I was surprised and delighted to wake up this morning and find that thousands of real live people had visited JesseNewhart.com while I was sleeping. I couldn’t figured out why, but after checking my stats I realized that Pete Cashmore CEO of super blog Mashable had Tweeted my Tweetdeck Tutorial from his @Mashable account.
I’m not sure if that was it or if it was the fact that Darren Rowse of ProBlogger fame featured the same tutorial in a post on his Twitter based blog Twitip yesterday. A couple of weeks ago I got a tiny blurb on TechCrunch. Many other bloggers have been referencing my posts lately and I’m not going to BS you, it feels good to be making an impact.
I wasted a lot of time hemming and hawing about the details of starting a blog. I couldn’t decide what domain name to pick, what blog theme I would use. I have so many interests I didn’t know which subject to write about. Also it can be scary putting yourself out there. The Adam Sandler skit They’re all Gonna Laugh At You crossed my mind on more than one occasion.
It was at the insistance of my Twitter community that I made the leap and started a blog. I tweeted so many links to other blogs, people naturally assumed I must have one. When I told them that I didn’t my tweeps were great about encouraging me.
I decided to blog under my own name. I figured this would give me the licence to write about whatever I wanted to. It’s also why I chose the subtitle ‘Digital Media Explorer’. As a scavenger of great links and information to share with others I felt this was suitable yet vague enough to not box me in.
On the recommendation of others I chose BlueHost to host my blog. BlueHost has a one click WordPress blog installer and only costs $6.95 per month for unlimited bandwidth and file storage. I wanted a self hosted blog for three reasons:
- It lends credibility
- I wanted the ability to install various WordPress plugins.
- I wanted to be sure I owned and controlled my own content.
I write about what I know and love. I share the best information that I have learned. Hopefully helping others, like so many have helped me online. The results have been beyond my expectations and the mistakes I’ve made have not brought the whole world to laugh at me as I feared. In fact, the mistakes I’ve made have taught me things I wouldn’t have learned otherwise.
Mistakes have also provided unexpected gifts. Like the time Google’s Matt Cutts commented on my blog to correct a mistake I’d made. It made me feel good that someone of his internet influence was even reading a post I had written.
If you want to establish an online presence, please don’t waste months of your time worrying like I did. Go ahead and get started today, it is the best way to learn. I remember a writer’s guide I read when I was in high school. One line from that book sticks in my mind to this day:
The only way to start writing is to start writing.
The only thing I regret is not starting sooner. To rip off the credit card commercial cliche:
The cost for me to put a self hosted blog online: $6.95 per month.
The feeling I got when @Mashable tweeted my blog post: PRICELESS!