JWJames Wallis
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50,000 views milestone, continuing my blogging journey

16th March 2021

ğŸŽ‰ Last week I hit 50,000 total views! ğŸŽ‰

🔥 And also 1000 total reactions! 🔥

🚀 And was awarded the Next.js badge! 🚀

I'm buzzing. I wanted to reach 50,000 total views by June this year but it's the start of March and I've already achieved it - I thought for sure that it would be a close call given the time it took to reach 20,000 views. The icing on the cake? My latest post earned me the Next.js author of the week badge, which I've been eyeing for ages!

Back in January, when I reached 20,000 I wrote a milestone post that discussed what I'd learnt about blogging so far. In this post, I'll reflect on it and will attempt to understand how I've more than doubled my total views in a third of the time.

Reviewing my 20,000 milestone post

What I'd learnt a few months into posting

In the last post, I created a list of things I'd learnt over the course of my first few months of blogging. Here are some of the points that I still believe are important:

  • Post titles matter. I still believe this and carefully word titles trying to include "How to" or some type of call to action to entice the reader.
  • Keep posting. I've acquired the 8-week posting streak badge and (think) I'm on track for the 16-week badge.
  • Don't be discouraged by a low amount of reactions. While I'm now making posts that gain a considerable amount of attention (for me), I think about half of those that I've posted in the past few months have had ~10 reactions.
  • Post what you find interesting. This is a good one! My most popular posts have been about rebuilding my website to use Dev.to as a CMS.

What I planned to do next

At the end of the post, I came up with a plan to reach 50,000 views.

This is what I said...

In the next six months, I'm aiming to reach 50,000 views. And, by the end of the year, I want to achieve 100,000 views.

To achieve this I will:

  • Create more posts!
  • Update old posts with new content and correcting tutorials where the underlying software has changed.
  • Publicise my posts across the web and share them on Linkedin and other social sites. So far I haven't advertised them at all and rely on followers on dev.to, it's algorithm and Google rankings to gain views on my articles. This would be beneficial to gain more views, but means advertising my writing to people that know me - so we'll see whether I actually do it or not.

...and after some reflection, I can tell you that I haven't really done any of them. I've created more posts and updated a couple of tutorials with corrections. Yet, here I am hitting 50,000 views?

So what have I done instead?

  • Been persistent. Currently, I'm creating a post about once a week. This has helped me grow to ~700 followers, that's a lot of people to receive a notification each time I make a post. Additionally, I believe that it's helped me naturally improve the quality of my posts as I gain more experience.
  • Categorised my posts. Over the past couple of months I've written three types of posts. Sticking to three formats has led to a smooth experience when I write a post as I have a format that I can follow for each type. If I want to, I will deviate from the formats, but they help to get me started.
    1. Portfolio items where I write about past projects (these show up on my website under the /portfolio path, more info here).
    2. "5 things to check out". I've written about 5 Next.js features, 5 places to get pre-built Tailwind CSS components. These posts are fun to write as I have to find 5 things to write about so I'm learning while I'm writing.
    3. Projects created with a post topic in mind. My two most popular posts have both been about rewriting my website to use Dev.to as a CMS. While this project has made it ten times easier to add posts to my website (with the canonical URL pointing to my site), I knew before starting development that it would be interesting to write about - and that bet has paid off.
  • Varied my posts. Posting every week can be exhausting. Some weeks I'll write a shorter post, like this one, and other weeks I'll set time aside to focus on a longer, tutorial style post.

What's next?

ğŸŽ¯ 100,000 views ğŸŽ¯

Reaching 50,000 views isn't the end of my blogging journey. My next goals are to reach:

  • 100,000 total views
  • 2,000 total reactions
  • 10,000 views on a single post
  • The 16 week streak badge

To achieve this I will:

  • Create more posts!
  • Cross-post to other blogging sites like Medium and Hashnode. Both seem a lot slower than Dev.to to gain views on posts but I want to persist and add most of my articles there - we'll see how it works out!
  • Publicise my posts. I'll start with LinkedIn and then see how I get on. I know I said this last time but I really should start to do this. I've been lucky enough to have been shared by the Dev Community Twitter account so I really should do the same!
    • I'm curious, how much success do you have on other blogging platforms like Medium and Hashnode? Do you use any others?

Summary

I'm continuing to enjoy writing, posting and interacting with members of the Dev.to community. Though, I have to admit I'm excited to achieve the 16-week streak badge so I can have a little break - I wish there was a way to see if am on track.

Let me know what you think about my blogging experience and if you have any advice for me!

Where do you cross-post to?

Thanks for reading! Hope you're having a great 2021!

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