Carved Out Some Time

Well I actually had some quality self time over the past weekend.  My wife was still in Texas visiting her sister.  My daughter and grandson went fishing.  I had the house and the entire afternoon all to myself.

Even before the daughter and grandson left I had the chance to put on my headphones and listen to a podcast that I wanted to hear for weeks.

And listening to that podcast created another one of those “aha” moments.

A number of years back I briefly had a blog.  It was a local sports blog.  I created it mainly for my son who at the time was drifting around from job to job.  He was looking for his dream job in sports journalism.

I could start a blog with very little invested other than time.  He could write for me since it was sports and he is a very good writer.  He graduated from Penn State earning a Bachelors degree with a major in Journalism and a minor in English.  I also contributed since it was a creative outlet for me as I was still up to my eyeballs in the hardware distribution business.

We created a nice blog with good pieces about local teams that would be of local interest.  We used tags and links yet we had a very small amount of views.

After a year my son finally landed his job in sports journalism at the local paper and no longer had the time to write for me.  I just didn’t have the time by myself to keep it up on a daily basis or even every other day so I lost interest and shut it down.

I had read about making contact with other blogs and building community.  I knew what you were supposed to do but didn’t really appreciate the purpose of the community building exercise.

But this past weekend when I finally had the opportunity to listen to the podcast the light bulb finally came on.

The speaker had started to build his community by guest blogging, then started his own blog while continuing to guest blog.  He built his community by giving away his content.

Then after building his fan base he asked them what would they pay for and he was surprised by the results.

He was able  to monetize his blog and become a published writer but did it all by giving away content through guest blogging.

And that’s when the simple stupid hit me.

He wasn’t trying to build a following by pulling in one fan at a time from a whole ocean of fans.  He was going to someone who already had a boat full of fans and basically said give me some of them and I’ll give you quality bait to keep bringing in more fans.

It’s a win/win.

And I realized that just putting up your blog or really any venture in this day and age and expecting prospective fans to just stumble upon it is a real long shot.  It’s like standing out in a field in the country that has one desolate road running through it holding up a sign that reads “Check this out”.  Maybe a couple of cars will come by and maybe one will stop and check you out but it will take forever to build a following of cars that will keep driving back each day.

Or you could go into the city where you have hundreds of people walking by every minute and then place you sign buy the store that is selling a product that compliments yours.  Your chance of getting fans has just increased by the hundreds.

So this is what I am going to start doing.  I wanted to first get my blog up and running so now it’s time to put this process into gear.

This is just one of those things that when you finally realize at a gut level what it means you say to yourself that was so simple why did it take me this long to get it.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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