2007 was quite the year. So much so that it’s almost too intense to look back and reflect on it. But it’s a worthwhile exercise, especially in how it relates to the vast changes this blog has undertaken.
The biggest change (and challenge) has been the adjustment of focus. In fact, figuring out my niche has always been a challenge – one I’ve “given up” on. I realized at some point in 2007 that I couldn’t niche this blog to one specific subject because it’s very much a reflection of me and where I’m at in life. And since I’m not one-dimensional (as far as I know!) it’s impossible for this blog to be that way. As much as I recognize the value in having a niche and ultra-focused blog, this is not it. Nor will it ever be. And so 2007 saw a radical shift in subject matter.
In the beginning of 2007 I was writing quite broadly on blogging, personal development and small business issues. These posts are a good reflection of that:
- 8 Steps to Growing Your Blog Community One Person at a Time
- The Most Important Question You Can Ask When Networking
- Top 10 Reasons Why Proposals Fail
The most important post I wrote in early 2007 was 9 Signs the Online Job Market is Broken, primarily because it was a preview of things to come, with the eventual announcement of my new startup, Standout Jobs.
But it wasn’t until May when the focus of the blog started to shift towards the startup life. By that time I was knee-deep in it with Standout Jobs and it was time to express that more clearly. This was really a turning point for me and the blog, with posts such as:
- 5 Lessons Learned from Pitching VCs
- Presenting Financials to Venture Capitalists
- Top 10 Reasons to Join a Startup
I was still experimenting with and enjoying some group writing projects and other blog promotion techniques. The biggest was the The Ultimate Guide to Productivity which netted well over 100 submissions. I also welcomed my second son, Quinn Alexander Yoskovitz, into the world on May 28th.
The combination of Standout Jobs progressing and having a new son at home led to a slow down in posting from June onward. Sadly, that’s gotten worse over time, and now it’s near the end of December and I’ve written no more than a handful of posts this month. It all started in June…
The focus for the blog continued to shift, but I’ve always retained elements of the past. In June and July I wrote a handful of posts on blogging and social media/networking, along with numerous business-related posts. The posts on personal development and branding fell to the wayside and were replaced by more content on startups and the life of an entrepreneur.
Some of my favorites in the summer months included:
- Is Guy Kawasaki’s Backhand Better Than His Serve?
- How To Write Eye-Popping Headlines While Exhausted
- The Holy Crap Reaction to Competition
- How To Start a Company and Family at the Same Time
That last post in particular is one I still really enjoy. I believe (although I could be mistaken) that it was my first attempt at a picture-centric post, where I really attempted to explain my thoughts with images. It was a ton of fun to create.
My biggest disappointment in those summer months (and since then) was my slow and steady estrangement from the group of bloggers I was very close with. This was no fault of theirs – it rests entirely on my shoulders. The SOBCon crew are incredible – there are too many to name (but think: Liz Strauss, Dawud Miracle, Joe Hauckes, Vernon Lun, Easton Ellsworth, Thomas Clifford, Lorelle Van Fossen, Phil Gerbyshak, Mike Sansone, Chris Cree, Wendy Piersall, Terry Starbucker) – and after speaking at SOBCon I wasted an opportunity to build on those relationships further. I know those friends haven’t abandoned me, and I hope they know I haven’t abandoned them, but there are some good lessons there that I hope to reflect on in the future.
The Fall of 2007 saw a continued mishmash of content. I started writing posts in bunches, first tackling social media & networking, followed by freelancing. This helped focus my thoughts on one particular subject at a time – get those thoughts out – and then move on. I will take this approach in the future as well, even if the topics pop up somewhat randomly and interject themselves into the normal flow of content.
For example, my social media & networking binge included:
- We’re Not All Ready to be Media Outlets But So What?
- The Secret to Staying On Top
- 10 Steps to Building an Online Media Empire
- The 10-Minute Daily Guie to Building Your Social Media Profile
Writing a few posts on freelancing was great fun. I do very little freelancing at this point (although I’m always open to opportunities, it’s in my nature!) but writing about it was a great experience.
- 14 Tips for Moving from Full-Time to Freelance Work
- How-To Price Freelance Projects Successfully
- Exposed: The Pros and Cons of Freelancing
October and November saw the focus on startups, financing and entrepreneurship really start to crystallize. It also saw a huge reduction in posting frequency. But in many cases, the length of posts increased. A great example of that is An Introductory Guide to Startup Funding. There’s something quite satisfying about writing a longer post – filling it with tons of information, valuable links, etc. – and creating a resource versus a passing thought (as most blog posts tend to be.) I also got in another picture-centric post: What Does Your Brain on Funding Look Like? — it was great when Found|Read re-published it.
And that brings us to today — a new startup (doing great!), a new baby (doing great!), and a blog in flux. The changes to the blog – particularly it’s subject matter focus – were done consciously. They might not have been planned out (especially at the beginning of the year), but they were inevitable as my startup life accelerated: more focus on startups, entrepreneurship and everything that goes with it, more reflective/longer posts, but posted less frequently.
I don’t think I’ll ever stop posting about blogging and social media/networking – they’re intrinsic parts of the blog and my own success (with blogging & business.) And I don’t think I’ll ever stop writing about surrounding subject matter – be it small business issues, personal branding & development, freelancing or what have you. I did decide this year to no longer write news-related posts (about things like stealing avatars, Technorati, etc.) because they add very little value. Lots of people cover the news, but it’s not a reflection of who I am and where I am in life, so it has no place here.
2008 is going to be a huge year.
By the end of the year I suspect that will be an understatement. I go into it eager, nervous, stressed, busy beyond belief and excited. Standout Jobs will be launched. My life will be a super-speed rollercoaster. I hope you’ll stick around, visit from time to time and leave your thoughts with me and the rest of the community. Happy New Year!