17 January 2008

The Art of Blogging – One Month and Counting – Building Traffic and Esteem on the Web:

So it’s been exactly a month since my first post! 31 days to be precise, and I have managed to post daily so far! Personally its rather an achievement to find the motivation to do it, especially seeing as most of my articles are a good couple of pages long, well researched and hopefully of reasonable interest. Doing 31 posts of such a quality has been demanding, yet rewarding. I have turned this website from a site no one new existed to one which has managed to get over a thousand page impressions in a month. Admittedly it really isn’t huge in the scheme of things, but it’s a damn fine start. I’d love to keep blogging daily but I doubt that I will be able to maintain the level of quality I like to have for my articles. I don’t really like to have short simple posts, I prefer to really write about something passionately and do research into the subject so as to deliver information of worth.

Personally I think this strategy will work well for me, and what I wish to accomplish with this website. I want to share information with the world, and the internet is probably the single best resource for this. Books are good too, but they cost people money to buy, as well as costing authors money to publish. Here it costs me only time to write about matters I am passionate about, and for that I am allowed to spread what I consider to be useful, valuable knowledge. You on the other end as the consumer if you like simply have to have an internet connection and then you can gain free information from this site. I do quite like the internet.

So I have posted for thirty one days and written about all sorts of topics I’m interested in. These include: “Exercise”,
"Cycling”, "Philosophy”, “Pyschology” and “Global Warming” , along with a whole host of other smaller sub categories. Generally speaking I suppose I’d be interested in health issues but in a much broader sense than people typically think of. I’m concerned not so much with an individual's health but of the worlds collective health. For instance I think helping a charity which helps poor people makes the world a healthier place. All over it just makes it that much better. Not even just for the person receiving aid, but rather the fact that others are decent enough to supply it, that gives me hope that the world is not an evil place, and that we can together work on global problems such as poverty and global warming.

My biggest interest at the moment is really building up more traffic. The reason I posted daily for the last month was of course deliberate, with the intention of building up some initial content so that people that should fortunately stumble onto my website actually have something worth reading! I will probably now resort to posting only every second day, but still I’ll see how long I can last posting daily. Even just hitting the 40 mark would be a nice accomplishment. Two months on the other hand would be quite intense. Before I started the blog I had lots and lots of completely new things I wanted to write about, now I find I have less concrete ideas. There are still definitely some things I wish to blog about, bur often they are now vaguer and I am less certain how to go about coherently presenting the information. Having said that I felt that I wasn’t ready to post 31 posts one month ago, but sure enough I’ve managed it. Sometimes pushing yourself is really the best way to get results, other times it certainly seems to back fire horribly with people never wanting to do that activity ever again!

So what have I learned from my experience. Well, at first I just posted and expected people to stumble onto the site. But after the first couple of weeks I only had a total page impressions of about 270. Then think that just two weeks later that had already grown to over 1000! What changed? Well I suppose I had more articles for people to read and link to, I also started sending more of my articles into blog carnivals to try and get my information out there and published on other sites. This also helps with linking and improves a sites ranking in search engines. Now at least I can find my site when I type in the right parameters into Google. It’s a start. The blog carnivals are good too as they allow you to distribute anything you write to an audience that may well be interested in your work and thus helps to build up your reputation on the internet.

I imagine I shall continue following essentially the same strategy as the one I am employing now, as to be honest I don’t really know of any others. Essentially I am trying to write good, useful articles and then submitting them to blog carnivals. I’m hopping that the quality of the articles will in time become realised and that more interested in my site will develop as a result. Still, competition is fierce. The internet may be relatively new territory in some senses, but that does not mean it is easy to become known on the internet. Its popularity is increasing tremendously and with it comes ever more tough competition for good sites. Nonetheless I imagine those free-market capitalists would argue that competition is good and brings out the best in us. Sometimes I wonder though…

I’m rambling a bit much at the minute, as to be honest I’ve said all that needs to be said I think. Its only been a month, so its to early to really tell if anything has had much of an effect. Come back in a month and see if I’m still posting, then we may have an indication of whether this site keeps growing both in terms of the traffic it attracts and the articles that are hopefully attracting it. Here’s hoping it does.

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