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Author Topic: Monthly journal of my blog's progress  (Read 10509 times)

r00tbeer

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Monthly journal of my blog's progress
« on: February 05, 2012, 09:23:42 PM »
I made my first post to my blog on January 4th.  I guess you could say that it was a New Years resolution to get this thing going after listening to Jack's podcast.  I am sick and tired of spending my entire life working for other people and honestly I don't know how I can go on the rest of my life with the traditional boss-employee relationship.  It just doesn't suit my personality AT ALL.  I dread waking up weekday mornings.  How do people work for someone else their entire lives without going crazy???

19 posts later and I am still at it.  Don't laugh at "only" 19 posts -- my posts are very long and require a lot of research.

My site traffic is pretty low.  I am still under 200 visits according to Google analytics.  This I guess is the hard part for me.  I thought about just deleting the blog and moving on and trying something else after on January 22nd when I had 0 visits in 24 hours... so I didn't post for a few days.  Then I realized that just sitting around doing nothing wasn't going to accomplish anything.  If I keep doing nothing my life is never going to change and I will still be stuck in the same job working with the same people.  Also I was surprised that doing nothing makes me depressed since I know my life is going nowhere.   Iam not usually able to do one thing for an entire month without giving up on it.  However, I enjoy writing even though it is a lot of work.  Also the FMWJ podcast has helped me a lot to stay motivated and gives me ideas.

I have had a lot of business ideas before, spent a lot of time and money researching things that were a waste of time, and even had my own website at one point (back when Netscape 4 was the best web browser, if anyone can still remember that).  The thing I have to do differently this time is just to stick with it.  If I spend my entire life bouncing from one thing to the next, I will never build up enough momentum to create a business that can support my lifestyle.

The biggest thing I think I need to do is some guest posts on other blogs to drive some traffic to my site.  Although I have setup a post-to-twitter plugin I have not really got that completely setup along with facebook or any other social networking stuff.  I cannot publicize this too much because my employer wouldn't like that I am starting a second career as a blogger.  A lot of the social networking stuff requires your full name which is annoying.  I did get a post on a forum that referenced my blog (not this forum) and that drove a lot of traffic to my site, so I know it can work.

I have a lot of ideas of where I can go with this website.  I hope it works out.  Overall I think if I can keep producing quality content and get my site out there on other forums and other blogs I will be very successful with this.  I have a lot of knowledge and experience that I can share with people.  Most important, just doing something gives me hope that I can work towards a better life even though I am not sure what form it will ultimately take!
« Last Edit: April 01, 2012, 11:37:19 AM by r00tbeer »

humblemechanic

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Re: Thoughts after one month of blogging
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2012, 10:26:31 PM »
It sounds like your doing pretty well to me. I have been blogging every day for about a month as well. My site is not super pretty(update is coming soon). I just focus on CONTENT, and interactions.
The content part is hard for me. Some posts are really good, some are not great but still have value. People seem to like the pictures and videos that I have over just reading what I have to say.  

The interaction on FB and twitter is the fun part for me. I have met some great folks that I interact with almost everyday. They have become my core group of readers. Well, them and my friends and family.

My immediate boss is in full support of what I am doing, but I try to keep it pretty low around work. That is hard to do when your a mechanic, blogging about being a mechanic. :)

I get really excited when one of my posts has over 100 views. There are some post that get 10 comments on it, and some that get none. Some times people will talk about it on twitter, or the post I make on FB. Just remember that they are your fans too.  

KEEP WORKING! It will all pay off in time. Something I tell young mechanics is, "Don't worry about the money, develop the skills and habits, from day one. The money will come!"
Blogging about car repair and life in a VW dealership

UFAB

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Re: Thoughts after one month of blogging
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2012, 10:18:53 PM »
You're doing better than you think. I took a 5 day internet business course that cost a pretty penny, and there were 200 people in the class. A month after the class ended, I noticed that a majority of my classmates stopped blogging twice a week which was the set goal.

So that you've stuck to it is pretty impressive...

jrj

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Re: Thoughts after one month of blogging
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2012, 03:28:40 AM »
I made my first post to my blog on January 4th.  ... 19 posts later and I am still at it.  Don't laugh at "only" 19 posts -- my posts are very long and require a lot of research...

Thank you for sharing... I'll do a 30, 60, and 90 day update for my latest project as well. This kind of information is really useful, as it's important for people to realize that it usually takes time to catch on, and it's important to stick with it through the first few months while you're blogging/podcasting to virtually no readers/listeners/viewers.

