We all hear about the benefits of blogging. Yes, it can generate traffic to our website. Yes it can induce more leads and sales. And yes, blogging can make some, if not a lot, of money.

But today I’d like to submit that there is also a magical side of blogging most folks generally overlook. Frankly, the big reward here often times has nothing to do with dollar bills. No, it’s much, much more than that.

When I look back on what has transpired for me in 2011, I can only smile in awe of what has took place these past 365 days. Without question, it has been an amazing year on many levels, but much of the blessings have been a direct result of the labors I’ve put in here with The Sales Lion.

So to paint this picture clearer, here are my top 5 magical moments I received from my blog in 2011, and when I’m done, I’d love to hear yours as well.

1. Meeting a Hero, Fulfilling a Dream

A while back I mentioned in a post that I met one of my heroes, Tony Caridi (The radio voice of the West Virginia Mountaineers), when he contacted me to help him better leverage Hubspot and have more success with his inbound marketing.  When I went out to meet with Tony and his staff, not only did he give me a full tour of everything WVU, but weeks later I also ended up sitting with him in the press box for the biggest game of the season, WVU vs. LSU. Although we didn’t win the game, it was an experience I’ll never forget. And one last thing—The video you see in the upper right hand side of this page was produced by Tony’s company as well, something that was done in a trade, and an element of this site that has generated many more speaking opportunities for me since.

Sitting in the Pressbox of the WVU vs. LSU game

2. 25 Minutes in Cleveland That Changed Everything

I’ve talked a few times about some of the experiences I had at Content Marketing World this year, but without question that one event, and the short 25 minute presentation I gave, were a quantum leap in my career.

The events of CMW lead to multiple other speaking engagements, including Blog World LA and the Mesh Conference in Canada. But more importantly, during my time in Cleveland I established relationships with some really, really amazing people, like Amy Porterfield, Michael Stelzner, Joe Pulizzi, CC Chapman, Deb Ng, Jay Baer, and others.

Standing with Joe Pulizzi at Content Marketing World

3. Canadians are Awesome

As I mentioned in #2, a few months ago I spoke at the Mesh Marketing event in Toronto Canada. Although I’ve had fun just about everywhere I’ve spoken these past few years, none were quite like Mesh, which I owe to the fact that Canadians are passionate about social media (at least in Toronto) like I am about bacon for every meal :-). As I explained in my “Twitter is the Greatest Feedback Tool in the World’ article, the reaction I got from that event, and the people I met, were all unforgettable.

Like I said, Canadians are awesome :-)

4. A Simple Trip to Michigan

One of the great parts of this blog and what I do is the fact that companies hire me to come out and speak to their organization about the power of inbound and content marketing. Although I did this a few times this year, one that really stands out is my trip to Lansing Michigan when I met with the folks from Block Imaging. To make a long story short, after speaking and conversing with their staff over the course of an entire day, I truly came to care about their people, their vision, and the integrity they stand for as a company.  Months later, I’m still closely following their marketing progress and keeping in touch with some of their employees.

Speaking in Michigan, a truly rewarding experience

5. Boston Baby!

Another opportunity that came from this blog in 2011 was speaking at the Hubspot User Conference in Boston. As everyone knows, I have strong feelings about the power of Hubspot and Inbound Marketing, and so getting a chance to help fellow Hubspotters on a large yet personal level is very rewarding.

But not only that, after I gave my seminar and went out for a bite to eat, I realized the Boston Red Sox were playing, so my business partner Jason and I walked down to famous Fenway to see the historic structure.

Minutes later, as I described in much detail here, Jason and I had walked straight through the gates without paying and found a seat next to the famous ‘Green Monster’ in left field, which was a moment neither one of us will ever forget.

Nothing like just walking into historic Fenway Park

5.5 When Online Friends Become ‘Real Life Friends’

I know I only said there would be 5 magical moments listed here, but I’d be very remiss if I didn’t mention the relationships I formed with some incredible people online this past year. For example, when I attended Blog World New York, I finally was able to catch up in person with two of my favorite online people(and super-talented bloggers): Gini Dietrich and John Falchetto.

