Yes, I started blogging on January 16, 2003, on the now defunct Business Golfer blog I set up on Blogger.com. That was 15 Years ago Today!!
In 2005, I started the Mr. Business Golf blog that is today in its 5th revision.
In 2008, the failed economy forced me into a number of different non-golf related blogs of which only lasted a couple of years when in 2011 my back started giving me issues and all of the blogging became an exhausting exercise futility.
Is it all worth it?…well, let’s talk about that.
What have I learned in 15 years?
Blogging is Not What It Is Made Up To Be
To say I have learned a lot about blogging would be a total understatement. When I started blogging there were only a few hundred people blogging. Now, there are millions of people blogging. I was pioneering blogging and really had nobody to follow.
One of the tragic examples of what I learned early cam about less than a year after I started blogging. Back then there were, and still are, thousands of very jealous people who feel threatened when someone else starts doing something they want to be the only person doing.
I was blogging about social media and many of the more tech-savvy bloggers from the left coast seemed to not like that an overly trained operations manager was highlighting things about social media they did not want people to know about. As a result, they put forth efforts to stop me. Yes, blogging in 2003 was like being in the old west.
I wanted to post the very first blog I ever wrote in celebration of my 15th year of blogging but due to the efforts of one of the many trolls roaming the internet back in 2004 I lost over 300 of the blogs I wrote the first 2 years of blogging.
This did not just happen once, it happened to me three times to a toll of over 2500 blogs (yes that is a lot of blogs) I had written were deleted from my WordPress account and PC by a hacker who left a message saying I was not worthy of blogging.
This happened to a number of others who attempted to shine a light on the Dark-Side of internet marketing. The lesson I learned was to double firewall everything.
In 2005, I started accepting requests from people asking to advertise on my MrBusinessGolf.com blog. Knowing how the scammers worked my selection who I selected to advertise on my site was governed on how well that person understood social media marketing.
My popularity in the golf blogging world was just starting to take off professionally until 2008 when Golf became a four-letter word to potential sponsors of my site. I began going back to basics and even talking to some of the “Big Dogs” of blogging to get advice on blogging. Naturally, what they suggested I do was create a 50 slide PowerPoint and join in the traveling band of keynote speakers who roamed the country telling people how to blog professionally.
I was not really excited about becoming a “speak out of both sides of your mouth” keynote speaker. It was clear back then as it is today, the only way these people make money blogging was to charge a speaker fee for speaking on how to blog professionally and then show a 50 slide PowerPoint on the process that only really works if you were a famous celebrity or a hot looking dude or dudette who’s sex appeal created a huge following. Everyone else would never reach a level of blogging professionally that would allow them to quit their day job.
Still, I kept on blogging and making a few dollars selling space on my site. But then in 2011, two significant changes came about that would change the way and reasons I blogged.
Google Came Knocking
First came Google in June of 2011. I received an email that I first thought was Spam, but after reading it a few times I thought it might have been a real request from someone in Google asking for me to attend a meeting with him to discuss partnering with them to promote Googe Plus (or +).
I am now glad I responded since it was a real email and the meeting with their Dallas representative was also real. Their rep told me during the meeting that they had been following my blogs for a few years and even mentioned the content of a blog I wrote in 2005. I left that meeting realizing that for the first time in 10 years I felt blogging was worth the effort.
As a result of the meeting with Google they committed to providing special recognition of the content, I posted on my ScotDuke.com and MrBusinessGolf.com blogs in return for me to start using their new tool Google Hangouts for video blogging.
This was the beginning of my Mr Business Golf Show in 2011 that I videoed from SyncLab Media studios. But, that was short lived when life stepped in and forced me to set everything aside.
Blogging Took a Backseat
In October of 2011, I started having serious back issues. It started with a little twitch in the lower back. By 2012, I was taking painkillers daily and was going to physical therapy three times a week. In 2013, had the steroid injections all in an effort to keep from having the major surgery required on my back. It seemed I had dodged that bullet since the shots seemed to have done the trick..but…Noooo!
In July of 2015, my back said..enough!! I was on the floor for 90 days waiting for surgery on my back.
Working Myself Back
During this time it became a real chore just to get up and work from home as the director of operations for SyncLab Media. It was only through a strong partnership I had with Mark Neace that I was able to keep the operations going. The frequency of my blogging from 2011 to the early part of 2016 was very spotty and those few I was able to finish were filled with all kinds of rambling rant type blogs.
Fortunately, by the end of 2016, I had completed my first phase of rehab of my back and was moving on to strength building. Most of 2017 was filled with full workouts and adjustments to the limitations my back was going to allow me to do. My blogging started picking back up…I redesigned my Blog sites to reflect my more positive approach to life.
How I Do It Today
It is now 2018 and the beginning a new year of blogging for my sites and for others. I am actively looking for new sponsors and anyone who would like to appear on my blog as a sponsor or advertiser. I don’t have any visions of going back into being a keynote speaker, but am open to discussing anything that would fit with my expertise.
It appears I will be keep blogging for sometime now. I don’t really have an Exit Strategy…hopefully I will not need one. But who knows?
Until then, let me know how I can help.
Also published on Medium.