A hiatus of sorts

Today marks the beginning of a brief hiatus in my writing here on fabricecalando.com. I decided a break was necessary because I’m not thrilled about the direction this site has taken. A writer publishes to be read and the readership has steadily gone down over the past few years. I have a few dedicated readers and I’m grateful for that, but the truth is, writing here used to pretty much be the highlight of my professional day and now it’s a chore; almost an annoyance. It’s gotten to the point where I’m completely ignoring the health of this site. It got hacked over the holidays and I feel I’ve barely put a band aid over the wounds.

But the declining readership is only a symptom. There’s more to it…

A brief history
When I first started writing regularly, 5+ years ago, social media marketing was really taking off and I was working for a prominent advertising agency here in Montreal. We were often recommending blogging to our clients, but truth is none of us really knew what that entailed. So I took it up myself to understand what I was proposing.

From that point on it became a learning tool. I got to experiment with writing schedules, different topics, web analytics, SEO and SEM, social media marketing and frankly it was great. Even though the “writing about social media and marketing” space is crowded, it propulsed my career to new and greater places. I was known in the industry here. I got a lot of inbound requests for expertise, speaking gigs and more. On top of that, I got to meet great people like Ray, Jeff and Chris down I’m Atlanta to name just a few. I got to meet and exchange with Julien Smith and other heroes of sorts: Chris Brogan, C.C. Chapman and others.

Then I stopped working in the advertising/consulting space and made the conscious decision to stop writing about social media and marketing to focus on business in general as well as what it takes to push through and do work that matters.

That was a mistake.

It’s a broad topic dominated by kings, and slowly but surely, it has gotten me away from the initial purpose of learning and furthering my knowledge.

And I think that’s why writing has gotten to be a chore. The adventure and discovery is gone.

What’s next
I’m not looking to return to what was. I’m different: I have more experience now, more knowledge. I’ve seen and lived more. But truth is I’m a marketer. I’m good at what I do. Most of what I propose and implement works. But I feel the new direction has thrown me off my game. I’m spending too much time reading, writing and listening to topics unrelated to what I am at the core and I need to focus on what sets me apart not add a sprinkling of this and that.

Some things I need to think about:

  • What do I want to write about? Does the world really need another marketing blog?
  • If I had to describe the site in a sentence or two, what would it be? Would that description be unique? Something that would be missed if I stopped?
  • Should I continue powering the site with WordPress or do I switch to a platform like Squarespace that will allow me to focus more on the writing and promotion of the site and less on the technical.
  • Should I just switch everything over to a platform that already has an audience, like LinkedIn or Medium?
  • Do I want to continue with shorter form or do I want to write more substantial pieces?
  • I currently write on the train, on my way to work. Does that still make sense?

My goal is to be back up and running in no more than a month.

I want to thank all of you who continue coming back post after post. If you have any questions, just hit reply…

Regards,
Fabrice

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  • huge

    5 years is a long time, don’t forget that. And then writing about something that might not be so familiar is a great way to learn too, even if the comfort level isn’t there.

    On the other hand, all the talk of “pivot” might sound cliche and over-used, but if you forget about the buzz-word, there is something to be said about taking a sharp turn at times: it is needed more often than we think, and always so much harder than just the word itself.