Weekend Coffee Share: Goodbye and Good Riddance to an Awful Month

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’ve not been this glad to see the end of a month in years. It’s been absolutely brutal, both financially and emotionally. I’ll not give you the list of horrors; suffice it to say that June started off bad and got progressively worse as the month wore on.

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I fell completely off the internet for a good two weeks. I lost my blogging momentum, things began to pile up, and before I knew it I was so wracked with anxiety I could barely open the computer in the little bit of free time I had. At one point, I allowed Sourcerer to go two weekdays in a row without a post, and that almost never happens.

The anxiety has mostly subsided and I am back in the rhythm. We have plenty of posts scheduled at Sourcerer for the next month or so and I am thinking about where to go with my blogging from here. I’m thankful to have such awesome and supportive friends in the blogosphere.

The month was not without its bright spots, though. The house is great, though we’ve not made as much progress getting it setup and ironing out the minor annoyances that come with any new place as I’d like. My grandson is loving it — he’s much more active than he was a month ago, and he’s better-behaved, too. And somehow in all the madness of moving chaos, acute anxiety, and several problems I haven’t mentioned, I produced 25 pages of fiction.

Those of you who have been following for a long time will recall that I have a fantasy worldbuilding & fiction project which I’ve been working on in fits and starts for most of my life. The last significant progress I made on it was in the spring and summer of 2013 — the months before Diana and I started blogging together. I put it on hold to get our blogs off the ground and study the social media, which has taken longer than I’d hoped. I’ve been planning for awhile to get back to the fiction this fall, so I’m ahead of schedule on that, and it’s encouraging.coffee

If we were having coffee, I’d also tell you that I am thinking about where to go with this blog. My traffic here is abysmal. Even on days when I post, and the post is good, I see fewer total views than Sourcerer gets just from search engines. It doesn’t make good sense to spend much time publishing here. The problem is that the things I post here are necessary, and they don’t fit at Sourcerer.

I need a place to archive project links, to serve as my personal website, and to publish #WeekendCoffeeShare posts. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a wordpress.com site, though. I get a lot of pleasure out of blogging, and I’m a firm believer in keeping it fun. I also value the friendships I’ve formed through blogging and clowning around on the social media. I’ll just say this anyway: I want a website with better analytics, and I want to monetize it.

I’ve never talked about this part of my Grand Internet Plan in public, and I’ve only ever shared it with a few people. I don’t see myself ever getting wealthy off the Internet. But I would like to have a website that generates enough revenue to pay for its own overhead and give me a little money for marketing and apps. Even $20 a month would be helpful.

I went with the free WordPress blog because when I started, I didn’t even know if I’d be blogging beyond the first year and I knew very little about online marketing. WordPress.com offers advantages to people who don’t know much about building audience and who are starting from zero. I’m wondering if I’m better off having my personal website elsewhere, though, and since Diana’s mentioned moving Part Time Monster to a self-hosted site a couple of times on her front page now, I don’t see any reason I shouldn’t talk about this.

Getty stock image.

Getty stock image.

Lots of reasons it would be a bad idea for Sourcerer to go self-hosted. Here’s a quick list of a few of them.

  • Not a well-constructed brand for anything other than a non-commercial, just-for-fun blog. Just go and google Sourcerer, and you’ll see why.
  • Too much work to clean up the archives, which would have to be done before ads could be placed. Just based on the amount of time it took to re-vamp the categories during the last redesign, this would take weeks, if not months. Sourcerer will have 1,000 published posts in its archive by mid-July.
  • It was built by WordPress.com bloggers for WordPress.com. It thrives on contributions and thread chatter. It aspires to becoming a community. Severing it from the WordPress.com reader and asking contributors to use a different interface would damage it so badly, we’d be just as well off to start over from square one.
  • I love WordPress.com and don’t want to leave it entirely — I’ve had more success with Sourcerer than with any other online thing I’ve ever tried.

So, since I can’t move Sourcerer and wouldn’t want to if I could, that leaves this blog. I’m not even concerned about moving the archives. I’m thinking that at some point during the late fall, I might just build a better blog, make it a free-standing website with proper policies, and start all over with my personal site.

I could rebuild the traffic here if I wanted to — all it would require is for me to post more frequently and think about what sorts of headlines and articles I could get into Google searches. But since I have one permanently non-commercial blog already, and it’s a much better blog than this one, I am not sure I see the point.

Have an awesome weekend, and keep blogging. Don’t forget to add your coffee post to the linky at Part Time Monster, and share it with #WeekendCoffeeShare on Twitter.

