4 Reasons I Shut Down My Personal Blog
If you’ve found your way to this page you were likely looking for a post I published on my personal blog, jaledwith.com. On June 1, 2016, I officially shut down that website. I had been blogging at that address since 2007, but recently it became very clear that it was time to move on. Here are four reasons why I decided to pull the plug.
1. I was no longer publishing new content
Between January 1, 2014, and May 10, 2015, I only published 15 blog posts. That end date probably seems a little arbitrary, but I chose it because that was the last time I published anything to that blog. Within the capacity of my work with clients and my day job, I advise people that having a blog that you never update is far worse than having no blog at all. It reflects poorly on you and your brand. It was getting harder and harder for me to have a “do as I say, not as I do” attitude in this area.
2. Old content was not reaping any benefits for me
I had always been very hesitant to aggressively monetize my personal blog. I scattered a few iTunes and Amazon affiliate links here and there, but I never envisioned it being a passive revenue stream for me. True enough, I hadn’t made a commission on a link on that site in well over a year.
I was also not using this site to showcase my work. When I started my business, Ledwith Web Solutions, I moved my web development portfolio to its website. All my tech-related tutorials and op-eds had been moved to How Do It Know?! long ago (EDIT: I’ve now shut down that website as well). The only page I was actively sending people to was my ministry landing page, the place I shared the ins and outs of my work with The Navigators. It was easy enough to move that content to this website.
3. My comfort level with sharing my personal life online has changed
The older I get the less comfortable I am sharing all my thoughts and feelings about my personal life publicly online. Getting married and having children had something to do with it. When I was single I was blogging about my life; as a husband and father, I would be blogging about our lives. I didn’t want to put my wife in the position where she would need to be the editor-in-chief of my personal blog, constantly needing to say yea or nay to my sharing choices.
4. The address no longer served me well
Back when I fancied myself an aspiring author I thought it would be cool to be published as J.A. Ledwith (Andrew is my middle name; my first name is John). Fast forward ten years and my career path has taken a different route than I had projected it would. I’m not “branding” myself with my initials nor do I foresee myself doing so in the near future. Scrapping the old site and restarting it as something new under that same address didn’t seem to fulfill any strategic need.
How is this website different from a personal blog?
You might be wondering how this website differs from a personal blog. After all, the website address and title are my own name. The main difference will be the subject matter and the end goals. The vision of my personal blog was, to put it nicely, not clearly defined. On its about page I wrote, “On this blog, I write about my adventures and opinions. My podcast is a grab bag of randomness.” A site like that really only serves me. My hope is that this new website would serve others, specifically in the realm of branding and communication. It will also include updates from my ministry work with The Navigators, where I serve as a brand manager, in the hopes that they will demonstrate the principles I teach.
This isn’t the end
It’s hard to say goodbye to jaledwith.com and personal blogging in general. It’s been my home on the Internet for nearly a decade. It’s where I honed my writing skills and first learned how to attract an online audience, modest as it was. But I want to underscore that I am not giving up blogging altogether. I’ll
continue to publish on my company blog and [EDIT: In December 2021, I dissolved Ledwith Web Solutions] write guest posts on other websites as opportunities arise. And who knows? Maybe someday I’ll pick up personal blogging again. For now, though, it’s time to close this chapter of my digital life.