Friends Don’t Let Friends Abandon Their Blog

Photo used under creative commons license by @lrargerich

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 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 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.

Jeremy Floyd

Jeremy Floyd is the President at FUNYL Commerce. Formerly, he was the CEO and President of Lirio, Bluegill Creative, a marketing and communications firm in Knoxville, Tennessee. In addition to managing the digital strategies, Floyd was an adjunct professor for the University of Tennessee Chattanooga MBA program teaching digital strategies and social media. Floyd blogs at and tweets under the name @jfloyd. Jeremy is licensed to practice law in the State of Tennessee and holds a law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from MTSU in English and Philosophy.

  • Jeremy,
    This is a great encouragement to me as another flagging bloggist. Funny, it might be serendippity, but I cranked mine back up (under a new moniker) this week. I thought, heck – I’m a Realtor, I go all over town and I’m always seeing amazing content popping out in front of me, I should be talking about this.

    Good on ya!

  • Thanks Rob. I am looking forward to seeing this progress with you! You have always done a good job of using social media in your business. I remember your excellent use of Flickr a few years ago (creating and naming sets for your listings), and of course you’re a master of tweetter.

  • Every night for the last month, I sit down to the computer with the intent of writing something and like you, Facebook, Twitter, work, life and the 5 topics you address always keep me from it. Now that some of that has been addressed, guess I’ll have manage my time more wisely to see if I can put together some coherent content.

  • @Ken You can do it, brother! I believe in you. I really believe the “list” is important. Write down every blog post that creeps through your brain. While I was talking to Mark, I referenced at least 5 unwritten blogs. They’re out there…capture and create.

  • I went through the same kind of thing a couple of months ago. It’s funny that when you work in this medium, it is far worse to have a blog you haven’t written in a few months than it is not to have a blog at all. So, I have started writing a post on my blog once a month.

    I think there are multiple reasons to have a blog. I do one for my business which is on my website. I use it as a resume of sorts to talk about the interactive world. Not saying that it is my passion, but I enjoy it as a part of my work.

    I still haven’t found a passion-blog for myself as of yet. I have a couple of ideas bumping around, but nothing has fully formulated yet. Would love something collaborative that works for the greater good instead of making me a famous blogger…that is something I could get behind.

    Thanks for the post Jeremy and good luck!

  • This is awesome. I’m glad the discussion “took.” : )

    I believe blogging is the most important element to a social media presence. As yo said, nothing else is quite so lasting. It is your voice, your legacy, and the engine that fuels everything else.

    You have so much to say. i hope you can stick with it. The world is going to love it. I am going to love it!

    This post is a tremendous start!

  • Good for you, Jeremy. I know it will be worthwhile reading.

    And, you’ve reminded me (and a few others it seems) of the wisdom of making time to get back to what likely drew many of us to blogging in the first place: the opportunity to write.

    Looking forward to more from you!

  • @Kacy – I remember your transition and focused effort. You have done a good job in maintaining your commitment. You know the old adage: the cobblers kids have no shoes…the marketer hath no blog. 🙂

    @Mark – Thank you for the confidence and encouragement to get back in the saddle. Let’s see where it goes. A true gift that you have is to disarm apprehension. I remember when I worked at Home Depot in college, the biggest difference in a fearful do-it-yourselfer and a “weekend warrior” was the confidence that they could complete the task. Many times, our job was to disarm their apprehension (much like you do). It’s a wonderful character trait.

  • Thank you Jeremy and Mark for sharing your commitment and encouragement to “stay the course.” 🙂

  • Jeremy, here’s my (educational, fun, informative, engaging) dilemma.
    4 months ago I decided I would become a full-time student of “social media”. I dove in head first, and have continued to devour amazing content, valuable information, and found and formed friendships with amazing people and communities.
    BUT…my own blog has suffered from separation anxiety. It’s so easy for me to start the day, reading my favourite blogs, tweeting a bit, commenting and engaging, that by the time I get to writing my own blog, it suffers the tragic result of being last on the list…when it really should be first.
    So, my commitment today: tip the scales toward writing for my community on my blog, then commenting and engaging the many diverse, wonderful communities online. A new approach. Cheers! Kaarina

  • @Shane – It is so easy to neglect. I would say that one of the most common problems for folks in our industry is neglecting our own marketing.

    @Dr-Rae – Thanks!

    @Kaarina – I look forward to reading the product of today’s resolve.

  • Jeremy,
    I completely agree about the long-term advantages of blogging. And I am so glad that your friend has brought you to the light. I vow to you to read every single post. Not that I need to vow, but I will. I prefer a mediocre blogpost over the best of tweets. You have some great tweets and I know that none of your posts will be just mediocre.

    I often think about how happy it makes me that when I leave this world, I will leave a blog behind that says who I am. I imagine my kids having a bad mom day and finding my blog and reading and laughing, as if I am right there with them. They will leave online feeling encouraged just like I do when I read from the scriptures. How can I not blog? I have always wanted to make sure I leave behind a piece of me when I go. I can’t think of any better way.

    And you are a magnificent writer and even though I won’t be interested in your geeky posts about computers, I will still read them, and I might even learn something. And THAT is the power of the internet. Putting names with faces and people with ideas. I can get excited about ideas a lot easier when I know where they are coming from.

  • Oh, and I really like the cleaner look of your page, not that you asked for my opinion. 🙂

  • Alice, I am so thankful that you are a regular reader / friend. I really hesitated writing this post because of a comment that you wrote about six months ago that you really didn’t like to read all of the business / technology garbage. As a result, I ended up not writing at all.

    SO…. like you said, If I write a boring business post, just skip it. I promise to sprinkle some humor and sarcasm in regularly. 😉

  • Hey Jeremy, this post may be about your story but I think it contains excellent advice and very, VERY relevant questions to many out there. I wished I had something / somebody to tell me those a couple of years back when I stopped blogging.
    And oh, welcome back! 🙂
    p.s. I’ll be back for more 😉

  • Many thanks for publishing this review.It is really useful for me.

  • Pingback: Look Ma, I got a ‘B’ in Blogging | Jeremy Floyd - Between You and Me()

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