I can’t believe it…I have been blogging for a year already. I think the reason we have lasted so long is because this is about me and what I care about the most. What a fun relationship to have; I think I will keep blogging around for a long time! In this Anniversary post: I will take you through the journey of my first year of blogging. From how it all began, to the speed bumps, what I have gained from the experience, and finally where I see blogging taking me next year.
How It Began
It all started thanks to some friends at Affiliate Summit East in 2008. I remember we were walking through the Seaport Hotel in Boston. Then someone suggested that I start my own blog. I’m a talker so it should have been a given that I would love blogging but I had no idea that I would get something back from it.
At the time I didn’t know where to start. I had ideas of what I could blog but did not get the technical side of how to start a blog. That was a tiny speed bump that I overcame with the help of my smart and techy friends. If your friends are not as smart, no worries you can look for online tutorials or youtube videos explaining how to set things up. Nowadays with the resources we have, there is no excuse not to learn things for yourself. I recommend WordPress because it is the most user friendly. If you are new to blogging I recommend going to meetup.com and finding a wordpress meetup group near you. Besides that, there are people and resources that can help answer questions you may have.
From Paper to Post
Once I picked my header images and had the look I wanted I started to dig through my stacks of yellow legal pads from conferences. To take that scribble off of paper and share my thoughts with others is well worth the time it takes to blog it. It is more powerful online than on paper. I just want to say that blogging has been a positive addition to my life. I have come to realize that words can make a big impact on others. More than any topic I have blogged about I am passionate about protecting the industry that I love.
Lame Excuse 1: Not Enough Time
A common excuse not to blog that I also thought to myself was that I didn’t have the time to do it. But when something important lands on your lap it is hard to ignore it. Especially when you have something to say on the topic or when you can do something to inform others to help the situation. Whenever I came across news like this, I would feel like it was my duty to share it with others. I would stay up happily typing away and nothing else could distract me, not even my reality shows. Why? Because I felt like I was doing something good with my time.
Lame Excuse 2: Not Enough to Talk About
I also thought I would not have enough to talk about but boy was I wrong. In the early stages of my blog, I would post about once a month which was pathetic but then it came more naturally to me. It started with my conference notes from a newbies perspective. From there I commented on Affiliate Marketing news, the Advertising Tax, and how much I love Social Media. If you are not sure what to post join a blogger group, I am in Tuesday Topic created by Jen Goode and each week there is something new to post about. Everyone has something that they can share with others and in this industry the only thing constant is change. Throughout the year, I look forward to seeing what new topics develop that will inspire me to post.
How Blogging Has Helped Me
After returning from Affiliate Summit East in New York, so much has changed since last year. I truly believe that blogging has helped me get more involved and build stronger connections. I had the opportunity to speak on a panel about Getting Noticed Fast in the industry. Blogging was one of the main topics we covered. It is the perfect starting point. Once you get that down you can mix in Social Media and interactive conferences. These tools have helped me get noticed, but don’t blog just to “get noticed.” Keep it simple, blog about what you know and love; the rest will follow.
Different Blogging Styles
If you could not make it to our panel there is a recap you can view on Trisha Lyn’s blog. She has already managed to post about 50 new entries since the conference! I might be exaggerating a bit but seriously I don’t know how she does it. There are several things I want to recap from the conference but have not found the time (since I am getting settled into my new shoebox in New York). That is another thing to learn that everyone has different blogging styles. Some will post daily like Shawn Collins others will post more detailed reviews once in a while like Scott Jangro. Both blogs I enjoy reading. Do not attempt to post daily just because you think that is what has to be done. People will enjoy quality content more than a post that has been thrown together to meet a personal quota. They will be able to tell the difference, trust me! When I post something halfway done it never gets the kind of comments then when I pour my heart into a post, there is a big difference. Also throw in your own personality. I like to throw in a little humor, write like I’m really talking to a friend, and add some fun photos (when the timing is right).
If you have not started your own blog, I would definitely suggest trying it out. You have nothing to lose by doing so and if anything you will learn something new. Stop reading my blog if you have not started your own! What are you waiting for? Don’t put it on your long to-do list because it will never get done. Just do it and do it for yourself. Blogging for clients or a company in my opinion doesn’t count. Blog for yourself because then you can dictate when you post and what you post about. No matter who you are, what you do, there must be something you can share with the world and others that will enjoy sharing it with you. (Keep in mind the web is permanent ink).
You know who you are! I know I couldn’t have done it without some friends that helped me along the way. Thank you for helping me get together the vehicle I needed to voice my opinions. A place I can say anything I want without being censored. A place where I love to hear back thoughts of what my friends and people I look up to have to say in return. I have learned a lot through blogging and have seen that when I post something well thought out I get a response.
Grow with Me
This first year of blogging has been a learning and growing experience. My wish is that others blog and share what is on their minds and in their hearts. I look forward to reading my favourite part which is what you think of the topics I have put out there. I always learn more and get new ideas from other bloggers, comments, podcasts, and conference sessions. Let’s grow together! I look forward to sharing a lot more with you…
I have realized that I enjoy public speaking and will be doing that more often. I hope to speak again at Affiliate Summit West and will be speaking at PubCon on an Affiliate Marketing panel. Since speaking, a couple people have recommended that I start video blogging. It is something I have had in the back of my mind for a while. To this date I only posted one lame video last year. Since I just moved to New York and am working remote, I want to share the transition of going from an office to working from home. I am sure many people in our industry can relate to that. Needless to say there is much more to come.
I have a new look, new City, and new year of Blogging ahead of me. Stay tuned for a new avatar I will need your help deciding which will be “the one.” I know which one didn’t make the cut!
Quick Tip: The resources I use the most are linked on the right hand side and I do not always link to them in a post, well because it’s redundant and you should know who these people are already!