I’ve been in the blogging game since 2007 and with the end of the first full decade in the internet era, you’re bound to see lists compiling the best and the worst.

Since I like to join the party in my own way, I decided to revisit the stories that defined my journey from blogger→EIC→broadcaster and now, business owner.

In this special one-off episode, I’m going to list the central themes I’ve learned–sometimes the hard way– in hopes it can serve as a compass to my fellow content creators and entrepreneurs.

Lesson #1: Be Vulnerable

Some of my best work was done through personal, work, and sports heartbreak. Sometimes I think I shared a little too much but looking back over all of it, I’m really proud of this work.

 

Articles mentioned:

AFC Championship Game:

Lesson #2: Try New Things That Scare You

I used to conduct all of my interviews via email because I was a little bit of a chicken shit. Nowadays, I won’t conduct an interview unless it’s via phone or in-person. Check out the evolution of my interview styles with some of my favorites over the years.

Interviewing Jaguars LB Telvin Smith live on location.

Women Working in Sports

Athletes

Everyone Else

Interviewing Jaguars Kicker Josh Lambo

Lesson #3: Fall in Love With Telling Stories

Telling stories that interest you can almost be tougher than telling stories that keep the lights on.

Interviewing the captain of the Becky Jo Shrimp Boat outside of Safe Harbor Seafood

 

Lesson #4: Don’t just have ideas. Execute and Distribute.

I’m incredibly guilty of having ideas that I just run with without thinking them through. Before you know it, I’m elbow-deep in a project that will never work–or worse–I spent so long creating the project that I didn’t leave any energy or enthusiasm to actually sell the damn thing. I didn’t realize this until mid-2019 and have already implemented strategies to help channel that excitement in the future.

Speaking at Freightwaves to promote the Digital Dispatch brand to more than 1100 industry leaders.

 

Honorable Mentions

You know when you start digging through old photos and you find some really good ones? And then you start thinking, “I wonder if I can find that ONE photo” before you ransack the house looking for it. That was me with these older articles. So I figured let’s compile a list of the articles I loooooooved to create but didn’t make the show.

 

  • Expedition Jax Hopes to Tag Great White Sharks off Jacksonville’s Coast: On my first day working for Void Magazine, I felt so much pressure along with extreme excitement. My first assignment was to cover an oceanic research company dubbed OSEARCH who were working off Jacksonville’s coast. I think I spend the entire day working on an article that should have taken me a couple of hours, tops. But I still love reading it because it reminds me of the variety of content I was able to cover for Void from the very first day I started with them.

 

  • Is a Magician Considered an Artist? During my first few months as EIC at Void, I wanted to push the limits on perceptions. We had a resident artist on staff (s/o Kingsley Spencer) who was so patient with my lack of artistic depth that during our annual Art Issue brainstorming meeting, I wanted to ask the “What is art” concept as the central theme of the issue. Kingsley debated the choice at first but I feel like this story, along with others like tattoo artists and architects, was the lone instance where I maaaay have taught him a little something new in the perception of the art world.

 

  • Looking Forward: Why Jacksonville needs to Invest in a publically owned ISP: Written way back in 2014, I’m sad to say absolutely nothing has come from this effort. It’s a shame because when I visit other cities, I realize how far Jacksonville still has to go in so many ways. And for a city that is only one of 32 with an NFL team, it’s frankly a travesty that our local government operates as if we’re in the 1950s. Looking directly and intently at you, Lenny Curry.

 

  • The Art of 8 Limbs: Bringing traditional Muay Thai teachings to North Florida– even if Jacksonville’s local government is operating in a vacuum, there are other bright spots in the city such as this story–which was a game-changer for me to research. As a football fan who’s used to the American philosophy of “win at all costs” mentality, it was damn near therapeutic to discover the teachings Giles Willey, owner of Jax Muay Thai, has brought to the area. The central theme? It’s better to lose respectfully than to win with ego.

 

  • Local Comic Book Podcast is Well Worth a Listen: You ever read your old work and cringe? That’s what I did with this article. Not only is the title trash but the body could use A LOT of work. But I still love this article because back in December of 2013 was the first time my (now) boyfriend and I met. He’s the host of The Shortbox Podcast and I remember getting email after email of this guy wanting someone from Void Magazine to come on his show. Podcasts were VERY new back then so I’m glad I eventually caved and wound up meeting who would eventually become the love of my life.

 

  • GuysGirl Fantasy Football League– in what was once a novel idea, the GuysGirl fantasy football league has been going strong for 10+ years. The all-girls league was started around the same time I started taking the blog seriously. Even though I kinda hate the in-season maintenance of playing fantasy football, draft day is still one of my favorite days of the year.

 

  • Earning my Ears-My First Disney Press Passes: Anyone who knows me is aware of how much of a Disney fan I am. I attempted to work there during my traveling hockey days (see above WAGs story link for reference) but it wasn’t until I was settled into the GuysGirl side hustle that I applied and eventually earned my first press passes to the happiest place on earth. Since then, I’ve ponied up the cash for an annual pass–making what was once a dream of covering the park for “work” a reality.

 

  • LPGA’s ‘Know Before You Go” video series: You gotta work in this sports blogging industry a while before the big leagues start to notice. And that “pinch yourself” moment came for me when the LPGA reached out with interest in hosting a golf series for newbies to the game. My grandpa would be so proud [heart emoji]

The post 4 Lessons and behind the scenes stories from a decade of creating content appeared first on Bonjour with Blythe.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Blythe Brumleve
Blythe Brumleve
I've spent more than a decade in print, digital, and broadcasting. Now I help other companies build their online presence by generating leads, gathering insight and growing revenue.

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