You know, in a former life I used to be a decent blogger. Looking at this neglected blog you would never be able to tell but it’s actually true. I started a couple of food related websites in the early 2000s for fun and then got into blogging around 2005 or so. I created a gardening site that was mostly about compost and I took tons of pictures of my gardening related projects and posted all the time. I was thoroughly enjoying the whole blogging experience. Taking pictures of my “crap pile” as my wife called it and then also writing about it? What could be better than that? Also commenting on people’s blogs was the cool thing to do before Twitter and Facebook got popular so by doing that I got more readers and made a few friends along the way.
One day I got the bright idea that I wanted to be a pro blogger and that I would work towards making a full time living on the Internet. The idea was that eventually, I wouldn’t need my day job in IT to pay the bills anymore and I’d be a work at home Dad. That sounded like the life for me. Who wants to build boring business applications and websites for corporations when I could working at home, making my own hours, spending more time with my kids? Me, that’s who! It was a great goal and I was going to work hard to get there.
Since I was only earning a few bucks a day I figured that more sites would earn more money. So I started another 5 blogs, then another 10 and at one point I had over 30 blogs going.
Did I ever get to full time income? Nope, I never made my goal of becoming a full time blogger and in pursuit of that goal I totally burnt myself out. Since then, I really haven’t blogged in years other than a few false restarts. I’d get all excited about it again for a while but after setting totally unrealistic goals and not coming close to them, my interest would fade again.
One great thing did happen though. Along the way, I started a site about panini recipes, wrote about 40 posts (probably in like two weeks) and set them to randomly autopost twice a week. I did this with several other blogs and somehow they still rank pretty well in Google and receive more than a trickle of traffic. But in a very Julie & Julia way, the panini recipe site got me a book deal. I guess publishers are just snapping up bloggers left and right for cookbooks and other home life topics now a days. That decent Google ranking got my writing in front of the eyeballs of an editor at Adams Media. She got in touch with me and 3 months later I was a published cookbook author. The Everything Panini Press Cookbook Well, it actually took longer to get it published but I was done writing it in three months (plus two weeks because I missed my deadline, hey 300 recipes is a lot of panini. My family wanted to eat other things). So I’m very proud of that unexpected benefit of writing all of those blogs.
But looking back, trying to keep 30 sites updated and interesting is very hard to do, especially when you still have a day job. Besides panini recipes, I was writing about things like preparing for retirement, psychic phenomenon and anything else that I thought would make me some money. I didn’t know anything about some of these topics but that didn’t stop me. When I was garden blogging, I was really just taking pictures of all the good stuff I did in my garden and my yard and then I wrote about it. I wasn’t worrying about high paying keyword phrases or Search Engine Optimization. It was all about sharing a genuine interest in gardening. And that’s what I want to get back to doing. I have a lot of home life hobbies like gardening, cooking, building things and I’m always trying to keep my kids entertained and this is the kind of stuff that would make for a lot of good posts. Well I hope so anyway.
So the whole point of this post is that I’m going to start blogging again regularly. I’m going to keep the camera nearby at all times and take pictures of all the good stuff (and the stuff that doesn’t turn out so good too) that I do on my weekends and nights after my day job and we’ll see what happens. I’m not going to set crazy goals this time, I’m just going to enjoy blogging. Hope you come back and check out some of my content.