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Weekend Coffee Share: In Which I am Behind on Everything

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you this was one of those weeks where I actually wrote my coffee post while I was drinking my coffee on Saturday morning. I had a crazy-busy week at work and I’ve been trying to get to bed a little earlier than normal this week, because I started the week fairly exhausted. It’s been all I can do to keep up with the blog threads, and I haven’t done the best with that. If I didn’t have a big bunch of fabulous contributors for Sourcerer, many of whom schedule their own posts and answer their own threads, I’d have been sunk these last couple of weeks.

Getty stock image.

Getty stock image.

I’m also getting ready to move from an apartment in a not-so-good neighborhood to a house in the country, so I’ve had to spend some time adjusting the household budget and doing things like gather up appliances. I’m excited to be moving soon — we’ve outgrown the apartment and we really need a yard — but the moving itself is a pain. And it will be expensive.

I’d tell you I haven’t visited as many new blogs for the A to Z Challenge as I’d hoped to visit at this point, and I’m planning to spend a lot of my time this weekend catching up on that.  A to Z has been awesome this year — good for Sourcerer’s daily traffic, good for engagement, and good for bringing all the contributors and collaborators I work with together. I feel as though I’m not getting as much out of it as I could be, though, and that’s because I’ve not done enough visiting.

Other things here and there have unexpectely taken odd bits of my time.

Earlier in the spring, when our friends Holly and David of Comparative Geeks announced that they’re having their first child soon, and went out for guest posts to get them through May and June, Diana and I agreed to write several for them, on the same work of fiction. I’ve promised them a minimum of three posts and up to six if I can swing it. I’ve got the first three drafted, and I realized last week I needed to re-read the books I am writing about before I could write the other three. So I’ve been powering through a certain Neil Gaiman comics series this week, and I just finished it up last night.

A Facebook group that I loved, and shared blog links in almost every day, went away this week. I spent most of an evening asking around and figuring out what happened. I still don’t really know, but that group seems to be gone — at least it’s now secret and I, along with a lot of people I know have been removed. So I’m sharing my links in Once Upon A Blog now, and encouraging my friends who are in the same boat as I am with that other group to join me there.

1000speakLizzi1000 Voices Speaking for Compassion is getting ready to post again. The linkup goes live on Sunday/Monday. The optional theme for this month is Nurturing. I’m not writing for the linkup, but I am hosting it. I’ve spent some time this week discussing various ways of making the communication for that group more effective and encouraging participation.

All this hasn’t left much time to do anything else except communicate with Sourcerer contributors and answer blog threads. I’m even behind on that. But on the positive side, I’ve come home every day this week to find 30 or more Facebook notifications and 50 or more Twitter notifications. You wouldn’t know it just from looking at the number of likes on my personal timeline, but this networking thing is working. Time to admit that I’ve got more network than I can keep up with on a daily basis — and that is a good thing to admit to oneself.

I’m glad I started using Buffer when I did.

Then I’d tell you I hope you have a marvelous weekend, and it’s time for me to get to work. Keep writing and keep blogging!

-Don’t forget to share your link with #WeekendCoffeeShare on Twitter, and add it to the linkup at Part Time Monster.

Weekend Coffee Share: Post-Easter Edition

If we were having coffee, I’d be a little later than usual because I just had a Google meetup with several of the admins from 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion. It was nice to be able to talk to so many of the bloggers I’ve been chatting with since January via video. We bounced around ideas, and just in general, had a very pleasant and productive conversation.

I’d tell you I had a great Easter Weekend. I spent lots of time with my family and we celebrated the Little Jedi’s birthday on Saturday. I got some awesome new social media profile images and page art courtesy of my friend Cat of Thru Cat’s Eyes Photography.

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Here’s the first of several new images you’ll be seeing over the next few weeks on my various social media profiles. This one’s going on the about page here if I ever have time to do the much-needed revamp of my pages and categories here. That’s my sister Diana of Part Time Monster there with me.

And I’d tell you the A to Z Challenge is going well.  We’re down to only a handful of posts to load and finish at Sourcerer, and we’ve had a fabulous time with A to Z over there. I’ve not done as many visits this week as I’d like, because I had a busy week at work and was sick for a few days late in the week. I’m hoping to catch up on visits from the list today.

I’d ask you how your week has been, and chat for a little while until we caught up. Then I’d have to run, because I’m not going to have a lot of Internet time this week or next weekend, so I have a ton of stuff to take care of to get the blogs and all the social media associated with them squared away for the next 10 or so days.

Happy Weekend! Don’t forget to add your coffee post to the linkup, and share it to #weekendcoffeeshare if you share your posts on Facebook or Twitter.