2014 has been a monumental year for InterWorks. From winning multiple awards and hiring like crazy to forging new industry partnerships, we have plenty to celebrate. However, just last week, we silently reached another landmark:
The InterWorks blog reached 1,000 posts.
To everyone at InterWorks who has taken part in blogging (which is a lot of us), this is a pretty massive achievement. Before I gush about how proud I am of all our bloggers, let me give you a little background into how the blog started.
Rewind to 2009
It doesn’t seem like it, but 2009 was almost six years ago. This was before iPads even existed, if you can imagine. That should give you an idea of how much has changed since then. The first post on the blog was a standard award announcement for making the Inc. 5000. Fun fact: We’ve made the Inc. 5000 for seven consecutive years! Who would’ve imagined back then?
The InterWorks blog started out like any other, but it soon evolved into an elite resource. This can be seen immediately following our first post with blog posts from numerous InterWorks employees covering all sorts of topics. These posts definitely make for a more appealing blog, but we didn’t start blogging simply to get eyeballs on InterWorks. That leads us into a bigger question: “Why blog?”
We blog because we like sharing knowledge, and we think our entire team has much to share. Do we hope sharing knowledge encourages people to do business with us? Absolutely. That’s by no means the ONLY reason we have a blog. The bigger reason is our desire to contribute to a tech community that has already given us so much. We want to be as big a part of that community as possible. We still hold tight to that same idea today, but our blog has evolved.
Evolving Over the Years
A lot can change in six years. InterWorks has changed and so has our blog. We’ve seen new faces arrive and old faces leave, and a lot of the topics we blog about have changed completely. That’s the nature of the tech world.
That said, more calculated blog changes have occurred over the years. These changes include updating the look of our blog, more standardization and trying different ways of sharing our messages – the things any good blog should be doing. Such differences come gradually, but they are especially apparent if you compare the blog in its current state to previous years.
Above: The InterWorks blog circa 2011.
The Biggest Change
The biggest change to the blog since its creation is the move from a free-for-all style to a more focused approach. We decided that best way to be thought leaders was to focus more on blogging about the things we do best as opposed to blogging about anything that tickles our fancy. You can imagine this offers more specialized knowledge that you might not find on any old blog.
We certainly did a bit of this back in 2009, but we’ve since placed more emphasis on being a total knowledge resource for the solutions we offer. We still include announcements and the standard company blog fare, but the meat of our blog, the pieces that provide take-away value, are now created to be more relevant, insightful and targeted than ever before.
A great example of extending ourselves beyond the ordinary can be seen in our new partnership with DataGravity. We started out with an announcement about our partnership. Shortly after, we decided to create a blog series our initial experience with their products. On top of this series, we now have Solution Shorts outlining how their products solve certain problems. Case in point, we’re trying to create more value than can be found from an announcement alone.
Beyond establishing ourselves as subject matter experts, we also want to establish something else: our culture. Culture is something that’s often hard to gauge without being in the middle of it. We want to reflect our unique company culture in all we do and spotlight the individuals that foster it. This is evident in something like our “How I Went from ____ to InterWorks Consultant” series or the unveiling of a cool new Tableau Conference theme like #datavision.
Another big change to our blog has been how people find us. Early on, people would simply Google their problems and land on one of our blog posts. This certainly hasn’t changed. Our IT blogs are also still set up in that problem-solver format. The difference today is that people pour into our site thanks to the emergence of social media.
Since 2009, everyone has joined the social media party – companies included. Consequently, we’ve hit social channels hard. This allows people to find our blog posts in more ways than ever. This is especially true when it comes to our Tableau blogs. The Tableau community is incredibly connected to social media, and they often seek us out when searching for tips, tricks and insights. People continue to find us by traditional online means, but our ever-increasing activity on social media has brought in droves of people.
Surprises and Fun Stuff
Six years of blogging has definitely produced some surprises. Below are some of our favorite blog moments from 2014 alone:
- The InterWorks blog setting an all-time, single day traffic record with 13,864 sessions.
- Brian Bickell’s “Evolution 2014” blog post setting a single-day traffic record for one post with 6,365 sessions.
- Javod Khalaj’s “Reddit Front Page Statistics” blog post breaking the above record a month later with 10,466 sessions.
- A litany of social media shout outs:
Want some other fun facts? Here are some blog numbers that span all the way back to 2009:
- We went from about 50 blog sessions per day in early 2009 to around 4,000 sessions per day in late 2014.
- We’ve logged over 3 million total sessions since 2009.
- We’ve reached over 2 ½ million new users since 2009.
All of that is HUGE for us, and we can’t wait to see that trend continue upward.
The Future of Our Blog
There’s no crystal ball to show us exactly what our blog will be like in the future, but we have a few big changes/upgrades in mind coming soon. Case in point, we’re currently working on a new website. With that comes a fresh new blog. The core purpose of our blog will remain the same, but expect some major renovations. All I can say is that these changes will make it easier than ever to access, explore and filter through the various content pieces created by our subject matter experts.
Finally, a Huge Thanks to the Bloggers!
The secret to any good blog is having great people who share great knowledge. We’ve had that in spades over the years. With more bloggers than ever before, it’s even truer today. Leadership and Marketing can help facilitate blog content and overall direction, but the key to sustaining a successful blog is having bloggers that buy in. That’s exactly what our team has done, and 2014 has been our biggest year yet.
Nearly a quarter of our total blog posts came in this year alone, and we still have the better part of a month left. Our number of posts per month continues to increase as does our number of unique contributing bloggers to boot. To top things off, readership is at an all-time high. Our blog is doing well.
All of the credit goes to our incredible team for dedicating their time and brainpower to our blog. They have made it what it is today. I have no doubt that these same wonderful people will push the blog to even greater heights as time goes on.