I have been blogging about link building and online marketing for approximately one year now.
Whilst my analytics don’t exactly tell the tale of the most successful website on the internet, they certainly don’t tell the whole story.
This snapshot of the last year’s weekly visits tells you pretty much everything you need to know:
(Obviously, weekly site visits isn’t my only metric for success here, but, you know, it’s an easy place to start.)
Even though we’re dealing with pretty modest figures here, the steady decline in visitors post-March is disconcerting.
Up until February time, everything was heading in the right direction.
Then, for whatever reason (busy, time, blah blah blah) the frequency of my blogs dropped.
Whilst the graph is still punctuated with spikes when I do publish, on average the weekly visitors has fallen.
I went from publishing three posts a month to just the one.
I fell out of my routine, telling myself it was in favour of quality over quantity.
At the same time though, I knew that as a fledgling blogger, the more you write the better you get.
I should have just kept on shipping.
So, aside from knowing I need to write more, what else have I learned?
My content’s not great, but…
Understanding what it takes to consistently produce good blog posts has been a pretty steep learning curve.
When I read some of my earlier posts I cringe and ask what possessed me.
They’re a pretty good demonstration of how naive I was and how little I knew when I started.
At the end of the day, everybody has an opinion. If you’ve relatively little experience and you’re blog is predicated on giving industry comment, then it is unlikely your posts are going to offer value to anybody but yourself.
If you look at the most shared posts on this blog (sidebar —>) they all have one thing in common, in that they do offer useful information that you can take-away.
They’re useful, as opposed to thought provoking.
I know the whole ‘offer actionable advice’ is a bit of a platitude here and I’m not going to carry on regurgitating it. It is, however, interesting to see it play-out for yourself.
All that said, whilst I do want to create content useful for others, it wasn’t the sole motivation for starting.
Originally, it was this Seth Godin video that kick-started the blogging thing for me:
I blog for myself as opposed to anybody else. It helps cement my own thought processes and opinions.
It forces me to describe why I do what I do, out-loud.
Whilst I’d like to be better at it, I know the readership figures are not the be all and end all.
The second thing that’s really hit home over the past year is how important the appearance side of the web is.
Even with all the short-cuts that are available, I don’t think you can get around needing to understand the basics of HTML.
By no means am I saying this site is perfect, far from it. Nor am I saying I do understand the basics.
I definitely appreciate it a lot more now than I ever have done and want to know more.
Relative to how the blog used to look 12 months ago though, there is vast improvement.
Little things like consistent image formatting, use of header tags and font choice all add up in giving your blog more enjoyable to browse.
Less clutter is better. Let the content speak for itself. Make it easy to read and stop perennially trying to shift people’s attention.
Again though, I’ve been the primary benefactor of this. Yeah, it’s made my site look better but it’s been the best way for me to actually get my hands dirty.
Keep buggering on
The final point really just develops on the main theme introduced earlier in the post.
When all is said and done, the main thing is I’m still going.
Yes I could post more often and there is room for improvement. However, it is easy to get sucked into fads and then quit when the initial excitement recedes.
Motivating myself to write has been tough going at times over the past year and I’ve had my fair share of writer’s block.
I’m hanging on in there though. Each post gets a little easier and each week I learn a bit more about what works and what doesn’t.
Here’s to another year.
Post By Michael Smith (31 Posts)
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