I have bad news for you. You missed the golden age of blogging. You are too late. The best of times has come and gone and now all you have are the remnants and left overs of the great society that once was. I probably should be kinder and gentler. I probably should be nicer and not tell you that things would be different if you had started sooner.
If you had been smarter, faster, more agile and more progressive you would have figured out that this Internet thing was going to take off. You would have secured cool domain names like “Internet.com, “news.com,” and “business.com” long ago. It really is a shame that you missed out on that.
You really should feel badly about it. There is a reason that you feel like you are on the outside looking in. There is a reason why your blog doesn’t get as much traffic as the next guy. And it doesn’t matter if you attend every major blogging conference because we have already established the cliques and cool clubs. You don’t know the secret handshake and you can’t be a part of us because we won’t let you in.
So you’ll sit there looking up at us- the professional bloggers who are making a million dollars a year and our friends the cool personal bloggers who are beloved by all. You’ll stare at us and ask yourself why? You’ll curse your dumb luck and blame us for keeping you down because we know how to game the system better than you do.
Because it isn’t fair that we aren’t as talented as you are or as smart. It is not right and completely unreasonable to ask you to suck it up and accept your place in the lower caste. But that is what you are going to do because you don’t have a choice.
Or do you.
Maybe the golden age of blogging hasn’t passed. Maybe old Chucky Dickens was right about it being the best of times and the worst of times. Maybe what he really meant was that life is what we make of it and so are our blogs.
Call me a cockeyed optimist with an overindulged imagination and frantic fingers that can type more than 200 words a minute but I know from experience that this really is what you make of it. Find your community. The blogosphere is built upon the backs of millions. There is no reason why you cannot find like minded individuals to hang out with.
Don’t wait to start writing. Do it now. Take your pencil and scribble some lines down on the back of a napkin. Write about what you would do if you woke up and discovered that you were a giant cockroach. Proof it once or twice and post it.
Be true. Be real. Be authentic. Be consistent. Be there and people will come. Try not to worry about whether the big bloggers know your name. The old saw about not putting all your eggs into one basket is true here too.
Don’t fear blogging. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Write and enjoy.
If the words above don’t resonate with you or make sense than maybe the next few lines will.
Success in blogging is subjective. For some people it is based upon generating revenue and others it is based upon comments. If you want to be successful you have to identify what success means to you. It sounds obvious but many bloggers forget to do it.
Once you define success you can build a road map to reach whatever plateau you are striving for. Or you can let fear and insecurity rule your world.
The choice is yours.
Brent February 13, 2013 at 4:43 am
I echo Kristen’s comment. I’m learning to balance the time I spend interacting with other blogs and bloggers with time spent on my own. I’ve recently met a big group of bloggers and it has been a) very motivating to do better and more writing, b) frustrating when I compare myself to others or come across a blogger that’s less than generous with their time or insight, and c) great to meet some genuinely fun and interesting people.
I’m in year 3 of my blog, and it’s continuing to grow and evolve. Jack, your post is a nice kick/nudge/hug in the right direction. Thanks!
Jack February 13, 2013 at 8:13 pm
It is easy to get caught in the trap of comparing ourselves and our blogs to others. I certainly have done it from time to time.
I am also a fan of growth and evolution, I think it is a wonderful thing and something that we should be proud of.
Aaron Brinker February 12, 2013 at 10:53 pm
I haven’t been doing the parenting blogs as long as many of the great dad’s I know. One of the reasons is because it took my wife and I over a decade to have one child…somehow I didn’t think many people would want to hear a dad’s perspective if i wasn’t a dad…. 🙂
However, I have been commenting on people’s post since the 90’s. So, I do at least have some idea on how to comment if nothing else. I agree with you 100%. It’s all about being happy in what we were doing and writing because we want to. I write because I want to write.
I might never have the following some people have and I am okay with that because I do this for me. I will ultimately stay true myself. Yes, I will do occasional giveaways and promotions, but I write for me and no one else. When I choose to guest post it because I want to do it for someone. Just my opinion, but it’s about being happy, otherwise we will burn out quickly.
