How I Became a CM: I’ve Been One For Years — I Just Didn’t Know It

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I starting publishing my wine blog almost 10 years ago at least in part because my day job in technology marketing wasn’t scratching my creative itch enough. It was — and still is — a creative outlet for me, even if my work situation has improved significantly.

In the 10 years that I’ve run and grown the site, I’ve expanded the team of contributors to more than 12, built up far more Twitter followers and wine-obsessed Facebook friends than I ever imagined and nurtured an ever-growing number of regular readers, nudging them over time to comment more on our stories. I like to think that our editorial is now tailored to that audience and when we veer off track, they let us know.

For years I’ve been trying to figure out how to make a living in the wine writing world. But, there are very few people who make their full-time living doing that. The number seems to shrink every year as newspapers and magazines tighten budgets or shut their doors. I had largely given up on merging my passion for wine and my blog with my day job.

How I Became a CM - Lenn Thompson

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to leave my content management role in the marketing department and become a community manager. I had my reservations, of course. The first 15 years of my career were spent in marketing, mostly in digital and content roles. I knew it was time for a change, but was this the right change?

As I thought about it more throughout the interview process, it dawned on me — I’d already been a community manager for many years, just not officially or at my day job. I had built up a group of content contributors. I had built and audience and nurtured readers into becoming contributors. And I had used all of the tools available to me — primarily social media — to enhance the ‘home base’ community on my website.

I jumped in head first and I haven’t looked back. I guess I’m merged my two world after all — just not in the way I had originally intended.

Lenn Thompson

Community Manager, Community Programs at CA Technologies
Lenn Thompson, Community Manager, Community Programs at CA Technologies has worked for more than 15 years in varied fields across digital, social media and content marketing and strategy. For the past 10 years, he has worked as a key member of the team, leveraging his content expertise to drive initiatives around content quality, governance, strategy and processes, as well as managing a production team and serving as editor-in-chief of the homepage. Lenn lives in Miller Place, NY with his wife, two kids and trusty beagle — and when not working, can often be found managing, where he is the founder and executive editor.
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  1. […] I starting publishing my wine blog almost 10 years ago at least in part because my day job in technology marketing wasn’t scratching my creative itch enough.  […]

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