September 25th marked the 5 year anniversary of LogisticsMatter.com. When I started LogisticsMatter I never dreamed it would turn into what it is today. Since the start I have received a lot of recognition, as you can see on the right of the page. I am both proud and thankful for getting to this point. Let me tell you how this all started…
In February of 2009 I joined Twitter and opened a personal account out of curiosity. I’d heard a lot about it and wanted to see what the buzz was about. I liked what I saw and started using it as an information source for news and music related content (at first). There were some Logistics and Supply Chain accounts sharing news and backgrounds, but not quite what I wanted to see. About a year after joining I decided to create one myself, and @LogisticsMatter was born. You can see my first tweet here:
— Martijn Graat (@LogisticsMatter) April 12, 2010
As you can see it didn’t have the clear format that I would choose later on, nor did I use a url shortener. There are however a few key elements in this first tweet, that in hindsight make it very relevant for LogisticsMatter. First, it is about Logistics (duh). Second, it is a blog post on Logistics Viewpoints written by Adrian Gonzalez, who has since left and has started Talking Logistics. I will get back to him later. Third, it is about social media. Two of my biggest passions (I’m leaving music out of it for now) combined.
Right from the start my follower count rose fast, without really actively taking steps to increase that count, other than sharing good quality content curated from sources all over the Internet. I was very surprised to say the least.
Then one evening in September 2010 my wife said to me: “If so many people follow the things you curate and share, wouldn’t they also read things that you yourself would write?”. A blog was born (thanks, babe!). The first actual blog posts (I did posts with just movie clips and news at the start) were about recycling nespresso coffee capsules and lean at a day care center. Many posts would follow.
I started playing around with WordPress and tried out various designs. Finally, at the end of September I launched LogisticsMatter.com and haven’t stopped writing since. And you, readers, haven’t stopped reading since. Thanks for that!
Last week I was honored to be invited to speak about blogging at the headquarters of ORTEC, a supplier of optimization software and analytics solutions. The title of my presentation was BLOG PARTY, which combines two of my passions. Music (Bloc Party are a great band) and blogging. I talked about how LogisticsMatter started and what my approach to blogging was, where I got my inspiration, and what I got out of it. Key for me when I talk about “What’s in it for me?” is Inspiration and Energy. Yes, it is good for building your network and personal branding, but without inspiration and energy I would have stopped long ago.
The key takeaways I had for the audience, which I tried to inspire to start writing and blogging themselves, were:
- Choose Your Subject. For me it is Supply Chain and Logistics Trends, but it can be anything that gets your motor running, your creative juices flowing, or your fire burning.
- Find Inspiration. Read what others have written on the subject, keep an eye on the news, look around, or write about questions your customers are asking you
- Learn from the Masters. Look at other blogs and see what and how they write. Ultimately you will develop your own style, but there is nothing wrong with getting inspired by others. Adrian Gonzalez was my Mr Miyagi (unbeknownst to him at the time). “Words on, words off. Don’t forget to write. Very important.”
- Start Writing. This is the most important part of blogging. You have to start writing. No matter how crappy, or incoherent it seems. Start! Edit, re-edit, and if necessary, re-edit again. But Start!
- Keep Going! Starting is the hardest part, but hanging in there is not easy either. It can be tough, I know it. But it is the only way. Like Nike said: JUST DO IT
So I am going to practice what I preach. I will keep going! So please, keep coming back to read what I write. If you don’t I will be the only one enjoying it…
Also please enjoy one of my favorite BLOG PARTY, sorry, BLOC PARTY songs (which have been playing while I was writing this post):
Image credit Happy Birthday and Bloc Party