Aaron Brinker aka DadBlunders
Jack February 13, 2013 at 6:54 pm
It sounds like there might be a few good stories tied up in how you became a father.People relate to and enjoy those tales.
We are in agreement about how to go about it. When you write for yourself first you end up serving both masters of publisher and reader because you maintain the passion and personality in your posts.
Vikram February 12, 2013 at 9:13 pm
I dont think blogging has a time limit now, every now and then i see many people come and go, but blogging is still the same…
yeah if the golden era was earlier, when people could write anything and become a blogger, then i agree that (so called) golden era is gone.
But now bloggers dont just write they think, they blog and they understand..
Jack February 13, 2013 at 6:51 pm
Yeah, it keeps going. I laugh when people say it is dying because it really isn’t. It is just evolving.
Ron Whitaker February 12, 2013 at 4:47 pm
Sometimes if we get in to an arena “late,” we start coming up with excuses why we fail or why we can’t succeed because ______ (fill in the blank).
You’ll ALWAYS be able to find reasons why it’s too late or too this or too that and that because of that, failure is imminent.
Successful people ignore such things and simply move on and DO IT!
Jack February 12, 2013 at 9:17 pm
Exactly. If we let excuses run our lives we deserve what we get.
Bill Dorman February 9, 2013 at 5:33 am
Most big bloggers bore me, which concerns me because I don’t want to become ‘that guy.’ Based on my current efforts I’m pretty sure I don’t have to worry about that, but this is just an opinion from an outsider looking in.
I guess I’m ok in my bubble for now, no real sense of urgency to do anything differently.
Jack February 9, 2013 at 10:44 am
A lot of the bigger bloggers are mailing it in or so it seems to me. I don’t think of you as a real outsider, you are part of the inside crowd.
Enjoy that bubble, the temperature probably better inside than out. Hope you are having a good weekend.
Dad of DIvas February 8, 2013 at 7:09 pm
Things have definitely changed over the years and people are writing in different ways, but you make a good point to really think back to the original intent of why most of started to write…which we should never forget
Jack February 9, 2013 at 10:36 am
I am biased, but I prefer the blogs where people really let go and share pieces of themselves. It is easy to get caught up on the hamster wheel and forget that, I know it has happened to me a bunch of times.
Kenya G. Johnson February 8, 2013 at 12:47 pm
I may have missed the Golden Age but it might be something bigger in store for the late bloomers. For now, I’m just glad no one else had my name. People can also subscribe to my blog on Kindle so I think that’s cool even if my mom is the only one with a subscription 😉 I’m enjoying the many true connections that I’ve made and the things that I have learned.
Jack February 9, 2013 at 10:29 am
I think the Kindle subscriptions are among the coolest features that exist now. That is something that just makes me smile. I ought to set that up.
The connections and the learning really do make it special.
Carolyn February 8, 2013 at 12:27 pm
The best is yet to come, my friend.
I actually truly believe that I lucked into the Golden Age of Blogging. I can’t imagine going back to life before Triberr. The fact that Triberr and The Wonder of Tech were launched the same year seems serendipitous to me.
But I am an optimist by nature.
Jack February 9, 2013 at 10:26 am
The best is yet to come. Actually that seems to be my experience thus far. When I look at where things were and where they are now it is clear to me that it is better.
Triberr has been magical in many ways and I can never say enough good things about how it helped me meet so many good people. You are right about it, Triberr has been great.
Kristen February 8, 2013 at 12:22 pm
The more time I spend thinking about what other people are doing (or getting or making), the less happy I am blabbering away on my own blog and hanging out with the people whom I like and whom I find interesting. Every once in awhile I need a kick in the pants like this to remind me that I will get out of blogging whatever I put into it – and, for me, the relationships are the most important thing.
