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What would I do different if I had to start my blog over? – Mike Rundle

200606222142-1The following is an answer from Mike Rundle from Business Logs and 9rules Network responding to my one question interview question of what he’d do differently if he had to start his blog over again.

Well before I can really answer that question, I should probably talk about why I started my weblog in the first place. Back when I was a Sophomore in college (19 years old, Winter 2002/03) I really started getting into web design, and I saw it as what I truly wanted to do as a career. The design courses in my major were lacking back then, so I used to hide myself in RIT’s extremely well-stocked art & design books section at our bookstore and plow through the myriad books on typography, art, and graphic design that were shelved there. Normally I’d sit down, take 2-3 books with me, and in the course of an hour go through the books and I guess through osmosis I picked up a “design education” by reading/viewing them all. One of the books I read was Fresh Styles for Web Designers which highlighted a few different design styles that were popular back then, and one of these styles was Minimalism with 37signals as the featured design firm. I checked out their site, and then their blog Signal vs. Noise, and that was the very first weblog I had ever read. I started seeing so many people commenting and linking to their own sites, so I checked out them too and ended up just being overwhelmed with fantastic design blogs. It seemed as though everyone who was a leader in the design industry was reading either SvN or Jeffrey Zeldman, so I thought that positioning myself with Jason Fried, Zeldman, and other respected industry heavyweights would be the right way to learn best practices.

I don’t know if I’d do anything differently with my blog/career (one and the same!), and the only reason I can say that is because I truly had an overall plan from the beginning of the whole journey. When I first started blogging, I would comment on 15+ design blogs every single day with something valuable to say and a link back to my own site, just to get my name out there. Back in 2003 I could count the design innovators who had weblogs on my hands so it was easier to be recognized since the traffic was more centralized, but now there’s an entirely new crop of technologists trying to get on the radar and it’s tougher to become well-known. I can’t pretend to know what’s best for everyone’s blogs, but I think I am slightly qualified to talk about how to “get on the radar” if you’re a new designer or developer just getting started in this Web 2.0 game. That’s my one piece of advice for everyone who’s trying to make a break into a tech industry: write great blog content, and then make sure to get on and stay on the radar of those that matter. Befriend those who are your idols, study what they’ve done in the past and learn from their mistakes, and then take all that knowledge with you as you make your path. The great thing about weblogs is that there is so much information to be had, but the trick is figuring out how to take all that information and then work with it to make good decisions for yourself.

Read the responses of other bloggers to this 1 Question Interview on what they’d do differently in their blogging

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Mike Rundle says:

    Thanks for the interview Darren! I know a ton of ProBlogger readers are already very well-established, but if I can answer questions or help anyone out, please hit me up.

  2. Good advice about getting on the radar, I’m in the process of doing that myself and it’s been pretty rough.

    One thing that has worked for me is getting my work published on various ezine sites such as ezinearticles.com and also writing for other sites such as blogcritics.org.

  3. Lisa says:

    I think that is excellent to have a plan from the beginning. I’m still working on promoting my site and have been happy with the steady increase in traffic so far.

  4. Vlad says:

    Darren, thanks for that very interesting series!

  5. Nice to see that he had a plan to start with. I think the blogging started bigger with web-design/developer community. Thanks for the info.

    - Bryan
    http://www.BryanCFleming.com

  6. Michael says:

    Very Nice! Since I’m kinda new to blogs, the hardest part is not the content, but how to attract visitors to your site, hehehe. It takes a lot of hard work to increase visitors significally, but blogging is so fun, it’s not a big deal ;-)