This will be REALLY valuable around month 6 or 12 when your site has caught on and you're generating a reasonable income from it-- please continue the updates as you progress.
--- JRJ : Adobe PM, former Microsoftie, recovering serial entrepreneur, Geek.
       http://www.jrj.org | http://twitter.jrj.org | http://facebook.jrj.org

BillyS

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Re: Thoughts after one month of blogging
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2012, 07:57:39 AM »
From looking at your site, it is very technical. It looks good and is full of what looks like valuable information, but because of your niche, I would expect it's going to take you a bit longer to gather an audience than, say, a site full of girls or cats. Don't be discouraged. The sort of thing you are doing is both very valuable and very rare. It's just going to take some time and patience to get what you want. And I'm with you on the 9-5. Nothing that is worth it is easy, my friend.

r00tbeer

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Re: Thoughts after one month of blogging
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2012, 03:04:24 PM »
Quote
I get really excited when one of my posts has over 100 views. There are some post that get 10 comments on it, and some that get none. Some times people will talk about it on twitter, or the post I make on FB. Just remember that they are your fans too.

I have had some luck with youtube videos.. they get a decent number of hits (more than a blog post).  I am sort of afraid of twitter because I used it before with another account and it is a big time sink if I am not careful.  I spend my whole day following other peoples tweets...

Quote
You're doing better than you think. I took a 5 day internet business course that cost a pretty penny, and there were 200 people in the class. A month after the class ended, I noticed that a majority of my classmates stopped blogging twice a week which was the set goal.

Heh.. I'm going for five blog posts a week, but may scale it back later once I get a 100 total posts.
You would think that "blogging is so easy, anybody can do it", but I sometimes have trouble coming up with something new and creative for every day.  Maybe with your class people signed up thinking it is easier than it really is!

Quote
Thank you for sharing... I'll do a 30, 60, and 90 day update for my latest project as well. This kind of information is really useful, as it's important for people to realize that it usually takes time to catch on, and it's important to stick with it through the first few months while you're blogging/podcasting to virtually no readers/listeners/viewers.

This will be REALLY valuable around month 6 or 12 when your site has caught on and you're generating a reasonable income from it-- please continue the updates as you progress.

Yes I would like to read that if you post it.  I will try to keep this thread updated as I go.

Quote
From looking at your site, it is very technical. It looks good and is full of what looks like valuable information, but because of your niche, I would expect it's going to take you a bit longer to gather an audience than, say, a site full of girls or cats. Don't be discouraged. The sort of thing you are doing is both very valuable and very rare. It's just going to take some time and patience to get what you want. And I'm with you on the 9-5. Nothing that is worth it is easy, my friend.

My theory is that if I am discussing some more obscure topics it will be more likely to be picked up in a Google search.  Whereas if I am talking about girls and cats, it will be hard to get very high in the search rankings.  I am still working on getting it a little more focused actually.

UFAB

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Re: Thoughts after one month of blogging
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2012, 11:35:55 PM »
Quote
You're doing better than you think. I took a 5 day internet business course that cost a pretty penny, and there were 200 people in the class. A month after the class ended, I noticed that a majority of my classmates stopped blogging twice a week which was the set goal.

Heh.. I'm going for five blog posts a week, but may scale it back later once I get a 100 total posts.
You would think that "blogging is so easy, anybody can do it", but I sometimes have trouble coming up with something new and creative for every day.  Maybe with your class people signed up thinking it is easier than it really is!

That's right! That's how they sold it, that having an online business is very easy. I applaud your 5 posts a week. I am up to three, and after blogging for over a year twice a week, even that sometimes gets hard.

I just looked at your site and I can see all the work you put into each post.  I just want to say that I get discouraged too, but I just have a 10 minute rant to myself and I just sit down and keep going. Keep up the good work!

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Re: Thoughts after one month of blogging
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2012, 09:02:15 PM »
Congradulations on the blogging.  19 posts at that timeline is great!   I started roughly the same time as you and just published my 31st today.  My Word Press stats show that nine people showed up today and I didn't get any likes or followers from todays or yesterdays blog.  That's ok.  I don't expect to hit it out of the park every time.  That doesn't mean I'm not swinging though.  We're roughly a month old, and you know what?  We have more people looking at us now than we did on day one.  That's good.  I'm excited because I have 11 people following me.  That's 11 people that have decided to take some of their personal time to read what I've posted every week day.

That's awesome! 

Look at it that way.  You are reaching people you never did before.  That rocks!

Just keep pumping out great content.  The people will find you.

r00tbeer

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Re: Thoughts after one month of blogging
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2012, 07:38:37 PM »
Thanks for the encouragement UFAB and Landscaper!

