I said in yesterday's post commemorating the 10th anniversary of the term "weblog," that blogging has been very good to me. If you don't mind, I'd like to share with you my blogging story... and, more especially, I'd like to hear yours as well.
I began to play around with blogging as early as 2000, though I probably didn't know that's what it was called at the time. I came across a platform called Radio Userland and found it too geeky for me to make use of at that point.
A while later, I found Blogger, which was, arguably, the first easy-to-use blog platform. Keep in mind this was still in blogging's early days, and though I was fascinated by the platform, most of the content I found there had little relevance to me. (I was looking for something to use in a business-related way, and this didn't seem to fit.)
I don't know quite when it happened, or what caused me to attempt to embrace this new medium again, but somewhere during 2003 I found Typepad. Maybe it was just the right time... maybe God knew something I didn't... maybe the platform and I were a good fit... I don't really recall the circumstances that finally ushered me into the blogosphere, but in December 2003 I set up a Typepad account and began to experiment.
Little did I know it was an experiment that would change the course of my life... for the better.
I had started an Internet marketing business, working part-time from my home doing Web design for small businesses in the area. I began blogging about the business, sharing what little knowledge I had acquired. At first, I covered the entire gamut from Web design, to email marketing, to copywriting, you name it. If it had to do with my business, I blogged it.
Slowly, over time, my interest focused more and more on the business of blogging and how to use blogs as a marketing tool. (By that time, I was well into 2004.) I became, as it were, a "business blog consultant." <g>
I began to realize that people were actually reading my posts, interacting with me and adding my blog to their blogroll. Google was spidering the site and I was returning pretty favorably in search results. (Hmm... could it be I rationalized that blogs were good tools for search engine optimization and marketing.) What came as perhaps the biggest surprise was that the media was even contacting me for interviews!
All the while I was learning by doing... trial and error... but learning nonetheless, and sharing what I learned.
In November 2004 a couple of life-changing things happened. I got a divorce and I left my day job to take my little business, Radiant Marketing Group, full-time. Along about that same time, I met my first real-live business blogger, Toby Bloomberg, of Diva Marketing fame. We've been fast friends ever since.
Also, along that time, I had the opportunity to serve as technical editor and contributing writer for what I believe to be the first ever book on business blogging, Buzz Marketing with Blogs For Dummies, written by Susie Gardner.
2005 was a whirlwind of activity. I attended the first Blog Business Summit held in Seattle, collaborated with a group of business bloggers to start the Professional Bloggers Association, and was offered the opportunity to submit a proposal to Jossey-Bass for a book on business blogging. (Oh, yea. I also co-led the first-ever seminar on business blogging to be held in Asia! The other leader? None other than Susie Gardner.)
Regarding the book, I never submitted the proposal to Jossey-Bass, thanks to an interesting turn of events.
I was serving as a marketing consultant to a start-up, Blogging Systems, which was focused on bringing blogging to the real estate industry.
While manning our booth at the 2005 National Association of Realtors tradeshow, an acquisition editor from McGraw-Hill walked up to me and asked if I'd be interested in writing a book on real estate blogging. It took me all of 30 seconds to answer in the affirmative. I dusted off the proposal and, along with co-author Richard Nacht, had the wonderful privilege to pen Realty Blogging, which was published in November 2006.
While all of that is wonderful, I must attest that the greatest benefit I've received from business blogging is the many friends I've made over these past four years. They constitute an amazingly remarkable, not to mention eclectic, group of people.
I've already mentioned Toby and Susie, but there quite literally have been scores of others. As much as I'd like to name all of them, memory would fail me all too quickly.
Given that, here's a short list... Amy Gahran, Andy Wibbels, Anita Campbell, Bill Flitter, BL Ochman, Chris Bubny, Chris Mercer, Dave Taylor, Dana Van Den Heuvel, Debbie Weil, Denise Wakeman, Des Walsh, DL Byron, Dustin Luther, Elisa Camahort, Ines Hegedus-Garcia, Jane Genova, JD Iles, Jeremiah Owyang, Jeremy Wright, Jim Kukral, Jim Turner, John Mudd (now deceased), John Nardini, Kevin Holland, Kevin O'Keefe, Lee Odden, Lisa Sabin, Mary McKnight, Michelle Miller, Rex Hammock, Rich Brooks, Richard Nacht, Rick Bruner, Stacy Harp, Steve Broback, Steve Rubel, Teresa Valdez-Klein, Travis Smith, Tris Hussey, Wayne Hurlbert, Yvonne DiVita, and Zane Safrit.
I have a story I could share where each of these are concerned, and maybe I'll do so at some point. Though, admittedly, it would probably be of much greater interest to me than anyone else. Heh.
Now, if you've actually read through all that, in honor of blogging's 10th anniversary, I'd like to ask you to share your blogging story either in the form of a comment or as a post of your own. If you choose the latter, please share the link with me. I'll give you some link love.
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