Wordcloud for Des Walsh's blogging story part 2

In the first post of this short series on my blogging story, I recalled why I started blogging, back in 2003, prompted by a presentation at a Future of Coaching conference in San Francisco. In this second post I share some highlights of my early days as a blogger, including:

  • experimenting with the tools and processes of blogging
  • my “blogging evangelist” phase
  • my blogging book
  • my blogging community

The Great Search for the Right Platform

With the wisdom of hindsight, I know I spent far too much time on looking for the “right” blogging platform for my purposes, rather than using what was readily available and focusing more on writing: actually blogging.

How many platforms did I try? I can’t be sure but doing a quick search just now I found that I’d posted on another blog back in 2012 the following:

I tried a lot of what was on offer. In fact, I lost count long ago of all the blogging platforms I’ve tried out. Just from memory, they include Blogger, Typepad, Blogware, Drupal, Movable Type, Squarespace, WordFrame, Xanga, Greymatter, and of course WordPress.

WordPress logoThat includes WordPress.com and self-hosted blogs using WordPress.org

There was also Vox, and maybe others.

For me, the best of those before I settled on WordPress were Blogger, Typepad from Movable Type, and Blogware.

PressHarbor logoAn excellent service I used back then was BlogHarbor, which used the Blogware platform from Tucows. Then in 2007 the owner of BlogHarbor launched PressHarbor, using WordPress technology.

Zoli Erdos was another BlogHarbor user back then and wrote this post, My Move from Blogware to WordPress which reminded me on re-reading now that I wasn’t alone in experimenting with different platforms and services. The post includes a very well-deserved tribute to the owner of BlogHarbor/PressHarbor, the ever-helpful, super-smart John Keegan.

While still with BlogHarbor and frustrated, as we all were, with the increasing problems of Blogware and in the absence of any sign of that platform improving, Zoli wrote:

I was still not ready to jump ship, for one huge reason: the absolutely extraordinary, personalized support I received from Blogharbor. Owner John Keegan always went out of his way and provided support way beyond what could be expected, often not even related to Blogware.

Zoli was absolutely right about the support we received from John Keegan. He goes on to say that his problem was solved when John started PressHarbor.

Blogging Evangelist and My Blogging Book

Des Walsh Business Card with text Business Coach & Blogging EvangelistAs I went on with blogging I found coaching clients, colleagues and others wanting to know about business blogging and some simply wanting to know how to get started. I found I was increasingly becoming an advocate for business blogging – in fact quite the blogging evangelist. I even put that on my business card.

7 Step Business Blog book coverAnd to help the people who wanted to know why and how to get into business blogging, I wrote and published, early in 2006, my 7 Step Business Blog book.

My Blogging Community

Quite apart from all the to-ing and fro-ing with blogging platforms, and the benefit blogging has provided in helping me promote my coaching business – which was the original motivation – is the blogging community I became part of and in which I count many of my good friends to this day.

Andy Wibbels, for example, whose Easy Bake Weblogs course was hugely helpful in getting me on my way as a blogger. Andy also wrote a very supportive preface for my blogging book – a particularly generous and typically selfless commitment as Andy had his own BlogWild! A Guide for Small Business Blogging book on blogging to promote around that time.

Business Blog Consulting logoAnd Paul Chaney, who among other kindnesses introduced me to the team at Rick Bruner’s Business Blog Consulting, where I became one of a dynamic group of guest bloggers, a number of whom I am still in frequent contact with today, some ten years on. The team of bloggers changed over time but there is a list for March 2006 in the left hand sidebar at this link.

b5media logoThen there was my time with the b5media blog network, which according to a note on b5media co-founder Darren Rowse’s Problogger site grew to a network of more than 260 blogs with over 100 bloggers. This was a great team and I was given complete freedom to write about whatever I liked, within a basic framework. And we were paid, which was nice! As with Business Blog Consulting, I made friendships at b5media which endure to this day.

There’s a list here of b5media bloggers, as at early 2007.

LinkedIn Bloggers logoLast but by no means least was my LInkedIn Bloggers community on Yahoo! Groups, which grew to over 900 members. I built the group from early 2005, as a way originally of connecting with people who, as the name suggests, were bloggers and who wanted to use LinkedIn more effectively. We used Yahoo! Groups rather than LinkedIn Groups because in those days the LinkedIn Groups were more in the nature of directories of alumni of companies or universities and did not lend themselves to discussion. I learnt an enormous amount from that group and, as with Business Blog Consulting and b5media, some friends from those days are still good friends.

What’s Your Blogging Story?

Have a story of or from your own blogging journey? I’d love to hear from you. Just leave a note in n the comments below.


In the next part of this series on my blogging story, I’ll share a bit more about my guest blogging experience and also touch on the great value I gained from participating in the first two BlogWorld Expos in Las Vegas.


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Des Walsh is an executive coach. He helps business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide deal effectively with the feeling of being left behind or overwhelmed, or both, about social media – especially LinkedIn - and how to engage safely and effectively with social media to help grow their business. Connect with Des on LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. And to stay in the loop, get Des’s weekly Social Business Bites (select snippets of his "best of the week" online finds).