Month #2 Update

Well, guess what folks, I am still at it.  I just posted my 40th article and have had 703 visits since I installed Google Analytics in January (does not count my own visits).  I know some people on the forum get more than 700 visits in a single day, but for me it is a nice improvement from January and the number of daily visitors is steadily increasing.

One big thing I want to let people know about is if you are using a Twitter plugin make sure you are have a working URL shortener.  Up until about 2 weeks ago I was tweeting just my URL which contains-the-title-of-my-post-with-dashes.  I figured that would be good enough for search engines since the words are in there.  However, once I switched it to use a URL shortener, my 160 character limit was enough that I could tweet the title of the post without dashes.  As soon as I did that, I started getting hits from twitter from people I didn't know!  I don't know if there is some Twitter search engine or something, but whatever it is doesn't work with dash seperated words (as opposed to space separated words).

The main thing I have been focusing on is just getting out a post every weekday night, making my site have five posts a week just like TSP.  This is really time consuming for me... at a minimum my posts take an hour to write.. and longer if I have to do research.  However, I am deliberately working on making informative posts since I don't have a podcast or anything else to draw people in.

I have not done any social networking beyond twitter, and my SEO is nonexistent, but I am working on getting that straightened out.  I know my visitors:article ratio is way off and I have too few visitors.  However every day I think of my most important task is getting a post out, and only after that do I screw around with plugins or whatever.  Due to being at the office all day it is very tough to get out a post every night and have time enough (or desire enough) to try to figure out why my facebook plugin doesn't work, etc.

I do have Jack's SEO pdf which he recently posted on his blog.  I just haven't had time to follow up on it.  I like the idea of building a site network.  I actually registered a couple domains for that, but usually by the end of the day of sitting in front of a computer, coming home and posting a super long and complicated post, and then catching up with whatever else I have to do around the house, I'm not sure I am going to be able to use those other domains.  I have thought about changing my posting frequency to just three times a week and using Tuesday and Thursday to build site networks and guest posts and stuff like that, but I don't know if it is worth it.  Perhaps it is better to just stick to making a quality post every day and let SEO work itself out naturally.  I have also thought about contributing to some open source programming projects (my site is about technology) just as a way to get my name out there which I know from past experience would get me a lot of links.

I am wondering if anyone here has experimented with different post frequencies and has any opinion on what is the best number of posts per week?  I especially want to hear from people who are not podcasters and actually like to write long posts (I like writing).

UFAB

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Re: Thoughts after one month of blogging
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2012, 11:50:23 AM »
Hi r00tbeer,
Congrats! I admire your tenacity, especially with a full-time job.

I don't know anything about your niche, but would it be as time consuming to do a commentary article on someone else's article or someone else's video? And i think the ideas you had about getting your name and website out you should run with.

I just upped my blog frequency to 5x a week. I have noticed more sign-ups to my email list and commenting, but I've also networked on FB, twitter, and go around checking out other blogs in my niche and commenting, so I'm not sure what exactly the uptick is due to. That's an interesting question about frequency, but I suppose Jack's answer is 5!

Thanks for the report. I found it helpful.

Mil

r00tbeer

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Re: Thoughts after one month of blogging
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2012, 01:38:18 PM »
Do you mean just talk about someone else's blog posts / videos and link to them?  Yeah, that is a good idea.  I will have to try it.  Strangely I don't actually read blogs of people in the IT industry.. just a couple news sites.  But I can look around.

I have been thinking about this and have decided to work on the SEO stuff some... I drew up a map of a site network I can create... the sites in red I could finish in a day and the green one will take a week probably.  I don't think it would be a big deal if I took a few days off from my main blog site to work on building the site network.




Rehovoth

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Re: Thoughts after one month of blogging
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2012, 09:12:36 PM »
I just recently dropped back from 5 to 3 posts per week, and my traffic went up slightly, then the last few days has dropped almost in half.
It's just too much at this point trying to do a post/podcast every day, and have it be good content, while trying to spend time with the family.
I do use the non-post days to work on appearance and technical aspects of the site.
I had done 5 per week up to then. Maybe people are disappointed? Guess I need to be more consistent?
On the plus side, I did get the podcast up on iTunes: The Permaculture Life
Still waiting for my coverart to show up.  ???
"In theory, theory and reality are the same. In reality, they're not." - Adapted from Yogi Berra

The Permaculture Life - Enhancing Self-Security Though Practical Permaculture

r00tbeer

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Re: Thoughts after one month of blogging
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2012, 07:45:29 PM »
I just recently dropped back from 5 to 3 posts per week, and my traffic went up slightly, then the last few days has dropped almost in half.
It's just too much at this point trying to do a post/podcast every day, and have it be good content, while trying to spend time with the family.
I do use the non-post days to work on appearance and technical aspects of the site.
I had done 5 per week up to then. Maybe people are disappointed? Guess I need to be more consistent?
On the plus side, I did get the podcast up on iTunes: The Permaculture Life
Still waiting for my coverart to show up.  ???

