It was seven years ago today…
November 18, 2014
Seven years ago in October, I began this blog. I’ve since written 882 posts. If I’m reading my stats correctly just over one million people have visited Gods of Advertising, far less of them unique (obviously), and a few thousand have left comments. On average about 700 of you visit each day. For the record my best day had just shy of 2,000 unique visitors, for a piece I wrote on the demise of a Chicago advertising agency. Over the course of seven years the most continuously visited story (actually in two parts) was a piece I wrote on the origin of the “Not Your father’s Oldsmobile” campaign, which I helped create at Leo Burnett. Among those readers were several advertising historians, researching that arguably dubious, definitely silly but now iconic campaign. Gods of Advertising has been “freshly pressed” by WordPress two times. In 2012, it was ranked by Business Insider as one of the top 20 ad blogs in the United States.
These numbers are modest, I know, but for me they rank among my most prized personal accomplishments. I’ve never accepted a dime of revenue from advertisers nor have I published a single post from another author. Gods of Advertising is my baby. Depending on your point of view that is either something to be proud of or the antithesis.
Based on my earliest posts it’s pretty clear I began GOA as a means to get more eyeballs on my novels and other writing projects. I’m a big fisherman and I figured chumming the waters couldn’t hurt. I was wrong. One of the first lessons I learned (the hard way I might add) was that you were not interested in being pitched to. Most of my first visitors did not appreciate anything resembling an ulterior motive. Some of you left comments to that effect. Many more trolled other trade blogs, ripping me to shreds. Personal feelings aside, it was a great lesson. I was taught to value authenticity and transparency, in the blogosphere in particular and in life in general. Clearly, to monetize this blog was to ruin it.
Fortunately, a higher calling took over, the same one that has always driven me: to write. You see I love writing. I always have. My passion for the craft (be it fiction writing, poetry, screenwriting and blogging) is worth more than incremental dollars in my bank account. Writing copy has provided me more than ample compensation -a blessing.
Needless to say, I adore reading as well. I can’t do one without doing the other. And so my appreciation for having readers –any at all- is beyond what I can express in this final sentence.