Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!
Today is my last post of 2013. I’ll be back posting live on January 6, which will make this my longest hiatus since I started 101 Books. But I think it will be worth it, plus no one really reads book blogs during Christmas anyway, right?
To cap off the year, I thought I’d take a look back at the top posts of 2013. You think that would be easy, right? But it’s something I struggle with because, when I say “top posts,” does that mean my favorite posts, your favorite posts, or just the posts with the highest traffic?
Usually, when I do this, I pick the posts that are my favorites. Today, though I’m just going to let the numbers do the talking.
Here are the top 10 NEW posts (in terms of page views) on 101 Books in 2013. I didn’t include posts from before this year that might have received higher traffic. These are NEW posts only:
I’m not trying to do that today, by the way.
I just thought, you know, that words are powerful, and a lot of us make instant judgments, both good and bad, after just a sentence or two or reading. First impressions apply to blogs too.
So what are some opening sentences that might turn your readers away quickly?
You want to know when I get most of my work on the blog (and reading) done? Between 8-11 p.m. That’s night time, if you’re keeping score at home.
You see, there’s a myth out there—and it’s been floating around for centuries thanks, partially, to Ben Franklin—that in order to be successful in life, you have to be a morning person. Recently, people I respect, like Michael Hyatt, have written about it.
Other people, like Jon Acuff, have started what’s called “The 5 Club” built around people who get up at 5 a.m and do “awesome” things. This guy is just one of the many people who have written a book on the topic.
Right now, as I write this blog post, I’m sitting in my “man room” with my legs propped up watching the Cowboys and Giants play on Sunday Night Football.
I’m barefooted, and I have on a white undershirt and old khaki shorts. I’m in my house, in the dark, and I kind of feel like falling asleep in my chair.
Sadly, a cabin in the woods overlooking a secluded lake is not in my world at the moment.
Lucille, a fan of 101 Books on Facebook, recently sent me a message with this question:
“What is your process for reading books for this project? Do you highlight, make margin notes, flag pages with pretty colored stickers, dog-ear pages, summarize or outline in a journal/reading diary as you move through the chapters?”
That’s a great question, so I thought I would make a post about it.
My reading process is pretty simple. I keep a pen inside my book. When I read a passage I like, I underline it. When I have a question or a thought about something within the book, I make a note in the margin.
That’s it. I’m a simple man.
But let me tell you how I work those notes into my blog.
A few weeks ago, I dedicated one post to giving you guys the opportunity to share about your blogs in the comments.
I figured I might get a couple of dozen responses or so, but I had no idea how popular that post would become. It was an overwhelming success, and that’s because of you!
The post was a winner for two reasons: 1) It gave you the chance to self-promote without guilt and 2) It allowed you to find out about some other awesome bloggers and blogs out there on the interwebs.
The post currently has 229 comments, which means it has a crapload of great blogs for you to check out.
But here’s the problem: Each day that I write a new post, that post slips further and further down the homepage and further and further into the abyss of the 101 Books archive.
I’m taking my annual week-long summer hiatus this week, which means this is a “Best of 101 Books” week. I’ll return live on Monday July 8.
Today’s post originally appeared on the blog on August 22, 2012.
I was looking at my About Me page recently and realized that it was pretty light on content. Not much there.
Honestly, that’s purposeful. When I started the blog, my goal was—and still is—to make 101 Books about the books, not me. This isn’t a personal blog. It’s a niche blog on a very specific subject.
Throughout, I might share a few tidbits about my life here and there, if it fits within the context of the post, but that’s about as far as I’ve gone.
Along the way, I try and spark discussion and maybe provide you with a little tidbit or interesting aspect of a novel that you never knew or thought about—something that I probably just learned myself.
All that said, there is a dude who writes this blog. That dude is me. Or is it me is that dude? Or maybe I am that dude. Yes that’s it.
So the blog’s grown and all that over the last two years, and I figure it’s only fair to let all of you who read this thing every day to at least know a little bit about me—more than the short sentence on the About Me page.
So, here goes.
Ever run dry on ideas for blog posts?
When you’re writing a daily blog, coming up with content for every day can be difficult. Every now and then, you might want to quit brainstorming for a bit and fall back on a post template that works.
That’s why I’m here to help.
Most of these post “templates” are pretty common—some even to the point of cliché. I didn’t create them, but I have been known to use one or two when I’m trying to think up new content.
Today marks my 588th post on 101 Books.
I say that not to pat my own back but because, well crap, that’s a lot of freaking posts! Other than wake up, go to bed, and hang up on telemarketers, I don’t know that I’ve ever done anything 588 times.
Along the way, I’ve picked up on a few things that have worked for me as I’ve written and developed 101 Books over the last three years. Since these tips have helped me, I thought one or two or all of them might help you.
So here are three tips I’ve used to build my blog.