Well, who saw this coming? Today marks the 14th anniversary of blogging on this site, and I’m astounded it’s lasted this long. True, my business blog’s been around longer, but there’s fewer articles there and I’ve received way less views and comments there… probably because of the main topic, leadership.
The first image I ever put on this blog; I can’t
remember where it’s from lol
There’s three things funny about the day I started blogging here. The first is that I only wrote one paragraph for the first article, introducing myself to the world. The second is that the topic I said I was going to address on the blog not only wasn’t the first one following it but that I wrote 3 articles on the same day, and the 3rd one, which is now private, was an example of what I thought I’d be writing about.
The second article was on a financial topic, and it’s also now private because when I created a financial blog I felt the article would work better there… until I shut that one down and now it’s on my accountant’s blog. I actually rewrote it because the initial article was very short and I felt later on that the topic deserved to be fleshed out more.
What I’m not going to do on this anniversary is write 8,300 words or so like I did on my business blog earlier this year, highlighting my 20th year of self employment. What I am going to do, a bit more succinctly, is talk about a few lessons I’ve learned over these 14 years. Some might be helpful, some might give some insight, and some might end up being funny. Let’s see where I go with this.
The first thing is that back in 2007 and 2008, a blog post wasn’t what a blog post is supposed to be today. All you needed to do for Google to share your articles was to write “something” new on a regular basis. That means anything: one paragraph; one sentence with a video; writing a short article about an affiliate program or something you were trying to market… literally anything. You didn’t even have to add images back then; these days it’s pretty much standard for most bloggers.
Back then, I was writing at least 25 articles a month; sometimes more than once a day. Out of my first 53 articles, only 3 are still open for perusal. One was about diabetes, which I still talk about today, which I also updated and added an image to back in 2013. One talked about how even big affiliate marketers mess up from time to time, though truthfully, since it still happens to this day, I think it’s a hidden sales tactic that’s quite irritating. The third was talking about secret shopper scams, which still happens today, only the names and tactics of those perpetrating those scams have changed.
We’re not falling for scams anymore
This proves a couple of different things. One, when the times change, you have to be willing to change with them if you want to continue having a blogging presence. Two, Some topics are still relevant years later, even if the players and tactics change. I’m still diabetic, there’s still scammers in the world, and some people are just sneaky. lol
The second thing is that unless you’ve decided on a niche up front, you have to be willing to be more flexible in the content you produce later on. For instance, as it pertains to my business blog, overwhelming most of the articles are on the topics of leadership, diversity, and health care finance, because that’s how I generate most of my income. At the beginning of this blog I said I was going to market affiliate products, yet in the first 53 articles I only marketed 6 products, and that’s not including the book I wrote and was marketing at the time titled Using Your Website As A Marketing Tool; I actually sold about 20 copies of that one, but at the rate the internet was changing I didn’t want to put the work into updating it.
These days I write more about blogging and writing, but I’ve kept open my belief that, as it’s my blog, I should be allowed to write about anything I’m interested in. Not that I wouldn’t love to make money off this blog (highlighted by the products I promote on both sidebars), it’s not my overall intention anymore.
These days I share thoughts, lessons, and an occasional story from my past and present. I’ve often said here and on my main YouTube channel that the general purpose of blogging should be one of 3 things: to entertain, educate or inform. I’m never going to lie to anyone about anything I write about, whether it’s a bunch of lessons on blogging, a true family story that has a point I want to get across, or a true life story that has no purpose other than to show people how goofy and lucky my life is sometimes. I don’t have any reasons to lie; life’s funnier than anything I could make up. 🙂
The third thing is that if you’re truly serious about having and writing on your blog, eventually you’ll discover your “writing voice”, which will help you establish your online personality. Most of the time that’s a good thing because your normal visitors come back because they’re comfortable more with how you express something than what you’re writing about, although that’s also important. It turns out that no one wants to be constantly sold to; no one wants to be castigated all the time if at all; and no one wants to keep trying to interpret what you’re talking about or what you’re saying if the language you use doesn’t allow you to communicate with them properly. I’m not the only one saying this in regards to my last point.
The fourth and last thing I’m going to address is that no matter the topic, no matter the niche, try adding some personality to whatever you’re saying, whether it’s a tutorial post, a product/sales post or something else that might pop into your head. Try to be as thorough as possible without throwing words in just to make something longer. When all else fails… just be you.
I think that’s enough for today, which isn’t the day I normally post something from this blog. Anniversaries are like that; they’re rarely on the same day as you started. 😀