Starting a new business is always a challenge. When Geoff Livingston launched his new marketing company the information he found on blogs not only guided him on his new path but inspired him to start his own blog. He began his blog as a way to chronicle the challenges of a small business owner. Soon he found his posts were helping people make their dreams come true too!
Blogger Story Teller: Geoff Livingston, Diary of an Ad Man
Live Blogging a Start-Up
Before starting my own company, blogging was not part of my daily life. However, writing was a daily activity as I aspired to be a novelist. I had gone so far as to have written two full manuscripts, as well as several other incomplete concepts.
The decision to go out on my own last spring was made quickly, and as a result, I found myself scrambling to learn everything I could about starting a company. Most of the published material was chest-beating, “97 principles of success” in business, which I found less than interesting. One thing I came across that was absolutely useful was Pam Slim’s “Escape from Cubicle Nation,” a blog dedicated to starting your own company!
As a PR professional I needed to be aware of blogs, but this was the first time I became personally engaged. Escape from Cubicle Nation enthralled me, and it also inspired me to start my own blog, a chronicle of the daily trials of starting a company. Thus “Diary of an Ad Man” was born.
The weeks wore on and I found my creative writing had ended. I was way too busy trying to get the company started. However, though blogging was intended to be a marketing activity, it became a relief, and in many ways fulfilled my creative writing needs. It brought me back to my days as journalist, one of the happiest times of my life.
I began experimenting to see what entries were more interesting, and soon enough a schedule of regular “columns” developed (start of the week quotes, and mid-week blog links). Additional content could be added by need, but regardless, I had a regular schedule, and it felt good. Sure enough, blog traffic ebbed and flowed based on these two weekly entries.
Perhaps the greatest surprise was the sudden need for many corporations to engage in blogging and social networking! Unconsciously through my own promotional efforts, I had become very familiar with blog promotion, social networks, commenting, and cross-link strategies.
By October, my company began several very successful blog engagements to help company’s promote themselves. Now I was getting paid to do what I love! We quickly developed a reputation for success. In one case, a prospective client asked us to train their PR agency – a competitor – on blog promotions. Of course, we said no.
Several key events occurred. I live blogged the Super Bowl, chronicled my neighborhood’s catastrophe, the great Huntington flood of 2006, and monitored the congressional elections. It was great seeing people throughout the world visit my blog for this talking head’s $.02. Who would have thought it possible? An author with an audience.
Blogging became part of me, in essence a dialogue of my business consciousness. In some ways when I read my early entries I cringe a little because they show how naïve I was, but then it becomes apparent how far the business has come. Diary of an Ad Man has really become a CEO’s business journal, and as such meets what I believe the spirit of blogging to be: Real, live and experiential.