How and Why Did You Start Blogging? (Group Interview)

So many people are blogging nowadays. For many, of us blogging has tuned into the profession.

For many, blogging has changed the life! Let’s see some of the remarkable blogging stories from our today’s guests!

Q. How long ago did you start blogging? What encouraged you to start your first blog?

A. David Leonhardt(President, THGM )

I first began blogging to build my reputation in online marketing. 

Although I have had numerous blogs since (some have come and gone, some have been more business and some have been more pleasure), reputation-building remains the top reason I blog today, both on my own blog and when I guest blog elsewhere.

A. David McSweeney

Technically, if we define blogging as frequently updated content (in a chronological form) I guess I’ve been blogging since pretty much the launch of my first website, which was for my band way back in 1998/1999. That ‘blog’ took the form of latest news, gig updates etc.

If we’re talking blogging as it’s known now, I’ve been an active blogger on various sites (my own and client sites) since the real content marketing explosion in the early-mid 2000s. Until the last year or so though I was more of a ‘covert’ blogger, often ghost writing for clients or using the dreaded ‘admin’ for my posts on niche sites.

Around a year ago I decided it was time to launch my own SEO blog and share some of the knowledge I have learned in my 15 years in internet marketing. To be honest, I love writing and I love connecting with people, so it’s something I should have done properly years ago!

A. Don Sturgill(Writer)

My first blog launched on June 13, 2007. It was inspired by a quote from Paul Potts, who had just won the Britain’s Got Talent contest. Paul said, “Get out there and take a risk.” … At the time, I was on the verge of freak-out. I had recently quit a cushy job with the US Government, wanting to invest my time in something I loved: education.

My new job teaching school wasn’t paying well, the students were demons, and we were running low on funds. I knew I needed to keep risking and keep trusting. The Paul Potts story helped me do that.

Today, I’m even further out on the limb and I still get scared sometimes, but we haven’t starved yet. I did take a corporate job for a few years, but Ann Smarty and My Blog Guest helped me take another leap of faith. Blogging, for me, was and is a form of personal journaling and sharing experience with others.

A. Rey(Phat Innovator)

I started before 1999 when the first blogs started but not sure of the year.  I have started many blogs personal and professional.  

For my personal blogs I start them because I have a wide interest in many subjects and so I have started like 10 blogs simultaneously to cover my many philosophical interests.  I started them simply to express myself and get my ideas out to the masses.

A. James Brockbank(Digital Marketing Consultant)

I first started blogging around 18 months ago, encouraged solely as I wanted an independent outlet for my published works and industry opinion.

Writing on agency blogs saw me limited to writing their opinion, however my own blog allowed me to publish my own opinion and build my personal brand through the power of content.

A. kulwantnagi(Professional Blogger)

I started my blogging career 2.5 years back when I was in the search of online leads generation methods. I wanted to promote my business so after reading too many blogs I got motivated to start my own blog.

When I started, money was the biggest motivation for me. But soon I found, you cannot make money online if you are not adding value in the community. Later I changed the perception and started doing blogging in different way.

A. Ivan Widjaya

I started blogging about 8 years ago.  At that time, I run a couple of small businesses, so I thought I want to share my experience running them.  It turned out that my small businesses didn’t do very well and I turn to blogging – and online business/make money online in general – full time.

I didn’t mean to make money via blogging, but as my first blog,, continue to grow well, I try to generate income off it. Let’s just say it’s mission accomplished 

Q. Thinking of starting your first blog, would you have done anything differently if you were to start over again?

A. David McSweeney

I’ll answer this based on my experience with Top 5 SEO as that is a pure blog site. A year back my advice (and thought process) was write often and regularly – kind of the copyblogger model. I was aiming to publish at least 2-3 articles every week.

While I still think the quality was good (most of my posts running to between 1,500 and 2,000 words) I have got much more traction in the past 6 months from publishing less often, ensuring every post has a real purpose and taking the time to properly promote the content. I guess I used to be scared that my audience would go away if I didn’t keep ‘feeding’ them.

The truth is, if your content is truly exceptional, the gaps in between will build a hunger from your audience for more. Brian Dean ( is a good example of how to do this right!

A. Don Sturgill(Writer)

I wouldn’t have spent hundreds of dollars getting a WordPress site launched. Rather, I would have taken time to begin learning the basics of the platform on my own. I would have thought more about my domain name, and I would have considered the whole idea of branding and claiming a niche. Moreover, I would have focused my writing more and began creating a list of subscribers/contacts right from the get-go.

A. Rey(Phat Innovator)

Since my blogs were for personal expression at first, I do not think I would do anything different in terms of the posts themselves.  

However, I would have stuck to them and continue blogging in them knowing now how valuable a large audience is.  I also would not have spread them all over the net, I have lost a lot of material because of that. But I was happy with the content.