Myself, Gini Dietrich, and John Falchetto in NYC

Meeting Gini and John only solidified what I already knew—Online relationships can be very, very real, especially when properly nurtured over time.

In reality, I could mention many other wonderful people I’ve formed strong relationships with this year because of this blog, but I’m sure you understand my point. In fact, I’d imagine that if you’ve been blogging long enough, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

 Again, It Isn’t Just About the Money

20 years from now, when I look back on 2011, one thing I know for certain is that money will not be the first thing to come to mind. Yes, this year was a financial success, but the magical moments, smiling faces, and relationships built will make up the memories that will stand the test of time.

As for 2012, I simply can’t wait to turn the page and see how the wonderful story continues to unfold.

Your Turn:

So those are my magical moments that resulted from my blog  in 2011, now I’d love to hear a few of yours. Whether it was a business blessing, a personal lesson, or something very simple—Please share with the community here a blessing or two your received from blogging this past year.

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59 thoughts on “5 Magical Moments Blogging Brought Me in 2011

  1. Nice year, Marcus. Even though I am a Yankee fan, I feel the same way about Fenway and Boston in general. Fantastic places to visit.

    Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas, and continued success to you in 2012.

    • That’s so kind of you to say Joe, and it’s been a serious pleasure meeting you this past year my friend. Thanks for all you do and all you believe in….and your willingness to share it.


  2. As always Marcus, you know what really matters. I, too, feel blessed because of blogging. Not just my own blog/blogs (soon to be condensed into one kick-ass website) but The Blogstress Network, which has also brought amazing relationships into my life. It’s been a year of fits and starts, and may always be a work in progress, but that’s life.

    It’s been a pleasure to ‘meet’ you this year. Perhaps someday we’ll chat over a cup of coffee somewhere.
    Carry on!

    • I’d absolutely have a ‘IRL’ chat sometime Barbara, that’d be wonderful!

      And way to go with your blog and the Blogstress Network as well. You’ve done much to be proud of! :-)


  3. hey Marcus,

    I have missed reading your blog and decided to stop by again – AWESOME post….yes I am also an active blogger, and the most amazing thing from my blog this year has been having a blog reader come out to China to join me – http://blog.michaelmichelini.com/2011/10/welcome-doug-a-fresh-american-seo-joins-the-team-in-shenzhen-china.html

    I think being an open, upfront blogger with a real voice MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE – those boring corporate blogs make people fall asleep, and afraid to actually contact the person.

    In addition to Doug joining me, other great things from the blog is the ability to thank great businesses and people I come across….people look forward to me blogging my reflections from their company.

    rock on brother! cheers to continued blogging success in 2012!


    • That’s so cool Michael! Wow man, that Doug must really share your vision and passion….sweet!

      So glad you had a great 2011 man and may you continue to smile :-)


  4. Good man Marcus, you can see in your face how happy and memorable these moments are – the camera doesn’t lie. For me this year the most magical moment was when I set up my new blog and fellow bloggers from my years on the old one simply came over without being asked to add their support, say hi, add input, help with the launch etc. Boy, that brought a tear to my eye especially when one told me it was because they respected me so much. That is my Christmas present this year because it truly means so much. Blogging is more than friendship at a distance, it’s camaraderie in spirit and human togetherness in action.

    Thank you for all you’ve done this year Marcus for all of us. I drop by all the time because I genuinely love your message and how wide your heart is to encourage us to get the best out of ourselves and our business efforts. You are our Santa for the other 364 days a year! Merry Christmas my blogging buddy!!

    • John, you’re just too good man, what can I say? Your perspective on the world, and on personal growth, is uncanny and so unique.

      Thanks for all your support this past year and for calling me on the phone as well. That really meant a lot to me my friend.


  5. The most magical moment that resulted from my blog this year is that I’ve met a lot of new friends online (I’ve met some them personally 2 days ago and I really had fun!)

    I’ve also met a lot of mentors online this year who are really willing to help at all times (you are one of them).

    Hope to learn more from you Marcus! :) Keep up the good work!

