My very first blog was the WORST. BLOG. EVER. And why you should write one too.

by Stephanie A. Lloyd on June 20, 2009 · 6 comments

in Branding,I work in HR,I'm looking for a job,Management,Networking,Recruiters,Social Media,Workplace Issues

Blogging led me to Twitter which led me to blogging.

I know.

Cartoon by Hugh at gapingvoid.com

Cartoon by Hugh at gapingvoid.com

A good friend of mine said for years that I was a frustrated writer. Once I learned what a blog was I immediately wanted to write one. However, it took me a couple of years to figure out what I would write about. I was all why on Earth would anyone want to read anything that I have to say? I am the most boring person I know. (I know a lot of really interesting people but still.)

And then one day it hit me. I am was a distance runner and I would write about that. (I will be a distance runner again. I will so SHUT UP.)

I set up my blog in Blogger (mistake #1. duh.) and I put all kinds of stuff on it like links to my favorite running shoes and iPod and Clif Bars and energy gels, Gu. (Yes that is an actual thing. Stop laughing. They work. You go run 20 miles without any and tell me how you like it.)

My first five or six posts were about running like how I got started running and how I learned all kinds of interesting things about distance running the hard way ( it was HARD. for real. it was really, really hard. that’s not what this is about and I don’t mean to discourage you because I think distance running it is completely awesome but it really was difficult my first year I’m not going to lie) and how far I ran that day.

And then that got old really quickly and I started blogging about my life. Really boring mundane things about my life like watching Tina Fey make fun of Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live etc.

It was a completely boring blog. No one read my blog. Even when I begged people to read my blog they would not read it. I didn’t even read my blog.

It was an astonishingly boring blog.

I am not making this up.

To protect myself from further embarrassment I locked my blog. A few people on Twitter wanted to know why I locked it and asked me to give them access. I know now that they were just trying to be nice since they knew how humiliating it must be to be the owner of such a horrible and embarrassing blog and they did not want me to throw myself in front of a train because that could get really messy not to mention it would hold up the train from getting where it needed to go and that is a P.I.T.A. especially if it is a passenger train.

Anyway until I started writing my own blog I had never read one. I know this seems backwards. It is. That is just how I roll.  So I started doing some searching and somehow I found this blog Going Through the Motions. I love this blog. It is the very first blog I ever read and it’s still one of my favorites. Anyway she had a widget on the side of it and I could see little things she said to other people somehow which really intrigued me so I clicked on it and right then I discovered Twitter and my life was changed forever. In a good way. In so many good ways. That is another post entirely. STAY ON TOPIC.

Well, the moment I discovered Twitter I signed up.

I linked it to my wretched blog and do not even try to find my first blog because I did the entire blogosphere a huge favor and deleted it. And I became so much more interested in being on Twitter than in writing on my boring blog and basically I pretty much quit blogging and I just tweeted. I think I liked Twitter better because I could just ignore my albatross of a blog and pretend it didn’t exist and plus I could interact with people and make new friends and discover all kinds of new ideas and information I never knew existed.

Seriously. It was kind of like a re-birth for me.

Anyway for about a year I did not blog at all and then I created my professional Twitter account @StephanieALloyd f.k.a. @ATLRecruiter because I felt I’d learned enough about Twitter at that point that I could apply it in my professional life as well.

Eventually I deleted my first Twitter account and now I only use @StephanieALloyd. At first on this Twitter account I only tweeted about work stuff and that didn’t go well at all. It was incredibly boring and no one cared. I’d go for days or even weeks without tweeting from this account because I’d forget about it because it was so boring. I wasn’t interacting with anyone really and I was just disseminating information about job searching and interviewing etc. 1-800-YAWN.

Once I decided to just be me on @StephanieALloyd it became a whole lot more fun and I started to develop meaningful relationships with people and all kinds of good things started to happen and I met people who convinced me to try new things like when Miriam Salpeter who owns @Keppie_Careers convinced me to apply to write for Examiner so I did and now I do.  And then she and and Michael Long @TheRedRecruiter convinced me to start a blog. They said it would help my business. So I did. Obviously because you are reading this on my blog right now.

