Today I want to talk about weblogs and social media a little bit. I started this little endeavor about two and a half years ago with a lot of expectations. I wanted to monetize, dive into the wine culture and set the world on fire with my dazzling revelations. I rounded up my merry band of revelers and toured wineries, took some classes and tasted tons of wine. Sometimes I even wrote about it.
So far, here’s a few observations and affirmations that I picked up along the way:
1. Everyone (or so it seems) above the age of 13 has their own blog. And unlike Perez Hilton, most of them aren’t making six figures a month in ad revenue.
2. It’s difficult to make a consistent living at niche blogging (Disclaimer: Not impossible). You have to REALLY love your topic to stick with it. And I DO love it. But I spend a heluva lot more money on Uncorked Remarks than I pull in from it. I get thrown a free bottle of wine every now and then, and have met a lot of fascinating, passionate people which, in my opinion makes it worth it.
3. There is A LOT of noise on Twitter, Facebook, Second Life, YouTube and more recently Pinterest. It seems like everyone is talking at once and there isn’t a whole lot of listening going on. Lately I’ve been driving home from work with the stereo off just to clear my head. This is world we created, like it or not. Always connected.
4. Even in a (admittedly, pretty big) niche like wine, there are thousands of bloggers. There is even an annual Wine Bloggers Conference, that I’m sorry I missed this year. Shout out to #WBC13 … save me a space. You people rock.
5. Everyone seems to be a wine expert. I don’t do reviews because every other wine blog does. I can Google almost any wine out there and find out what the “experts” like and don’t like. I know what I prefer but it doesn’t mean that you will feel the same. Just try it. And visit your local wineries.
5. As with wine experts, there are plenty of SEO mavens about as well who will promise a #1 Google ranking. Save your money and do your own homework. It will be a lot more rewarding. And probably more accurate.
6. Social Media is a HUGE time suck. Recently, and not for the first time, I had to step back and reevaluate the time I invest in it. I don’t know how many times I’ve stopped writing mid-post to check my Facebook messages or my Twitter feed and then end up playing Bejeweled Blitz or changing my MouseHunt location. Then Big Bang Theory comes on and the night is shot. It may be a consequence of my Adult ADHD but I’m especially fond of Twitter. Projecting your thoughts in 140 characters or less and holding the world in the palm of your hand is intoxicating.
There was a point to why I was sharing all of this. Oh, yeah. I had a vision when I cranked this up in the Spring of 2010 but it kind of took on a life of it’s own. I want to continue to expand, try new things and reach more people. I want to express my appreciation to friends & supporters on Twitter & Facebook, my wine group and my fave local wineries (You know who you are).
Feedback is always appreciated. Sifting through the comment spam on WordPress about Guild Wars, Viagra, insoles and fake Oakleys to find that one personal, insightful comment is exhilarating.
— Doug Z.
— @UncorkedRemarks @dzuncensored #relaxitsjustwine