It’s that time of the year. At around this period 8 years, I started writing this blog. What began as a small foray into fitness blogging has turned into much more. Being a natural Renaissance Man, interested in all kinds of things, I began to write about all kinds of things. All of it for free. I never gained any money off of it (but still had large costs running the blog). I finally started making some money when I started writing on Medium. It’s not a lot, but at least the costs are now covered. Most of all, this has been a journey of learning.
However, with so many years writing and putting my stuff on the internet, my thoughts have left a footprint. These ideas of mine have not always been acknowledged, but I keep running across them in random places. Recently, I picked up a French language translation of a book originally in English about leadership lessons you can learn from animals. Much of the information in the section on chimpanzees was similar to what I had written in my article on lessons from chimp alpha leaders, including the division into 3 dominant strategies. I believe the author based this chapter on my article. Unfortunately, I didn’t get an acknowledgement.
Several years ago, my articles on first principles thinking were usually close to the top of the first page of Google search when it comes to that term. So my SEO was really good. It was an original article based on lots of research, and some of the things I put together were new. If you type in those terms into Google now, my articles have disappeared and seem to have fallen out of the ranking altogether. However, at the top you can find an article from Medium, which is based on my ideas. There is even a link to my blog thanking me for my ideas as inspiration (although no link to my original articles). The article has thousands of claps. When I put up my own original article on that topic, it was barely seen. This speaks volumes on popularity on the internet. Much of it is a matter of luck.
Of course, for most of my articles I have also reused information I found in other articles. I have usually tried to acknowledge the source, however that was not always possible. You can see how information circulates, how it is reused, something with acknowledgment and sometimes without. Popularity of a particular article often also seems random.
Writing for so long has its ups and downs. I enjoy the fact when people pop in and tell me they enjoyed my article, or that they learned something new from it. The worst thing for a writer is to publish something, and only have crickets playing in the background. While stuff I publish is not popular, I keep on plugging along. After all, my writing journey is driven by my intense curiosity and will to learn. Writing is a way of learning.