Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
November 28, 2008 2:04 PM

Start A Blog Today

It doesn't have to be about Marketing, Communications, Advertising, PR or how to start a business, it could be about one of your hobbies or another personal area of interest, but go ahead and start a Blog now.

While this may run counter to the general thought that you should have some kind of strategy and plan in place for how to roll it out, how frequently to update it and some thoughts around an editorial  or publishing calendar, the sooner you start putting your thoughts down and publishing them to the world, the sooner you will be able to embrace and understand the power of these channels.

Take 90 seconds and watch this video of Tom Peters (In Search of Excellence and Re-Imagine) and Seth Godin (Purple Cow and Tribes) talking about why Blogging still matters and why you need to start writing one now: American Express - Open Forum - Let's Hear It For The Blog.

In this case, it sounds like planning is overrated. You're a smart person, you have something to say (about something).

Right now, most people are thinking about a few major things: Thanksgiving, the Holidays, the economy, the gifts they need to buy, the craziness in Mumbai and more. Nothing is getting easier, in fact - on the business side - things might start getting very complicated. We are already seeing major layoffs and the start of some scary big businesses (and small ones too) closing.

Do you think that the only people affected by layoffs and bankruptcy are people who are not as smart as you are? Doubtful. 

No matter what other channels exist (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, etc...), nothing demonstrates who you are and what you do quite like a Blog. The reason to start one right now is because tomorrow may be too late. While a Blog may not replace the resume or a corporate brochure or a white paper, none of those will ever be able to demonstrate the one thing that truly separates you from everybody else: you - as an individual. Human beings are like snowflakes (no two snowflakes are alike) and, in a world where differentiation and uniqueness seems to be the only competitive advantage, nothing will demonstrate this more effectively than a Blog.

They're also very cheap (to get started).

In fact, you can head over to Blogger or WordPress and start your own web-based Blog for free in about five minutes. If you start there and you really enjoy it and you're building some kind of community and connection with readers, then you can splurge for a more serious software package, hosting, custom design, etc... Starting on the free platforms isn't the ideal way to really grow your Blog and bring it to the masses, but it's the perfect place to play and experiment with your voice and content.

Don't worry about how many comments you get. 

It is always nice to be validated with comments and to use your Blog as a space to build a community (that's what this is), but having no comments does not mean that nobody is reading or that the content you are creating doesn't have huge value. Keep at it, promote it and let people know where they can learn more about you.

One last question: what are you waiting for?

By Mitch Joel


Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by Gopal Shenoy
    Mitch Joel

    Nice post. Here are the 5 reasons why I started my personal blog and my 8 recommendations to new bloggers

    http://productmanagementtips.com/2008/07/24/productmanagerblog/

    Reply
  • Posted by Mark Evans
    Mitch Joel

    Having launched 10 or so blogs over the past four years, it's become so easy to do that you can get up and going in minutes. If you like to write and/or have something to say, start a blog. The worst that can happen is you lose interest, and the thing dies, but that's okay because it will cost you little or nothing.

    Reply
  • Posted by Patrick Hopf
    Mitch Joel

    Hey Mitch,

    Got my 12 daughter to start her own blog the other day: www.biancahopf.com. I'm letting her write free on any topic to see if it holds her interest. I think the positives will be both improvement on her English, and some credibility with her peers and teachers....privacy is a bit of concern with a pre-teen, but I'm the administrator so I can monitor the comments etc.

    Let me know what you think? Could be a cool post on how the next generation is approaching the medium.

    Reply
  • Mitch Joel

    Thanks for the encouragement. I started blogging almost a year ago after months of contemplating and worrying.

    Knowing that once you start a blog, you expose yourself to the universe. I was intimidated at first, but I decided since I have many interests, why not share them?

    The community is small and supportive, and the amount of knowledge gained and networking opportunities that result from blogging is amazing...

    Plus in my aspiring career as a PR/Marketing professional (where superb writing skills are paramount), blogging allows you to practice!

    Reply
  • I blog to share what I have to say, be visible in cyberspace, network and have fun. I want to build a community of interested readers and start great conversations!

    Since twitter I have fallen behind on my blog posts but I'm gearing up to get back in the saddle. I LOVE reading people's blogs and other social media sites can never replace real writings (even though they are so fun and addictive!)

    So - Go Blogs Go!

    Reply
  • Posted by Helen Hoefele
    Mitch Joel

    Surprisingly, this article and that 90-second clip sums up my experiences almost exactly. Starting before you're totally clear on what your goals are gives you time to find your voice and to discover what's important to you. It's never too late to get started, and the sooner you start, the sooner you'll start collecting some history for yourself and for others to see what's important to you. You don't need an audience to get started. If blogging is something you've been putting off because you're not sure if you'll get it right, put those reservations aside. I absolutely agree that there is no real reason to wait.

    Reply
  • Posted by Steven Milstein
    Mitch Joel

    Actually, I only "got" social media after reading your http://www.twistimage.com/blog/archives/seven-blogs-you-must-read-and-other-useful-knowhow-montreal-gazette-column/ post. Just recently, I started blogging myself, also, mainly due to you, www.chrisbrogan.com/, http://sethgodin.typepad.com and http://blog.guykawasaki.com/. I most definitely agree with you & the others, that - given the challenges of today's realities, now is absolutely the best time to show your snowflake. With so many people being batched together in layoffs, people need a way to distinguish themselves.

