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.

Twitter 2.0

I wanted this to go out this morning, but didn’t get it done last night, and I just feel like publishing something. The Great 2014-15 Facebook Campaign has been a success. My timeline engagement is up enough to satisfy me for now, and I’m Facebook friends with almost 100 bloggers I was not friends with before I started it.

It’s cost me a lot of time to get it where it is, and it’s been time well-spent, but I can’t keep putting that kind of time into Facebook. From here on out, I’m happy with the progress, doing a couple of public shares on my timeline per day, and re-prioritizing my blog threads and Twitter accounts.

I am spending the bulk of my Internet time this evening setting up an eight-day run of scheduled tweets. All the links I’m sharing, once this starts, are for blogs to which I have access to stats. This is a well-thought out plan, and I am doing it specifically to test the value of my Twitter accounts.

I referred somewhere between 60 and 120 readers to other peoples’ blogs last Sunday from Twitter with 4 tweets. That’s a vague number, I know, but Twitter and Buffer are giving me different numbers, and I am not sure how they’re counting some of their stats. But even 60 referrals is a phenomenal number for me. I am looking to replicate it and confirm it with WordPress stats.

Scheduling is not all I’m doing on Twitter. I’m also doing my best to get engaged over there again. That doesn’t mean I’m there all the time. Just means I’m making a better effort to answer my notifications.

Whether this first run works or not, it will give me info about tweeting times, what sells, and the relative strengths of various hashtags that I simply cannot get from reading articles. Might be good, and I have no idea how long it will take me to actually get it set up. I’m trying to get ahead of the weekend and the next #1000Speak publishing date, though.

The great thing about this: Once I share these tweets once, I can start over at day 1, tweet the most popular ones again. I can edit the mediocre ones for better results. I can drag tweets from one account queue and drop them in another. As long as I don’t send the exact same tweet more than once in a week, and don’t share the same link too much, this should be effective on Twitter.

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Here’s my recipe for tweet scheduling for @Sourcererblog. It can’t be only links, of course.

  1. Popular posts from Part Time Monster, Sourcerer, and Comparative Geeks. I’ve chosen these blogs primarily because the links are easy for me to get at efficiently, they all have posts by a variety of people (so I’m not repetitively pimping one blogger or one blog) and I can measure the results.
  2. Tweets in which I introduce some of my tweeps to other of my tweeps.
  3. Funny stuff, like maybe I’ll include a few items from the Evil Overlord List and The Pirate Primer since world domination and pirate jokes are my two most successful running gags.
  4. Random blogging humor to people I chatter with often.
  5. Chattery stuff in which I tag no one.
  6. I also have an A to Z Challenge Roadtrip plan for @justgeneo, but I don’t know how long it will take me to set that up, and the plan isn’t fully-formed yet, but I’ll post the recipe for that one once I figure it out.

Happy Friday! #WeekendCoffeeShare tomorrow at Part Time Monster 🙂

 

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. (The total views only covers the blog since August when I moved here from My Former Blog, so about 4,900 short. Post counts and comments seem to be accurate.)

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,900 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.