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Gini Dietrich

Seven Years of Blogging. Happy Birthday, Spin Sucks!

By: Gini Dietrich | September 10, 2013 | 
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Seven Years of Blogging. Happy Birthday, Spin Sucks!By Gini Dietrich

Seven years ago tomorrow, Spin Sucks was born.

Seven years. That’s kind of crazy, isn’t it?

I’ve been thinking about this anniversary a lot this year. We’ve come a long way and I thought it’d be fun to share where it started.

In the Beginning

We launched this blog because some of the industry leaders were talking about this blogging thing. Back then, there was no such thing as WordPress or Blogger. There were no themes you could customize for your design. There were no plugins to help you learn search engine optimization. There were no social share buttons.

It was all done on Typepad and it wasn’t pretty in the least.

Case in point. I’m not sure who wrote the introductory blog post, but here is the very first entry.

Screen Shot 2013-09-06 at 9.57.39 AM

I’m pretty sure that’s not more than 200 words, there are no hyperlinks, no keywords, no social shares, no subheads, no bullet points. Nothing that makes a blog post easier to read. And what the heck is the footnote? Oh my.

There were 23 of us at the time and we decided everyone would write, from the interns on up to me. We didn’t have an editor and there wasn’t a consistent way of doing things. The only rule was you had to write about something that was happening that made the PR industry look bad.

More Examples

We didn’t have guidelines that called for no politics in blog posts, consistency in hyperlinking to other articles, or even the use of images.

Screen Shot 2013-09-06 at 9.59.56 AM

Screen Shot 2013-09-06 at 10.01.16 AM

It wasn’t until two years later we started to understand the whole blogging thing a little bit better. But it still wasn’t great.

Screen Shot 2013-09-06 at 10.02.46 AM

The voice was inconsistent, the editing was non-existent, and the topics were wishy-washy.

It wasn’t until the summer of 2010, when a young man who was a graduate student at Northwestern University came to me and said he really liked what we were doing with the blog, but he had some ideas to help it grow.

I hired him for a residency and he set to work on adding guest bloggers, creating weekly posts (Facebook question of the week used to be a blog post that published every Wednesday), and holding me accountable to writing three times a week … and by 8 a.m. on those days.

Because of him, we created goals (and exceeded them) and grew this little thing into something that now requires a full-time person’s attention (yay Lindsay Bell!).

The Stats

On July 23, 2008, we installed Google analytics so we don’t have metrics from the first year. But here is what has happened since then:

  • We’ve published 2,240 blog posts
  • There have been 107,636 comments
  • There have been nearly 1.5 million visitors
  • There have been more than three million pageviews

More importantly, we dropped FADS from the branding to become just “Spin Sucks.”

We began inviting guest bloggers three years ago, but I can’t tell you how many of those blog posts are from you. I’d venture to guess 600, or about 25 percent of all published posts. Not too shabby!

What’s Next?

In July of this year, I scaled back on my writing to just four times a week (it was seven) and we’re continuing that test through the end of September.

Once Spin Sucks (the book!) is off to the printer, I’ll turn my focus to longer form content to create in-depth articles for “PR” searches, podcasting, cornerstone content, and more.

This is a place to test, take some risk, track the metrics, make some tweaks, and report back so you can learn something and implement in your own blogging efforts. If there is anything you’d like us to try, I’d be happy to take a stab at it.

So here we are. Happy seventh birthday, Spin Sucks! Here’s to many more!

Special thanks to Jay Dolan for the image.

UPDATE (September 10 at 1:20 p.m.): There are people who insist in finding something wrong with everything I write. Today it is that WordPress and Blogger did exist when we started blogging. I stand corrected.

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communications firm. She is the lead blogger here at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. She is the co-author of Marketing in the Round and co-host of Inside PR. Her second book, Spin Sucks, is available now.

139 comments
photo chris
photo chris

Is there cake??? Every birthday should have cake. GREAT cake! Happy Birthday team! So glad you were "born." :-)

davedelaney
davedelaney

Happy belated 7th! Thanks for sharing all of this amazing content. 

midlifexpress
midlifexpress

Blogger not around seven years ago? That's odd because I started using it in 2002!

LauraPetrolino
LauraPetrolino

This would actually be a good blog if @yvettepistorio would just write her own content instead of plagiarizing everyone elses'! 

But regardless, super wow to this! How amazing (and inspiring to others) to see how far this blog has come and how much it has evolved and developed. You all have taken content and turned it into a living community. A family. So really more than a 'happy birthday', we all owe you a THANK YOU,  for providing us with this fantastic place to meet and exchange ideas. The land of misfit toys (which I guess would make @belllindsay Rudolph and @ginidietrich Sam the Snowman)

Spin Sucks Christmas Special....coming up next!!!!

patmrhoads
patmrhoads

Since I do have some narcissistic tendencies, and you're getting too much of the attention here, I'd like to find a way to somehow make this about me. But I'm failing to think of anything good, so I'll go for trying to look like a super nice guy. So, happy birthday, Spin Sucks!

