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Temporary Blogs: Blogs as Stepping Stones

Lately I’ve been chatting to a number of bloggers whose blogs have dropped off the radar. I’d been disappointed (as a reader) that they’d stopped blogging and I’d secretly been thinking of it as a “failure” of sorts….

But I was reminded by those bloggers that in many ways that they’d actually succeeded with their blogs and that stopping blogging was a sign of that success.

In this video I explain more.

Notes

Transcription of “The Five C’s of Blogging: Reflections on Eight Years of Blogging”

I’ve had this video transcribed below for those who prefer to get it that way. The transcription provided by The Transcription People.

I was having a chat to a blogger that I really admired and was writing some incredible content a couple of years ago. I was chatting to her a couple of weeks ago now, and she kind of dropped out of the blogosphere and wasn’t really writing any more—just the occasional post.

I used to really love her content, and it was almost like a daily experience of wonderment and learning just logging in to see what she was writing. And then she kind of disappeared; one of her posts said that she’d just got a new job, and the posts kind of disappeared after that.

And I was always disappointed in that; and I said to her, when we caught up for a coffee recently, “What happened to your blog? It was so great; it had so much potential.” And as we were chatting she said, “Well, I got a job. And the reason I started a blog was that, you know, I wanted to land a job, I was out of work, and the blog was never really going to be anything beyond an online résumé, a place for me to build my profile and build some credibility, and potentially meet some employers.”

And it kind of was interesting to me, because I’d always sort of seen it as a bit of a failure—as a disappointment—that she’d stopped blogging; but, the more I chatted to her, the more I realised that a temporary blog, a blog that just had the goal of landing her a job, is really an okay thing. And whilst it was disappointing for me as a reader that she disappeared, she actually had landed her dream job as a result of her blog.

It reminded me of another interaction that I had with a blogger who, off the back of his blog, launched just a very small piece of software. And it was a piece of software that really took off and got used a lot; and as a result of that software, he then went and launched another piece of software and another piece of software, and then ended up with a software company which employs ten to 15 people.

And I remember having this similar sort of conversation with him: “Why don’t you blog any more? Your blog was great; I loved it; I really found your ideas interesting.” And he reflected back to me that again, his blog was a means to another end—he was never going to be a professional blogger, that wasn’t his model; his model was to launch a software company, and he used his blog to do that.

And again, there’s a whole heap of stories I could probably tell along similar lines. And I guess these sort of conversations are reminding me that there’s not just one model for blogging and for making a living from blogging. And your blog doesn’t have to go for many, many years to be successful. If success for you is landing a job, or launching another company, your blog can actually be a stepping stone for you.

And whilst I’m disappointed that these people aren’t blogging anymore, I’m really excited that blogging is a medium that can be used to help people achieve their goals beyond having a successful blog.

This is just something I’ve been thinking about the last few days, and I’m interested to hear your comments. What’s the goal of your blog? Are you blogging for blogging to be the end, or is it a stepping stone to something else for you?

Love to hear your comments.

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. Lda says:

    Hi, I have been blogging since late 2008. I did receive regular traffic but how some people make $ from the blogs. Visitors not necessary click on the advertisement nor they necessary purchase via advertisement.

    Nevertheless, can someone lead me where I can promote products on the Aussie Sites. I did a research on some products which I find the price more attractive to purchase via online. Shipped from overseas. Other than ebay.

    What are some factors that the locals consider before purchase. Price, Genuine products and ?

  2. Cata says:

    I think those who make a blog as mean to another ends are not really pro-bloggers, meaning it is not their day-to-day job. It is nothing wrong with such blogs, especially when they reach their target.

  3. Tiffany-O says:

    A few years ago when I started, I just wanted to find my voice and gain credibility. I just wanted to discover the technology because it was new. People seemed to like the content, but before long I started getting calls for social media consulting gigs. Great. Now here we are a few years later and I’m trying to re-do the blog. I’ve realized how much I have to learn about the back-end of blogging. For me, tinkering is sooo much fun, but along with tinkering came the loss of all my blog posts. Hopefully, in a day or so, we’ll have the new design us along with all the content.

    Now my goal is to have a more consistent, compelling voice. I would like to have influence and a great community. That’s my goal. Oh, and if I can find the revenue model great, but if not, I love to write and connect with folks.

  4. I treat blogging as a great way of development.

    I feel that sharing the marketing experience which I have gained by supporting businesses in Poland, France, South Africa and the UK for over 12 years can be useful to people and I could actually give some value to the wide audience.