  6. Hi Marcus,

    It sounds like it was a great year. Hope 2012 is even better. Happy Holidays my friend.

    • Thanks so much for saying that Jack. It was an incredible year, no question about it.

      Happy holidays to you too my friend,


  7. You make it not about the money… That’s what makes YOU special Bro… That’s why people dig your vibe and why one my most fantastic moments of 2011 was our Skype call last week…

    As always you’re an inspiration.

    Here’s to killing it in 2012 and helping as many people as we can along the way!

    Ryan H.

    • That’s very, very kind of you Ryan. I’m proud of you man and you’re doing great things…and people are starting to take notice to.

      Keep surging brother and don’t let off the pedal,


  8. I thought Gini Dietrich and John Falchetto were everyone’s favorite online people? :)

    Onward and upward for you, Marcus. It’s great to read about your continued success and great moments from 2011.

    Since I started blogging in September it’s opened up a whole new world to me, honestly.

    Here’s to a great 2012, Sir!

    • Yes, Gini and John are just that Craig…amazing people man.

      As for you, I’m just expecting at least 1 video in 2012 ;-)

      Keep rocking and growing :-)


      • YES, AGREED! Very glad to know them both … and you, Sir!

        There will be at least one :) ;)

  9. What a great year for you, Marcus! Congrats!

    I’d say one of my favorite parts of 2011 was finally being able to attend my first BlogWorld! It was great to meet so many online folks in the flesh–finally! And, of course, your session was my most favorite (I don’t give out Gold Star Awards lightly, my friend!).

    Here’s to a wonderfully fantastic 2012 for all of us!

    • I LOVE my gold star Amber!! :-)

      And the next time your in one of my audiences, I’m going to pick on you much more now that I know you’re so dang awesome. :-)

      Thanks so much for your support my friend,


  10. First, I can totally relate to your Canada experience. Long story short, my husb judges marching band competitions and I often go along. Several years ago we did one in Canada and sitting in the stands, not knowing anyone, I don’t think I’ve even been made to feel so welcome. So another shout out to our awesome friends across the border!

    As far as magical moments, I have to say that blogging is at its best when it’s a two way street, meaning you write your own and also participate on other people’s blogs. That’s where some great things have happened for me. Just to list a few:

    1. I’ve also started some wonderful online relationships with generous people like you, Paul Wolfe, Danny Iny, Tom Treanor, & Denise Wakeman that will hopefully turn into in-person meetings one day. BTW, this means you have to let me know next time you’re in MI :-). I’ve also been honored that some have even stopped by my little patch on the net. Made my day. There is absolutely no way to put a price on all the things I’ve learned and gained from these and a myriad of others this year. I am so grateful.

    2. Another bright spot happened just the other day. Thanks to another blog connection (which has already been an in person connection once) a book I wrote was just delivered last week by a family on a mission trip bringing God’s love to a boys center/shelter in Cambodia. Such a Christmas gift knowing how it is being used in service and help to others literally half way around the world.

    I also join the others who have written Christmas wishes so far. A merry, joy filled and peaceful Christmas to everyone.

    • Wow, loved, loved this comment Cheryl. You have hit on the personal, professional, and spiritual here, and that brings me a huge smile.

      You’re going to do some amazing things in 2012 Cheryl, so just keep with it my friend. :-)


  11. Love it, Love it, Love it!

    You are a true inspiration my friend!

    • Dittos Joe. I’ll be quite sincere here in saying I hope you and I are working together in this industry for a long time to come. :)


  12. Raj

    Good to know that you’ve had a lot of fun in the last year. I hope I can have such moments next year – I will come back in another year to record my exciting moments in this space…… :)

    • I’d love to see you do that Raj. In many way, my blog, although about ‘business’, is also the journal of my life. I think it’s important we talk about milestones and goals often.

      Wishing you an amazing 2012 my friend, and thanks so much for all your support,


  13. Marcus,

    That’s one excellent journey my friend. It was great meeting you in the early part of this year and getting to watch all of these amazing things happen for you as the year progressed.

    Looking forward to what 2012 will bring! I am sure it will be gangbusters.

