Looking Back on 6 Months of Blogging
My first post was on October 21st 2008 and after 6 months my blog is still not getting much traffic. On average I get about 50 hits a day, mostly to the wp-click-track page and not the actual blog, and as of the time I posted this I only have 6 Feedburner subscriptions (and I'm pretty sure I work with all 6 people).
Doing a quick inventory of my blog leads to the below stats:
- 80 posts published
- 20 drafts (I work on a few posts at a time)
- A crap load (that's the technical term; crap load) of code released.
It was my initial goal to use my blog as a repository of all the cool stuff I do on a day to day basis and on that front the blog has been a success. I have a nice database of cool php and IT related posts; everything from working with social networking sites to manipulating zip files with php to how to not suck at email marketing.
It's pretty apparent, that at this moment in my blogs life, NO ONE CARES.
Check this out:
Nothing. No outcry. The world is still here.
Apparently this isn't out of the ordinary though. According to Jeff Atwood it's important to be patient:
The blog is no different. I often give aspiring bloggers this key piece of advice: if you're starting a blog, don't expect anyone to read it for six months. If you do, I can guarantee you will be sorely disappointed. However, if you can stick to a posting schedule and produce one or two quality posts every week for an entire calendar year... then, and only then, can you expect to see a trickle of readership. I started this blog in 2004, and it took a solid three years of writing 3 to 5 times per week before it achieved anything resembling popularity within the software development community.
So it looks like I shouldn't really care about people reading my blog until October 2010 and it may take as long as 2012 until my blog reall starts to matter. Bummer...
That doesn't mean I should just sit back and wait; that's never a good idea. To help the process along, I started looking at submitting my blog to a few of the blog aggregators. Supposedly, Wordpress already does this for a bunch of blog aggregators but the only incoming links I have are to wp-click-track. I wasn't so sure a ping was all that's required.
I registered my blog with syndic8, Technorati, Yahoo, LinkedIn, WeBlogAlot, Blogged to name a few. Some of the sites required that I prove ownership of my blog by either including a graphic, adding a new meta tag or creating a temporary file on your blog.
Really, a HUGE pain in the ass that didn't do a thing for me. Let me be clear: There's been ZERO impact from having my blog on those sites. Maybe, maybe, I get a couple hits a day from all the sites combined, but that's it.
Lesson: if you're just a random guy starting a blog don't worry about submitting to those sites.
I also released quite a bit of code. This has been where the majority of my traffic comes from. So far, I've released only 2 "official" projects (both WordPress plugins). Considering it's only been half a year and they've both been downloaded, collectively, over 1,000 times I'd say it's been a bit of a success.
What's the next 6 months going to be like? Can't wait to find out.