I don’t know if many you know this, but I started this blog in October of 2005 as an assignment for a class I was taking about getting known in the online world. I was moving from a very person-to-person model of outreach and marketing in my consulting business to one where I needed to connect with people I didn’t know, who to further complicate things, were sequestered behind corporate walls and networks.
Little did I know as I wrote my first posts for a loyal readership of 3 (my Dad, my best friend Desiree and the random single daily Google visitor that stumbled by my site by accident) that the act of writing a blog would radically alter my life and business. I learned as I went, and was tremendously fortunate to develop a network of smart, funny and supportive blog readers that provided editorial and technical advice for free.
One of the people I met in this way was Bob Walsh, founder of Safari Software, moderator of the Business of Software forum on Joel on Software, and author of Micro-ISV: From Vision to Reality. Bob and I found that we had a mutual interest in helping cubicle dwellers to break free. His main audience was programmers who were interested in starting their own small consulting or freelance businesses. We shared ideas, and referred clients to each other.
This year, Bob published a book called Clear Blogging: How People Blogging Are Changing the World and How You Can Join Them. He wrote it with both the newbie and experienced blogger in mind, and includes numerous interviews and tips from successful and experienced bloggers like Seth Godin, Steve Rubel of Micro Persuasion, Darren Rowse of ProBlogger.net and Richard Edelman of the PR company Edelman.
I was honored that he asked me to write the forward, which sums up some of my feelings about blogging and the benefits you will get from the book. Here it is:
“The moment comes at different times for a new blogger, but it is unforgettable. After posting a fleeting thought, curious insight, personal theory, or random rant on your blog, you go off to attend to regular business for a few hours. Then, returning to your email box, you start to see tens, sometimes hundreds of messages. Your heart starts to pound as you see your daily reader statistics shoot through the roof, and read comments about your post from bloggers around the world.
In this quiet, exhilarating and sometimes scary moment, you realize that people are listening to you, and they care about what you have to say. Whether blogging for personal or professional reasons, discovering your voice is a liberating and revolutionary feeling. For so many people who feel stifled, not heard, taken for granted, or disrespected, the feeling of creative outlet is invigorating. Finally, there is a vehicle for saying things that need to be said.
Most people are changed by this experience and become thoroughly immersed in the world of blogging. The pursuit of new ideas, creative partners and reader contact consumes many hours of the day. Most bloggers care profoundly about what their readers think, and always strive to create fresh, useful and insightful information. Doing so can be a big challenge and can take up more time than is healthy or reasonable, if you are not careful.
For wannabe or new bloggers, Clear Blogging offers an efficient, easy-to-understand, and compelling overview of what blogging is and how you can quickly jump in and participate. For more seasoned bloggers, it offers multiple ways to more efficiently plan, research, write, connect and promote the ideas contained in your blog. When I started Escape from Cubicle Nation a little over a year ago, I had never even read another blog, and I set most of it up in a wildly inefficient way. As I read Bob’s multiple technical tips and tricks for blogging more efficiently and effectively, I only wished that I had this information a year ago! It would have saved me a lot of grief. The multiple case studies and interviews highlight what I have found my tripping all over the blogosphere: There is much wisdom in the everyday insights of men and women around the world. You just have to know the right places to find them.
The act of blogging changes your status from passive observer to active participant and expert witness. While the medium is still relatively new, the potential for your personal and professional growth through writing about what you deeply care about is without limits.
Those like Bob who we deem “experts” on blogging hold that distinction because they have dove in, contributed the best of their minds to developing the medium, and actively participated in shaping conversations.
You, too, have something important to contribute and people eager to hear what you have to say.
What are you waiting for?”
I appreciate the opportunity to participate in a small way in this book, and encourage you to get it for yourself! It feels really good to promote the work of a positive and supportive entrepreneur like Bob.
To order, go here.