blogging

Why I Started Blogging…From Motivation to Game Plan

Why I Started Blogging...From Motivation to Game Plan

It has been exactly one year now since I wrote my first post. Funny story: Vinay Menon was the first person ever to comment on one of my posts. I became friends and have kept in touch with him and his business partner, Anthony, over the past year through our mutual interest in exotic sport cars. In November of 2007, I was fortunate to meet Vinay and Anthony at the Blog World Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada. How many people can say that they actually met the first person to ever comment on their blogs? I can.

Let’s recap a little bit: I came across the entire concept of blogging back in November of 2006. Wow, that feels like SUCH a long time ago! It was after I had first moved down from Seattle to Phoenix, Arizona, and I was becoming more and more dedicated to producing a sustainable income from the Internet.

I was also a “MySpacer” at the time and enjoyed socializing with my real-life friends online. That was all about to change.

My Motivation

It soon was apparent that there were no real professional and and business benefits from MySpace. I deleted my account, and later that month started doing Internet research on Mark Zuckerberg (creator of Facebook). I was fascinated with how someone his age (he was 22 at the time, just like me) created such an incredible Internet empire from his dorm room.

Researching Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg led me to a Valleywag article about Mark and Kevin Rose (creator of Digg). To make a long story short, I ended up on Digg, and eventually stumbled upon John Chow’s blog, who, at the time, was gaming his way to the front page of Digg for days at a time.

John’s blog was the first “blog” I had ever read. What I liked about the blog was that this was a personal account of making money online. This was exactly the type of information I was looking for. Not only that, but John had (and still has) a fun and easy-to-read writing style. He had written quite a few articles by that time. I remember reading his blog voraciously, with each post becoming more knowledgeable about the various aspects of advertising, domaining, SEO, affiliate marketing, and e-commerce.

John wrote some fantastically useful posts in his first six months of blogging, many of which contain the fundamental knowledge of a lot of the various ways to make money online. If you ever get the chance, I recommend going back and reading some of the OctoberNovemberDecember 2006 posts on John’s blog.

Seeing John’s success made me even more motivated, although not to make money off my blog – I was most interested in using my blog as a journal to document my learning and hopefully teach other people about different aspects of Internet specialization such as SEO, domaining, web design, and branding.

Establishing an online identity in order to run a business was certainly one of the major goals of blogging. Why? People are much more likely to do business with you if they have a sense of who you are and whether you are trustworthy. Obviously, it was much harder to do business and get an audience when I was a new blogger. Now, a year later, I feel as if I have a true community of like-minded professionals.

The Six-Month Game Plan

When I think back to what helped me the most, it was having a six-month game plan for establishing my online identity. Six months is a long time in the Internet world, and a lot can change in that time span. At the same time, six months is short enough of a time that if clearly planned out, significant goals and life transformations can be launched.

When I first started blogging, one of my sub-goals was to generate more business for my web design company, infinFX. My plan was that after six months of blogging, I would be running a 100%, self-sustaining, Internet-based web design firm. Little did I know that infinFX would have to morph into Unique Blog Designs for this to come true. Either way, sticking with my blog for six months made it much easier to accomplish that next goal.

How long have you been blogging? Why did you start blogging? Do you have a six-month game plan for your blog? How has blogging helped your business? I look forward to hearing!

34 thoughts on “Why I Started Blogging…From Motivation to Game Plan”

  1. Nate, you have truly established yourself online. Unique Blog Designs is doing really well from what I hear and you have really built a reputation to be proud of and I congratulate you on your success. I always make the effort to come over to your site or the UBD site and check out what’s hapenning and I know I will get some really high quality content at any given time/

    Once again, a great site and I hope you keep at it for a long time to come! All the best for the year ahead from the folks at Small Fish Big Money!

    Kind Regards,
    Fabien

    1. Fabien, thank you for your kind words. The hardest part about the past few months has been not having enough time to spend blogging. We have been blogging quite a bit on the UBD blog, but it is not the same as blogging on my personal blog. Congratulations on your success so far of Small Fish, Big Money. Best of luck to you in the future and I am sure we will hear more from you soon.

  2. Hey Nate,

    This is my first comment on your blog, but I’ve visited since you’ve had a red car as your banner. It’s pretty crazy how quickly your life can change in a year can’t it? Your site really pushed me to make my own site – just how John’s blog pushed you. Maybe we can collaborate on a project together sometime? Keep up the great work!