Okay I will give you some suggestions.  I don't know if this will help or not, since I know nothing about permaculture.

Regarding podcasting, I don't know a lot about it either.  I listened to your Permaculture Economics one and there is a bit of a hum in the background.  I like to listen with high volume so I noticed it.  Also I think it would help if you had some intro music or something.  You know, how Jack always sounds pumped up at the beginning of his podcast.. maybe you could do something like that.. kind of an intro thing along with music.

Another thing, when I think about permaculture I want to see videos of peoples gardens and howto type stuff.  I am a complete newbie, so I don't even know how to put a plant in the ground and how to know how when to water it.  That is probably too basic for your audience but it is just an example.  Maybe like a video of you planting something with some instructionals about how to plan a garden layout (since it is almost spring).  I looked on your site but didn't see any videos you've created... I see you have links to other peoples videos though.  If you have made any, I have an idea -- make a link in your menu bar that goes to directly your Youtube channel.  This way people can find your videos easily.

Personally I got 376 hits off two Youtube videos I made in the past two months.  I never looked at my Youtube views until now, so that surprises me!  That is over half the number of hits on as my entire website which has 40 posts... and I only have 2 videos!!  After looking at your site and wondering if you have any youtube videos, I realized that I have the same problem on my site.  People can't find the videos.  So, to fix this, I just made a menu bar entry that goes directly to my Youtube channel.

At first I thought that the Youtube videos would make "easy posts" since it wouldn't take as long as a typed out post.  However, for me it takes as long if not longer to make a video than a post, because I edit the video to cut out some of the boring parts.  Sony Vegas has to do some processing of the video which takes a long time too.

As far as the time it takes to blog... I agree, it's tough!  Just to give an example about how ridiculous the time I am spending on this is: I just bought a SILENT rubber keyboard.  The reason I bought this is because I do so much typing for posts on my blog I think I am annoying people around me with my loud keystrokes.... LOL because I can literally be typing for hours when I am working on some project for a post.  Some of my posts require programming so I have to type up some computer programs and then type up a post to describe the program or review the programming language or whatever.

So, yeah, the time it takes up is something I have not figured out yet.  I am really determined to try to stick to the five posts a week though when I can.  I know this is something we can be successful at.  You can see that Jack did it with his survival podcast.  Maybe it will take more work for us than him, but really this is all or nothing, at least for me.  I am sure that if I just put in some half-assed effort it is not going to go anywhere.  So I am going to keep trying until it works!!  I refuse to accept failure...

r00tbeer

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Re: Monthly journal of my blog's progress
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2012, 12:34:32 PM »
Blogging Update - Three Months Completed

I now have 57 posts on my blog.  They are all very long, so it is actually a pretty big accomplishment for me to reach fifty posts.  I have been doing five posts a week (each weeknight), up until last week.  I have decided now that I have fifty posts, it is okay to slow down a bit.  I am now going to do three posts a week: Mon-Wed-Fri nights.  The problem I was having is that I spent all my free time writing blog posts and had no time for anything else.  One of my readers told me they couldn't believe one person could write so much stuff.

In retrospect, I am not sure that posting tons of information was really the right way to go.  I don't think Google really cares about quality content.  The only thing Google looks at are how many links go to the site.  In the case of my site, there are only a very small number of links to it.  If you believe that content matters to Google, just do a search for any term and look at some of the top results.  Most of them are garbage.

I did try the site network thing with some free blogs at the beginning of the month, but I don't think it accomplished anything.  I never did see anything in the Incoming Links section of my Wordpress dashboard.  I even have real people linking to my site now, and still nothing shows up in Incoming Links.  I am thinking that the function in Wordpress doesn't work or at least doesn't work in the way I expected it to.

I had the All in One SEO plugin installed but I never really bothered to use it until March 16th.  I just didn't have time to research what it was supposed to do.  However, in the middle of the month I went back to watch some of Jack's old podcasts about how to setup a site and that was what got me to start using some Wordpress plugins.  When I was starting my blog, I had enough on my plate just trying to figure out how to setup and use Wordpress.  Stuff like plugins was way beyond my simple understanding of blogging.  Now that I have a better feel for how Wordpress works, I found there is some good info in those old videos of Jack's which I didn't understand when he first published them.