    Happy holidays!

    • The feeling is mutual Adam. You’re one heck of a guy with an extremely bright future in this industry.

      Keep rockin brother,


  14. Cedric

    It was a good read. Hope you have more good things coming your way in the future.

  15. Hey Marcus,

    Wow – what a year! Some awesome stories there. Little bit jealous ;) but very happy for you.

    I’ve been blogging for almost exactly six months (it feels like a lot longer than that…), and haven’t yet experienced any “knock your socks off” moments as per yours above (that is for 2012!). But there have been some highlights that have come about directly from my blog:

    – “Meeting” some very cool people online (yourself included, of course!). I hope to take these friendships “offline” in the future, as you have.
    – Getting to know my readers and attracting some enthusiastic supporters!
    – Writing for WPMU.org and getting involved with a really great team and a cool project.
    – Quitting my job! Well, that happens in 3 days, but it’s close enough!

    2011 has been a bit of warm-up for me. I’m hoping that this time next year, I will have some really great stories.



    • LOVE IT! Yes Tom, you really have had your own banner year, no question. Heck, and I’m really mean this, but you’ve experienced way more in your first 6 months than I did in my first 6 months, so way to go my man!

      I’ll be watching you from across the pond in 2012 my friend, and cheering you along the whole way.


      • Thanks Marcus – that really does mean a lot to me :) here’s to a successful 2012 for us all!

  16. Well, Marcus !!
    You have had a remarkable journey in a relatively short time. I cannot imagine what successes lay ahead of you- I am sure many. Well done. I am happy that our paths have crossed.

    I have been blogging for a short period of time and yes, although you read it all the time, people have been the primary rewards. It has been great so far.

    However listening to you speak in Toronto, I took another learning that has not be touched on and I was waiting to write a blog on it. What the heck! The power of coming out from behind the computer and presenting to people which is what you do. With having experienced your lively personality, it is like a mental recording that is automatically replayed everytime I read your post. Very powerful and valuable on many levels. So thank you for this pearl I collected….. and keep it up.


    • LOVED this Shirley :-)

      Yes, there is a power of coming out behind the computer. For me, there is nothing better than being at these events and shaking hands with people in the room, having conversation, and laughing together afterwards.

      So glad we got a chance to meet in Toronto Shirley and I hope you have an amazing 2012 of growth, happiness, and prosperity. :-)


  17. Well, there are two things for which I’m pretty happy about blogging in 2011. First my traffic has finally gone higher and now increasing on a weekly basis; imagine how it can be when I’ll finally be a “real” blogger and not an amateur like today. :)

    Second my knowledge of the blogging field has increased enormously, especially when I went out and begun interacting with other bloggers. I was a bit unsure, so to speak, but in reality great bloggers consider even newbies like me and these are the ones worth following and learning from. Any reference to you Marcus is just a coincidence.

    2 and half one of those great bloggers gave me some good advices which, if not already, will surely increase the quality of my blog.

    And even earnings are increasing, this is point 2 and three quarters.

    All in all a great 2011 and I’m very, very thankful for this, just hoping that if the world doesn’t end the 2012 will be even better.

    Merry Christmas to everyone! :)

    • That’s so GREAT Andrea! Really, I’m thrilled for you and it appears like you’ve clearly got momentum now on your side.

      So just keep pushing in 2012 and the magic will continue!

      Thanks for all your support,


  18. So cool! what an amazing year you’ve had! And here’s to an even more amazing one in 2012 … I’ll be fighting for the mention in your 2012 blogging moments round up ;-)

    • Hahahaha, I just can’t wait to see what yours looks like at the end of this next year Ameena!! It’s going to be awesome. :-)

      I’ll be watching the whole way….



    • Now that, my good uncle, takes the cake!

      Truer words never spoken ;-)


  20. Hi Marcus,

    What a year 2011 has been for you. It’s amazing, and I feel that I’ve been here following every step you’ve taken and I’ve learned a lot.

