Blogging, Not “Content Marketing”

When it comes to writing on the internet, I’m a pretty old guy. I likely published my first “weblog” in late 2003 or early 2004 — immediately on the heels of my introduction to “blogs” via the Howard Dean for President campaign. Back there and back then, the internet was new and exciting. Blogging felt revolutionary, and it was.

But somewhere during the Obama Administration era, the internet grew up. People learned that consistent writing cultivated the attention of others, and that attention could lead to sales (and money). More and more, we stopped “blogging” and started doing “content marketing:” niche writing designed to tee up a sales pitch. And you know what? It worked.

Content Marketing is an effective lead generation strategy because it strategically leverages the fundamentals of human psychology. But it has a dark side, as well: as more and more writers became marketers, the internet lost its authenticity and originality.

More and more, websites started to feel the same. Every article seemed to be a list of tips or an in-depth how-to guide. Search engine optimization overtook personality, and we traded the loyalty we earned by cultivating authentic relationships for the page views we gained by gaming the system.

Now, as I approach my mid-thirties, I find myself wanting to get back to the old internet. I want to be myself online, authentically share my thoughts and opinions, and do great work. And, I suspect, the market will reward that authenticity with opportunities (as it did before). At least I hope it will.

That means that, as I write this blog, I’m going to write whatever comes to mind within the umbrella of campaigning, digital, technology, and work. Frankly, I’m less concerned about whether you’ll find a blog post useful or whether it’ll boost my SEO than I am interested in writing about what’s on my mind. If other people enjoy what I’m writing, I consider that a bonus.