I have only had 1,163 visits since the start of my blog (excluding my own visits - Source: Google Analytics).  I also have exactly 900 views on Youtube.  From talking to some people who I know read my blog, I got the impression that my posts were too complicated.  They were impressed by what I was writing but had no idea what I was talking about.  I am not sure what I can do to fix that, since my passion happens to be things that are not simple to explain.  I guess I could just write posts "How to plug a mouse into your computer" or "How to start Microsoft Word" but I think I would get tired of that sort of thing very quickly.

I have been thinking that maybe I should start a different blog about a different topic that is more appealing to normal people.  Besides technology, the only other thing I know a lot about is Finance.  I could write a blog about investing in stocks, gold, or whatever, because I personally do those things and have a lot of experience in it.  Also, by definition, people who visit investment sites have money to invest.  That could be good if I had a newsletter for them to subscribe to.

However, I am not really passionate about financial topics.  I am interested in it, but not passionate.

Furthermore, I have been thinking about different ways to make money with a technology website.  I thought about writing an ebook, but that is a lot of effort and I don't think I have enough site visitors to justify it.  I have also been thinking about using my site as a sort of demonstration of my abilities so that I could get some work through a site like elance.

Why elance?  I do have a day job already -- my main goal is just to not have a boss.  If I could get a lot of contract work maybe I could do that instead of a normal 9-5 job.  I actually like working - I just hate taking orders or knowing that someone can tell me when I am allowed to eat, when and where I have to show up, and when I am allowed leave.  It pisses me off to know that someone has that much control over my life.

That's it for this month.

Goals for next month:
  • I am focusing on getting one big electronics project done for my site.  Perhaps I could get some people to link to me if I finish it.
  • I am buying a $250 video camera so I can make better videos on Youtube.  I have had far more success on Youtube than in blogging.  I need to learn more about video editing.
  • I am also trying to work on networking with some other people's blogs by reading them and posting comments.


save our skills

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Re: Monthly journal of my blog's progress
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2012, 01:52:03 PM »
I have been thinking that maybe I should start a different blog about a different topic that is more appealing to normal people.  Besides technology, the only other thing I know a lot about is Finance.  I could write a blog about investing in stocks, gold, or whatever, because I personally do those things and have a lot of experience in it.  Also, by definition, people who visit investment sites have money to invest.  That could be good if I had a newsletter for them to subscribe to.



A few bits of advice... take with a healthy dose of sodium as I'm not exactly an uber successful blogger

Summation:
Your site has a confusing mix of beginner oriented articles and hardcore geek articles

Detail:
ummm... technology is certainly appealing to normal people. Gizmodo, engadget.. 2 of the most popular blogs on the net.

So you just need to decide on your niche. I think your complaint in this post about some people finding your articles too complicated.. that's because they probably found their way to your blog via a beginner style article and then clicked around and got confused by your more geeky oriented articles.

Your blog has a confusing message in that way. You need to determine who your audience is and build content for them. So are you talking to beginners or hard-core geeks? Both viable niches... but don't mix the 2 up. Just my 2 cents. There are plenty of both around... so start with the idea - who do you like to talk to more?

My gut tells me that if you want to create another blog then I would make a new one which tackles technology subjects from the novice point of view and keep your automation blog targeted at hard core geeks.    So when you are writing to hardcore geeks I'd go ahead and make certain assumptions that they know what 1080p means,(for example). However this gives you an opportunity to link 1080p over to the beginner site which has an article "1080p, 720p, 480what???? A beginners guide to resolutions" 

ALSO the smaller the niche the easier they are to capture.... If you are "tech" that is HUGE niche. I might end up on your blog to read your apple TV article... but when I don't see any other internet TV or home theater articles I might just leave and never come back.   Now if your blog has other stuff about HDTV, google TV, roku, etc... now your speaking to my tech niche and I want to read more articles and subscribe.

Not saying you can't be successful with a broad topic, but it's a much tougher go of it.


Then once you figure that bit out you just need to find people in your space and start interacting with them.   Try building some link bait around some hot or controversial topics in your space.

Maybe write an article "10 reasons I hate reddit" (only if you hate reddit)... that's a good example of link bait..  It's an easily digestible list that people will be likely to create a link to and comment on.  Maybe this would be good link bait for a social media review blog or a social media marketing blog or something...

I have one on my blog here and it's gotten a good bit of attention:
http://www.saveourskills.com/20-surefire-tips-child-fat

I'm going to make more link bait style posts in the future



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