On a completely unrelated side note, I got neither enough sleep last night or enough coffee this morning. Just saying...

Ali_Davies
Ali_Davies

Happy birthday to the whole Spin Sucks team. And thanks for the reminder that this whole blogging malarkey is a process that keeps on evolving, consistently  - as do we. 

Anthony_Rodriguez
Anthony_Rodriguez

I started reading Spin Sucks in 2011 and glad that I found it. You and the community here have provided me with a lot of ideas that have helped me professionally. And for that, I thank you. Happy birthday, Spin Sucks!!!

EricPudalov
EricPudalov

Happy birthday Spin Sucks!!  Wow...I remember when it was called "FADS"!!  Am I dating myself here?  Glad to see how much you've grown and how much valuable info you've all contributed to the PR community.

RebeccaTodd
RebeccaTodd

"Insect Terminator and Philosopher" may be my next business card.

Happy happy happy anniversary to you, Charlie, and the AD team! Whilst I was not around from day 1, I've loved watching the Spin Sucks blog grow and change. From the amazing guest posts to Ell Bee's fabulous editing to the conversations here in the comments, both with Yvette and other team AD folks and also with my fellow Crazies, Spin Sucks has become, if not a daily stop for me, a place I check in a few times a week to learn and laugh. (RAT note- just TRY and edit THAT sentence, Ell Bee!!!) Oh yeah, and sometimes fight a little. 

I appreciate the efforts of the you and your team, Lil G! Congratulations! 

Adam | Customer Experience
Adam | Customer Experience

Wow Gini — 7 years! That truly is amazing. But even more amazing is the fact that you’ve created what, IMHO, is the strongest blog community on the Interwebz. 

You deserve it all. Kudos!

KevinVandever
KevinVandever

I've known you since you were two or three. It seems like forever because seven years in blog years is like, what...100 in people years? You've grown and aged well. Thanks for allowing me to engage with "The Crazies" and to periodically bring value with a comment or reply (yeah, I'm fishing. It's OK for you to say that everything I write adds value to the blog). 

Happy Birthday!

belllindsay
belllindsay

You've come a long way baby. Happy to be part of the team. I was going to say "you couldn't have done it without me" but then I thought I'd probably just get fired again. :D

ExtremelyAvg
ExtremelyAvg

Happy Anniversary. It has been fun to watch you grown and I've enjoyed writing the occasional guest post. Now, where is the cake. I was told there would be cake.

Latest blog post: A Good Day With The Words

kevinanselmo
kevinanselmo

Happy birthday Spin Sucks! Many thanks for all you have done to educate audiences about marketing, communications and public relations. I am particularly grateful for the knowledge I have gleaned from reading Spin Sucks over the years.

tressalynne
tressalynne

Wowza! Like many, I appreciate all the wisdom and through-provoking conversation that happens here. Happy blogiversary. :)

DwayneAlicie
DwayneAlicie

Happy Birthday to Spin Sucks!  And here's to many more years of inspiring people and changing the perception of the PR industry. I know the community around this blog has done a number on me since I started reading it. I'm sitting in a Public Relations class in the last semester of my belated undergrad degree in marketing, poised to go practice, partly in thanks to reading the content here and thinking, "I WANT TO DO THAT AND BE LIKE THOSE PEOPLE EVERY DAY." Thanks to Gini and everyone else who has contributed to this blog and community!

A Virgo -- I knew it!!!

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

Wow Happy Birthday! I didn't even read blogs until the summer of 2008. Didn't start one til 2009 on Blogger. You done well. But maybe we can crowd source a way to bring back FADS.

Funneling Alcohol Dads on Scooters

Future Anachronistic Dreadnaught Snookers

Forty American Doctors Skiing

I need help from @bdorman264 @bobledrew @jasonkonopinksi @kmueller62 @KDillabough we must bring back the FADS. We can do it! But damn this is hard!


patmrhoads
patmrhoads

@ginidietrich Chai latte, which isn't nearly enough caffeine. I may have to go out for round two.

patmrhoads
patmrhoads

@belllindsay, oh so YOU'RE the one stealing all my thunder. Hmph. Well, given your brilliant wit, broad experience, and unmatchably cool fashion sense, I'll acquiesce the throne of attention to you... for now.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Gini Dietrich is one of the hardest working people I know. She’s also a very patient teacher. […]

  2. […] others got it really right . Congrats SpinSucks and Gini Dietrich & Co for 7 years of blogging! Wow! We, the Nuts about PR girls, want to get there, too […]

  3. […] Gini Dietrich is one of the hardest working people I know. She’s also a very patient teacher. […]