john at transform

Last night, I had John Saddington come and give a presentation at Transform Athens. When I first contacted John about speaking, I told him that the topic was totally up to him, but preferably something he was passionate about. Well if you've ever visited his blog or talked to him for long, you'll find out pretty quickly that blogging is a huge passion for him - he's been blogging in some form or fashion since 2001. That's a long time folks.

John's presentation was an honest and raw look at his past and his views on writing in general. He listed out the various opportunities that have presented themselves as a direct result of his blog. John formed a business partnership with one of the commenters on his blog, whom he originally thought was a troll.

There were lots of questions from the audience about the best platform to use, how to create a strategy for blogging, should it have a business facade or be personal, should I be concerned about over sharing, etc. John fielded the questions eloquently as he kept driving the same point home.

If you don't hit publish, none of that matters. Just publish and it'll make a world of difference. - John Saddington

Just publish.

That was the core message. People flock to the web to search, stalk, learn, and find information about you. When you've put yourself (work, thoughts, opinions, etc.) online, people can learn about you. You exist in a virtual space in larger capacity due to the size of your online footprint.

John told a story about an interviewee at a recent company who had no online presence with the exception of a sad LinkedIn page and he thought, "Who are you? It's like you don't even exist." Cue laughter from the audience.

It may be sad to think about, but it's true. The very fact that you are reading this right now gives you a glimpse into my head, my thoughts. It's like we're sitting down for coffee right now and I'm telling you about what I did last night. Only instead of having a one on one conversation I'm logging my thoughts onto my blog. What happens from here is up to the crazy wormhole that is the internet.

Just yesterday someone in Scotland tweeted about my Daughters post. I have no idea how he found it, but he did and now he knows a little more about me.

John gave some simple advice to get started blogging.

  • Choose a platform that you will actually use.
  • Write about your experience.
  • Tell your story.
  • Spend a minimum of 15 minutes per week and you'll have a blog.
  • Schedule some time to write.
  • Just publish.
  • Don't worry about the design of your blog. People will get tired of it after 10 visits anyways.

John's current site is using the default Wordpress theme and he has tens of thousands of visitors everyday. The design matters far far less than the actual content. As a matter of fact, at the time of this writing, I'm using the default Ghost theme for this blog.

He summed up his talk with 3 things that his father taught him.

  1. Never give up
  2. Always have options
  3. Never be afraid to ask for something

That's it. Go forth and blog!


Here are a few other blog posts inspired by the event:

Watch the video here