Thoughts on Personal Branding: WordPress or Tumblr?

So I’ve decided I need to rework how I do things.

My adventures on the internet have taken me many different places.

I have gone from an html/css hobbyist to a blogger, to a product creator, to a client services business owner.

While I’ve been busy fleshing out a couple companies, and building sites for clients, I have found that my personal website has certainly suffered. I even resolved to write every day in some capacity. …That clearly didn’t happen.

Instead of floundering around with an inactive personal site, I decided I would move my personal blog to a new domain: dauntless.co, but I would do that on Tumblr.

One of the things I always loved about tumblr was it’s easy to use post types built right into the service. I could post a quote and it would look alright. I could type out a full text post if that’s what I wanted. I could post a simple picture if that’s what properly reflected my mood. Tumblr allows you to accurately express you’re current state of mind. That’s *really* what microblogging, or tumbloggling is all about. I tend to be a big picture guy and sometimes very scatterbrained, this causes me to be really attracted to a tumblr-style page: The feed could be a mix of quotes, text posts, one-line thoughts, videos and pictures.

When you post something on Tumblr, not only can visitors to your site see your content, but Tumblr users can share that content with their followers. Every post has the potential to go viral.

You can build up a slew of followers, though, I’ll be honest, I’ve never found great success with it.
Tumblr struggles with a few things, things you may want to consider before you decide Tumblr will be the home of your blog. Tumblr’s permalink structure makes it very unlikely that any content written on tumblr will be found by native search queries. Not only is the search traffic small, but once traffic is at your site, there are limited options for interaction.

How is your Aunt Lucy supposed to comment on your brilliant post? You can ask questions to the author- whether it be with a tumblr username, or anonymous, you can “like” the post, or you can reblog the post and add your own comment. (actually, CEO David Karp’s reason for this is understandable  ). This allows tumblr to be great with building a community around spreading great content, but it lacks the foundation to really create a great community. Can readers of a Tumblog easily interact with other readers of a Tumblog? No. This allows for the potential of a very personal connection between a reader and it’s audience (via question and answers) but you will only hear a few voices in this conversation. Blog comments allow for readers to engage with the author as well as add more to the value of the post to other readers. Tumblr has no real way to facilitate comments- you can install a comment service such as Disqus, but I know there are circles of people who will never log into such comment systems.

Today’s announcement of Yahoo’s acquisition of the service makes me seriously weigh my options.
I’ve been doing a lot of reading about personal branding and the potential of new era publishing. More people are getting their information from blogs than ever before. Blogs are not only a place where you can keep your family updated on your kids, or your world travels, they are turning into vital sources of news and commentary. Blogs can be serious business. Visit Pat Flynn’s website and check out his monthly earnings statements. The business ramifications of blogs are huge. Blogging can help you position yourself as an expert in a field. Whether you’re providing news or commentary, by inserting yourself as a relevant member of a conversation, you are creating a position of trust for any interested parties. This can lead to increased referrals, work requests, speaking engagements, opportunities for product creation, and much more.

I’ll take a step back and allow you to soak in the last paragraph.

And now i’ll ask you this.

Can you do that on Tumblr?
I’m sure you can, but will it really be the best option?

Part of me is inspired to give it a try! Go against the odds and make the tumblr platform into everything I’ve dreamed a personal brand’s platform could be. But I watch as every one who is currently crushing it in the blog world is using a CMS such as WordPress.

I’m taking a step towards intentionality and taking what I do online very seriously.
I think Five Espressos could grow into both a publishing company as well as a leading agency for web development. This will invariably done using the same medicine we’re prescribing for our clients- WordPress.
It’s not just a question of WordPress or Tumblr, it’s really about what I want to accomplish, and what will be the best tool for the job.

Do you have any thoughts to this?

Intangible work matters.

Ticket to ride
Sometimes progress isn’t tangible. But even if the work you’ve done is hardly tangible, it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t important work. Intangible work can matter too!

This evening me and Brian did some work on a site for a client. We worked for three hours, but ultimately, I couldn’t even tell you how much work we got done.  We identified some things we need to work through, and we also decided how we would go about solving these problems.  But if i were to write down tangible and presentable progress, our body of work would not have looked too impressive.

But that doesn’t mean our work wasn’t absolutely imperative.

I guess we could consider it a scouting trip.

Actually, me and brian have been on scouting trips before!

In Brian’s former life, he was a youth pastor. He wanted to take his group up to North Manitou island for a summer expedition. Before he took a group of students to the island, he wanted to have some experience with the terrain. There’s a ferry that takes you to the island, drops you off, and then returns 3 days later.

Me and brian went to the island together a few months before he would take his students. After a loop around the island, we knew so much about what a group of students would encounter. We left the island with knowledge of the island as well as a few stories. Water scarcity led us both into some pretty intense dehydration, and we interrupted a honeymoon when we realized we had completely forgotten matches.  Brian returned to the island a couple months later with a group of students.

Brian’s goal was to bring a group of students to North Manitou island. Did a scouting trip accomplish that goal?

No absolutely not. Was it important? Absolutely.

Me and brian’s goal with this client is to create a beautiful website that will help the company communicate better with sales leads. Did our work tonight have specific things we could show? Perhaps not. But was this intangible work matter to the scope of the project? You bet.

Tangibility matters when we are looking to create things. But at the end of the day, a scouting trip does help you become better prepared to accomplish that goal.

Momentum. Are you moving?

Momentum: it’s time to get things moving!

.Kids pushing cars

Things can take some time to become established. At first, movement can be tough, but as you roll along, things get easier. Momentum makes things simple. At this point, moving onto a different course takes a lot more energy– things are already moving forward. If you wish to change things up, you either need to put all your energy into stopping and restarting, or hope that your new course is very similar to your current track.

So, once things are moving, it’s much harder to do nothing. It takes more energy to get something new off the ground.

When you don’t have any momentum, it’s easy to focus one day on one thing, one day on the next, and one day on yet another thing. You can be really enthusiastic about things, but ultimately, you’re movement is negligible when compared to something that’s already moving.

The other day I was helping a customer, and he mentioned that the last time i helped him, i was in the process of starting a company. He wanted to know how things were going! I told him that things were going really well and that things were moving forward. I was certainly telling the truth. Something else struck me as I talked with him, I started realizing that there were things in motion with Five Espressos that were going to come to fruition without me exerting maximum effort. Things are rolling. Forward motion is simply upkeep and keeping the path clear and ready for us to roll through!

That’s exciting. Our team needs to keep the momentum going!

Today is the first day of a new year.

Many of us have goals for the new year that will somehow make us better people.

Gyms are prepared for maximum capacity.

Running shoes have been located.

The first page has been written a journal

I would imagine that more blog posts are published today than on any other day of the year

I have a goal too. I could call it a resolution. It would be appropriate given the new year.
I want to write every day.

I won’t be publishing here on the blog every day, but I want to be in the habit of writing.

Why writing?

It focuses me, It starts my daily momentum. It allows me to think about what I need to do with my day and what I need to avoid.

The writing can inspire content here or elsewhere.

It’s my hope that at some point, the habit of writing becomes so engrained that I can’t help but do it daily. It will lead to many other things- good things.