I began blogging in March 2006. My first post on this blog, 19 March 2006, was simply called Getting Started.
I began blogging at a time of turmoil in my life. Something that I had created, worked on and which gave me my income had collapsed. Alone in a home office, struggling, unable to afford even new business cards, I turned to blogging as a way of breaking out, of rebuilding.
Since then I have written the best part of two million words. The personal returns have been immense, the financial less so.
The world has changed since March 2006. I am not alone.
This may sound silly. After all, I had a wife and two daughters in March 2006. as I have now. However, those who have been through it will know that personal problems can create a sense of isolation that is very hard to break out off when you are depressed and cannot make your normal contribution to the family.
I have had several goes at writing about this period, most recently two days ago. Nearly all has been binned. You try selling your professional services when a simple web search reveals that you have problems! You cannot be private in the on-line world.
Since I began blogging, my writing has expanded.
I am not one of those very successful people whose on-line presence expands into lots of cash. Most of my additional writing has been unpaid - my column, sometimes magazine articles, my historical research, draws very little money. I write because I must. I don't properly focus on the commercial.
Now time limited, I need to focus, to bring the writing monster under control.
I write because I enjoy writing. I write because I have things to say that I consider to be important. I write because there are at least some who consider what I say to be interesting, if not important. I write, most of all, because it gives me a sense of self-value.
I have a lot of blogs. Increasingly, I have struggled to maintain them because of other pressures, writing, personal and cash.
Cash is important. I never earned a lot of money directly from blogging. However, since the global financial crisis, my income from writing has dropped 60%.
I have always known what I needed to do to make money from blogging, However, I haven't wanted to do so because of the importance of the personal, the writing, the readers.
Now I need to change my approach.
I don't want to give up the writing, nor the ability to go in the directions my interests take me. Nevertheless, I have to change. Tomorrow, I will explain what I intend to do.