A few nights ago, an old friend had to remind me that it was this blog’s fourth birthday.
A few years ago, I would have excitedly written the anniversary post the night before and scheduled it for the morning.
Yikes, how things have changed.
A few months ago, I had just started working in the New York Daily News’ online sports department.
A few weeks ago, I had to make one of the toughest decisions of my life. And now I’m working for a company that pretty much only runs headlines on Facebook marketing campaigns.
Wow, things have really changed.
I left one of the greatest and oldest newspapers in the country without even putting in a year to join a social media agency based on platforms that didn’t exist a decade ago. It wasn’t easy for me to give something up so quickly without giving it my all. But I believe it was the best choice for my career.
As you, my blog readers, know, I had shown great loyalty here, filling this page up with multiple posts every day for three years.
I devoted myself to my college newspaper for four years to earn the nickname Mr. Chronicle.
I spent a year and a half – two summers and my senior year – waking up at 6 a.m. to work for Boston.com’s sports section and was later dubbed “the eternal intern.”
But this past year I’ve neglected this former haven for Yankees fans. The saddest thing is blogging here didn’t even make the bottom of my to-do list. Right now, I could (and probably should) be making design enhancements to a website I’m making for a friend, or designing some composites for another website I’m making for another friend. I could be working on my own website! I could be doing some handyman work in my Manhattan studio apartment. I could (and really should) be doing some extra work for my new job. Maybe I should sleep at some point, too?
But I’m writing here now because I feel like I owe something to this domain.
WHY I BLOGGED
During those three glorious years of blogging I watched as many other Yankees blogs died out. Some blogs just stopped publishing, others merged, and a select few are still truckin’ (I never stopped following them). This past year I continued sharing my Yankees insights with the rest of the blogger dropouts, the tougher bloggers, sports writers and fans in the microblogosphere. On Twitter.
I haven’t put in the time here that I used to because I simply moved on. But my heart told me to write this because deep down I felt guilty for not explaining myself to my blog, and to you.
I can unequivocally say I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t put in the hours, weekends, and years into this blog.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Four years ago I was looking for more Yankees fans to banter with so I created this site on blogger.com.
(For some crazy reason, I initially called it Yonka-Bombas Blog. I think it was yonkabombasblog.blogspot.com. Yikes!)
And then I began learning things: just because I enabled comments didn’t mean every Yankees fan in the world was going to talk about the Yankees with me. I can even recall asking my fellow blogger friends why every site visitor didn’t leave a comment. First gear.
THE LEARNING CURVE
Soon, I discovered the massive network of Yankees blogs, and realized I was just a tadpole in a big pond full of fish. Blogging became more about discovering the secret sauce for fostering a community. I was determined to attract the most Yankees fans to visit my site to talk about the Yankees with me and with each other.
I started a Twitter account and followed other Yankees fans. I created a Facebook page and invited my friends to subscribe. I even ran contests and giveaways when partnership opportunities arose.
Nearly a year into blogging nothing but Yankees every day I started reaping some rewards for my work. I accrued advertising revenue. Guest writing and radio opportunities flowed in. It all came with time. None of this stuff could have happened overnight.
For the next two years I focused on honing my writing skills and developing content strategies. I’d ask myself, “Why would readers go to my site over other Yankees blogs?” I studied the best writers in the business: Tom Verducci, Joe Posnanski, Jack Curry, Cliff Corcoran and dozens more. I added weekly features such as baseball card posts and conducted interviews with retired players. I learned from the best and was still growing. Fourth gear.
I learned so much in three years, and then I just hit a wall with work. Every so often my writing urges trumped other priorities and I published posts. Sometimes I double-dipped my other priorities here, like my work for Boston.com and the Daily News. But most days of this site’s fourth year were spent in the garage.
Looking back on the year that was, I have spent significant time in four northeastern states: New Hampshire (my parents’ home), Connecticut (my school), Massachusetts (Boston.com) and now New York.
No matter what zip code I lived in, this blog impacted my life even though I rarely blogged. And it still does today. Every day.
Of course, now, here I am, living in the best city on earth to come up with new types of content for this blog and this post probably sounds like a goodbye note to you. Well, it isn’t. It’s just an update that was long overdue. I’ll post when I can, but I’ve learned not to make any promises.
Thank you for reading and for your continued support. Go Yankees!