Today, I had lunch with one of my best friends, Mark Schaefer. Mark and I first met in 2008 after I direct messaged him through twitter suggesting that we meet for lunch. We met at Aubrey’s and let a lunch hour slip into the afternoon as we began telling our stories. Instantly, we were friends. Within weeks, we began working on several marketing projects together.
Since then, about once a month, we meet at the home or away Aubrey’s to catch up, talk about technology, chat about marketing opportunities, or just hang out. Today was one of our regularly scheduled meetings. It’s the first time we’ve had lunch since SoSlam, which Mark was instrumental in making a phenomenal success. After catching up for a bit, Mark, like any good dyed in the wool evangelist, laid into me: “You’re a good a writer.”
“Well, thanks Mark.”
“But, no one knows it. You haven’t written in…”
Me: “a while, I know.”
Now, I have been blogging since 2003, so I’m not uninitiated. I advocate my clients to blog on a regular basis, and I frequently create social media strategies for clients. However, for a hundred reasons, I have walked away from blogging, seemingly altogether.
Rather than raise the false pretense of impeccable authority, I raised some sincere questions to Mark. After all, Mark has procured teaching gigs at Pellissippi and Rutgers, a consulting gig with the British Consulate, and consulting relationships throughout the world, so he can attest to the success of blogging first hand. Here are a few of the exchanges that we had:
1. I don’t know where to write. Between Posterous, WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn I have forgotten where I should be writing. In reply Mark suggested that I pick one and ride the horse. I guess jeremyfloyd.com is as good as any.
2. Which audience should I write to? Mark very appropriately said, “your content will attract the right readers. Don’t try to ‘brand’ yourself. Be yourself, and you will attract an audience that supports you.”
3. What do I write about? Related to #2, I was really struggling with my brand. I want to write about leadership, but I also think and work in the marketing field quite a bit. Oh yeah, and I’m a hard-core geek. While I’ve heard this answer from him before, today it took on a more nuanced meaning, “Go into WordPress and create 25 blog potential posts. The first 9-10 are going to be easy, but as you work through the last 15, you are really going to start to identify the content that you are passionate about.”
4. But, I tweet all the time. Mark didn’t take this one on directly, but I know that I spend so much time on Twitter that I seldom take time to blog. The result? Because Twitter is so instant and so instantly dated, it has no lasting value. While hilarious, even poignant tweets may be shared, they have little archive value. Twitter is not a place to archive ideas.
5. What’s in it for me? I have been less than methodical about posting to my blog, but Mark took an opportunity to remind me that I need to change that. Committing to at least a post a week can make significant ripples in my natural communities. Merely having great ideas and sharing them over lunch is but vapor in a world of data, indexing, and searching. Sharing ideas and continuing the practice of writing is the key to opening doors nationally and even internationally to my personal brand.
So, not unlike a couple on their twenty-fifth anniversary, I find myself at the alter renewing my vows. To you jeremyfloyd.com I commit to update thee with regularity, in sickness and in health, when witty and when dull, with great thoughts and not-so-brilliant aberrations.