There was a point early in my career, where I built a Twitter presence that (at the time) was on the Top 100 Most Followed list and a blog that was one of the more respected social media and marketing outlets in Washington state. For the bean counters, that was somewhere around 7,500 Twitter followers and over 2,000 daily unique visitors all without advertising and no guest blogging.
I learned a lot from that experience, but maybe more importantly, what I got from it was a lot of connections and two jobs at agencies that increased my income, visibility, responsibility, and opportunities to learn. Once I was on the path to success though, I did not see the need to continue investing in my blog because I was busy enough that I had to make a choice – keep investing in the blog in the hope that I get more and bigger opportunities while potentially squandering the new opportunities I had just gotten or let the blog languish and focus on making the most of the new opportunities. I chose the latter. That was 2008.
Since then, blogging has acquired this image of being a magic pill.
There are bloggers like Rand, or Fred, or Mark, or Seth that write prolifically and seem to soar above the rest of us as a result, and what do you do when you want success for yourself? You model success. The problem that so many people run into is that it’s not the blogging that makes these guys successful. They all have their own businesses, and those take up the majority of their time. They just also happen to blog, and let us not forget perhaps the most important thing here.
They happen to run great businesses, and running a great business is what makes them popular and successful. Their blogs are simply vehicles for sharing their businesses and their greatness. A blog is almost never a business itself.
“I’m going to start blogging to market myself.”
And, that is the thing that really baffles me. Blogging can be great, but it’s a business tool. It’s almost never a business in and of itself, so why start investing your time in blogging before you know that either you are producing great work or your business is really worth promoting?
My recommendation is this. Build a great business. Do great work. Produce something that is so valuable that other people blog about you or it first. Then maybe, start your own blog to market yourself or your business.