On Blogs and Blogging – Lessons Learned

It’s been seven years since I started blogging. I began blogging as a learning exercise while earning my MA in communications.
I thought there might be something within that business space that could provide a sensible pivot from my sales career to something more consultative, strategic, and creative. Perhaps these seemingly fresh ideas being tossed around under the umbrella of “content creation” would be an entrepreneurial gold mine for me repositioning some of the skills I had gained selling at the executive level.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t hop on that ore cart and cash in as I was Godfather 3’d with my career (just when I try to get out, I get sucked back in!).
Today there are over 4,000 businesses that support content strategy, creation, management, and deployment. While many companies are small and volatile, several have billion-dollar valuations. There was a gold mine in content creation.
The nugget I grabbed was now I could boast of having the technical chops necessary to create, deploy, and maintain a professional-looking blog. Unfortunately, this is a bit of a boobie prize as companies like Wix and Weebly have made all this technical detail unnecessary for anyone wishing to blog.
For the record, these are some of the tasks I had to learn to in my journey to “post something on the internet.”

  • How to buy/register a domain.
  • How to choose and set up a hosting plan.
  • How to set up DNS.
  • How to choose/set up a blogging platform.
  • How to choose/set up a theme.
  • How to choose/set up plugins.
  • How to choose/set up widgets.
  • How to set up Google Webmaster tools.
  • How to set up Google Analytics.
  • How to set up a domain email address.
  • How to set up an autoresponder.
  • How to choose an FTP client software.
  • How to set up and use FileZilla.
  • How to choose a control panel.
  • How to use a cPanel.

That was all before I even wrote a post. Assuming I then wrote something,  if I hoped for anyone to find and read was written, I had to consider such things as:

  • Keywords
  • SEO
  • Landing pages
  • Social sharing
  • Mobile Responsiveness
  • Forms
  • use of stock photography/images

Each of these bullets is a specialty unto itself. Search them – you’ll see.
I’ve created a couple of dozen blogs on various topics with a total of about 50K visits without any monetization—no personal goal is mine for me.
I do have three thoughts on blogging:

  • For content consumers: you get what you pay for. The “free” Internet is a disaster, in my opinion. Trying to find accurate and valuable content is a challenge that is sometimes downright impossible. We all know nothing is ever really free. Most of the great content has all been migrated behind pay-for-subscription firewalls. So if you want to avoid wasting time and possibly providing your email to who knows how many affiliates, subscription content is the way to go.
  • For content providers: traffic is hard to get. Unless you are a celebrity, have a strong brand, or have a marketing team dialed into AdWords with an actual budget, you won’t sustain visits to your site. If you think, “if I build it, they will come,” you are deluded and should remember Feild of Dreams came out long before the Internet. You are a billboard in the desert with about 1 trillion + items on the Internet. 
  • The irony: blogging has never been easier. If you like writing, like I do, and are content publishing to that desert, then I say go for it. I find it helpful to have thoughts on virtual paper, organized and accessible. And they are archived. They become easy to share.

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