    1. Hey Danny, great to have you comment. Thanks for following my blog for so long. That is honestly really amazing to hear that I have helped inspire you, even if only a little bit. I know from watching John’s success that it is really fun to follow people’s journey’s to success. What kind of project did you have in mind? Message me and we can chat sometime.

  3. Congratulations, Nate! When I started blogging back in May 2007, you were one of my big inspirations, so thanks for everything!

    It’s interesting that looking back from today the fact were in the game just 3-4 months before me seems like a short time – although at that time it was like eternity. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I wish you many more great years in blogging!

    1. Jarkko, thanks for being a loyal reader of my blog. Congratulations to you for consistently blogging since May. It definitely does seem like an eternity just a few months ago. Documenting the journey (such as on a blog) definitely does contribute to what seems to be exponential personal growth over much shorter periods of time.

      Best of luck to you, my friend.

  4. Wow Nate, you asked some probing questions that we all need to answer. These are good questions to ask about any person’s profession, not just blogging.

    Here goes. I’ve been blogging officially since December 26, 2007. Yes, I’m a newbie but YOU are one of the guys that pushed me over the edge! I ran across your post from August about everything you had learned and I was HIGHLY intrigued. I followed some links to some other bloggers and bam! I was hooked!

    I started blogging because I wanted to 1) learn how the Internet and web sites worked, 2) I was very interested in personal finance and in helping people make wise decisions with their money, credit, and retirement, 3) I was interested in using some of the knowledge I gained from getting my MBA (finished in Dec 14th) to help people in their business decisions, 4) I wanted to generate an income that hopefully, in a few years, will allow me to transition into a consulting role, and5) I’ve always been very interested in personal development and wanted to explore it further.

    Do I have a six month game plan? No. I need one. I have goals, hopes really, that I’m working toward. I’ve committed myself to several things though. I will post a comment on 10 other blogs daily. I will link to other bloggers in as many posts possible. I will write more than I publish, but I will publish at least 6 times per week. I will consistently strive to improve my writing style and work at being recognized as an expert in personal finance, personal development, business management, and blogging. How’s that?

    How has blogging helped my business? It hasn’t yet, but what it HAS helped is my brain power. I think that our brains are like muscles and must be exercised every day. Learning all about how blogs work, how html and css works, how to FTP, it all was exceptionally new to me, but it has caused me to think more clearly in other areas. These 42 year old brain cells needed that.

    Thanks for asking these questions Nate. Keep up the good work!

    1. You seem to have a solid approach there but I would like to make one suggestion: never neglect the importance of setting goals and the long-term game plan is a must. You should always try to see things in perspective and make sure that you’re not just wasting time by working towards goals which don’t actually represent you.

      Alan Johnson

    2. Ron, first of all, congratulations on finishing your MBA. That is an incredible accomplishment and one which will certainly pay off BIG TIME in the future. You struck an important point in what you said – our brains are like muscles and blogging, and learning new Internet specialization definitely exercises this muscle!

      Just spending so much time on the computer, it is amazing how much we learn, because, really the computer is one endless source of new information. We are trying to learn and apply as much as possible, as quickly as possible.

      I commend you for your goals – those are very diligent blogging goals and ones which will certainly help you establish a very successful blog and brand.

      Personal development is a incredibly interesting topic and one that I hope to be able to cover more in the future.

      Thanks for being a loyal reader and supporting my blog.

  5. Great article, Nate.

    Well today I turned 23, and I’m about to purchase my domain names [.com, .net, .org] for my upcoming blog.

    True story – yesterday, I was feeling very frustrated with my life so far [the lack of ‘success’] and the blog. My business partner and I had a meeting about the blog [which is our joint venture], and it didn’t go well – we couldn’t decided on a marketable domain name, and the other ‘branding’ ideas that I drafted didn’t please him.

    So, yesterday I took a hot shower and two minutes later – the name for the blog popped into my head. It was an ‘AHA!’ moment. [I really believe it was a God thing.] I was so excited!

    I got out of the shower and called up my business partner, and we agreed that the name of our blog was a great idea. I then did a WHOIS search on the domain, and it was available!

    So today is the first day of my ‘blogging journey’ as yours was a year ago. I think this venture is going to be successful, as I did substantial research on all aspects of blogging, Internet marketing [thusly traffic-building], content production, and monetization. I drafted a well versed, comprehensive strategy, so when we begin, we will ‘hit the ground running’.

