I started my blog jeffbullas.com in March 2009. After a great deal of online research
I became fascinated with the technology and the marketing power of social media.
I had only discovered Facebook nine months prior and had recently registered on Twitter. Facebook had initially surprised me with its ability to connect me with my college friends I hadn’t heard from in 20 years and the magic of its global technology. It was Arthur C Clarke the famous science fiction writer and author of 2001: A Space Odyssey who once said:
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”.
I started to notice the level of obsession and interest that these social networks were creating online and I felt motivated to learn more about the source of this buzz and conversation on the web. I sensed this was a game changing trend that couldn’t be ignored.
As I researched I came upon two books and one blog that inspired me to start the blogging journey:
- The New Rules of Marketing and PR – by David Meerman Scott
- The 4-Hour Workweek – by Timothy Ferriss
- The HubSpot Blog – one of the finest blogs you will find about social media, blogging and content marketing.
I remember reading a HubSpot blog post and I came across an article that stated that if you are not sure what to blog about… JUST START!
So I did.
When I started my blog, I was unemployed, looking for work and my marriage of 19 years had disintegrated. Life was not what you would call a success. So I decided to get out of my comfort zone and take advantage of my spare time. I started blogging.
I registered and purchased my domain name, learnt the basics of WordPress and decided to write about the subject of my initial interest and fascination – Social Media. Agonizing over the topic, the content and the headline, I finally sat down and wrote my first post.
After completing the article I remember my finger hovering over the publish button for what seemed an eternity because I realized that soon the two billion users who have internet access around the world would be able to see my blog (not that anyone noticed at the time).
Finally the publish button was struck and my blog was live.
The comment by Bryan Appleyard in The Times of London seemed to sum it up so well:
The blogscape is not for the faint-hearted. Start blogging and you will initially be lulled into a false sense of security by the ease with which you just knock out a few paragraphs and click Publish Post. At once, there it is, out there for all to see. Remember, I do mean “all”. There’s a shocking disconnect between one fact — you sitting at your computer — and the next — what you just wrote being instantly visible to the entire world. Try to think of it as like stepping out of the toilet to find yourself standing on the centre spot at Wembley on cup-final day.
As I continued to blog I started using Twitter to build my targeted audience. I created a Facebook page so my blog could be found on Facebook. People started to read my posts, commented and started sharing them on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. I discovered first hand that social networks were a powerful means to market and promote my blog. Writing and creating content was one thing, but without marketing and the interaction of readers, a blog can be a lonely and unfulfilling experience.
3 years later I have nearly 300,000 visitors to my blog every month. Twitter followers number nearly 100,000. I have been named as one of the Top 50 social media power influencers on Forbes.com (coming in at #14) and I get paid to speak around the world at events and conferences.
I continue to blog five mornings a week prior to starting my fulltime job. It has provided me with a great number of business opportunities and a worldwide network of stimulating and thought-provoking contacts.
Chris Brogan, one of the top bloggers in the world, who wrote a blog post titled Discipline and the Bloggers Opportunity quite rightly says:
Every time you post, you build an opportunity. It might be for making business. It might be for sharing thought leadership. It might be the chance to build some new relationships. Mechanically, it might just be another attempt to gain better organic ranking from Google. But each post is an opportunity.
I have experienced many of these opportunities through writing my blog, with more and more occurring each week. Chris also writes: To obtain any kind of value in these opportunities requires discipline.
I have been very disciplined in my approach and am now reaping the benefits. There is no doubt that this discipline has been a huge contributor to my success.
So you need discipline, but most of us use this trait in our everyday lives to varying degrees, so this should not be seen as a hindrance for you. But there is also a secret to blogging success that makes the discipline easy to apply and will sustain you on the journey and will provide endurance and attach real horsepower to your efforts.
This secret will provide you with the energy that will provide effortless success that will continue to flow into your blogging journey.