    I started my blog a few weeks ago and I really enjoy it and hope my readers will enjoy it too.

  5. Bussiness is bussiness and bussiness is God.

    But blogging it can be a lose of time.

    So, go ahead to the financial freedom, dont post sh**.

    See ya.

    Ken.

  6. JESSY says:

    just now i made up my mind to set a 150 days timeline in my way to sucess hahaha….. think its possible, i dont have any plans yet… it begins now!!!

  7. Sinea says:

    I started blogging to bring in an extra income. My husband is partially disabled and, after he lost his job three years ago, has been unemployed. He hasn’t been able to find work.

    I am a full-time office manager at a school. That job takes a lot of energy and I didn’t think I could live through adding a second job to my schedule. I love to write and writing is what I started to do. I’ve made some money—almost nothing from the blog but it enabled me to get some paid freelancing work. My goal is to create a new, content-intense and very productive site that will bring in serious money.

  8. dee oneal says:

    Blogging is a way of life for some but to blog is another word. You cannot be successful in blogging if you are too lazy to bring out the best in your post. Bloggers usually spend time each time in order to bring good post to their readers. Writing can make someone rich if that person really have something to offer. Online journal is like a newspaper and as we know newspaper are usually read each day by their followers so if you are then a good blogger you’ll get tons of visit each day most especially if you do know how to optimise your page.

  9. porno says:

    Nice work with this app! You’ve come a long way since the first beta, and it’s now my favorite social networking app.

  10. True. I blog as a way to keep me writing–and developing my writing skills–until I have more time to devote to some more in depth writing projects I’d like to pursue. Perhaps when I have more time to write, less of my writing time will be spent on my blog and more will be for print publications.

  11. … very good points … my blog is part of my Pennsylvania law practice … it connects with my website, but – more importantly – it is used as a way to teach …

    … so – a means to an end and an end, in and of itself …

    … thank you Darren …

  12. I think the answer to the question “Why X stopped blogging?” lays in the purposes X had for blogging. Of course, if you do it just a marketing mean to promote a service/product etc, once your goal is satisfied, you’d stop. The answer gets a little complicated when it comes to personal blogs.
    Let’s to look at the motives Marieke Hardy had to stop blogging. According with your theory, she stopped in deed cause she got famous. But was this the reason she started blogging in the first place? To get famous? I sort of doubted.
    However, one in a thousand got famous. I’m wondering if she would kept blogging if she wouldn’t had win the Best AU/NZ blog in 2008.

  13. This was a great post, as well as video. I love reading the readers comments because I gain more and more personal clarification of what my blogging goals really are as well as how to achieve this.
    Thanks again!

  14. Raj Hasan says:

    Hi, I am new to blogging. Recently I started blogging to help my country people about how they can earn money from online. I am getting good response. people are loving my blog. And I am really inspired by the people. For them I achieved better ranking and they are always coming back latest update. This is really great. I did not expect this much response from my country. I am looking forward to let them know as much as i can. Problogger is one of the best blog I have ever visited. And the good thing about this blog it generates blogger like me. Who started to blog not seriously but soon they realize the true power of blogging. Thanks so much.

  15. Mike @HA says:

    Blogging for us is a means to open doors. One of our goals is to allow my wife to be a stay at home mom a few years down the road. We’re not sure what that will look like yet, but our interior design/renovation blog is opening doors. It could turn into an online consulting business, craft sales, magazine writer, or a sponsored blog. If any of these avenues offer my wife a job that’s the direction we’ll go. A few months ago none of those options were available but now… maybe.

  16. All comments generally collect in two views. One of is temporary blogs are important until getting more experience. The other one is they cause garbage of Internet.

    To sum up, two views have cause and effect relationship. Therefore it is unsolvable problem.

  17. I won’t deny that the first reason why I started bloggin because my friend share me about this earn while you blog. HE encourage me to start a blog and earn.. But, I failed. Because I don’t have enough knowledge and I am lack of resources. What I did is I read a lot of ebooks about blogging and there… I’ve realized that reading ebooks was my best investment.

  18. Raj says:

    Never heard blogging can open doors to other opportunities. I don’t know that people use it in their profiles. Very nice video.

  19. It had not occurred to me, consciously, when I started that I might be blogging with some other ultimate goal in mind. I started because ‘everyone had to have a blog’. I do love to write both from the perspective of education as well as entertainment.

