10 years of blogging: the value of drip, drip, drip content
As of June 2013 I’ve been blogging for a decade. A cause for celebration? Perhaps. Maybe a pause for reflection is enough.
First, I want to thank my readers and offer you a small gift for hanging in there with me: The Corporate Blogging Book [Updated Edition] will be $0.00 on Amazon Kindle from June 7 – 10, 2013 to celebrate. NOTE: if you are reading this blog post at a later date, the $0.00 promotion is no longer in effect.
It’s a 245-page eBook you can download instantly and read on almost any device. *See below for links to the other Amazon country sites.
The backstory on why I started blogging
In 2001 I began writing a regular ClickZ column on email marketing. When I heard about ClickZ’s Weblog Business Strategies event in June 2003, I knew I wanted to attend. Clearly I needed to be blogging myself if I was going to show up at one of the first conferences attracting the blogging glitterati.
Doc Searls and David Weinberger, co-authors of The Cluetrain Manifesto, would be there. As a former journalist, writing came naturally. So I jumped in. That’s me, at left, in the orange scarf.
I can’t claim 5,000 posts as Seth Godin did recently. I haven’t counted my posts and I’m not going to. If there is cause for celebration it’s that I’ve kept at it. Slow and steady. Month after month, year after year.
A blog is a form of content marketing
It’s the drip, drip, drip approach to marketing with content. And yes, whether you consider a blog a personal endeavor or a business strategy, it is a form of marketing.
It’s a way of offering value… in exchange for your reader’s attention. Maybe someday a reader will buy something from you. But it takes years of persistence and of creating useful content… without expectation of anything in return.
As Seth puts it:
“While it’s tempting to swing for the fences and hit a grand slam, particularly on post 5,000, I’m going to resist, as I try to resist every day. Drip, drip, drip.”
A blog needs a worldview
That said, a blog needs a worldview as fuel. My low points in blogging over the past 10 years were due to becoming bored with my message: blogging isn’t hard, CEOS should blog, email marketing works, etc. Those are tactics, not a worldview.
A worldview is a big idea that you believe in, that you feel compelled to share with your readers and that your readers care about in return. You can unpack a worldview for years. You can turn it this way and that like a crystal catching the light – but only if your readers share your passion and your belief.
As blogger and author Jeff Goins put it in a recent interview: “Your writing voice is… the intersection of what deeply satisfies you as a writer and what resonates with an audience.” My interview with Jeff is here.
In my case, it goes something like this: the Internet is a force for good. It empowers individuals to speak up and to spread their messages without intermediaries, whether it’s through a blog (bypassing mainstream media) or an eBook (bypassing traditional publishing).
The Internet has enabled a new way of doing business, one that humanizes the relationship between customers and companies and puts them on an equal footing. Corporate speak doesn’t work. Two-way conversations do.
Blogs are part of this new way of doing business
Blogs are emblematic of this new way of doing business and of course the Internet and the Web are the engine that connect us.
My worldview is not original, of course. The Cluetrain Manifesto declared well over a decade ago that markets are conversations.
But it doesn’t matter. Readers who like my “voice” and who share my beliefs keep reading. Thank you!
Neither is Seth’s worldview entirely original. Seth’s is about taking responsibility for yourself, speaking up, not waiting to be chosen, thinking differently and acting now to make the world a better place.
Sound familiar? As Ben Franklin said, “It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.”
As we know, Seth’s “voice” resonates with about a million readers.
Finally, anybody remember this joke from the early days?
Question: “How do you say blaa, blaa, blaa on the Web?”
Answer: “Blog, blog, blog.”
A few highlights from 10 years of blaa, blaa, blaa
So What’s a Blog? (June 10, 2003)
My First Article About Blogging (Aug. 22, 2001)
I Am Not Seth Godin (But You Knew That)
Why It’s OK to Take a Gap Year After Sixty
My blog archives start in June 2003. Note: the formatting is wacky on some of the earlier posts as it didn’t port over properly from previous blogging sites.
Download my ebook from the other Amazon country sites
Click here to buy from Amazon CA.
Click here to buy from Amazon DE.
Click here to buy from Amazon FR.
Click here to buy from Amazon UK.