Jack February 9, 2013 at 10:21 am
That is a good way of looking at it. It is not really all that different from life in general. When we spend time worrying about what others have we lose sight of what we have got.
Not saying I never fall prey to this particular “issue’ but I try to be aware of it.
The relationships are great.
Chris February 8, 2013 at 10:35 am
As a relative new guy to the scene (1 year), I have loved every step of my blogging journey. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some great people, to be inspired and to use my voice for good. I’ve made a crap ton of mistakes too and I am a stronger writer and person for them. I can’t imagine life right now, had I not found blogging. Great stuff Jack, as usual!
Jack February 8, 2013 at 11:35 pm
I love your passion and fire. It is refreshing and fun. Blogging should be fun and you serve as a great example and reminder of that.
Kaarina Dillabough February 8, 2013 at 9:11 am
Just write baby, just write! I will never get tired of that mantra:) Cheers! Kaarina
Jack February 8, 2013 at 11:32 pm
I am glad. Just write baby, just write. 🙂
Joe February 8, 2013 at 6:49 am
My favorite movie character of all time is Rocky Balboa. He was a nobody, a chump, a has-been working part time for a loan shark. The only difference between Balboa and the other nobodies is that he never learned to stop swinging. While Apollo Creed was getting his makeup done, Rocky was still swinging.
And so it is with all of us. The end, or beginning, of your Golden Age depends on your ability to recognize that good things happen when you can continually land the body shot. Your opponent wears down. The “cliques and the cool clubs” will eventually stagger on the ropes, as anyone else would. Even in defeat, you can do some damage.
It’s your world, Jack. Keep doing damage.
Jack February 8, 2013 at 11:30 pm
I have to share the video:
Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that!
Adam February 8, 2013 at 6:47 am
Perhaps it’s just the golden age of “blogging about blogging” that has come and gone. 🙂
But I agree, do your thing and stick with it. The cream rises to the top eventually.
Jack February 8, 2013 at 11:26 pm
I like that, maybe it is the “golden age of â€œblogging about bloggingâ€ that has come and gone.”
Sustain your effort and keep pushing and good things usually happen.
Frank Strong February 7, 2013 at 8:33 pm
Know what Jack? The web has taught me just how many smart and talented people are out there blogging. And that there’s a whole lot more street cred in that blogger with a few hundred readers that when they write a post — it leads to a referral. Vice that influencer with a big following and even bigger ego that mentions you, tons of people retweet it, but no one buys.
Jack February 8, 2013 at 11:25 pm
I am right there with you regarding the value of the blogger with the smaller but highly engaged readership. There is a benefit to having a smaller crew of readers because it is much easier to develop significant relationships that way.
The people are what make blogging so very interesting to me. I love to write and would do it regardless of who read, but the people have always enhanced the experience.
I have learned and grown so very much…
Stan Faryna February 7, 2013 at 7:56 pm
Most of the obvious pickings of .com domain names were spoken for by 1995. That doesn’t mean some people didn’t get lucky after that. Some will get lucky with a domain name. Funny thing, I have held some domains for almost 20 years. And I have let a lot go. But I never made money on a domain name. [laughing]
Jack’s right. There is an opportunity. Not for everyone. But if everyone could make good, that would be the end of pain and suffering. And, I suppose, the universe would have to come to a grinding stop. Because we do need some measure of pain to grow, to understand, and to shine brighter. Perhaps, to love stronger.
Jack February 7, 2013 at 9:55 pm
I remember thinking about buying a bunch of domain names around 1999 of so, just to see if I could pick a “lucky” one, but it didn’t happen. Think I spent the cash on baby gear.
Been mulling over your second graph for a while, part of me agrees but then again, part doesn’t. If everything is easy than it becomes harder to appreciate things.
But does pain have to exist for growth, I am not sure.
Stan Faryna February 8, 2013 at 3:28 am
I wish it weren’t so.
Betsy Cross February 8, 2013 at 4:31 am
Opposition (pain, etc) exists to give people choices. Some choose to grow…:)