“So … it’s just a blog about everything?”
That question, put to me by a good bloke in a training session I was in last week while learning about Fiat Chrysler’s website CMS, is one that encouraged me to create this blog.
I’ve been blogging for at least 5 years now. Ironically, one of my earliest blog posts (written in 2008) was about blogging itself. I’d just attended a presentation by the very cool Simon Young.
Simon’s presentation on the use of Social Media was one of the first things that got me on the Social Media bandwagon and I’ve been on it ever since.
To Get Lucky
I originally put together my other blog, NZ Raw, as I was keen to learn more about the medium and wanted to experiment. At work I would learn about web design and development, as well as search engine optimisation and how to integrate Social Media into a website, and then I would come home and play around on my own blog, breaking, fixing, and fine tuning things until I had a proper handle on what I was doing. That way I could go back to the office and talk to clients more intelligently about these new tools. I’ve even had some success from monetising NZ Raw but, again, mostly in the interests of learning how these tools work.
As online marketing became more and more important for successful businesses, I found myself in the fortunate position of someone who had already chosen a digital path as a career, and (to a small degree) was one step ahead of the curve.
Today, I’m in the incredibly awesome position of being able to blend my love of Social Media with my passion for motor vehicles. I’m not a car nut – I’ve long since learnt poking around in my car’s engine can lead to hefty mechanic’s bills – but I do appreciate a good car. In that sense, I’m more of the Jeremy Clarkson variety. That’s what I tell myself anyway. My wife nods and smiles.
I’m lucky in that each of the dealerships I’m involved with is a ‘franchise’ dealership. This means I get to work with awesome people from big brands in New Zealand like Toyota, Lexus, Volkswagen, ŠKODA, Renault, Nissan, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Fiat, and Alfa Romeo … and it’s bloody interesting to see how differently they all approach Social Media.
So where does that bring me today? Well, NZ Raw still exists and I even update it with new content from time to time, but, and this is where the first line in this post comes in, I was recently at a workshop learning how to use the content management system for a new Chrysler Jeep Dodge dealership and trying to convince the presenter that the website’s news (blog) area required pagination (he thought that categories alone would take care of any problems – I’ll win this argument at some point!).
In trying to prove my point, I showed the presenter my own blog, built on WordPress, along with the website’s pagination. The conversation turned to:
“So what’s NZ Raw about then?”
“Well, it’s sort of about everything. I mean occasionally I post Social Media tips and talk a bit more about my passion but …”
“But overall, it’s about everything.”
Thanks mostly to a bit of SEO, I’d get a lot of traffic on NZ Raw but I felt that the only consistent visitors were close friends and family and I felt that I was even letting them down by talking about some really random stuff. No one knew what kind of post was coming next. I needed a bit of consistency.
For a while I’d been thinking about creating one blog that was just more … me. Knowing that I loved blogging and took satisfaction from helping others, I tried building a new blog dedicated to the New Zealand blogger. I’d review New Zealand blogs and offer tips about how to develop their blogs. In that sense, I think I’d gone too far the other way – I’d stepped into too much of a niche and one that didn’t combine enough of what I love. I wanted to talk more about Social Media and also post the odd article about the automotive industry and how that was developing in the online world. I also found that people love free press and I was getting a lot of requests to review blogs! I hated turning people away so eventually distanced myself from the blog, kidding myself that I just didn’t have the time to keep it up to date.
Namely, I love:
- Good website design and branding
- Social Media and digital marketing
- Funky online tools and mobile apps
- The automotive industry
I also love sharing the nifty content that my industry-peers produce so I’ll be doing a bit of that as well.
I’ll try to keep the automotive posts to a minimum, plus they’ll all be in their own category so you can avoid them if you have to! But rest-assured that I’ll be putting a digital-marketing-spin on my automotive posts. I’m quite excited about how business as a whole is adopting Social Media and I’m best placed to talk about that based on experiences in my own role as the Miles Motor Group’s Digital Media Specialist.
So hang around if you like. I promise I’ll make more of an effort to keep this blog regularly updated and I’ll avoid spinning off onto random topics, unless I can put a digital slant on them! Note that they won’t all be this long either!