    I have no objection to my blogging leading to something else or more than what it started as but I had not really thought about it concretely until watching your video.

    In fact, at this time, I AM working on taking steps from blogging as ‘self-publishing’ to writing ‘professionally’. So in a way I do have another ‘goal’ in mind.

    I have been hired by examiner.com to be their NY Graphic Design Examiner. Who knows what could be next. I do have some ideas but am not saying what they are right now.

    Thanks for the inspiration and realization that I do have a goal in blogging.

  20. Interesting question,

    Personally I didn’t start blogging as a stepping stone to get a job, because when I started I already had a job.

    But it’s funny that you mention this because frequently I do get all kinds of job offers in my mailbox, so much that at one point I created a special ‘Job Offers Folder’ for it. Not because I was only slightly inclined to consider them, no more out of curiousity. Funny enough those Job offers usually described the kind of positions that I would
    be more inclined to hire someone for myself :)

    Anyway,

    I do have several blogs and your post did make
    me realise (that I already somewhat realised at a subcounsiouss-level) that a blog indeed can be used
    as a ‘Launch Verhicle’ for realising projects,
    developing business ideas or businesses. Something
    to keep in mind because, currently – for a while now –
    I have been building a PhotoStock Catalogue and
    possibly I might launch some new ideas with my
    Digital Camera-idea’s Blog in the future.

    Thanks for your post.

    All the Best,
    To your Happy Inspiration,
    HP

  21. You are absolutely right after some time readers got feed up if they don’t get some exited post. So blogging isn’t easy task.

  22. Edge says:

    Blogging can open up opportunities in internet marketing, writing, or industry specific positions…same with YouTube though!

  23. çiçekçi says:

    amazing, it goes to show the power of online and internet, and a new approach and angel to blogging and having a blog to achieve something else in life.

  24. randy says:

    I’m new here , just stumbled on this website i love it.
    You are one of the best i’ve ever seen around web , and your genuine way to explain give me lots of energy .

    Ty very much to your effort and your blog

  25. Relequestual says:

    Very interesting thought.

    I think I started my blog to share free software with people, as people used to always ask me anyway, and I’d forget alot about new software I found that looked interesting.

    I haven’t seen much in the way of new freeware recently, and there has been an increasing move to web apps. I don’t feel so bad about ditching my old blog and using it as a stepping stone to the new blog! Juggling multiple blogs, a job, and uni, might just get a bit much!

  26. gak kuliah says:

    yes, I’m blogging in the mid 2007, but that time i do it just for fun. but after sometime i meet some peoples who make blog for living, and even there’s someone who called me to write down his activity in making money via blog i began realized that i can do what he has done.. so started in this mid year i try to get some extra money from my blog… eventhough this time not big enuf, but alhamdulillah i get more confidence to make money from blogging :)

  27. Some blogger setup blogs and get them established only to sell them and profit from the sale, I have seen a few like that and seldom do the purchased blogs have the same quality as the original blog from what I have seen. I have seen several bloggers quit blogging because it hurt family time or interfered with their day jobs and whatnot, but I can see how you can reach a success when a blog reaches a certain level and its time to move on to the next project.

  28. Caleb says:

    My blog is little of both being a money making vehicle as well as a stepping stone for networking opportunities which in turn leads to more successful and profitible ventures!

    Blogging provides a chance to get yourself out there as someone who has relevant answers which eventually gives you an authority status. This is what I have seen happen to some of old bloggers who now get respect as an authority thus enabling them to take quicker advantage of bigger opportunities.

  29. Dave Starr says:

    Very interesting thoughts, Darren. I was particularly taken by the idea of the fellow who used a blog to eventually attain the goal of being a professional software developer and running his own company. I immediately contrasted it in my mind to a fellow whose been around in the A-List blogger space a long time also, Steve Pavlina.

    Steve had a successful software development company and left that behind as a stepping stone to problogging.

    Really lends credence to the principle that there is no one model … in blogging or in the rest of life … and that personal goals are the most important aspect of success, not matter what route we chose to get there.

  30. Isn’t it interesting that blogging can fulfill many goals and needs in the personal and professional lives of individuals. This means there is value for anyone who gets into blogging. However, it is going to be a better experience if the goal is clarified in the blogger’s mind. Thanks for pointing out the value of blogs for this particular purpose. For me, blogging is a way to provide a platform for my writing. My goal is to expand that platform and begin to monetize it as I build readership. The blog, at least as I see it now, will always be a part of a broader career that enhances everything else that I do in that career.