What I’ve Learned Blogging for 11 Years

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

Today this site turns 11 years old! I never quite know how to celebrate these anniversaries other than to share what is on my mind at the time. This year, it’s all about how I’ve found a modest bit of success doing this.

First, nobody has time for your shit. People are busy, they’ve got a lot on their minds, and they have an infinite number of things they could be doing right now that isn’t reading/watching/listening to whatever you made. This isn’t to say you should only make things that can be consumed in 30 seconds or less, it’s just to remind you to value your audience’s time and attention. Use as few words as possible to get your point across.

Second, you must be yourself. I spent years emulating other bloggers. Shawn Blanc, John Gruber, Ben Brooks…I wanted to do what they did, and I adopted their voices and styles. In the past few years though, I think I’ve come into my own in terms of having my own voice and talking about what I want to talk about. I learned that I was more passionate about the Apple Watch than just about anyone else out there so I ran with it. In recent years I’ve recognized that my knowledge of how payments actually work could be helpful in the App Store debate we’ve been having where I see a lot of F.U.D. flying around.

Third, you have to enjoy the process. I love writing and making videos, and this site wouldn’t have lasted this long if I didn’t enjoy the process.

And finally, don’t look at the numbers so much. It’s fun to watch numbers, especially when they’re going up, but unless you’re looking to make a career out of writing, seriously don’t get too caught up in checking your stats all the time. On a related note, really don’t get into blogging in 2021 if you think a modest audience is going to make serious money. Maybe I’m just really bad at this, but this site rarely earns more than $50/month. See point 3 above, but I wouldn’t be doing this anymore if it was all about the money.