Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
November 6, 201311:12 PM

It's Never Too Late To Start A Blog

Well, of course someone who loves to blog is going to say that it's never too late to start a blog.

I was asked to give a presentation this past week in London for the London Bloggers Meet-up (many thanks to Bernie, Andy and David for pulling this together). The event took place at the spectacular offices of Google in London (don't believe me, do a search on this office space, it has been featured in many articles and posts). There were over fifty bloggers in attendance and, instead of just presenting, we decided to do more of a Q&A-type of session. A deep-dive into the merits of blogging. Yes, we all recognize that it's 2013.

Blogging as a euphemism. 

I use blogging as a euphemism for putting your thinking out there. For me, blogging has been that media. I do love the weekly podcast, writing business books, as well as being a contributor to Huffington Post, Harvard Business Review and others, but blogging is where my heart lies. That's not entirely true. Writing is where my heart lies, and I publish that writing (primarily) on a blog. What I love most about blogging is the immediacy of sharing. The other publishing platforms typically have intermediaries, editors, time to publish and more. So, whether it's a blog for you, Instagram, posting to Facebook, Pinterest or whatever, let's (for argument's sake) just accept blogging as the euphemism for putting yourself out there.

Start now.

It may seem simple enough, but I labored over those two, simple words. I hesitate to tell you to start because I often find myself wondering if the world needs another blog, another tweet, another post about some wonderful place you're visiting or how hard of a workout you just had at the gym. The world probably doesn't need that, but it does need your thinking. Blogging has matured, evolved and changed. It's no longer the place for random brain droppings (we have a multitude of online social networks that allow that). Blogging has, chiefly, become the publishing channel for those who love to write and to connect more directly with those who are interested in the words. Without a doubt, comments and other social media channels have allowed these pieces to have a sense of distribution and additive insights, but a blog still gives a more personal space to explore with words the critical thinking that is taking place between your two ears.

You have other options.

If you look at platforms like Medium, Quora, Huffington Post and more, they are not only providing a place to blog (if you're not inclined to own your own space), but a platform of distribution. These spaces are like blogs with built-in audiences. The challenge with them is that - to a certain degree - for your piece to resonate within that channel it has to adopt the likeness of it. The best writers write for the channel. A book is not a blog post and an article on the Huffington Post is not the same as contributing to the Harvard Business Review. Finding the right match between your words, the publication and their platform can be challenging.

A blog is your land.

You can graze, decide what type of voice you want to cultivate, how often you would like to publish, how long (or short) you would like to publish. From there, you create the brand of the space. What the look, feel and vibe of the words will be. If anything, blogging has never been easier to do (check out WordPress), but on the other hand, it has never been harder to be successful at it because of how it has matured and because of the vast quantity of bloggers looking to grow their voice and audience. Still, I'm going to encourage you to either start a blog today or revive the one you may have abandoned.

If that doesn't spark you to make the move, please watch this (it's an oldie but a goodie from Seth Godin and Tom Peters):

By Mitch Joel


Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by Tony Faustino
    Mitch Joel

    Mitch, I love blogging and writing to exercise my mind in critical thinking. The books, periodicals, blog posts, etc. I consume are my fuel for showing "how I connect the dots" and "how I think."

    In the words of your HBR peer, Dorie Clark (from your podcast with her), creating our own, "intellectual property" to define, differentiate, and market ourselves is crucial (especially in a digital posture 1st world).

    I know of no other long form content or IP that serves that purpose better than a blog.

    BTW, FIRST!

  • Posted by Hilton Barbour
    Mitch Joel

    As my own personal blogging stalled this Summer, this was a perfectly timed post mate.

    From my own experience, I'd only add to the last paragraph.

    "Ditch your fear and check your ego. Blogging, at least initially, isn't for the faint of heart. You will not be for everyone. That's what having an opinion means. Accept you'll get detractors but that comes with having an authentic voice. If you're not prepared to have - and stand by - an opinion, then don't start blogging. Get past the self-conscious and shy part, write, refine, learn, improve. Everyone who blogs faces those same hurdles"

    Thanks for the kick in the posterior.

  • Posted by Keith Marshall
    Mitch Joel

    I'm not bragging (because it was mostly crap) but I've been blogging since 1999. Nowadays I get the majority of my business leads because of my blogging activities.
    I love blogging. When I'm not blogging, I'm writing in notebooks.

  • Posted by Santel
    Mitch Joel

    Thank you for this reminder. I started my first blog in 2008, without even know what blogging is.

    It's a place where I own and share my thinking. Personally I still love WordPress, for its easy to use features.

  • Posted by Peter Pallotta
    Mitch Joel

    After reading CTRL + ALT + DELETE it became apparent just how important blogging would become in the future. Although I have always been forward thinking I was late at the social media scene mainly because I had cut out all forms of media including cable, radio etc. I found overtime those mediums full of negativity and just didn't want to be part of that crowd and found by doing so free'd up my time for other things.

    I just started to blog and utilize social media and finding it quite refreshing. Its amazing how my first blog got 22 hits, never in the world would I imagine 22 people would use their time to read my blog since I'm no expert in anything so it was amazing to see. Anyways its been more of an outlet for my thoughts and discovering more about myself even though I've worked for over 25 years. I have to thank mitch for his book and kick in the pants.

    Happy blogging!

  • Posted by Victor Khiz
    Mitch Joel

    I have never regreted starting a blog. It not only helped me bece a better writer but a deeper thinker a well. I have an amazing opportunity to connect with people through my writing like nothing else.

  • Posted by Jon DiPietro
    Mitch Joel

    The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second-best time to plant a tree is today.

    The best time to start a blog was 10 years ago. The second-best time is today.

  • Posted by Peter Pallotta
    Mitch Joel

    Update..... received 400 hits on medium...my goal is not to get as many hits as possible rather I look at it as a journal and hoping that my thoughts resonate with someone out there. I also know its going to be a long journey and puts pressure on myself to improve myself in many ways. Its a good habit to get into and amazing things happen to you so would recommend to start if you haven't.

  • Posted by Walter
    Mitch Joel

    Thanks for sharing your passion and thoughts on blogging. In an age flooded with fancy infographics, Pinterest boards, and Instagram videos, I am still a great fan of powerfully written words shaped into incisive ideas that cut to the heart of the matter. Three cheers for the long form!

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    Mitch Joel

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  • Posted by drchon.com
    Mitch Joel

    A lot of eharmony guys write things like" I'm just an average guy"
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    way all of you but I just wanted to be a scientist.

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    Mitch Joel

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