When I started this effort last September, I had visions of making it into a full social network for both cigar lovers and those involved in the industry. That didn’t work … oh well.
But through the use of this blog, some important underlying technologies, great search-engine optimization, videos about cigars and booze, and sweepstakes/giveaways, I was able to quickly build Stogie’d into a mid-tier brand among those serving the cigar enthusiast.
I also learned how to spell words like “enthusiast” and “aficionado” the first time I typed them in … without triggering Firefox’s dictionary (squiggly red underline) functionality. So I got that going for me. Which is nice.
I learned a lot along the way. I mean … a lot:
I learned that some local cigar shops are eager to help people like me out (Signature Cigars, The Tobacco Leaf), while others couldn’t care less whether I existed or not (I’d love to mention the offending chain of stores in the DC area that fits this category, but I’ll bite my tongue on that one).
I also learned that there’s not nearly as much camaraderie among cigar bloggers as I thought there would be; although I did meet several who conduct their sites like I do — with a sense of openness and a willingness to help anyone, even if they might be considered “competition.” Among the truly good people are the people behind Stogie Fresh, CigarFriendly.US and Stogie Review. The truly bad are … well, I’m not that kind of guy.
Most of all, I had entirely too much fun serving a community that is very tight and cohesive, but needs voices out there to protect its rights. I was proud to be one of those voices, but I know there’s plenty of others out there who will carry on the cause. I will continue the fight in my private life, though.
Why am I putting the site on hiatus? My real business is taking off very quickly, which (very unfortunately) means I have don’t have the kind of time that’s needed for this blog or the videos I did for it. I loved, loved, LOVED doing both, as they tapped into some talents I hadn’t used in quite a while. If nothing else, I proved to myself that I still have the chops to write, build a quality site and shoot/produce some good looking videos.
By the way, if you know of a business needing to improve their digital marketing — whether they’re a business depending on local customers or one that’s more business-to-business (B2B) or nationwide in focus, have ‘em give me a holler.
All of that being said, if anyone out there wants to take over Stogie’d somehow and make it their own, please let me know. I’m amenable to a lot of different kinds of arrangements. Please use the Contact form at my company’s main Website to get in touch with me.
I’m not pronouncing the site “dead,” because I want it to continue on under someone else’s careful hand (that hopefully has a cigar in it). In fact, it’s my hope that it will continue.
In the meantime, my experience with this site and its success in its short almost six-month run is going to make for a great case study. I’ll let the cigar community know when it is published.