    We already have 45-60 days of pre-developed content that will populate on a daily basis [via the post scheduling feature in WordPress], so I can spend more time on building traffic, forging ‘blogging’ relationships with others in my niche, and get those visitor numbers up. After 4-5 months, I will then execute Phase II of our project which is Visual Enhancement & Monetization, of which I’m working on in my spare time.

    This is an exciting day! And I can’t wait to have UBD design our blog after our trial period of traffic building.

    Great article again, Nate! You’re my hero!

    -C.D. Allen

  6. First of all, congratulations are in order ๐Ÿ™‚

    Personally, my blog (launched about 6 weeks ago) has had value as a business model right from the beginning. I never underestimate the importance of investing when it comes to branding, and, as such, aside from design and logos, I’ve even paid for custom podcast intro songs and am always congratulating myself for that.

    I strongly believe that providing value is the key to long-term success and, as far as planning is concerned, I always try to see things in perspective. A lot of my initial goals have already been met (such as hitting the Digg frontpage, crossing the over 1k unique daily visits mark and achieving an alexa rank of under 100k) so that new and higher ones are in order such as building a community around my blog and crossing the 100k unique monthly visits mark.

    Best wishes,

    Alan Johnson

    1. Alan, congratulations on meeting and exceeding your goals so quickly. You are clearly dedicated to a consistent blogging schedule. You are right – if we wish to grow our blogs, and some people will want to and others won’t, we must treat our blogs like mini-businesses. Expenses such as a custom logo or advertising are investments, not sunk costs.

  7. Nate, thanks for the shout out, great post on having a game plan! I couldn’t agree more on the subject of setting goals and game plans. It is the way that keeps all my different projects and goals in clear sight.

    Always keep your end goal(s) fresh in your head (write them out in big letters above your workstation) and revisit your goals and progress on a scheduled interval to stay on track. Remember that hard diligent and focused work always comes more naturally when you can keep your end goal(s) in sight!

    Looking forward to our spring/summer visit to Phoenix to see you again!

    cheers,

    anthony

  8. Seems like set a goal is very essential. When i first started my blog, i did not set up any goals, my thinking is ” i will just post whenever I have time, i will just promote it whenever i have time, i will see how well my blog goes in 1 year and then i will go from there”. Maybe time to change my perspective.

    1. You should always give it 110% and everything starts with planning. This applies to blogging just as it does everywhere else: you need to establish a solid foundation upon which you can build.

      Best wishes,

      Alan Johnson

  9. Your successful path in the online world bring to mind the concept of leverage. I’m trying to establish one authority blog as the basis for eventually having a small network of related websites. I think your success in first developing one successful blog and then launching a business from it speaks to the concept of leverage. Success breeds success.

  10. Hi Nate, I’m looking to do pretty much exactly the same thing as yourself, and started blogging in Nov 2007. It’s great to see someone else succeeding after a year, as it means thats it possible for the rest of us. Keep up the good work, and keep inspiring us.

  11. YA it is funny how a simple idea can become a billion dolloar idea.

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  12. Hi Nate,
    I too started with the same sub-goal, which in your words is “as a journal to document my learning and hopefully teach other people”… though for quite sometime I am rarely posting for documenting my learning, may be because I have gone slow on learning. I like your idea ox six-month game plan and would like to come up with one for mine.

  13. Hi, Nate!
    Often and often I have read Your articles. The able publications, interesting
    info – itโ€™s great, really. Thank You for nice responding and good luck.

  14. It’s truly incredible that you only found out about blogging at the end of 2006. You have come a long way and have definitely made a mark on the blogging world. Congrats on your success, Nate. And I know you’ll be much bigger now that it’s 2008!

  15. This is amazing, I was thinking about doing exactly the same thing as you. I have recently set up a website design company after designing sites for people for around 2 years now and thought of doing a blog to go with it. You have convinced me, this is the first post i have read of yours so i will definately be reading more, oh and good look with the next 1000 subscribers, you can count me in.

  16. I have been blogging a very short while now. Need to catch up with my posts. Aim to write at least 4 posts a week. Its about everything to do with money. How to earn, save and spend.

  17. I discovered your blog about one year ago, and I noticed how you integrate the post titles in photos. You had barely any content, but that feature made me notice you and remember your blog, later on, when I came again across it by chance.

    You did a great job. Congratulations.

  18. Hi, NWH,

    Do you have account in face book? check it out, my profile pr is there 6.

    May be your’s also will be the same that i have.

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