I just pulled up my personal blog Julians.name and looked at a few of my earliest blog posts. Memories came flooding back. I felt a burst of adreneline. I was shocked to see that I started blogging ten years ago. That’s a long time, but I wasn’t even in the first wave of bloggers that started in the 90’s – the early adopters of blogging.
My initial foray into blogging was a simple creative outlet for writing and photography that I saw as an opportunity to combine with my love of technology and the web. It didn’t have a thing to do with making money or business. Blogging was the reason I got serious about designing and building websites.
Later, adding my background in marketing and advertising to blogging was a natural way to grow an audience or get new customers. By the time I’d put this together the business man in me (he can be a pain in the ass) demanded I put the skills I’d fused together to use as a business and so excele8 was born. I started blogging for clients and making websites and stopped blogging for me or my own business.
My initial fumbling around with blogs opened my eyes to a lot of things. More avenues of creative expression, new ways to think, more areas of technical knowledge, and new ways to make money. Those are some pretty solid benefits to business blogging that I experienced long before anyone could come up with an ROI for investing the time to run and grow a business blog. Back then you had to experience blogging to believe. Now, the numbers make the ROI conversation a mute point.
Ten years ago companies like Google represented a huge savings in advertising dollars over traditional media. Today, Google AdWords can be as expensive as the entrenched media I used to represent in the Yellow Pages and Newspaper industries that Google unseated. Google is the Yellow Pages, the Newspaper, the Radio and the TV Station. When it comes to the wim of their search results and paid advertising products, they’re acting every bit as arrogant as those old media behemoths as well.
The large amount of time and sweat equity that blogging requires is starting to look much more like it did ten years ago. Which is to say – good. More like the digital Gutenberg Press we envisioned back then as poured over blog posts and read The Cluetrain Manifesto.
Blogging takes a lot of commitment. A good amount of time if done half well. A lot of time to achieve a hint of excellence. It’ll drive you crazy. You’ll hate it. Some of the time. But even if you don’t like to write or record your ideas in audio or video, blogging is a legitmate way to make money the old fashioned way – to earn it.
Until I sat here with the goal of writing a blog post tonight (day two of the NaBloWriMo Challenge) it hasn’t hit me how much blogging has impacted my life.
Blogging will do that to you. It makes you think. Through reflection, research, clarifying your arguments, and editing your work, you gain new insight into your own ideas and actions.
That’s why I wanted to use NaBloWriMo to kickstart my writing again. I’m glad to be back.
p.s. I almost couldn’t bear to sit down with my Laptop and write this evening. I avoided it all day. It was the last thing I wanted to do. But I’m glad I showed up. It feels good to be back in my own back yard again. I have the feeling I often get from writing. It’s difficult, and it’s worth it.