A. James Brockbank(Digital Marketing Consultant)

Realistically, I would have ensured the blog looked better than it did. Visually, it used only a very basic WordPress theme to start off with, however content is of primary importance and readership built up relatively quickly. I would perhaps have focused more on in-depth content as opposed to news (which I focused on early on) however.

A. kulwantnagi(Professional Blogger)

I will start capturing leads from the day one of my blogging and add high quality articles (more than 1000+ words) on my blog now. I would promote it in much better way by making relations with the industry experts and leveraging their audience.

Design is most important thing for any blog. So I will hire a professional and add more pro elements on my blog.

A. Ivan Widjaya

Well, I would stop treating my blog as an online diary or personal blog and start running it like a business.  I wasted too many opportunities running my like a personal blog.  Today, I have people helping me to run and promote the blog and managed to ‘remove’ myself from the day-to-day operations.

Q. Did blogging add something to your life? Please share!

A. David Leonhardt(President, THGM )

I have always been a writer, so blogging is sort of a natural extension of that.  What blogging has added, in combination with social media, is a sense of community around the writing that I do.

A. David McSweeney

Basically, blogging has allowed me to combine 2 of my passions – writing and internet marketing (in that order).

I also really enjoy helping people out and am always happy to answer comments and questions by email. It’s the interactive/social side of blogging that both makes it fun and makes for a successful blog/blogger.

A. Don Sturgill(Writer)

Blogging has allowed me to meet people I never would have met otherwise. It has allowed me to learn things I never would have learned otherwise. And blogging has given me a living way to work on my writing and communication skills.

Ann Smarty and her team have pushed me to grow and shown me how one can take blogging and online communications to a whole different level of professionalism.

A. Rey(Phat Innovator)

Since my blogs were for personal expression at first, I do not think I would do anything different in terms of the posts themselves.  However, I would have stuck to them and continue blogging in them knowing now how valuable a large audience is.  I also would not have spread them all over the net, I have lost a lot of material because of that. But I was happy with the content.

A. James Brockbank(Digital Marketing Consultant)

Blogging helps me to build my personal brand, something which I’m a strong believer in, as well as offering me a regular place to showcase my opinions and thoughts on the industry as a whole. Above all, blogging is fun and it’s great to see industry leaders sharing your content!

A. kulwantnagi(Professional Blogger)

Blogging changed my life completely.. or I can say – 180 degree shift in my life. I was very much shy type of guy and used to spend most of my time isolating myself.

This profession has made me more open-minded, more helping and I feel too much motivated now.

Blogging has given me time and money freedom which I think are the biggest freedoms for any human being.

A. Ivan Widjaya

Blogging impacts my life more than I realize.  Firstly, blogging lets me share what I know without expecting something to return. Blogging also let me learn new things as I often learn about a particular topic first before I write a blog posts. 

And finally, blogging enables me to connect with like minded people, including some top influencers in the business/tech scene, such as Anita Campbell, Ann Smarty, and so on.

If you are just starting out, tell your story in the comments! And subscribe to the below blogs for help:

1. ProBlogger

We all probably know this one. With everything from a forum, workbooks, real books, a job board updated daily, affiliate programs and more, this blog has it all. It is also probably the most trusted source for blogging news, tips and assistance on the web.

Darren Rowse has become an undisputed authority, and despite how long he has been writing, he still provides a fresh and helpful perspective in his posts. His guest bloggers are among the industry’s top leaders, as well. Be sure to check out their book 31 Days To Build A Better Blog.

2. Daily Blog Tips

Everything you could ever want to know about blogging is here. Every day they post tips on how to improve your content, layout, SEO, marketing strategies, social engagement, and everything else that might be on your mind.

They even give you advice on finding more time to spend on your blog, which we could all use. It isn’t always easy to keep up, after all. Given these guys manage to post daily, they would be the best to ask, don’t you think?

3. Copyblogger

Another powerhouse in the business, Copyblogger is all about copywriting specifically, as well as content marketing within that realm. Those who aren’t involved in freelancing might now know that the difference between content styles is vast, and copywriting is the most complicated and demanding of all forms. Use the articles, ebooks, seminars, webinars and forums on this site to help you navigate the choppy waters and improve your copywriting.

4. Fuel Your Blog

From the moment of starting your blog to what comes after, this site has you covered. They are looking to help you through every step of the process, including other social concerns like social marketing.

And they have created some very helpful series, as well as stand alone articles, to help you. They have an entire network of bloggers who have various experience in the industry. Making it always fresh, new and exciting, no matter how long you have been reading it.

5. Blogging Basics 101

Want to find a site that is only about the basics? Beginners have no need to look further than this fantastic site. Melanie Nelson is dedicated to helping you both start and grow a blog the way you have always wanted to. She covers all topics related to that goal, breaking it down so anyone could understand it.

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