On Twitter I also met the fabulous @JennyDeVaughn and she convinced me to change my Twitter name from @ATLRecruiter to @StephanieALloyd and now we are planning THE SOCIAL RECRUITING EVENT OF 2010 in Atlanta so please stay tuned for details. And I connected with @ErikWolf who asked me to be on Gravity Free Radio and I was and there I met Stephanie Frost @swfrost and we now are planning the first ever Atlanta Chicks Tweetup along with @RachelWriter. There are so many more completely awesome people that I’ve met on Twitter and opportunities that have come about as a result and I could go on and on but you don’t have all day because you have an actual life so I won’t.

For my next trick I will write about why you should write a blog too. Please come back and read it. Thank you.

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My very first blog was the WORST. BLOG. EVER. And why you should write one too. The sequel.
June 23, 2009 at 1:12 pm

{ 5 comments }

ndslotnick June 20, 2009 at 9:59 pm

Your timing is perfect Stephanie – didn’t I just ask you the other day if you wanted to help me get mine started?

So, the first thing I learned is that I should not set up my blog in Blogger (which I had started to do), but you didn’t tell me why.

Maybe the next trick – why I should write a blog too – will enlighten me further.

Thanks for the great post.

Ben Eubanks June 22, 2009 at 2:27 pm

My journey was much the same. I’m now far, far beyond the pitiful beginning, and I love it immensely. Plus, I was one of the first handful of people to see your new, improved blog before it was “public.” :-D Keep on rockin’, Stephanie.

Stephanie A. Lloyd June 22, 2009 at 4:38 pm

Thank you both!

Nancy,

Part II is coming shortly…I promise. I’ll do my best to get it out tonight or tomorrow, and I’ll be happy to help you get yours up if you’d like.

Ben,

Thank you – as always! I love blogging too, and I am really enjoying your blog as well. We’re going to have to do more collaborative work.

Thanks so much again to you both.

Stephanie

Guy Martin June 30, 2009 at 8:18 pm

Stephanie,

Great post – I too struggled with whether I should create ‘public’ or ‘business’ personas, both on my blog and on Twitter. Eventually, I came to the same conclusion you did, and frankly, I think a lot of professionals could stand to think about this before they bifurcate (oh, how I love that word) their personalities on these social sites.

Now, there are some exceptions – I do Tweet occasionally as @ForgeMil, or as @CollabNet, but those are cooperative efforts with work colleagues. I try to maintain a different ‘voice’ for those tweets, but when it comes to @guyma, I try to mix in personal with some tech/business stuff. I blog for CollabNet & also maintain a personal tech blog to discuss things not directly related to my employer – but I do mix some personal with biz on that one.

At the end of the day, people are going to be interested in what you have to say if you have something interesting to offer – a balance of personal and business is (IMHO) a critical component to achieving that. Neither my personal nor business life are interesting enough on their own to hold the interest of the average twitter or blog reader. :)

Stephanie A. Lloyd July 1, 2009 at 9:19 am

Hi Guy,

I agree and you bring up an excellent point. I think it’s difficult to successfully maintain more than one Twitter account, and the longer I do this the more I realize that there are not many people doing it well at all.

In fact, I’m contemplating shutting down @JobSnob because I’m just not keeping up with it. My heart’s not in it anymore and I think that is my cue to turn it off and move on. It actually feels like it’s weighing me down because when I remember that I haven’t updated it lately and I’m frustrated that I don’t have any new material it makes me feel bad and like I’m falling down on the job.

Just like with blogs it’s not good when someone checks a Twitter account and it hasn’t been updated recently and the updates that ARE there are few and far between. Kind of like a run-down house with weeds three feet tall and a car with no tires in the yard. Better to have nothing at all than to portray that image.

Thank you for reading and for your input!

Stephanie

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