    The light bulb went off for me when I was about to offer the father of my daughter's best friend an afternoon How-To do it. Fortunately, I realized the arrogance of my offer & held back. I was about to waste 4 hours of his time, my time, completely frustrate both of us and in the end set us both further back from where we started.

    That's why I started blogging. I realized that so many people I know - personally & professionally, have no idea of the social software tools not only available to them, but more importantly, just how beneficial they can be. So instead of inefficiently offering my help one person at at time, I hope to learn & refine the experience in my blog, grow my own social network and help others seed their own.

    Reply
  • Mitch Joel

    As a web specialist, I collect information on new business models. I use my blog to share information with others and to organize my sources. It is independent from the firm I work for and I do not market my content (even if marketing is a large part of my job). I linked it to my Delicious and Netvibes pages. I don't care if nobody links to it but I like being a tiny part of the Web.

    Reply
  • Posted by Tameka Kee
    Mitch Joel

    I've been on the cusp of starting a blog for the past few months now, though the time commitment is what's keeping me hesitant.

    I'm a journalist and write at least a few thousand words per day. I'm also working on a novel that I'm loathe to write for at the end of the day, so I think a blog would just feel like another obligation.

    That said, I see the benefits, I know it would be an extension of my personal brand, and would likely do wonders for my career.

    But I don't want to start it and not finish it. I also think knowing about social media, reading so much about how to promote blogs and be part of the "community" has me intimidated. I know all the things you need to do to make your blog successful -- I sort of just don't want to do them.

    Reply
  • Posted by Mike Brown
    Mitch Joel

    Great advice. I've been blogging a year and it's been a tremendous learning experience professionally - both for my day job and for the other speaking and writing activities that are running in parallel.

    Similar to Gopal, I've summarized my first year blogging learnings: http://brainzooming.blogspot.com/search?q=blogging+anniversary+week

    Thanks for the encouraging post!

    Mike Brown
    http://brainzooming.blogspot.com

    Reply
  • Posted by theWeir
    Mitch Joel

    Great post, Mitch.

    I've not blogged for months, mainly due to not having or making time to capture my thoughts.

    One reason for getting the G1 was to make it more of a possibility that I can capture some.

    Well see....

    Reply
  • Posted by Sean
    Mitch Joel

    Hi Mitch...

    I saw you give your social media presentation in September 2007, which included a similar encouragement to start blogging. I'd kicked around the idea of starting one, and that day I decided to do it.

    Well, it took me six months to finally get going. Part of that was procrastination, part of it was finding some time, and part of it was (believe it or not) my inability to think of a catchy name.

    I've been blogging since February. The first few months were pretty lean, but I've built up a solid following now and just recently signed a promotional deal with a Canadian television network. I'm having a ton of fun with it.

    My only regret: not starting sooner. If I'd started the day I saw your presentation I'd be six months ahead of where I am now. Six more months of building an audience, six more months of finding my writing style, six more months of building links in a community. I kick myself for waiting, everyday.

    Take Mitch's advice, everyone. You're going to blog eventually, there's no reason not to start right now.

    Reply
  • Posted by Kneale Mann
    Mitch Joel

    Hey Mitch,

    Excellent post! It's because of you, I started a blog and now have that daily need to share my thoughts and read others' thoughts to improve myself.

    And thanks for the occasional funny email ;-)

    km

    Reply
  • Posted by Poe
    Poe

    I see your point but there are many blogs out there that are useless and just "wasting space" virtually that is.

    Reply
  • Posted by Ari Herzog
    Mitch Joel

    Many people forget the "blog" is nothing more than a fancy shmancy "online diary" which everyone and her grandmother probably has written on paper for decades.

    Comments are a new phenomenon.

    Write. Pick a niche, or don't. Be yourself.

    Reply
  • I encourage every business to start a blog and today is not too soon. Don't worry about figuring it all out in advance - you won't. Just start doing it and learn as you go!

    I've linked in a post I did on Blogging to Increase Your Business and I'll be doing follow-up posts with more ideas on what any type of business can blog about that will benefit them, their potential and existing buyers, and anyone seeking their expertise, products and services.

    If you don't know what you would possibly blog about or you've hit a dry spell leave me a comment in that post and I'll give you some ideas. I might even write a post just for your business and feature you.

    Every day you're not sharing is another day your potential customers aren't finding you. Just go for it. I'll help anyone directly who gets stuck. Just leave me a comment and I'll help you get unstuck. It is THAT important.

    IF you blog about what you know and are passionate about you won't be "wasting virtual space" - You'll be adding to the good.

    Thanks for the Twitter - and this discussion. It is one that needs to be happening all over.

    Reply
  • Posted by theWeir
    Mitch Joel

    Mitch.

    Back on the mic.

    Thanks,

    W

    Reply
  • Posted by seth godin
    Mitch Joel

    Well said, Mitch.

    I think we've reached the point where people who haven't tried to have a blog are sort of like people who don't have a driver's license. It's worth asking, "why not?"

    Reply
  • Posted by frank
    Mitch Joel


    I feel admonished Mitch :) It's possible that i'll need to start a personal blog as part of 09. trying to get one going at work has been a bit of a challenge.

    --
    http://twitter.com/franswaa

    Reply
  • Posted by augmentin
    Mitch Joel

    I have been looking for sites like this for a long time. Thank you!

    Reply
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