new house, each of these moments corresponds to one of these dips in traffic. On the other hand, the enormous spike you see in the July 2012 time frame? That was when I decided to do an experiment and try and put up a new blog post everyday for 2 solid weeks. See the response? Don't worry so much about whether or not people are looking at your content, just keep creating good content and posting it on a continuous basis. Maybe everyday or multiple times a day is not feasible for you (it isn't for me), but whatever time frame you can manage STICK WITH IT!
3) Variety is the spice of life
Do you want to get the widest possible audience you can? Then don't pinhole yourself into one type of content. I started off this past year solely producing audio podcasts, but I found that very limiting when I wanted to expand my reach. Over the year I worked on producing better video versions of my audio podcasts, writing more written blog posts, and creating smaller videos that people could watch quickly on YouTube. At the end of the year, I was posting 3 different forms of content a week: Audio/Video podcasts on Monday/Tuesday, a written blog post on Wednesday, and then a OCDtv video on my YouTube channel on Friday. I really enjoyed that schedule, and it is something I hope I can work with in 2013. That way, if someone only consumes one form of my content, then each week they are getting something new to consume, no matter if its audio/video/or written. If you only have a blog, give podcasting a try. If you're a podcaster, try creating a video, or blogging more on your website. Each different medium will bring in new people to your content.
4) Momentum requires time to build
Looking back at the stats I posted above, do you see something else? If you look at the overall trend of the graph, you'll see that as the year progresses, the numbers are gradually rising. Don't give up hope if you aren't immediately getting the return that you had hoped for on your content. Keep working at it, and over time you'll start to see some momentum build up. Even looking back at the numbers, I'm still not where I'd like to be ideally, but this graph gives me hope that if I keep producing solid content, I'll get there eventually.
5) You can't live in a vacuum
How are you going to get your content in front of people if no one sees it? Well, the best way is to throw it at them! No, I don't mean spam people harassing them to visit your website. What I mean is that you need to connect with other people who have similar interests and build relationships with them. Then, when you create something that you know they will enjoy, send them a link to check it out and ask them to forward it on to other people that they think will enjoy it. Some of my most popular posts this year have been ones that have appealed to others in my Twitter stream and have retweeted the link to their followers, spreading the word even further.
Like I said, pretty much common sense right? Well I learned these lessons the hard way this year, now my goal is to use these to build better content for 2013, such as:
- Utilize my Facebook fan page more (Facebook.com/obsessivecomicsdisorder) - Write *something* everyday (whether or not it ends up on the website is a different story) - Try for posting content 3 days a week, but I want at a minimum something new on the site every week.
What are you doing different this year? Let me in the comments below.