December 26, 2016The End (or why there won’t be any blog posts in 2017)
Dear readers – if there are any readers left – I have decided to move on. A few of you have noticed I write less and less here these days and there are several reasons for this:
Firstly and most importantly, my audience is elsewhere.
In its heyday, this site attracted up to 30,000 visitors a month. But times have changed – as have the publishing platforms available. It’s hard to believe a decade ago that blogging was still pretty underground and niche. Now all the serious bloggers write for the big blogs and everybody goes there for their news. Everyone else publishes in a standardised, easy to find place – Medium for example. There are only one or two bloggers – like Dave Trott for example – I consider brilliant enough to follow to their personal sites.
This year, my occasional musings on LinkedIn have attracted up to 50,000 readers and far more lively debate. So if you really want to follow what I have to say, you can connect with me on LinkedIn here.
Secondly, most of what I wanted to say has already been said.
…not only by myself, but by the vast proliferation of content over the last decade. The sheer quantity of information out there is staggering – these days it feels very hard to say anything profound – or even useful – that hasn’t been said elsewhere.
One of the few blog posts I’ve enjoyed this year has been the strategist Faris Yakob’s excellent insight into toxic nostalgia and how it’s driven much of the narrative around 2016. It sums up pretty much my thoughts on the subject – but is such a comprehensive and well written post I would have nothing to add, nor, for that matter, the time to do it. You’ll also notice it’s published on Medium.com, rather than Faris’ own website. Audiences have moved on.
Thirdly, this site no longer serves the purpose it used to.
Back in the winter of 2008, when this site was first conceived, it was designed as a way to push the digital copywriting services of a journalist who was comparatively new to copywriting. Blogging regularly was an essential part of convincing people that I knew what I was talking about. It was also essential for SEO and lead generation. But as an established copywriter/creative with over a decade of experience, 99.9% of my business now comes from referrals and recruiters.
This site used to generate leads for large-scale digital projects. As the site grew and grew, it ended up generating a ratio of 100 “Will you write me a blog post for twenty quid?” enquiries to every one serious business enquiry. And of course, I’ve moved on too – this site was built almost a decade ago to generate digital craft enquiries – “can you build me a website of six pages and so on”.
For the last few years I’ve worked in advertising agencies almost exclusively in a conceptual, integrated, or above-the-line role. Aside from spitballing ideas with my art director, I spend more time putting powerpoint decks together than anything else. So no, I’m afraid I can’t write you that blog post.
Finally, I no longer wear my heart on my sleeve.
As Iago noted in Shakespeare’s Othello, those who wear their hearts on their sleeve often find them being pecked apart by birds of prey – the reason all my personal social accounts are protected now. On a less literary note, most of my blogging came from personal, anecdotal experiences. I have reached a level of seniority in my career where to discuss some things openly would be outright foolhardy, were it not already prohibited by NDA.
For around year and a half of the last two years I spent my time helping my wonderfully talented AD (now CD at Saatchi’s) give birth to a multi-award-winning integrated campaign. Just getting it on the telly – never mind winning all those awards – was a heroic, sixteen-hour-a-day labour of love by everyone on the team. Now I could tell you a few tall tales of those times – but that’s pub talk, not blogging material. The rest is strictly and respectfully under NDA. Even if I had time to blog during those days, I couldn’t have told you a word about it.
On a more personal note, I’ve always been a very private person. Early in my career it was necessary to ‘put myself out there’ to get noticed and pick up work. These days I let the work (and the awards!) speak for themselves. To be honest, it comes as a blessed relief.
This site will carry on, for now.
For the moment, it is generously hosted for free by the original web designer – one of my earliest partners in crime. When the day comes he will switch it off, but I’ve decided to leave it up for now.
Hearteningly, people still occasionally write to me to let me know how useful my book or a blog post they’ve stumbled across has been to them. And even though my book was written for small business owners, even a couple of folks I’ve chanced upon in agency-land (or the pubs of agency-land) have told me they found it useful. So long as it remains useful, let it stay up.
It even generates the occasional lead still – I scripted this spot over summer after the producers contacted me directly through this site.
So, that’s all folks, as they say.
I can’t promise I won’t write here again, but I think it more than likely that this is my last post.