Friday, April 5, 2013

YES SIR-EE — MY BLOG TURNS THREE!

YES SIR-EE — 
MY BLOG TURNS THREE!
_____________________________

Yikes, it seems like just 
yesterday when the doctor 
entered the waiting room 
and announced, "Mr. Long, 
you're now the proud father 
of a bouncing new baby 
blog!" And to celebrate
this milestone third
birthday, all it wants
is a new pony.
_____________________________

I first began pursuing my writing endeavors back in 1990 — creating local music reviews for a host of Florida entertainment magazines. By the early 2000s I was interviewing an array of big time rockers for features in different print and Internet publications. In 2004, I began pitching a variety of  book proposals to major publishers. They all turned me down. In fact, one prominent rock star informed me privately that I'd never get a book deal because, as he so tactfully put it, "nobody gives a **** what you have to say." OUCH!

The initial rejection and criticism was stinging. However, each publisher offered me the same piece of valuable advice  — develop my platform and build an audience by launching a blog. But at that time I had no concept of what a blog even was. And after finally signing my first publishing deal in 2009, everyone on my team was unanimously encouraging me to start one.

My first cover story was for Florida's
Brevard Live magazine in 2001.
By April 2010, my first book arrived in stores and I recognized the importance of mounting a thorough Internet marketing campaign — and this blog was born. I've been asked frequently why I chose Blogger over WordPress. The answer is simple. It was the first option to pop up in my Google Search. I was naive. In fact, MySpace was just ramping down, Facebook was revving up and I merely approached this new blog as an extension of my typical social networking. Hence, my content was limited to posts regarding book-related updates, my upcoming personal appearances and what I'd be doing on any particular weekend. In short, my blog was boring! But I wasn't terribly concerned, as I didn't think that anyone would ever actually check it out — I was just going through the motions. Six months later, I learned how to monitor my blog stats. And to my dismay, I discovered that the site had actually received nearly 2,000 visits. I reasoned quickly that if that many people were stopping by to read generic crap, my audience could potentially explode if I put forth a little effort and actually created quality content.

My first book signing 
(Orlando, FL / April 2010)
Since receiving that revelation, my traffic has, in fact, sky rocketed. I now post updates several times a week. And from faith and fashion to pop culture and politics, I discuss a wide range of topics, all based on my personal perspectives and experiences. I've recently weeded out  my less compelling content from over the years and as of this auspicious third anniversary, my blog houses over two hundred of my best posts. I hope that readers agree.

My favorite posts include the weeklong Welcome to the Jungle series, the continuing wedding series, Here Comes the Bride and my latest series dedicated to drum enthusiasts, We've Got the Beat. I've also recently posted reviews of some incredible new records, including releases by Kim Walker-SmithTal & AcaciaPlumbJJ HellerStryper and Holly Starr. And if you hang out and look around long enough, you will also discover other record, concert, movie and book reviews — even some fun accounts of my numerous thrift store excursions, a few riveting political observations and more.


Thanks to everyone who has spent time visiting this site and reading my work. It's humbling to see how my audience has grown — I'm blessed and truly grateful. I've had a lot to say about a lot of stuff since my first book arrived in stores three years ago. My second book was released last year and book #3 currently is in development. And be sure that I'll continue to keep everybody up-to-date with not only book-related posts, but all things hip and groovy.

-Christopher Long
(April 2013)

The latest from author Christopher Long
SHOUT IT OUT LOUD -
is available NOW on Amazon.

Also from Christopher Long...
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