I’ve never had a goal for my blog, I just like writing and sharing my thoughts. I once thought I could maybe get some income from it to help pay for hosting or even as my job but after several failed attempts I knew this wasn’t going to happen, especially with the pivot to video and social.
This blog is now on it’s way down. I get hardly any views and feedback nowadays and I’m left pondering what I enjoy and if I continue. I pay for hosting and thanks to supporters I’ve had this mostly paid for over the last year but as with every year I reevaluate what I’m doing.
I admit I’m not posting as frequently, I’ve gotten into photography again and my newsletter has been growing steadily so I’ve been thinking about other things. There are a million tech blogs and I’m a voice that gets drowned out, no point in competing but I still want to share.
So, what are the goals of this blog – I have no idea and that’s ok.
Blogging consistently is hard, especially now I’m simplifying my setup. I’ve downsized my mobile setup with the intention of cutting back on screen time and working on my RSI. What I’ve found is my blogging has almost completely stopped, it’s reinforcing that 80% of what I do here is done from my phone.
As I adjust to using the iPhone Mini I’ll blog more I think, I just didn’t realise how much I did actually do from my mobile.
I have to admit at the moment it feels like I’m swimming upstream with my blogging efforts. I feel that the market has now totally moved away to podcasts and video leaving writers like me in the past. I’ve got (or had goals) of getting reviews units or being invited to events but the likes of Apple and Google seem to focus on video producers and podcasters. This isn’t sour grapes from my part, it’s where the audience has gravitated to.
To keep doing what I’ve always done and expect growth isn’t realistic, it feels like I’m walking down a path with no direction. I enjoy writing here mostly but it’s not fulfilling my goals of making something of this creative endeavour, the time of the blogger has gone. As much as I don’t want to believe it I’m starting to lift my head up and realise to grow my audience I have to change.
I’m still figuring this out along with a lot of other stuff right now but just wanted to share my thoughts on how I’m feeling about blogging right now.
I write very short form here as you’ll most probably know. In fact my whole blog could be replaced by a tweet or series of tweets so I’m wondering why do I post here rather than just put it on social media?
For me it’s habit of what I know, being in control of my content and not being reliant on someone else’s platform.
I make no income from this venture and see myself as a bit of a failure so no need to keep this going, I’d save myself some money as it costs me to host this.
My monthly views mean nothing really to me in the grand scheme of things and I’d have more interaction on social media. Maybe it’s time to close this down and try something else like keeping to my newsletter or giving podcasting another go.
With money getting tighter and it’s only going to get worse before it gets better I am seriously considering moving to free platforms.
I think though it’s just the usual struggle of the creative person and like a lot of people I’ll stick around.
With the news that Elon really wants to buy all of Twitter it might be time to look at owning your own content. Personally I don’t think he’ll actually do this but it doesn’t bode well for it’s future if it does happen.
Have a good think about your own content and where you want to put it.
I try not to pay too much attention to the amount of traffic that comes to my blog but I have to admit it does help my motivation to keep going.
There two things I’ve noticed about building consistent traffic here.
Post less on social media
Use of social media is a bit of an enemy to building your blog. I find spending less time on Twitter and posting my thoughts here is a better way to go. I still get the engagement and comments but I have the satisfaction of knowing my content is owned by me on my site. It helps slow me down and be less reactive too.
Posting consistently helps enormously with growth on your blog. I find that as the image above shows I see a significant drop in visits when I’m posting less. This may seem obvious but it’s actually pretty hard to get into a rhythm of posting consistently. As I mentioned in the first section, posting less thoughts on social media will help here also.
Does traffic even matter?
This depends on your goals. For me, this isn’t a money earner and whilst I’ve tried it in the past I’ve found calm in knowing that this is a site for my thoughts I’m putting out there and will never support me financially. I can write about my passions and not be concerned about pleasing a sponsor or advertiser. I also don’t need to write click bait and can be true to myself.
The days of making money from a blog are gone thanks to social media and a move to video and the attention economy so if you’re going to blog make sure you’re ok with this.
If you’re working on your own new blog or have an existing one it’s good to write smaller posts like this one, not share on Twitter all of the time. I find that I get more engagement, grow my traffic and more importantly own my content when I simply treat my blog as I want – to share my thoughts, big or small.
Why don’t you give it a go for 30 days? Hide your Twitter app from your main home screen and add your blogging platform one instead.
With my business account expiring at WordPress I needed to decide what to do next. I looked at moving to Squarespace, going all in with Micro.Blog or looking at Medium but I’ve stayed here at WordPress on a personal account (at £89 a year).
Looking at my options I felt that WordPress was the best option for me, mainly because of the price. Both Squarespace and Micro.Blog were going to be around £10 a month, WordPress works out cheaper for my already established site here.
I took one look at Medium and was reminded why I stopped posting there in the first place. Being recommended posts like “I get up a 1am and I am more productive than you will ever be” or “How I make $10M a year selling NFT’s” etc… was enough for me never to want to go to that site again.
So, for me and my requirements to post from both macOS and iOS staying here at WordPress was the right move for me.
I’ve been figuring out what to do going forward with my creative projects and on checking my site this morning I was presented with the above message, it’s been down because I let my business account expire. I couldn’t justify the +£200 a year keeping it going. The thing is that nobody even noticed, I’m not sure if it’s because I’m less active on social media these days or the lack of interesting content but this for me might signal what I end up doing about the blog going forward.
I’m going to investigate a free option for blogging that doesn’t constantly nag me to upgrade like WordPress does, I’m going to look at my substack numbers and maybe I’ll write there, try Medium again or just stop.
I’m at a loss at what to do right now, you may not see much content from me for a bit.
I always like posts like these, where a successful creator shares how their various side projects has done over the course of a year. Matt is a way bigger blogger than me and I have a tenth of his traffic and his blog is still a small portion of his income. This is a good reminder for me as I’ve discovered (especially over the last year) that you can’t make any real income from a blog these days. Any income I have from side projects is from freelance or donations.
But… you shouldn’t get into blogging or any creative endeavour to make make money anyway.
For me as I look to the new year and projects I’m going to go for things where I can learn new skills or push myself a bit. I’m still undecided on what I’ll do but this post was definitely good timing.
I don’t publish much on how the blog is doing over the course of the year but at the end I thought it might be worth sharing some stats. Overall it’s been a down year with about a third of my overall traffic disappearing. I’m not sure if this was a lack of content, blogging in general being down or something else I’m missing.
I’m disappointed not to have grown but given the times we are in I’m a lot more forgiving with myself these days.
As you can see the majority of my traffic comes from search engines. Twitter is where I get the most interaction on what I post, which is the main reason I continue to use the service to be honest.
I could have guessed this breakdown of countries based on who I know reads my stuff (thanks BTW). It’s cool seeing all these different countries and the feedback I get with differing points of view.
Moving forward I’m going to be trying something different, adding a couple of creative projects I haven’t been able to invest much on in the past. I’m still figuring these out but I’ll post once I figure it all out.
I’ve been using WordPress for years but I’m starting to seriously think about leaving the platform. I’d be exporting my blog and moving elsewhere, no idea where. To be honest I haven’t had the time to think about this too much but all I know is the bugs in the iOS app, their apparent constant need to remind me to upgrade my plan and the lack of good templates are getting long in the tooth.
I’m not interested in stats or keeping them, I don’t get a huge amount daily and not making any income from the site.
I’m looking for something I can post to easily from iOS, has good image support, affordable and a company that are committed to blogging.