Wow! #Orbit has reached a milestone! Since starting the blog in late November 2014, #Orbit has grown and has now published over 100 posts. It has been a long journey, but a good one. This article will reflect on #Orbit’s beginnings, where it has been, and where it is going. Let’s take a look back at the beginning!
The Beginning of #Orbit
I first launched #Orbit on November 29, 2014. With early positive feedback, I dove in, beginning to develop a consistent publishing schedule. Here is the very first blog post I published here on #Orbit:
Through the end of 2014, the blog went dark. False start?
The First 100 Posts
Around April 2015, I began blogging again. I was able to begin to set a fairly consistent schedule for posting. It felt good to post three times a week, providing valuable content to other entrepreneurs who want to develop a brand strategy that deeply connects with their audience.
But the consistentcy wasn’t perfect.
I first began posting as soon as I finished the content, wanting to get the immediate gratification and engagement from my audience, friends, family, and network. However, I was working incredibly hard to research, write, and develop the content in what little spare time I had. This turned a fun, creative activity into a stressful, must get the content out as fast as possible activity. Not fun. And worse, I was hard on myself.
Ultimatley, this pace proved to be unsustainable.
I then began setting a schedule, posting 3x a week at 10am central standard time. This was great for many reasons. I had set a schedule, got clear what days/times I was going to post new content, and held myself accountable. #Orbit started to build some traction and I had developed a routine. At one point, I had posts scheduled 6 weeks in advance! It was pretty incredible.
But, while posts were scheduled to go out, I was still working hard to churn out content for the following weeks. Being the only writer and creative, it was still a hard schedule to keep up on top of all of the other tasks that come with running a business.
In August of 2015, my wife Jacqueleen wrote a couple of amazing posts for #Orbit. This was awesome on so many levels, but the one thing that was relieved the most was pressure. Going from having to write 3 posts a week to writing 2 meant that if I still wrote 3, I’d be building up the queue for the following week. Here are the two posts that she wrote. They are some of my favorites:
The Vision for #Orbit Expands
I began to see #Orbit as more of a platform that other authors, experts, and entrepreneurs could contribute to. With this new vision, I set out to make new connections and get others contributing to #Orbit.
Through some online networking, I met the founder of Grexit, now Hiver, a Gmail extension app that turns your inbox into a helpdesk. In September of 2015, the head of marketing, Harsh Vardhan, wrote an excellent article on how to move forward after a lost business deal.
Interested in Guest Posting on #Orbit?
Setting the Framework
By fall of 2015, I had been writing consistently and had a taste of curating a few other posts for #Orbit. The framework was beginning and it was feeling like more than a blog, but an online publication that others can use as a resource. This was the original vision for #Orbit and still is today.
More Inconsistency, But More Focused As Well
Full-time work and other commitments throughout 2016 made it increasingly challenging to continue producing high quality content on a consistent basis, week in and week out. However, the second half of 2016 has been much more focused. #Orbit has gotten much more clear on what it is all about, and that has helped with the curation of posts and making sure the content stays consistent.
Lessons from the First 100 Posts on #Orbit
- If you Set a Publishing Schedule, Stick to the Schedule – This kind of goes without saying, however, it is a lesson that many online and many businesses and brands building an online presence must learn repeatedly. Consistency is key.
- Your Publishing Schedule Should Be Treated As Real Deadlines – This has to do with mindset. Sure, your blog or your content calendar may feel like a side hustle or a part of the brand that other team members are not paying attention to. But you aren’t writing for your team members. You are writing for your audience. Think about how they would feel if they visited your site on a day you had been known to publish new content, and it wasn’t there? How would they feel? How would it make your brand look to them? Keep yourself accountable to your audience. They are the ones that matter.
- If You Don’t Have a Content Creation Plan in Place, You Will Burn Out – This happens quite a bit. A brand starts building their online presence, hitting multiple platforms and working tirelessly to drive engagement. Then burn out happens. You miss a scheduled post. You go quiet on Twitter or Instagram for a few days, a week maybe. Two weeks go by and you realize that not only have you lost your momentum, but you still feel drained and uncreative to keep up with the pace that you had set previously.That’s OK.Set a new pace. Create a content calendar. And develp a system for curating content and scheduling posts in advance in order to lessen the stress of developing content.Create a pace and schedule that works best for you. Your audience will come to love hearing from you on those days, and you are in control.
- Thinks Bigger. Others WANT to Help You. – This is a tough one to learn. Other people are often excited about the project you are working on, but don’t know how to help because your idea isn’t clear enough to them. In the case of #Orbit, I would love to have guest posts on a regular basis and build a community around BrandedWorld. In order to do that, I first had to get clear about what #Orbit is and what it’s core values are. Like Moana’s grandmother says, when you get clear on who you are, everything else falls in place.(Yep, I just referenced Moana. Go watch it. It is amazing.)
The Future of #Orbit
The future is bright for #Orbit. I have a few goals for it heading into 2017 and a few surprises as well. Here are a couple goals that I want to achieve for the blog in the first half of the coming year.
GOAL 1: Maintain a Consistent Publishing Schedule of 3x a week, achieving new 75 Posts by 31 May 2017.
Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays are content publishing days for #Orbit. I’ve got a few surprises for Tuesdays and Thursdays. Stay tuned for those announcements soon!
GOAL 2: 30% of the 75 Posts will be Curated
This means that they will be written by other entrepreneurs, experts, and BrandedWorld team members to increase the community of the blog.
What Would You like to see here on #Orbit?
What is missing from #Orbit? Should we include video? Audio? Do you like PDFs you can download after consuming the content? Let me know in the comments below.
Also published on Medium.