The Social Media Examiner Top 10: A Blog Built in 17 Months [Part 1]

[This is the first of a series of posts that will focus on what I did to build a blog and business from nothing to one of Social Media Examiner’s Top 10 Social Media Blogs of 2013 in 17 months. Read Part 2 here. Also make sure to read my post about how much I invested in my business to get there.]

I woke up yesterday morning to a voice mail notification and a long list of email and ping back alerts. Something was going down, and I was sleeping through it.

Social Media Examiner Top Social Media Blogs of 2013
SWEET validation for a tough 2012!
You may have noticed a new badge on the right hand side of this site for the Social Media Examiner Top 10 Social Media Blogs of 2013. I am a proud new member of this exclusive fraternity. And it feels awesome.

In and of themselves, awards and recognition don’t mean much. But given where I’ve come from and what I’ve been through the past 17 months, this was sweet, sweet validation.

This was the capper on the most difficult — yet most rewarding — 17 month stretch of my professional life.

First, let me say that the danger of such recognition is getting caught up in it. It’s important to remember that it is based on the subjective assessment of three people. Three people I respect immensely (and three people who will now find themselves on my Christmas card list) but three different people could have easily left me off of the list.

There are likely dozens of blogs that deserved similar recognition. I wouldn’t necessarily say I feel lucky to have been named, but I do acknowledge a certain level of good fortune.

That said, the success of my blog has not been by accident. A year ago, I looked at the 2012 version of the Top Social Media Blogs and used it as a guide and as inspiration.

When that list came out, it had been about five months since I was laid off. My business and blog lacked a clear path, and I was making close to no money.

Those first five months were marred by entrepreneurial paralysis. Starting my own business was completely new. I was overwhelmed. I was wearing several hats I had never worn before. I was afraid to take risks. And as a father and sole provider of a family of five, I was scared and losing confidence fast.

But the start of 2012 marked a change for me. And that list was my roadmap.

I followed those people on that list. People like Marcus Sheridan and Heidi Cohen were a big reason for my newfound direction. I read these and other blogs religiously, soaking up as much knowledge as I could.

It was far fetched at the time, but I actually set it as a goal to make that list. Given where my blog was then, I may not have been thinking straight (this was a secret I told no one until now). But it’s by setting seemingly impossible-to-reach goals that makes them possible to reach.

Looking back on the past 17 months to the day that I wrote my first blog post on August 29, 2011… No doubt about it, it was hard.

I know that my blog was not built in a day. I want you to know that it wasn’t built in a day so that you can set realistic expectations. What you see today is the result of a series of failures and changes, redesigns and restarts, experiments and wild guesses.

I want to share my story with you for this reason. My blog is imperfect. It is less imperfect than it was a year ago, but don’t believe for a minute that I set out on this journey 17 months ago with a clear strategy. I tell my story because I know that you may be struggling with your own frustrations and are ready to give up.

Don’t give up.

You may see me as “The Facebook Guy,” but listen… I’m no different. When I started my Facebook Page on November 4, 2011, I wrote 36 posts during the first month. Of those 36 posts, 26 didn’t receive a single comment or like. I know it’s hard.

Today, my Page is a thriving community and referral engine of close to 9,000 Facebook Fans. And I did it on a shoestring budget.

When I started my blog, it often seemed pointless. No one was reading. I couldn’t get any big names to acknowledge my existence. But my inexperience and lack of confidence showed through. I nearly gave up.

During October and November of 2011, I received fewer than 4,000 page views in each month. But now these pages have received more views than that on every DAY of 2013. And now the recognition is coming.

I found a purpose. I found my niche. I found my routine. And I found focus.

The past 10 years have been a trail of both personal and professional adversity, adventure, tragedy and triumph. And right now, I feel like I’m on top of the world.

No matter where you joined my journey, I want to thank you. Thanks for being a part of it. Just know that 2013 will be the year that we dominate Facebook and social media marketing — leading to measurable leads, revenue and results — together.

And who knows? Maybe next year at about this time, you’ll be talking about your path to the Social Media Examiner Top Blogs of 2014 list. And maybe — just maybe — my blog provided some inspiration to get you there.

[In Part 2, I detail the steps I took to go from the launch of an ignored website to one of Social Media Examiner’s Top 10 Social Media Blogs of 2013 in 17 months. READ IT NOW!]

  • Scott Ayres

    Congrats bro! I’ve only recently come across you and I love the content you push out. You’re a machine for sure and every guy out there doing it alone should learn from you. Welcome to the Top 10 club!! There is an initiation involved and some hazing.. We’ll tell you about it later.. haha

    • Jon Loomer

      Thanks, Scott! I can handle initiations. Hoping it involves alcohol!

  • Ian Cleary

    Great story Jon! It shows the power of goal setting.

    • Jon Loomer

      Thanks, Ian! And the power of being a stubborn SOB!

  • Jose Jimenez

    Well done Jon and looking forward to reading your insights on the journey from when you started off to today.

    • Jon Loomer

      Thanks, Jose! Stick around, my friend.

  • faruk

    WOW! Amazing story.

