Before I launched this site, I had a Tumblr where I documented my thoughts. It was very all over the place as far as content goes, but it was my little corner of the Web and I used it consistently. I interviewed local creatives and interspersed throughout were memes, quotes, and pictures of Paris. All over the place.
When I started fresh with Say Hello to the City, I knew my content would need to be less sporadic and more thoughtful. I think I’ve done a decent job of honing in on things and keep my content “on brand”. Over the years, I've learned quite a bit from running this site, but the biggest lesson I've learned is that having an online presence is important because you never know who's reading.
I wrote a guide to Des Moines a few years ago and whenever I receive random emails, it's usually because of that guide. I receive a lot of random emails, by the way. Like, one time, Emily Henderson emailed me asking for hotel recommendations and then another time, someone from Pinterest reached out about local businesses who used their platform. WHAT?!
These sort of opportunities don't happen to everyone and they definitely wouldn't be happening to me if I wasn't regularly churning out content. By having a persistent web presence, I've found myself on some sort of platform and when you're on a platform, people tend to notice you and opportunities come your way that otherwise wouldn't.
The Internet (and social media, too) have changed the art of networking. It's so, so easy to shoot someone a message asking for advice and often, they're happy to help! I wouldn’t hesitate to email Emily Henderson if I ever found myself in Los Angeles. Why not?
The bottom line is that having an online presence makes it easier for interesting stuff to happen to you. Like, emails from Emily Henderson or Pinterest. In so many ways, the Internet has rid the world of the idea of "the stranger."
If you think about it: I'm not friends with Emily Henderson, but we're not really strangers either. You know?