The arrival of October brings my first year of blogging with WordPress and eight valuable lessons learned which I will share with you today in no special order.
1. Blogging Is Hard Work – Articles require fit and polish and I have spent as much as three weeks preparing some of the technical articles I have written. Maybe if I just rattled off my opinion of the daily news then blogging would be easier, but the technical and photo articles require proofing and professionalism. I was not pleased with the Tofurkey recipie pictures sharpness or clarity but I did learn that in food photography, turning off the heat would have given me plenty of time compose better pictures. No one would have known the food wasn’t being cooked.
2. Attracting Readers Is Just as Hard – I actually thought choosing the #1 blog platform would bring the page views, even knowing deep down inside that purchasing Air Jordans wouldn’t make me a superstar in the NBA, I reasoned maybe WordPress itself would be enough of an advantage. Most of my site traffic comes from search engines and I have learned a good mix of topics will bring a variety of readers per day.
3. Numerous Top Notch Blogging Platforms Are Available - I tried a lot of them and I feel you can choose the one you like the most. My site content has been tested unpublished in Blogger, Google Sites, Movable Type, static publishing, and Turnkey appliances that support blogging in an effort to test out other platforms features and offerings. I haven’t bloged about alternate options, yet, and will probably only discuss my adventures with a static blog site should I ever decide to blog about the alternate options.
4. Static Sites Work Well For Dynamic Blogging – Say What? Am I a babbling idot? One of the alternative choices I’ve tried used the Really-Static plugin for WordPress which publishes your blog staticly to a flat file hosting service such as Fortune City or your ISP’s ad-free web storage site. A static blog served without an application processing it for each user’s view can appear dynamic thanks to applications like Disqus, RSS readers, widgets, and gallery sites. These technologies turn flatly stored web pages into dynamic looking content systems.
5. People are Warm and Friendly – I actually thought I would get flamed for just about every post, especially the technical ones. I prepared myself to deal with that, but I didn’t want to deal with the lost time that comes from dealing with negativity. My blogs are not written to be a definitive source of knowledge, but more of a walk through to spark ideas in others. A few people told me my posts sparked an idea in them and that was the goal of the posts, anyway.
6. Redundancy is Boring – I really don’t want to write about things that are discussed repeatedly. I will never write a review about the latest version of Ubuntu, Windows, etc. To produce the technical articles, I googled the topic to see if the subject was throughly discussed and how well the discussions were done, but I was always looking to see if another angle could have been opened up on the topic. A different angle is what prompted my Opera Unite series of articles. Most articles on Opera Unite discussed its pros and cons and simply didn’t show people how to run an application behind Opera Unite. So I decided to focus on a popular and familiar web application doing its thing behind this unique offering from Opera.
7. Google Analytics Rocks – “Uh oh, he’s gone loony again!” Something like that might have popped into your head since Google Analytics is not supported on WordPress.com but support comes from my Weebly site where the links between the two platforms provide details about my WordPress readers. Stats are very useful to blogging and can help you refine your reach or decide to branch out to offer new topics.
8. Blogging is better than “thumbing up” – I looked at my future role in the Internet universe as someone who just pushes a like/up-thumb button as a rather depressing endeavor. Could I offer something more to the Internet world? Blogging allows me to provide a little piece of me, organizing my mind’s thoughts into bytes, and bringing heartfelt content truly inspired by me. This much more rewarding than having my vote tallied, analyzed, and sold to someone whose sole purpose is hawking their unwanted wares at me or someone else the seller believes is in my target interest group.
I have a very high bounce rate but I am thankful for those of you who found your way to my blog. After much deliberation on continuing to blog for another year, I realized it is my pleasure to continue to write for you.