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Three Months of Blogging: Some Lessons

Nometech.com launced on the 4th April 2009. In that time, a single post has accounted for 33.54% of all visits to the site. Looking at Analytics, it is very clear that the most popular posts aren’t my lovely series that take ages to do (ie Getting Started With WPMU and BuddyPress, in three parts – 1, 2 and 3), they’re posts such as ‘10 Ways to Get That Elusive ‘Magazine’ Look in WordPress’.

It’s quite disheartening to see posts I literally spent all night doing having only a hundred pageviews, but it is something that tells me quite a lot:

  1. People don’t like series. They like everything in one go.
  2. ’10 Ways to do X with X’ style posts are popular. Very popular.
  3. The majority of readers just want the info, none of discussion stuff that I like to shoehorn in.

It also tells me I need to rethink my schedule. At the moment, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays are blogging days. Often I’ll rush out a post for those days, instead of making a massive post for a single day – it’s better to write once a week, well, instead of rushing posts often.

At this point, I’d like to do a little retrospective. First off, massive thanks to Kyle Eslick and Jean-Baptiste Jean. Kyle has been brilliant with letting me plug my posts on WordPress Hacks and his advice has been invaluable at times, and Jean has been great too, again with advice and letting me plug my stuff on CatsWhoCode. This blog wouldn’t have got anywhere without you guys – thanks very much. Whilst I’m giving out gratitude, a massive thank you to everyone who has subscribed to the Nometech RSS feed. All 174 of you. You’re all great. Really. Brilliant. Also, a big thanks to all my ‘Twitter friends’, especially @stevefarnworth and @Linda_Farmer, who are just a bit brilliant!

The future

So. Nometech was originally launched as a site about blogging, but has very quickly become WordPress orientated. Which is a problem. As it doesn’t have the wp prefix. Which means people seem to write it off as not related to WordPress. So, in an attempt to move the site forward, I can announce that Nometech will be relocating to a new domain and will be totally centred on WordPress. I hope to have the site done and running in the next couple of weeks.

And there we are. This article was meant to have some lessons in it, and I hope it has for you – learn from your mistakes and mine too. If you’re reading this by RSS then please take a second to leave a comment. If you’re not reading this via RSS then please leave a comment anyway! I’d love to hear any thoughts you’ve got and any suggestions for the future!

Thanks everyone for your support over the last couple of months, and here’s to another three months of blogging!

-Alex.

Yay! ๐ŸŽ‰ You made it to the end of the article!
Alex Denning

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January 27, 2010 5:35 pm

[…] months in and I published a post where I whined a bit, complaining the posts that I’d spent a hard day’s night writing weren’t getting […]

Michael Martin
July 7, 2009 5:10 pm

That was an interesting read Alex. Your post on the magazine look is great and definitely ticks all the boxes for social media success, but I wouldn't give up on your long, discussion posts just yet.

With Pro Blog Design, I like to do a mix of the two. I started out like you, preferring the more discussion-y/article posts, but eventually realized that the social media bait was what brought in droves of traffic.

But you always have to keep pride in your blog. If it isn't perfect in your eyes, it wont be in anyone else's. For that reason, I now have a mix of the two. The social media might get new traffic to your site, but your subscribers will probably appreciate the well thought out articles. You have to keep both parties happy ๐Ÿ™‚

Either way, good luck with the re-branding! ๐Ÿ˜€

Alex Denning
July 7, 2009 4:24 pm

Thanks for the feedback delos. I'm going to have a big rejiggle of posting schedule when I relaunch the site, and hopefully even start screencasting again!

Dave Pancost
July 7, 2009 10:47 am

Hi, Alex,

I appreciate your candor in this post. I, too, have just started blogging. I started in March of 2009. When I started I didn't know what I would ultimately focus on. It was more or less just a place to practice writing and discover some of my passions.

Now that I've been blogging for a few months, I've learned what truly gets me going and where I want to take my blog. So I am going to be doing some changes also. I'm currently working on developing an appropriate theme that will capture my focus and allow me to learn some more of the insides of WP. Your blog (to which I'm subscribed by RSS) has been very good for helping me do just that.

I wish you the best as you implement the changes you talked about. It's scary making changes mid-stream, so to speak, but if you really feel that's what you need to do, then ya gotta do it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Go get 'em, and keep us informed on when you need us to modify our RSS feed — I don't want to miss any of your posts.

delos
June 30, 2009 10:35 pm

This was an interesting post for me. On my own blog, I am finding something similar to your observations except that in my case, the well thought out posts aren’t really popular. The audiences have different expectations, coding requires more in depth explanation than my topic and your posts are better worded than mine … but I mention all that only to say this:

I think there is also room on Nometech for shorter and not-so-in-depth posts. A quick couple of related wordpress tips, some new bit of useful code, practical theme tweaking or even general blogging advice would all go down well, I think.

Don’t stop your longer posts, of course, but if you get an idea that only requires a paragraph or two to show us something useful then that’s okay by me. Readers enjoy that kind of variety too.

Keep up the good work.

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