The Trials and Tribulations of Starting a Business Blog

DOM Team | |

It took me forever and a day to get our digital marketing blog up and going. I had ample opportunity considering my best buddy had been badgering me about them for a good year as he set the tone in the UK political blogosphere. Seriously, I couldn’t care less.

I think I finally took a peek out of loyalty and guilt more than anything and I still wasn’t feeling it. I don’t recall scales falling from the eyelids or choirs. But, at least I could tell him I’d read it. From here on in he would send me the occasional post like mates do about stuff. He wasn’t trying to get me into blogging so much as get me into what he was talking about. I’ve no idea which particular post flipped the switch but one day I left a comment.

The next thing you know I’m all over it like a rash commenting on everything and anything and having a whale of a time. In between times we’d started some really dodgy claptrap on blogger and that was one of the moments a few scales fell off the eyelids.

The ease of setting up your own Web publishing platform to do with as you please was truly beyond phenomenal. I was hooked, lined and sinkered (sic).

To this day I haven’t been able to give a straight answer as to why I ever started business blogging. The best I normally glibly come up with is that I had to find something to do to kill a bit of time waiting for my green card. Not the best of reasons, but I can assure you it’s almost true.

I got business blogging wrong when I started. Badly. I thought it was nothing more than a jumped-up SEO tool. You’ve no idea how boring copy and pasting sheet metal related news is. I soon gave up. But, I honestly didn’t know any better.

Then I got into this little exchange of views with a certain Jackie Danicki on my buddy’s political blog. It was yet another moment where the scales fell from the eyes. I was being a bit contrary – not because I knew what I was talking about, but because it’s sometimes the only way I can extract information. I don’t always enjoy looking like a complete dafty-pot, but if you learn something and act on it then you’re alright.

I didn’t enjoy what I thought was business blogging back then because it didn’t seem nearly as enjoyable as writing about something you truly enjoyed. I felt you had to keep some kind of professional, corporate veneer on proceedings. I thought you had to play by the existing set of rules. Subsequently, it just didn’t seem to allow the same amount of freedom as other forms of blogging. How wrong I was.

About a month after that particular exchange I was literally doing one last vain sweep of the SERPS whilst thinking I was going to have to do something more valuable with my remaining time in the UK when I came across a Times article about blogging in which Jackie had been interviewed and had mentioned the old blogspot version of the Tinbasher as a business blog example.

The thought of just one Times reader deciding to pop over and take a look at this example of a business blog filled me with 74% dread and 26% panic. I cared because I’m a proud guy when all said and done and The Tinbasher as was hadn’t been touched for a good three months and wasn’t a shining example of anything other than of a waste of bandwidth.

It was as if [insert name of the girl/boy of your dreams] had called to tell you she/he was coming round and you were draped along your couch in your underblasters, with crusty dribble on your chin, cocooned in a good few months of your own garbage.

Yes, you’d have some cleaning up to do.

And so I switched to WordPress, emailed Jackie (who didn’t know I was the same guy who’d she’d so roundly slapped into shape in those blog comments), and the rest is of less historical significance than who came fourth in season three’s America’s Next Top Model.

Leah Darrow – 4th Season 3 ANTM

But, had I decided to remain in stasis on the metaphorical sofa I wouldn’t be writing this. I know, mores the pity.

So, what can we learn from this meandering ramble down memory lane?

#1. Starting a blog is easy. Getting it right can sometimes take a bit of trial and error if you’re going it alone.

#2. Learn about what makes blogs, the blogosphere, and bloggers tick by getting involved. A good commenter will make a good blogger. Hone those skills.

#3. Blogs are great for SEO, but nobody links to tripe.

#4. Don’t believe the hype. Get involved when you understand why you should. At that moment it’ll feel the most natural thing in the world. Trust me.

Any other observations you think worthy of sharing, please don’t be shy.

And any questions, please don’t be afraid to ask.

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