Have you given much thought to your blog anniversary this year? Some don’t celebrate the passing starting dates of their blogs, but for many, blog anniversary celebrations are getting bigger and wilder every year.
Some have hosted huge contests with a lot of giveaways. Many review their previous year with lessons learned and goals set for the next blogging year. Others have gone quietly into their second and third years of blogging with a post reminiscing about the year that has past.
At the end of my first year of blogging on WordPress.com, a lot of people nagged me to do something special. Since I don’t do “normal” and didn’t want to dig up sponsors at last minute, I decided to blog a month of “summary” posts, one for each major topic I blogged about. It was interesting to find out if I could come up with thirty “categories” of content for thirty anniversary posts, which I did. They included bloggers, blogging tools, WordPress.com tips, accessibility and usability, blog housekeeping, blog writing, blogger’s rights, blogging tips, choosing a WordPress Theme, blog comments, comment spam, keywords, search engines, social bookmarking, tags and categories, links and linking, web development, feeds, and splogs, which I called “The Dark Side of Blogging”.
Thirty days summarizing thirty topics on blogging and WordPress. Whew! I proved it could be done, but was it worth it? I started out with the best of intentions, writing many of these over the month preceding the anniversary month, but by the end of the series, my back and butt couldn’t take any more abuse glued to my computer, writing and writing and responding to all of the fabulous comments and responses to the series. Exhausting. Luckily, the response was overwhelmingly positive and it created a collection of keyword-rich categorized “site map” posts. I swore I would never do that kind of concentrated series again – and like a schmuck, I repeated in in February 2007 with a month of articles on nothing but WordPress Plugins.
This past year for my two-year anniversary, I decided to keep “me” out of the picture and turned my blog over to a couple dozen wonderful fellow bloggers. For two months, they covered blogging and WordPress tips and we all had a great time. They got to address a new audience and hopefully, my readers became fans of theirs as much as I am. I called the two month event a party, and it was.
Throughout 2007, I watched as blog anniversary celebrations get bigger and totally out of control when Problogger Darren Rowse offered $54,000 worth of prizes in his blog birthday bash. Randay Clay Design followed soon after with a $4,000 blog anniversary contest, then David Airey didn’t want to be left out and offered another $4,000 prize winning anniversary competition, all of which sparked off a ton of competitions and prizes being handed out by bloggers everywhere in honor of their blog anniversary achievements.
The prizes got bigger and more interesting, too. Gear Diary celebrated their one year anniversary giving away a handheld computer/mobile office TyTN II. In September, Smashing Magazine turned their first anniversary into a massive giveaway with a variety of prizes consisting of books, games, software, services, and more. In November, The Thinking Blog gave away a Ruffbook Waterproof laptop for their one year anniversary. Currently, The Beta News is celebrating a two year anniversary with a complicated system of viral marketing in order to win one of the collection of prizes.
The contests usually involve linking back to the blogger and writing about the contest, a blatant method of viral marketing. Some involve essays on specific topics, just commenting on their blog, subscribing to feeds or email newsletters, and a variety of other gimmicks to increase attention and traffic.
I’m thrilled for all of the blog milestones so many are now achieving, and delighted at the imaginative methods they are coming up with to celebrate. Still, the cynic in me cautions readers to take care with what they are willing to give away in order to get. If you really adore the blogger and want to help them improve their blog traffic and spread the word about their brilliance in blogging, help them out with every method you can. If you are only in it for the prize, both blogger and reader lose.
The bar has been set high by these recent blog birthday parties and prizes, I expect this year to be a big year of competition in the blog anniversary celebrations as many bloggers turn one, two, and three and want to celebrate with a big bang.
So what are you planning for your blog anniversary celebration?