Monday, June 27, 2011

Motivation For Blogging

When I initially started my Blog around New Years 2011, I had several motivations. I'd owned the domain name for quite a few years and wanted to do something productive with it. We also had recently been progressing through the Dave Ramsey plan and wanted to share our experiences along the way. Additionally, I was interested in posting financial information about stock/options trading and sharing investing ideas through the blog. Indirectly it would also be a time line of the year, highlighting specific memorable events. I also genuinely wanted to provide information that I thought others would find useful, helpful or inspirational so that they would enjoy checking out my blog on a regular basis.

I had also hoped that along the way I would learn more about the web and how pages appear in search engines and possibly on ways to drive traffic to your site and how to eventually generate revenue at some point in the future.

So far I have learned a lot. First off, it's a lot of work to come up with something new and unique on a daily basis. It might not take long to post a few pictures from a recent activity/event and say a few words about it, but generally speaking it takes me around 2 hours and many times longer for most of my posts. I'm definitely a perfectionist when it comes to certain things like writing and am always thinking about what I'm typing and the way I'm saying things. In addition I tend to sometimes go off on tangents, will re-read things and decide that wasn't the point of what I wanted to say and then delete whole sections and start over.

Also, I found out early on that you have to be conscious of your audience. I would hear from some folks that they couldn't quite follow or weren't overly interested in some of the in-depth financial topics. I realized that I had to either expand my content out to more everyday topics or decide to become a specialized financial blog and alienate many of my existing readers. I decided to expand the range of topics out for now and just make it more of a personal blog.

I have also learned some interesting things about web traffic. I use and also Google Analytics to keep an eye on traffic stats to my blog. It's very interesting to see which posts are most popular, where geographically people are coming from, how your traffic varies from week to week and topic to topic, how people are arriving at your site (referring pages), etc. I found it quite interesting that early on, my most popular post by traffic was my Same Siders post of all things. I then did a Google search for 'same siders' and realized my blog post shows up on the main page, about 8 links down depending on the day, which was pretty cool.

I also started to get a comment or two from anonymous people in response to a few of my blog posts, which made me realize other people are arriving at my site as a result of search engines or through other means. It opened my eyes to the fact that you have to be careful what you say at times, because your potential audience is much wider than you realize. For instance, right now my Happy Anniversary post is by far the top page in recent traffic volume. It was a post primary for the benefit of my wife, but apparently lots of other people were interested as well. Here are the top 4 pages by recent traffic:


The fact that people are arriving at my blog based on certain search words and key terms got me thinking about the topic of getting a site/page ranked higher in search engines and how to potentially generate revenue as a result. I haven't done anything personally, other that adding 'labels' to my blog posts.

I read a little bit about search engine optimization (SEO) a few months ago and one of the basic ways to get your site to rank higher in search results is to have people link to your page from other popular sites. Each search engine does their ranking differently, but generally speaking, the more referring links that are out there, the higher search engines rank your post. Based on my experience with the same siders post, it also seems that the more unique your information is, the better your chances are for a higher rank since there simply isn't all that much information out there about a particular topic.

I find all of that very interesting and think it would be fun to play around with that a bit and see what the results are. For example, I might key off my same siders post and put a link to that post on several other sites that I find with anything at all related to that topic and watch and see how my traffic to that post goes up over time and see how that affects my ranking on Google. In addition, I'm going to mess around with some of the different methods for generating revenue from ads or through similar means. So you may see ads popping up at various spots and I'll try to make sure it's done in a way that doesn't distract from the experience.

I will post results of my experimentation and if you have any specific tips you can share regarding search engine rankings, web traffic and revenue generation, please share them here as well! Thanks ahead of time!


Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes