Small Businesses, Get Blogging! It's Better Late Than Never

It took me a long time to get published – I mean a real long time. Years. A decade maybe. Long story short: After I got my Masters from Claremont McKenna, I wasn’t prepared to go get some 9 to 5 job at some big company (foreshadowing my later career for sure). I liked to write, thought I was pretty good at it and so set about trying to get published for the first time.

Good luck with that, Steve!

Now, understand, this was long before the Internet, where anyone can now bypass publishers altogether and get their stuff out there – if not “published” in the traditional sense, then at least able to be read by other netizens. Not so in 1992.

But with no real take, no name, and just some lame ideas for magazine articles, I found myself instead parking cars, telemarketing, and doing other assorted activities to pay the bills until I got my big break.

I couldn't even get a letter to the editor published.

Little did I know that it would not be until I graduated law school six years later that a great and brave man (Starling Lawrence at W.W. Norton & Co.) decided to take a chance on a guy with a lot of passion, promise, prose, but no portfolio. The first thing I ever had published was a series of four books published by Norton called Ask a Lawyer (1994).

So you can maybe imagine my dismay when, around 2004 or so, web-blogs became all the rage, giving anyone who wanted a platform the ability to self-publish.

I did not take kindly to blogs. I had slogged too long and too hard to accept that anyone could call himself or herself a writer simply by posting their thoughts on the Internet. No, you needed a real publisher and a slew of rejection letters if you wanted to call yourself a writer in my book.

It wasn’t until about three years later, after my assistant kept pestering me to start a blog, that I finally gave in. As Yoda might have put it, “Resistant to change, he was.”

But my assistant was right and I was wrong. My blog has proven to be very popular, and provides me with all sorts of great benefits that I didn’t get that I would get back in my ostrich-head-in-the-sand phase:

  • It gets me more traffic to my site, TheSelfEmployed.com, than almost anything else I do
  • It allows me to engage with people in an ongoing and very friendly way
  • It gets me speaking gigs
  • It builds my brand

All of which is to say – I don’t think I am altogether that unique when it comes to small business people and their own particular points of resistance. It probably isn’t a blog that is holding you up, but maybe some sort of social media marketing issue, or how to jump on the mobile business bandwagon, or how to get an app made, or whatever your own person blog-monster happens to be.

Point being: Lighten up, Francis (bonus points for naming that movie!). Embrace that which makes you uncomfortable. Check out that new technology you have been resist sting. It’s probably not nearly as difficult as you fear it will be, and the payoffs too will likely be huge.

And in any case, resistance, as they say, is futile.

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