Kickin’ the Habit

Blogging is a freaking narcotic. Once you get the taste of an audience, you have to have it every day, preferably several times a day.

Yet, we all know where narcotics lead, when abused. To laziness, sloppiness, poor health, bad decisions and so on.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve recently kicked my blogging habit. I shuttered my music blog, my wine/beer blog, and more significantly, I stopped “blogging” on AdPulp on April 7, 2012.

By blogging I refer to the light- to medium-weight updates that often refer to a primary source. Clearly, there are other ways to conduct oneself online. No one is forcing me to aggregate or to reformulate the day’s ad news. Truth be told, no one is encouraging me either. I’ve always enjoyed producing content for this site, regardless. But now, with repeated use the narcotic has weakened.

I do see a path forward, one where I push the old blogging habit aside and focus instead on original reporting and essay writing. I still enjoy writing thoughtful pieces on MarCom’s most pressing topics, and I believe there’s a good reason to do so.

The thing is, there has to be a direct line from these so-called “thought leadership” pieces to a paid offering. And there is, on On Bonehook, there’s no marketplace confusion about who I am or why I’m sharing. There’s also no confusion about my priorities.

AdPulp has always been a side project, but I have not always treated it as such. Hanging up my blogging boots for a month has helped me to see the blog for the trees.

Of course, AdPulp isn’t done by any stretch. Shawn, Wade and Dan all continue to invest their time and efforts in the site, and I’m working behind the scenes to pull some AdPulp-branded eBooks from our archive, to recruit more voices to these pages and I remain active on AdPulp’s Facebook page (which is better suited to lightweight updates like featuring new work).

AdPulp is also different from a favorite campaign that one points to forevermore in a portfolio — this is a living, breathing media brand and it continues to evolve day by day. So, to be clear, I’m not walking away from AdPulp, I’m changing my daily routine.

Finally, I want to thank new and longtime readers for your interest. The great majority of you are silent, but I’m willing to entertain the possibility that your silence is a sign that you’re listening.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Vinny Warren says:

    david, sad to hear you’re hanging it up.  adpulp was the first ad blog i remember getting into  back in the day.   as you know i’ve been a fan for years.   but you’re right about blogging being a mild narcotic.  an audience is an audience.  a hit is a hit. 

    and things change.  all things change.  

    good luck my friend.


    • I’m hanging “blogging” up, not AdPulp. I left an opening here for original reporting and essays that don’t make sense, for whatever reason, to post to For example, WebVisions just wrote this afternoon to ask if I’d like to cover their event next week. 

      That’s reporting, not blogging. Sorry for the confusion, and for my insistence on terms. You know I love hearing that you’re a fan. And my god man, you’re a Sponsor! So thank YOU, Vinny Warren.

  2. Steffan Postaer says:

    Like Vinny, you were one of the first trade blogs I ever read. Hell, you were one of the first blogs I ever read! You’ve helped me with my blogging and have been a “go to” source for just about everything related to this silly business of ours. Good luck. Stay close and connected, as I know you will. -Steffan

  3. HighJive says:

    Well David, I’ll just toss out a few thoughts.


    In programs like Narcotics Anonymous, members are encouraged
    to write “Victory Lists”— compiling all the positive things that they
    experience. If you try it with a focus on your blogging efforts, I’m confident
    you’d quickly see there have been far more benefits and victories than not.
    While the blogging did not appear to reap the financial rewards you hoped for,
    I suspect you will ultimately receive compensation in other ways. The
    WebVisions invitation proves it. Just make sure you charge them appropriately
    for your services. Plus, for writers, blogging can serve as great practice or
    conditioning. Whether you realize it or not, your prolific output has made you
    a speedy writer, which can be invaluable when agencies/content sources need
    someone to help them out of a jam fast. Others will still be sharpening their
    pencils and powering up their laptops while you’ll have already delivered a
    perfect solution. Believe me, that is a great skill in these times. The World
    Wide Web demands that you deliver messages right now. Wait a few days, and you’re
    old news.


    I’ve always said it’s tough to make blogging profitable. If
    your goal is to generate profit, I would say run away from blogging. But I’m
    not convinced it’s right to condemn blogging. Different strokes for different
    folks. I’ve never considered my blog to be a money generator—otherwise, I would
    have stopped after the first week. It’s just something I want to do. I also
    have no real reason for reading the blogs I do. But I do read AdPulp, and I do
    appreciate the work that you, Danny and the crew put into it. However, I’m
    never going to send any of you a bloody dime for publishing it. Sorry.



    • Yes, I can make a long list of benefits that have come from my practice here. No doubt. And I don’t mean to imply that I haven’t benefited, because I have, and I will continue to benefit. 

      As for your bloody dimes, perhaps I’ll be able to motivate you to part with a few of them when I come back with an eBook that you’d like to read. Or a t-shirt you’d like to wear. We shall see. 

      Thanks for being such a loyal reader and participant here, High Jive. Your take on things is needed, and I enjoy hearing from you on race, and other pressing matters.