November 1, 2009

One Year of Nonsensible Shoes - A blog story

Today is the one year anniversary of this blog.  Happy anniversary to me.  I started Nonsensible Shoes back in November of 2008, after writing numerous emails for my friends, explaining, and to a lesser extent interpreting, the daily happenings of the 2008 U.S. Presidential primaries and general election.  It started out as more explaining but as it went along it became more of a warning of "don't believe the (Obama) hype".  It turned out I enjoyed the interpreting as much as, or more than explaining electoral college and super-delegate details.

Nonsensible Shoes has always been about politics, from a conservative viewpoint.  It will continue to be. However, I really started blogging without any goals beyond getting my points out there for people to consider.  What I hadn't considered myself, was that getting people to notice my ramblings, was a challenging proposition.  Once I got a few visits, I wanted more.  It turns out success, however small, is kind of addictive.

Half way through my first year of blogging I started getting some pretty good (for me) traffic.  In the late spring it fell off and I decided to try to set a goal for myself of getting 20,000 visits in my first year of blogging. I don't know if that was a good goal or not because before this year, I knew nothing of blogging.  After my first year, I can report that I fell just short of my goal, having had 19,695 visits.  However, in late December of last year I added a feed to my account and have had 3,992 views from that.  So I don't feel like I really failed to reach my goal, some of it just came in another form.

However, I still have a lot to learn about blogging; blog design optimization, blog marketing and monetizing a blog.  After one year my audience is no longer growing. In fact I've been so busy with my real job and family life the last few weeks, it's contracted some as a result of neglect of the regular blogging frequency.  In one year I have posted about 800 entries - few have been from the last two weeks.  That will return to normal over the next month or so (I hope). 

The other thing that excited me as an unrepentant capitalist, was that by throwing some Google Ads on my site, I was able to make money doing something I really enjoyed.  That was what opened my eyes to the possibility of eventually making a living doing something I love - talking politics and policy.  Granted I've made less than $40 in my first year.  But it hasn't phased me.  Like I said, I'm still fairly new at this.  I've had people tell me it takes three years to really see some kind of traction on a blog.

I'm inspired in particular by Ed Morrissey who blogged at Captain's Quarters and now Hot Air.  Mr. Morrissey apparently also had a regular full time job but managed to blog on the side and grew his audience over the course of a few years, to, at one point according to Wikipedia, 400,000 per day at the height of the Canadian Adscam scandal. Ed's tireless efforts, and quality writing have been inspirational.  John Hawkins at Right Wing News has also proven for me that effort and quality mean success.  His site has been for years one of my most frequented web visits.

Others have written or told me some of the obvious blogging tips that I'm sure everyone has heard.  Most importantly that quality content is the single biggest factor in succeeding in blogging.  It's in that light that I've set more goals for my next year of blogging.  They don't involve numbers for the most part, other than writing at least as many posts as I have in the past year.

My goals are more internalized - writing ever better quality posts (which means perhaps taking a course or studying methodologies of journalism), and learning more about smart marketing tactics, and web/blog design.  Hopefully by this time next year I will have achieved all of my specific goals and seen some seeds of success as a result.  Perhaps in the following year I can then start thinking about actual numbers again.  A successful blogging year would make a wonderful 2010, especially if it's combined with a conservative Congressional landslide next November.  Of course, just like my personal goal, a landslide will take a lot of hard work and dedication.  Hopefully some conservatives in the RNC and GOP are, one year out, thinking the very same way.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Disagreement is always welcome. Please remain civil. Vulgar or disrespectful comments towards anyone will be removed.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Share This