Five Years And Counting As A Blogger

By Cheval John

Photo courtesy of Forbes via BigStock.com

Photo courtesy of Forbes via BigStock.com


I still remembered the day I first started blogging five years ago.

I was about to start graduate school and was at an on-campus job fair at my alma mater, Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.

There were many university departments ranging from the career services to the athletic department looking for people who would fill their positions as an intern or part-time work.

I first approached the athletic department about the possibility of working with their marketing team.

I felt that I was qualified because in the previous semester, I interned at an on-campus public relations agency called Priority One.

The public relations agency is part of the class where students form a company and do real work for clients with the SHSU university departments and in the process gain class credit towards their Mass Communications degree.

In my case, I was auditing the class (which mean I got no class credit, but payed less money for the class)

I took that route because I knew that I would have the opportunity to gain actual public relations experience that would give me an opportunity to compete with other graduates for work at a marketing/public relations company.

So I applied for the marketing position at the athletic department’s booth and got rejected because I was overqualified.

A couple of minutes later, I saw the booth of the college’s newspaper of record, “The Houstonian”

I went up to the booth and the editor-of-chief of the newspaper had asked me if I had wanted to be their blogger.

Prior to her asking me about becoming their blogger, I had a vague idea of what a blog was.

That idea of a blog probably came about from an NCIS episode when the main character, Gibbs, asked the forensic scientist, Abby, what a blog was since the sister of special agent McGee, who was portrayed by Trioan Bellasario, had a blog.

And since I did not had any prior blogging experience, I could have told her, “No, I don’t want to work as a blogger.”

However, I said yes to the opportunity of becoming a blogger because I knew that it would allow me to become part of the college newspaper and gain experience as a journalist.

I was then connected with the person who was in charge of their social media to set up an account for the blog.

She had “recommended” using WordPress to set up the blog.

It was at that time, I came up with the name, “What’s The Word?” and created the blog with the free WordPress.com account.

After that, the social media editor linked the blog to the school’s newspaper account.

Then, I written my very first blog post on January 27th, 2011 entitled, “Hello Everyone,” which for some reason, the blog date is 6 hours ahead of central time.

It was awesome to realize that I was simultaneously blogging for the school newspaper and myself because I was the only one who had access to this blog.

I also knew that I had the platform to share my opinions of what is happening on my college’s campus, the sports world, etc.

It was also cool that blogging led me to become a sportswriter because of my curiousity to see what it would be like to cover a sporting event.

And the opportunity came about when the SHSU baseball and softball team was hosting a weekend series during spring break.

I decided to attend the softball double-header matchup on Saturday and then the baseball matchup on Sunday.

This blog post, “A Weekend Not To Remember” came about from covering both athletic teams that weekend.

Also, that spring break weekend of covering those sporting events got me hooked on being a sports writer.

As a sportwriter for the college newspaper, I was able to cover the SHSU Volleyball team and simultaneously covered the SHSU Football Team run toward the national championship for the blog.

Eventually, I “left” the school newspaper after I took a semester off from graduate school and converted this blog into my media company, “Vallano Media.”

At the same time, I became a freelance sportswriter for the Huntsville Item in addition to running this company and covered teams that won conference championships in their respective sports.

I have also written two books and hosted a podcast called, “What’s The Word?” on BlogTalkRadio (now recording the show on the live streaming platform called blab first).

The reason why I will continue to blog is because I still have the desire to make a positive impact in the world for the better.

Plus, I know that I am apart of a crowd who are setting themselves up for success for the better because of their blogs, podcasts, YouTube channel, etc.

The people above will thrive for the better despite the continued layoffs due to companies shutting down or merging to become a giant corporation.

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About Cheval John

Cheval John is the Founder and CEO of Vallano Media, LLC, a marketing agency that helps businesses to use social media correctly to build a loyal following. Cheval is also the host of an online radio show/podcast called, "What's The Word?" He is the author of two books including the Amazon Best-Seller, "8 Lessons Every Podcaster Needs To Learn." He has spoken at Social Media Week Lima in Ohio and at Social Media Day Houston 2017 about topics around live streaming and podcasting. Cheval has been featured in media outlets like Ebony Magazine and was named a Houston Top 25 Social Media Power Influencer in 2016 and 2017.

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