I sat at the table with a group of business professionals – some who loved social media and others who did not. Most of the gripes about Facebook and Twitter came down to social media etiquette, apparently a concept lost on many. There were horror stories about their friends sharing completely inappropriate and personal material on platforms, and irritations about some friends littering their news feeds with spammy garbage. They were all feeling assaulted through social media.
“That’s it,” I declared. “I’m going to start writing posts about all of this. I’m going to start another blog.”
And that’s how this blog came to be. You see, this WordPress site was originally designed to be a static website for The Scoop Blog Network, a media network that I founded earlier this year. I didn’t intend to do too much with this site, and I especially didn’t intend to write content for another blog. I already do that with regularity on FeastingFortCollins.com. But, between the monthly meetings with Fort Collins bloggers who are hungry to learn more about the topics we discus, friends asking me questions about social media and technology, and hearing the social media complaints from people in the community – I saw a need for this blog and jumped right on it.
That’s kind of how I work. I see something that needs to be done and I do it.
So, let me tell you a little bit about myself when it comes to blogging, social media, and technology. I’ve been blogging since 2005 and have created four blogs (including this one). I wrote a parenting blog, a fitness and nutrition blog, a restaurant review blog, and now this social media blog. In all of those years of experience, I’ve learned a thing or two along the way. I’ve been able to make blogging my career. And then? I decided to start The Scoop Blog Network, developing a team of nine bloggers covering hyper-local niche topics. Sometimes I cannot believe that I’m the owner of a network. A media company that has nine writers. Frankly, that’s just mind blowing to me.
Every single one of these endeavors and businesses began and existed because of my love of social media and the fantastic people that I’m connected to.
I learned the ropes of blogging on my personal family blog. I took that experience and created a fitness blog that allowed me to work from home while training people all over the world – people that read my family blog, and people that read my fitness posts and shared the information with their friends. My posts were aggregated on mainstream news websites reaching a larger network of readers. I learned quite a bit about SEO, online marketing, and how to make blogging an actual bill-paying business.
From there I started a food blog on a whim. I didn’t expect anything to happen with it, and I only created the blog as a creative writing platform for myself. I had no intentions of marketing or growing it at any length. But before I knew it, the blog exploded in popularity. I was fortunate enough to have a solid foundation in blogging experience, and I was able to harness that popularity and turn it into success. On that blog, I learned a lot about online advertising and developing community on social media platforms.
Then, I listened to the needs of people in the dining community who lamented about area restaurants and their lack of social media knowledge. Having been a restaurant critic for years at this point, I completely agreed – their use of social media pretty much sucked (to be blunt). I made a status update on my personal Facebook page about how I toyed with the idea of starting a marketing firm for restaurants. From that status update, I was connected to my three partners and we founded Four Course Marketing together – a company that specializes in social media marketing for restaurants.
Not too long after that (a couple of months, really), I received an interesting hate email from a Feasting Fort Collins reader, Amber, who was exceptionally pissed about the popularity of the blog. After a few email exchanges to really understand why she was so upset, her words sparked an “ah, ha” moment for me. She claimed that there was too much value placed on my voice. I learned that she too wrote restaurant reviews, but nobody knew. I understood where she was coming from.
There were people in the Northern Colorado community who wanted to blog, who wanted their opinions to be heard, but they didn’t know how to make that happen. That email exchange inspired me to create The Scoop Blog Network. I know professional blogging inside and out – and I’m still learning as I go! I knew that I could help others, though. So, as I always seem to do, I posted an update on my personal Facebook page to see if I could find interested writers. I found my first three within eight hours. Within three months, we had a team of nine. Creating this network helped those aspiring bloggers take off and expanded my business. It has been working out well and we’re not even six months into it.
So, that’s the long story of my experience in the blogosphere and social media. I live and breath writing, blogging, social media, and start-up businesses. It really is a deep passion. I am constantly learning as I attend Meet-up groups, watch webinars, and soak up some hands-on learning through my own personal experiences (which is how I learn best, actually).
This purpose of this blog is to pass along some of those nuggets of wisdom that I’ve learned along the way. I’ll write posts about WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, Instagram, and mobile apps, to boot. There’s so much to learn! There’s so much to share! I’m really looking forward to the discussions and experiences along the way.