In our day-to-day lives we deal with technology, lots of technology. We seem to hold the rhythm of the world at our fingertips. From e-mail on our iPhones or Blackberries to updating others about our happenings on Twitter, our lives are becoming intricately woven into the fabric of new media. Among some of these new media applications that so many of us are latching on to is blogging.
Without parchment or pen, “web logs” are the commentaries of our present and future generations. History is sealed in the pages of the web instead of being bound between two covers. Blogs come in all shapes and sizes. From cooking to politics on Capitol Hill, there is a blog for just about any walk of human life roaming the planet. Aside from the many blogs that fill the Internet, there are actually people who get paid to write blogs. These people are known as “professional bloggers.”
I had the opportunity to interview Chris Garrett, a top blogger on the Advertising Age Power 150, and see what life as a true blogger is like. When it comes to the Internet, Garrett is a jack-of-all-trades. He describes himself as a professional blogger, Internet marketing consultant, new media industry commentator, writer, coach, speaker, trainer and web geek. His main focus on his website pertains to the business of new media, blogging, and online marketing. This Calgary, Canada native has been on the Internet scene close to its beginnings. He described to me that his passion for the web guided his way into the blogging world.
“I drifted into it because it wasn’t called blogging when I started, this was back in the 90’s when everyone had a personal homepage, fansite or whatever instead of blogs and social media profiles. In the early 90’s I was involved with bulletin boards so when the college I worked for required someone to set up their Internet stuff like racks of modems for people to dial into, website and online learning materials, I threw myself into it. We were quite advanced; we had a live web cam in 1996 when other folks had never heard of digital cameras! After that it was just natural that I would publish on the Internet.”
One of Garrett’s favorite aspects of the job is that in being a professional blogger you have “the freedom of time and geography and the ability to work on something that you are passionate about.” Because of his proficient experience in this business I knew he had great advice to give for the novice bloggers like myself. When I asked him what would be ten key components to a strong blog he replied with just one.
“You only need one. Focus on your reader. If you shift your perspective from you, your needs, what you want out of it to who you are blogging for, what they want, the challenges they are facing, then you will be successful.”
Because of his talent in blogging and other new media, Garrett is also an author and contributor. He has written books about blogging such as “ProBlogger, Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six Figure Income,” and also contributed to books such as “GDI+ Programming, Creating Custom Controls Using C#.”
To find our more about Chris and his top ranked website, visit www.chrisg.com.
Jeff Hajek is a student at Auburn University in Robert French’s class on public relations messages in emerging digital media. You can learn more at http://www.theloveliestvillage.org.