This week I am reviving my Blogger Profile series that began back in 2006. Whenever I am asked “How do you find good blogs to read?” I suggest that if you have one favourite blog already, check and see if they have a link list, blog roll, or “suggested reads” section. You’ll find the blogs recommended by someone you already enjoy and from there, you can keep jumping around a network of bloggers, discovering new favourites along the way.
Over the years I have profiled bloggers from the Northwest Territories to the Fraser Valley, anyone that interests me and that I hope will interest you as well. A few years ago I started asking a standard set of questions and I’ve sent these out to a few local bloggers for this week’s series. Click, share, explore, and enjoy.
How long has your blog been around?
Beyond the Rhetoric launched in 2006, but its story actually dates back to 1999. It started as an e-mail newsletter called Now That’s Entertainment, which eventually evolved into a Geocities website. In 2006, after finally acquiring my own domain, I “relaunched” Now That’s Entertainment as Beyond the Rhetoric and the rest is history. That backstory explains why my YouTube channel is “nte604,” for instance, instead of “BeyondTheRhetoric” or “MichaelKwan.”
What is your role/involvement (developer, owner, blogger etc.)
Owner. Operator. Blogger. Administrator. Sales Manager. Slave Driver.
What does your site do/what is it about
Beyond the Rhetoric is a mish-mash of several topics. The initial goal was simply to “tell it as it is” and “go beyond the rhetoric,” as it were. Today, many of the posts focus on entrepreneurship, working from home, life-work balance, and the business of freelancing. I also do a number of restaurant reviews and movie reviews, as well as posts on local events, grammar, writing style, personal development and inspiration.
What can people see, read, and do when visiting your blog?
I’ve made a commitment to having new content every day (except Saturdays) on the blog, so people can expect something new to read every time they visit. The comment section on each post is always open to feedback and discussion; some posts have sparked some interesting debate and I encourage everyone to put in their two cents. Even though Beyond the Rhetoric is my blog, I don’t want it to serve simply as my soapbox. It’s meant to be a platform for mature and intelligent conversation.
Why do you blog?
As a freelance writer, I’m always working to improve my craft. While I certainly get a lot of ongoing practice writing for my clients, Beyond the Rhetoric gives me a place where I can freely write about whatever comes to mind. It allows me to explore different topics while (hopefully) engaging with my audience. At the same time, it serves as an ongoing portfolio for my business, giving potential clients some insight into my typical writing style.
Even outside of my business, though, I feel that the blog gives me a platform where my voice can be heard. The great thing about the Internet is that the barrier to entry has been set quite low, granting regular people the ability to widely communicate with readers all around the world. I have regular traffic coming from places like Singapore and Australia; if it were not for the Internet and blogging, this would likely not be possible.
What is the ultimate goal for your site, how would you like to see it grow?
When I launched Beyond the Rhetoric in 2006, as mentioned above, I figured it would serve as a good ongoing portfolio of my writing. It would be a good passive and ongoing marketing tool. That’s true, but the bigger goal is to grow it in something that is bigger than just me. In the last little while, for instance, Aaron Koo and Lesley Chang have signed on to be regular contributors to the blog, in addition to the occasional guest post that I receive. As the blog grows, I hope that the number of “voices” on the blog grows with it.
While I certainly don’t foresee it becoming something like the Huffington Post, I would like to see Beyond the Rhetoric grow to become a more substantial part of my career. As much as I enjoy writing for my clients, there is just a greater sense of satisfaction when you know you’re writing for (or managing) something that is truly your own.
Read all entries in my Blogger Profile series and feel free to suggest a blogger for possible feature in the comments of this post.