17 years. That’s how long I’ve been blogging (as of the moment I’m writing this post). I started in 1998, before there was blogging software, back when it was called “journaling.” A lot has changed in my life since then (two major relationships, 4 companies, the birth of my children), and obviously even more has changed with the world.
Has Blogging Changed Much Over the Last 17 Years?
The short answer is yes. The tools have changed immensely. My first “blogging” was really using a WYSIWYG software called Trellix (I’m stunned that they still have a basic web page up). I then dabbled with lots of tools, some of which included Blogger when that came out, a few short forays onto less successful platforms that later died (and ate my posts) until finally landing on WordPress in one form or another. I regret that the Wayback machine really only captures a few iterations of my site starting in 2001, because of course, I changed URLs at the drop of a hat and can’t really even remember some of the others (remember Angelfire? Livejournal?).
I was talking with my friend, Jake Thompson about a project we’re doing to send athletic clothes to some special needs athletes in Wichita East school ( the story is here and here). My friend, Angel is also helping out. Jake and I were discussing that service was a very important part of ownership. I said to Jake, “Money is a subset of value.”
Money is a SUBSET of Value
My friend Anthony talks about value creation all the time. He works with sales organizations to help them forge what he calls “Level 4 Value Creation.” I’m not smart enough to explain that but I know that the way *I* know how to do business is that I create value, often more than I charge for, and that the whole concept is that value is this nice broad spectrum, of which money is only part.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure to sit down with my friends Darren Rowse and Brian Clark. The last time the three of us sat quietly was in 2008 or 2009 when we launched the Third Tribe group (ah, memories). I joked that I wanted to bring that back and we could call it Sixth Tribe. You know, Third Tribe 2.0. Alas.
Content Will Never Be King
The conversation was brief, fun, and sprinkled with some melancholy about the fact that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Darren is thriving with his Problogger events and his Digital Photography School. Brian is running Copyblogger Media, which is now a software company instead of a blog about how to write better (Hey Brian – my offer stands). We talked about how the “industry” has changed, and how lots of folks have found it hard to figure out their path. In all, there are no great insights for me to share with you. We were three people who share a professional admiration and whatever kind of friendship we can scrape together when one barely sees or talks to the other but where we like each other’s company.
With well over a billion users, Facebook must easily rank as most people’s “where I see interesting stories and click” tool of choice. Sure, us nerds might point to Feedly or Flipboard, but that’s not “most people.” That’s the enlightened. Some of us get our favorite sites to our inbox. But that’s more rare than not.
What seems most true, however, is that hardly anyone stops by someone’s actual blog any more (or say “site” in case you bristle at the word “blog.”) If people aren’t visiting blogs directly any more, what do we do? How do we earn that attention? And what matters most in the equation.
I’m going to Social Media Marketing World in San Diego next Tuesday through Thursday. I’m doing two OFFICIAL things that I’ll stop explaining because I keep getting it wrong. Beyond that, most of my time is my own (I’ve got two other formal obligations and a few friend obligations). I thought I’d write out what my hopes are for the event, in case you and I have some shared interests we should cover.
First and Foremost
I’m definitely there to meet and connect. If you SEE me somewhere and find some dumb reason NOT to connect with me, stop it. Go the hell up and say the hell hello. Okay? Permission! Do it! Add yourself to whatever circle we’re hanging in and come say hi. You are NOT allowed to be shy in that moment. You can be shy later. It’s okay. Okay? Okay!
This is the Acer Chromebook 11 CB3-111-C670. It’s about the size of a Macbook Air, kinda. It runs the Google Chrome OS, which means it’s pretty much like a browser-only deal. All the apps you use are web-based. And this device helped me make $28,000 in ten days.
Could a Chromebook Make You More Money?
I suspect you already know the real answer to how this worked. This Chromebook isn’t the most powerful computer in the universe. If you have a lot of tabs open, it doesn’t work well. So, I don’t have many tabs open. (hint one)
I can count on one hand the number of times that something I’ve tried to sell has been well-received by the people I serve. You know how some kids are a late bloomer? That’s me with most of the things I sell. People buy them years later sometimes. But this time, I really struck gold.
How We Write Our Sales Letter Sequence
I learned a lot while putting together the now-defunct webinar version of Online Course Maker. (Let me reiterate: the WEBINAR VERSION IS GONE). First, I learned that there’s such a thing as too much information for a format. I tried to cram way too much information into a one-hour webinar, which led to me rushing, skipping over important details, and more. I basically had to take down the webinar after giving it to people who registered and paid for it because it just wasn’t the right tool for the job. Instead, I had to break it into a course-style product so that I could give more breath and air to what needed talking about.
Unless it’s a prank or a hacked account, writer Mathew Ingram reports that GigaOm, a popular blog launched in 2006, is shutting down, evidently having run out of money and/or the will to keep on pushing. Again, it’s early, so maybe this is a hacked account. If so, I’ll gladly (and with a sigh of relief) pull this post.
UPDATE: Om Malik confirms the story.
I had a super great time talking to Laura at Laura from Clarity about content marketing and what it might be able to do for companies looking to reach people and do something a bit more meaningful. They don’t usually share these conversations with the outside world. Usually just the premium people. But they were kind enough to release this to the wild. Here’s how I look at content marketing and the opportunities it has to earn you the permission to sell and add value to a community.
I was working on the audiobook (long overdue) for my book, The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth and I came to a part of a chapter that might be useful to you.
Are you thinking of hiring someone else?
Are you a solo business and wondering if you should have a partner? Are you wondering about bringing on someone to tackle the expanding workload? If so, I bet you’re wondering about the process and worrying about what you do or don’t know about it.