My name is Tom and I’m a failed blogger.
I’m okay with that.
I was once a mildly successful niche blogger. I made over $120,000 with by blogging and writing from 2006 to 2012. I’m proud of that fact. I started when I was newly married, had a lot of free time on my hands and needed something creative to pass the hours when I wasn’t at my real job.
For the first couple of years I wrote out of pure enjoyment. I used pseudonyms. I started a dozen niche blogs about a dozen wacky subjects. No one knew I was writing and I wrote about anything I wanted. You may have read some of my articles and never knew it was me. More than once I stumbled over an article or post somewhere and thought it sounded “familiar” until I realized that I had written it a few years before.
Without knowing what I was doing some of my blogs started gaining readers and visitors from search engines. On a whim I tossed up some ads, and started making money while I did what I loved. I was living my dream! I was a creative entrepreneur with a writing business! I enjoyed helping people and answering questions. I liked being someone who was actually contributing something positive to the world.
For a few years I made good money: between $30,000 to $40,000 a year from my little part-time job.
And then it all ended. Like a lot of niche bloggers I was riding the wave of profits and enjoying every moment of it… right up until Google decided that independent writers were too much effort. Google began favoring large link farms like eHow.com and About.com that churned out vague but link-filled content like factories. I might write one post about how I removed mold from my basement wall, but these sites would have hundreds (no lie) of posts all “how to remove mold from a basement” and they would all be the exact same thing, that were “spun” with different words and titles. Google loves sites like that.
Then there were the copy-and-pasters. Suddenly sites popped up overnight that could “scrape” my content and put it on their own site, making it look like they wrote it. I can’t tell you how many times I found an article I had written at the top of Google’s searches… on someone else’s site.
At some point I found myself spending one hour writing a blog post and the next four days going around the internet trying to get links to that post. The next week would be spent sending out DMCA notices or reporting copies of my articles to Google’s abuse team. I’d read hundreds of “search engine optimization” posts every day and I’d fiddle with WordPress plugins for hours but saw almost no new results. My dream business had become nightmare part-time job. I was beaten down and deflated from the experience. So I stopped writing. Eventually I took down all my blogs. I walked away.
And I let it all just sit.
But only for a while.
You see, I have an addiction.
I’m addicted to words.
So here I am, writing again.
This time I’m older. Life is a little different than it was seven years ago. This time I have two active kids, a working wife, a new house and a full-time job that I love. But that doesn’t really explain who I really am.
I’m a daddy, a husband, an entrepreneur, an old guy, a fat guy, an employee, a friend, a home improvement hobbyist, a curmudgeon, a video game player, an app developer, an armchair economist, a pretty good teacher, a coffee drinker and, again, a daddy. I’m a guy who needs to write this first post of many to get myself past the past.
My name is Tom, and I’m a failed blogger.
But I’m also a lot of other things.
I’m okay with that.