Blogging, a steep learning curve; personally and publicly.

Its been a short while that I have been blogging compared to others, I did create a hobby blog at WordPress.com but sadly somehow I turned it from a hobby blog into a current affairs and politics page which comprised mainly of Zimbabwean politics and political opinion but in that time of it becoming what it did I was becoming a version of me that I and others close to me did not like, I was becoming highly self-opinionated and critical and it was MY opinion that mattered, it was MY opinion that was the only one that was right (when it came to Zimbabwean politics) and what it was that actually made me aware of this was the first vlog I had ever made (not counting the few live Facebook videos I have made since, if those count??), it portrayed somewhat of an ugly version, it reared an ugly head that needed to be put down. It was actually my sister that pointed it out to me. I had made the video public and posted it to my YouTube channel. After my sister pointed this out I watched it over and over and over again until finally I saw this version. The next morning when I woke up with the few hours I had managed to sleep I checked my YouTube and noted that the video had eighteen views already and so I deleted it, I also blogged about this realisation and the fact that I would no longer be carrying on along the political route due to what it was doing to me and what it was making me feel like inside, I had even decided I was going to be shutting the blog down but the request that I keep the blog going was resounding and so that I did, I just diverted from my political course and blogged about other things and ideas that were coming to me; stuff that I was far more comfortable writing about. Then one day a friend of mine who was helping me with doing some graphic design work on another project I had been working on mentioned that he really liked my style of writing and thought that I should consider doing a self-hosted blog and make something of it. Not really knowing anything about self-hosted blogging I thought about it and thought about it some more; then one morning I decided I’d give it a try and made some inquiries on domains and ended up registering a domain with GoDaddy for £1.10, then a further £4.10 for site privacy.

Since then I have managed to keep away from political opinion and have not been tempted once to even address something and whilst we all know that controversy sells I am not comfortable with putting myself in that seat again, although my traffic was a lot higher with those posts than I am getting now I feel a lot better within myself.

Traffic I got from my one political post in a matter of the last few hours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After two days my traffic shot up amazingly high in just two days.

Although this shows the content that people are after I think it needs to be balanced between the bloggers comforts and what their followers want, what people want and politics and political opinion sadly is one those topics.

But since I have started a self-hosted blog it is now a different story, traffic means everything to the survival of a blog and that is determined by writing about what people want – other than politics I now have to figure out what it is that are wanted topics. The other day I wrote a post about my writing plans which did well and so is one of the topics that people want, its entertainment and about the future of British entertainment and the future of the British film industry – a sector that many, many people wish to see flourish once again.

The more a blogger posts the more hits they get on Google, the more traffic increases, the better a blog does; a blogs survival is based on the traffic it receives and not only sharing content but continuously writing and adding fresh content. A friend of mine, an internet entrepreneur who is doing very well for himself, through e-products and blogging nailed it best the other day…“consistency” – the best word to use for this; just to be consistent and carry on, not just pop up as and when we please, although that can be pretty hard. When do we find stuff to continuously write about – really, are we going to start writing about our morning ablutions or sex lives that may or may not exist? So again, adding a little bit of persistence to that. There have been times when I have looked at how well a piece has not done and thought about throwing it all in, but then again I have never been a quitter in my later adult years, especially since I have lived in the UK, I am very persistent and do not give up easily, if I want something I go for it and I will fight for it and I guess this is a lesson to take into blogging, especially when you are new and want your site to do well. Fight for it to get there and not to give up after a post or two not having done as well as you would have hoped. It all falls into making something work.

Blog Monetisation:

Traffic will also affect your site if you have monetised it through ads via Google AdSense. Before you can start making any money you have to have the traffic on your blog and you have to keep adding to that blog for ads to be displayed or then the Google AdSense bots do not know what to send your blog which in the end would lead to you making no money and in the long run Google AdSense closing your account because you are inactive and therefore bringing no money in. Remember that you are a partner with AdSense, and by making money for yourself you are making money for them and visa-versa and so once you are not pulling weight why would they keep you on, why would anyone keep a business partner on who is not bringing in money? And so in that light you, and I need to keep adding as much fresh content as much as we can in order to keep the wheels turning. I recently found a very helpful article for those struggling to understand why their application to Google AdSense was continuously being rejected, How to  Get Approved by Google AdSense – I highly recommend this article, for either if you are just about to apply or are struggling to understand why you aren’t being accepted.

Its all about finding what works for you and your blog, I am still learning but as with everything in life it is all a learning curve – a climb, its just the gradient that matters in your ascent and that you get to the top.

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Guy Taylor

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2 thoughts on “Blogging, a steep learning curve; personally and publicly.

  1. It is difficult to be self-critical, but this shows a well thought out analysis. In my limited experience it is all too easy to get bogged down in my own political/religious views, and also all too easy to forget that others may not only not share those views, but may well not even have much interest in the things that matter so much to me! Although I have no experience of proper blogging, I have looked with interest at the ratings of my YouTube videos. Those which score well are either things that appeal to a wide range (such as model rail) or those that are unusual (such as my posting of a recording which could (only could) be the actual voice of Queen Victoria. However, I also post a lot about my more minority interests, such as my collection of vintage record players and radios, which although they receive less viewings, make my channel more attractive because it is then varied and not tied to a narrow range. I post little on politics or religion, although they are important to me, but I do make some short comments on Social Media rather than YouTube. I think the important thing (in my opinion) is to offer a variety of shorter articles on a range of subjects that might have broad appeal, and avoid very lengthy articles on our ‘pet subjects’. Maybe start by considering a list of all your hobbies, interests, experiences, places you have visited, and so on. Then go for writing short pieces on a range of these, rather than lengthy pieces on one subject which will only appeal to those with a special interest. On the subject of ads, be careful here, since we know there is nothing that pisses us off more than sites that flip about or dump pop-ups in front of the passage you’re trying to read! Obviously the ads need to be visible, but if you have control over this, try to make sure the very ads themselves become the reason no-one wants to visit.

    1. Many thanks Tim, yes – this is why I have chosen banner ads which you will see in the right hand column as you look at the screen. As I have stated in a blog piece before I was with Infolinks of who I left due to the ads that were being displayed, not the type of ads but how they were being displayed which would have chased an already existing follower base away, not only were they annoying to me they would have been annoying to the readers – I quickly deleted the plugin.Already on it mate 😉

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