TWO AND A HALF YEARS on from my first blog post, this site has taken on various guises since early 2014.
Initially it was a travel blog, mainly to alert family and friends back home about my adventures in Central and South America.
Even then I always had one eye on the goal of using it as a platform to market my books, but at that point I was only half-way through the manuscript of the book that became Pathfinders. For all I knew, my blog would join the millions of others starting with enthusiasm before quickly fading, to end up buried in the cyberspace cemetery.
Here are some benefits that I didn’t foresee when I first put pen to electronic paper 177 posts ago:
1. Appearing on Buzzfeed
Buzzfeed is the 52nd most popular website in America (155th globally!).Their team used an image from my site for one of their articles (here). The link to my site resulted in that particular blog post about Minesweeper and Dating being by far my most heavily trafficked of 2014.
Anyone who knows anything about Inbound Marketing will know that a link from such a dominant site will have done wonders for my search ranking. Nice!
2. Finding a job
I worked with a client in the U.S for the first six months of this year. I was based in Colombia at the time and I was referred to the individual through a mutual blog friend who read in one of my posts that I was considering a premature return to Ireland. Freelance jobs are hard to come by, so when the opportunity presented itself, it was too good to turn down.
3. Appearing in local press
Around the time I was releasing my first book, I made the pitch to several newspapers in a bid to generate some interest. Eager not to appear too ‘salesy’ I wanted to provide an interesting slant on the typical indie author story and floated the ayahuasca story with them. I had written half a dozen posts on my blog, and was ranking highly for related terms on google which helped drive comments and interest to my story.
It had also been featured in other online portals, adding some credibility to my claims. When the story was published in the national newspaper, suddenly, people in my hometown were hearing my story – old school friends and locals who wanted to support ‘one of our own‘ as the local paper describes. A little bump in sales, but a bump nonetheless!
4. Making online friends
I never expected to make friends when first starting out. Seemed like every man and his dog had a blog back in 2014. After several months of proactively connecting with like-minded voices, it soon become a habit to check in on the adventures of people who took the time to comment. I’ve lost a few along the way, but the people I’ve connected with have at times entertained, educated and empowered me to keep on writing. Their sites have also inspired me to improve my own.
5. Getting an education
I’m not entirely sure what prompted me to write my #Reid2Write series. In it, I interviewed people from different walks of life to get a glimpse into their world. Whether it be a homeless poet, an award-winning author, a radio-show host or life coach, each person provided in their own inimitable style an honesty which has since helped me at various junctures of my life.
6. Sell Books
I’m not selling bucketloads. Sheeeeit…..I may never sell another book again. I’ve made peace with that, though I’ll keep trying my best. What I do know is that were it not for this blog and taking the time to proactively build a little tribe of loyal followers, I would have sold a lot less than what I have done.
What are some of the best hidden perks you’ve gained from writing a blog?