Committing to writing a daily blog is not an easy pledge, but I’m going to make that pledge right here, right now. Instead of keeping the pledge to myself, I’m saying it in public, so I can be held accountable for its performance, and therefore be more pressured to not deviate from it.
My blogging history dates back to 2000, when I started blogging using David Winer’s platform called UserLand. UserLand was probably the first blogging platform out there, and I keep reminiscing about it. Since then, my blogging frequency has been intermittent, and my best record has been in the last 3.5 years since I re-started blogging on Startup Management, with 201 posts to-date. That’s roughly an average of 1 blog per week. Going to 1 per day will mean that I need to up my frequency 7 times.
The benefits of regular blogging are obvious to me. My role models for daily blogging in the tech/VC space are the usual suspects: Fred Wilson, Brad Feld, Mark Suster and Albert Wenger. These 4 VCs have set the standards in terms of being there and sharing their thoughts openly with the public. Jeff Carter is another friend who has been blogging daily on PointsandFigures, and I admire his relentless frequency. Each one of these people takes a different approach to content, frequency and style, and here are the key lessons that I’ll be adopting, as a set of collective take from all of them.
Doing it quickly. I’m still not very good there, but getting better. The idea is that blogging should not be a chore, but rather a pleasant something you get done, and then you move on. If it takes 3 hours to write a blog post, doing it daily would become a productivity drain, but if you can do it in 10-30 minutes, then you’re being productive at producing them.
Having an on-going repertoire of ideas to blog about. That’s an easy one. I maintain a list using Google Keep, and have several drafts of future posts on Google Docs. There is no shortage of inspiration and topics I seek to write about, based on my daily work.
Doing it everyday. Fred Wilson is notorious for his daily blogging, and he has amassed an increasingly larger audience that keeps coming back daily for his blog. Fred knows that his readers come to his blog every day, because … he simply blogs every day.
Write a single draft. Brad told me he writes a single draft from beginning to end, Then, before publishing, he reviews it once, cleans it up, then he posts it. Mark Suster has blogged that he adopts a similar routine. Sometimes, he goes back and re-polishes a post that he had to get out quickly.
Have an editorial calendar with some regular features, like what Albert Wenger has with Tech Tuesdays and Fred did with MBA Mondays and now Feature Fridays, and a video on Saturdays. I haven’t yet figured out what my regular feature will be, but it will come eventually.
Accept that not all posts will be great. That’s the hardest one to swallow, for me at least. It’s almost impossible to bang out a stunning post every day, at least not when your job entails other things besides writing. So, you have to come to grips with that, and accept it. Some days, there might be some “fillers”, just because there needs to be a daily entry. I’ll try to make them interesting.
Perfection delays everything. I’ve tended to write several well rounded, well researched, “complete” posts, diving into topics where I try to not leave one stone unturned. But I will need to relax this self-imposed rule, and see what comes out. I know I will have the chance to later refine some thoughts, and will be open to reader feedback and comments.
So, I’m embarking on this tough challenge with my eyes open, knowing that it will not be easy in the initial days (especially that I have an upcoming heavy travel, work commitments and speaking schedule), until the habit kicks in. I’m not sure when will that habit form to the point when it becomes a pleasant addiction that I will naturally partake in, but I’m looking forward to being in that future zone, and in that mode of writing as easily as I comment on blog posts. According to my Disqus profile, I have written 19,083 comments (and counting) in the past 8 years, and that’s an average of 6.5 comment per day, since I have been an active commenter.
In terms of topics, I have lots coming up that I want to write about. Not just about the blockchain, but also about startups, venture capital, decentralized models and governance, society, and the state of our world. Maybe there will be some occasional posts about other topics that I am passionate about, like food, wine, travel, nature, culture, fitness, health, politics, government, and some fun / unexpected subjects in the mix.
I know it will take some courage, discipline and practice for me to get there. Wish me luck!