Birth of A Blog: A Year Later

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Birth of A Blog: A Year Later

I started my new blog, which I wrote about in a series here on TOTS, about a year ago. In that year, I have learned a few things about the Birth of a Blog..

I Should have Saved my Stats from my First Blog

I know that this blog is doing much better as far as getting in front of people, but I wish I knew how much better.

I’m sort of a nerd about statistics, but beyond the pleasure of looking at charts, I think it would be helpful to know just how it compares.

I’m doing a lot of things differently; how much is that helping?

It’s Hard to Post Every Day

Make that impossible, at least for me. It was impossible, and I vowed to have three months of scheduled posts before I went live.

I had one month by my announced launch date. I kept up with daily posts for three months, but it was grueling, and then I started dropping the ball until eventually, I wasn’t posting at all.

In January, I managed to post every day again. There is a definite correlation between post frequency and views.

At the same time, I can get a fair amount of views just posting a couple times a week, and it’s better than having months with no posts at all.

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There’s more to Guest Posts than Meets the Eye

In my experience, there is nothing better than a good guest post and or interview.

We have gained some of the best information this way, and when someone else has a stake in the post being read, it gets circulated to more people.

In the beginning, I solicited a lot of guest posts and interviews. It was great, but it took a lot of time and research and correspondence. It was worth it, but hard to maintain.

I always had a page titled “Write for Tinker’s Refuge.” I had a list of articles that I wasn’t qualified to write but wanted posts on.

I thought it was a great way to expand the conversation. No one responded until a couple of months ago. A nice sounding man with a relevant topic and business offered to write a post.

Be Selective with Guest Posts

It seemed above board. I welcomed it. After that post went live, I received another offer. This one raised a red flag for several reasons–fake-sounding name, poorly written post.

However, after several e-mails I decided it was a real person, and I allowed the post. She wrote back and said, “It’s great, but can you remove the link at the top of the post and only leave the one that I put in.”

That sounded suspicious, and on the heels of this post, I received three more offers, each more improbable than the next (For instance, “Your website is an excellent resource on power tools.”

It isn’t; I mention power tools. I mostly mention what an amateur I am with them). One referred back to the original guest post by the nice sounding man, and I said, “Forget it!

They’re all tied together.” I removed all the posts and I removed the page soliciting posts. The problem seems to be solved, but what a waste of my time, a resource too scarce to squander.

From now on, my rule is that I solicit any guest posts appearing on my blog. This learning inspired this article, “Birth of a Blog: a Year Later”.

Promoting Posts on Facebook is Worth it

You can promote Facebook posts for as little as a dollar a day, which is all I usually pay unless the post is extra awesome.

It has made a huge difference in views to my blog and likes on my Facebook page.

Through targeting, I have reached more people that actually care about my subject. Now I promote virtually every post; when I was posting every day, I promoted my favorites and every guest post.

It would be nice if my blog was making a tiny bit of money to pay for these ads; maybe in time, it will.

Am I happy with the new blog? Somewhat. I never planned for it to last forever, and I have other big projects simmering now.

Still, I am satisfied that, on the whole, it is a good blog and that I have continued to learn through writing it. I trust this knowledge will continue to serve me well.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned through blogging? What did you learn from this article, “Birth of a Blog: a Year Later”?

Check out this article on What I learned about Blogging in my First 100 Posts.

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