    My 2011 has been very interesting as well, and it’s mostly about the writing process (the novel), but it’s also about connecting with some brilliant people and setting a goal for 2012. I’m launching a business in 2012, my first one. It’s scary, but I’ve discovered that this is the right thing to do.

    Thanks a lot for sharing all your awesome knowledge Marcus.

    • A business? Really Jens? Dude, that is so awesome!!!! Shoot me an email sometime and maybe we could even skype about it! :)

      You rock buddy, and I’m watching you too!


  21. Love it, Marcus! It’s true! Blogging leads to some amazing things! I think it’s so awesome that yours has led you on the adventures it has! It has opened the door for me in some pretty amazing ways – I’ve met online personalities I’ve admired for years! And I’ve gotten to know people in a “pen-pal” sort of way all over the world. It’s incredible. Cheers to you, my friend! Hope you have a great Christmas!

    • The benefits of blogging are something that simply can’t be understood until one is living and breathing it, and then the process can have an amazing effect on anyone. That’s certainly the case with the both of us Bryan and it thrills me to see you drawing so much from this labor of love we call ‘blogging’. ;-)

      Merry Christmas brother,


  22. Krista Kotrla

    Congrats on your amazing year, Marcus. That really is a fun-tastic list that I imagine will grow to 25+ magical moments by this same time next year. Our Block Imaging team is incredibly honored by your comments, guidance and, of course, your friendship. Your “simple trip to Lansing” was a pivotal moment for us. I could not have asked for a better speaker to help our entire team learn about the power of content marketing. Your engaging speaking style, your tons of examples and your confidence in our team inspired everyone to embrace content marketing and (most important) feel empowered to participate. Thank you so much for making it a magical moment for us as well. Here’s to an even more exciting 2012! We are honored to be part of TSL storyline. Keep doing your thang… You’re awesome, dude!

    • Ahh Krista, your enthusiasm for life and kind words are truly infectious. And, in all reality, you get wayyyyyyyy more credit than me for what’s happening with Block. They are incredibly blessed to have you, that much is for certain. :-)

      Merry Christmas my friend,


  23. Boy! It’s a good thing you added a half. I was about to say, “BUT WE HAD NEW YORK!” It has been an absolute blast getting to know you this year, Marcus. I know I’m not serious with you very often, but I mean that from the very bottom of my heart. I have one more thing to deliver for you this year, which I’ll do as soon as I get home to Utah in a few days.

    Much love…and Merry Christmas!

    • A gift from Utah….Hmmmm, now you’ve got me thinking… ;-)

      Well, you already know that I think you’re beyond exceptional as a person, friend, and leader. Can’t wait to see what 2012 brings for the both of us. :)


  24. What a year, my friend. And I know 2012 is going to be bigger and better. Yes, for me too ! (more videos for sure) Can’t thank you enough for all your support and encouragement. I look forward to meting you “in person” this year and hope to share the stage with you one day. Continued success for you Marcus. The best is yet to come.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your beautiful family.

    I will cheer for the Mountaineers,but you have to cheer for ‘Bama. Roll Tide !

    Take CARE.


    • You’re a great person who is making a difference Al, I’m proud to call you a friend. :-)

      As for Bama, honestly, I still have yet to pick a favorite for that game. They are just so close.

      Good luck bud!!


  25. That’s really beautiful Marcus, and injects a lot of humanity into the ‘business’ of blogging :) Thanks for sharing man, (and sorry I missed you in the T-Dot, I love this city and I’m glad you had a good experience!)

    • ‘Humanity’ is a beautiful word that too easily gets lost in all of this Jason, that’s for sure.

      Really appreciate you coming by my friend,


  26. Hi Marcus,

    Late to the party, thanks for the mention here Buddy. Meeting you IRL was definitely a huge moment for Ameena and I this year.

    Can’t wait for 2012, 2011 was only a warm-up :)

  27. That was an eventful year indeed. I can imagine how exciting year 2012 will be for you. More blessings to come!

  28. Sounds like you had a terrific and exciting year. Glad to hear that mesh and Canada were part of it! Have an awesome 2012!


  29. Awesome, seriously awesome.Great presentation.Thanks for sharing.It is very useful.

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