Blog Enhancements

Over the past week, I have been looking at ways to enhance my blog to make it better for my readers while also increasing readership.  If my readership increases, it helps boost my confidence and in turn, I will want to further improve my blog which in turn, helps make my blog better for my readers.

During my research, I came across the following blog post which was review for me but I thought it was a great “to-do list” for those of you also looking to improve your blog(s):  How To Make Money With A Blog

Installed WordPress Plugins:

I finally installed a few WordPress Plugins that I normally use but had not yet implemented on this blog:

I have a few more that I need to look for and install before giving it a rest for a while.

Blog Directories:

I also went about finding blogging directories that I can add myself to.  I was already a member of a few, some of which I had not yet added this blog to.  Being part of a blogging community where there are bloggers with similar interests to you is a great way to increase readership for your blog.

Recommendations Page:

I also published a Recommendations page so that you can see what services and features I recommend using on your WordPress blog.  I am sure this list will increase over time as I find more to add to it.

Contact Page:

I also added a Contact page – obviously so people can contact me.  You can still add comments to individual pages and blog posts but those are publicly viewable.

Blogging Goal Achieved Early!

I knew it was coming up but did not realize until today that as of my Orange Cranberry Sauce with Pecans Recipe post on Thursday, I have reached my Publish 60 Blog posts by December 31, 2012 blogging goal 5 weeks early!

Over the past few weeks, I have been watching my stats across a few different services as my blog gains traction and can see that my blogging efforts are paying off.  Since my How to subscribe to a website post, I have only seen my Feedburner stats drop back down to the single digit of 9 once.

Between the effects of that post and helping a few different people locally who are learning WordPress, I came to realize that maybe there is benefit to my readers in posting some business and technology posts from time to time.  Even though a few years ago I was fully submerged in blogs on how to make a living off the Internet, I forget that not everyone reads those types of blogs and that there are people with similar interests to mine who could use information that up until now, I have not been disseminating on this blog.  I also take for granted at times just how much knowledge I do have about business and technology.

Without diving too far into the bowels of technology (which can go pretty deep), I will from time to time, write posts on how to use WordPress, blogging, the various tools available for optimizing them and what you need to get a website up and running.  Because there is already so much information out there on how to do this from a technical perspective, I am hoping I remember to stick to explaining in plain English and posting YouTube videos (because I’m a visual guy) the actual “how-to’s” for implementing  the technology.  My goal is to provide my readers with useful information that they may not already have – such as how to subscribe to a website.

Now that I feel comfortable that I can maintain blogging on a regular basis, I have moved my blogging goal down to completed although I will continue to update through the end of the year the number of published blog posts.  I have added a “Maintenance” section where I have my first maintenance goal to publish a minimum of 10 blog posts per month.  There is a part of me that is hoping I can reach 100 total posts by the end of the calendar year but I have a feeling that post number 100 will not come until closer to March.

Having not been able to get in the habit of regularly blogging and having tried since at least 2001, it certainly feels good to be achieving my goal of blogging on a regular basis!

Have any of you tried getting into blogging but can’t?  If so, what do you feel has prevented you from doing so?  I know that technology was certainly not the reason for me!

Tightening the Blogging Laces

I have worked on several of my own websites over the years but this blog is one website that I have probably put the most effort into that others can actually see because they are blog posts (compared to another website where I have put a few hundred hours of coding into which no one will ever see).

You can see from the graph below the growth that has happened since I started blogging on a regular basis starting back in July when I set blogging goals for myself:

daddyjake awstats as of november 25, 2012

Lately, I have been looking into ways to grow this blog because the feedback I have been getting is positive.  I have a hard time wanting to use some of the methods employed by others and have almost always relied entirely on organic growth.  I don’t want to be “spammy” because as it is, I have a hard time sharing my posts on FB and share only a fraction of the posts I publish.

In a recent conversation, I came to realize and acknowledge that a huge part of the reason why I could never get into blogging on a regular basis was in not wanting to deal with the negativity that exists when publishing in a medium that allows anonymity.  Cyber bullying can ensue from those who chose to hide behind their monitors while their identities are (somewhat) completely hidden.

But alas, if I want to achieve my goals, I need to start marketing myself more and further shed the insecurities I have.  I have already overcome the first hurdle by publishing blog posts on a regular basis since July.  After 4.5 months and not having received a single negative comment (yet – not that I’ve received many comments at all), I am feeling that it is time to “level up” with this blog.  Along with this will come goals that I am working on setting.

For now, I need to brainstorm and plan before taking those next steps!