A few months ago, something cool happened. I was presenting to a room full of staff members at Coastal Carolina University about social media. When my presentation concluded, one of the employees in the room approached me. I did not recognize her, which made sense because she identified herself as a new employee.
In a very humble manner, she prefaced what she was going to say with “I don’t know if you will remember this, but…”
This particular CCU staffer had been on the job for a couple months. She had moved from a northern state to start fresh at a great university in a beautiful part of the country. But what made her specifically choose our little slice of paradise?
This person revealed to me that when she was deciding whether to move to Myrtle Beach, she did her due diligence researching the area. During this period, she stumbled upon Don’t Blink. She read a post I wrote in 2015 that gave my direct assessment on the pros and cons of living here. My frank opinion on Myrtle Beach life caused her to comment on my post. From there, I answered some of her specific questions via email.
It is not uncommon for me to correspond with readers via email. It also is not uncommon for readers to try a pizza place or watch a television show because I recommend it. But what is slightly uncommon (or so I think) is for a reader to use my blog as an influential source for making a lifechanging decision.
This staff member willingly approached me to say my blog played a part in her moving to our area and applying for employment at Coastal Carolina. She thanked me for providing counsel over email. I did in fact remember our electronic discussion, but I underestimated the power it would have.
To stand face-to-face with someone who started out as one of my “faceless” readers in a far off state only to become a fellow staff member in the same conference room as myself was pretty rad.
I write Don’t Blink mainly for selfish reasons – I have an obsession with keeping a written record of my experiences and I strive to keep my personal brand fresh – but I do hope that the time I put into a project such as this can help and/or benefit others. To know that I hit the mark in the latter objective is rewarding.
All of my traffic to Don’t Blink is 100% organic. However, writing over 1,400 posts over the course of several years will give you a large reach without ever having to spend a cent on SEO. True, the vast majority of my readers will never make crucial decisions based off of my wacky top five lists or Lay’s potato chip reviews. But if my posts can positively influence a small number of people out there who I would otherwise never encounter, I would call that a success. Don’t Blink.