    Just like to take this moment and say that your few of many that I subscribe to and look forward to your emails.

    • Jon Loomer

      Thank you so much!

  • Paolo Sini

    Great Jon. People like you, Markus Sheridan, Pat Flynn are an inspiration for me. I’m going to launch my own blog in the next future and I hope I will have the focus and commitment you had. I live in Italy and I think it will not be an easy path. Let’s see what happens. I will continue reading your blog and learn as much as I can.

    • Jon Loomer

      Wow, being mentioned in the same breath as Marcus and Pat is quite the honor, Paolo. No matter where you live, you can do it. Just keep at it, keep adjusting and keep learning. Good luck!

  • Michael A. Stelzner

    Jon – Congrats. It just goes to show you that hard work and determination can pay off

    • Jon Loomer

      Absolutely, Michael. Thanks for all that you do!

  • makemyblogmoney

    I was also nominated, however, I did not receive the final prize! Your post is true. I started the blog back in April 2012 and was really surprised to even be nominated! Even though I didn’t win one of the Top Ten spots, it makes me want to work even harder for next year!

    • Jon Loomer

      WOW! Getting nominated after starting in April is an amazing story. You should tell it!

      • makemyblogmoney

        Yeah maybe, but I did contact you with some pressing questions that I have, and look forward to your reply. Do you think telling how I was nominated, but didn’t win, would make for a good story though?

        • Jon Loomer

          Replied to your email, Wade.

          You weren’t just nominated (there were 750 or so of those), you were a finalist, right? That’s a HUGE deal, particularly given how young your site is. That means that those three judges thought enough of your work to put you on the short list even though you had just gotten started.

          You’re writing about making money with your blog. This is some social proof that what you’re doing is working. I can’t imagine that any of the other 22 blogs were as young as yours.

          • makemyblogmoney

            You’re right, of course. I’m just kicking myself that I got so close, yet it seems so far, lol! I’m definitely going to be on that list next year! Thanks for the informative email, btw, it really encouraged me to keep doing what I’m doing!

  • anna cadiz bennett

    Congratulations and well deserved! You’re a great inspiration to me and others!

    • Jon Loomer

      Thanks for your continued support, Anna!

  • Carlos Guzman

    congrats Jon!

    • Jon Loomer

      Thanks, Carlos!

  • Andrew Voirol

    Motivating…hope I’m writing a similar article in a year!

    • Jon Loomer

      You can do it, Andrew!

  • Scott Linklater

    I don’t agree there was an element of luck Jon. Your blog is so clearly and easily in the top ten on social media that it would have been a total farce had it not made the list. The recognition you have received is 100% deserved and I thank you for the awesome content you provide every day!


    • Reid Rosefelt

      I agree with you, Scott. Jon is essential reading

    • Jon Loomer

      Well, thanks, Scott. I still think beauty is in the eye of the beholder, though. There are some very well respected blogs that I hate. Luckily, they didn’t hate mine!

  • Dan Keating

    Very well done. I am very interested in how you thought during this time as well as what you did. My experience and the subjects I write about leads me to believe it was how your thought tied into your actions is what led to your success.In this regard everyone is seemingly very unique. I wish you an additional success and even more awards in your future.

    • Jon Loomer

      More on that soon, Dan. Thanks!

  • Juliette Rule

    Congratulations, Jon! May all the success you deserve be yours in 2013. (I have a feeling it will be!)

    • Jon Loomer

      Back atcha, Juliette! Thanks for everything.

  • Amanda Starr

    Wow. … That was an awesome article & very inspiring for where I am in my jewellery business now … Thanks Jon & congratulations … You ROCK!

    • Jon Loomer

      Thanks, Amanda!

  • Michal Smetana

    “I found a purpose. I found my niche. I found my routine. And I found focus.” This is something that all of bloggers should ‘find out’ before starting a blog/writing an article. @jonloomer:disqus, thank you very much for this motivating article and congratulations for the appreciation of your great work.

    • Jon Loomer

      Thanks, Michal. I’d actually argue that they don’t need to figure this out before starting. Sure, they should predetermine some type of purpose and routine, but it’s going to change immensely as they go. That true focus and purpose often won’t come until jumping in and swimming for a while.

  • Sadie-Michaela Harris

    Great content always shareable :)

    • Jon Loomer

      You’re awesome, Sadie, thanks!

  • Juliette Esper

    Hi Jon, I’ve only been following your blog and website since December and it was very exciting to see that it is relatively new (17 months ??? ) I think you are one of mine 15 must watch Facebook sources for sure, to only speak about Facebook. Motivating! You bet!!!

    • Jon Loomer

      Love to hear that, Juliette! Thanks for reading!

  • Jason Deitch

    Congratulations… Great work that’s much appreciated…

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  • Muhammad Adil

    Hi Jon, I just came to your blog first time and have red few posts found that you are doing a superb job. Now I gonna stick there to learn things from you. Hopefully you will answer my questions and come up with more unique and inspiring content. Thanks

  • Bit gauge

    hey jon, your blog is so informative. thanks for sharing..