I have been writing on my blog for 501 days on the date of publishing this post. It was only yesterday that I had a brain wave about my current strategy and it has been formed over the past month during October, one that has proved to be a disappointment on the same time last year.
This is a slight diversion to my philosophical adventures looking more at reasons why I’ve been struggling over the past year and a bit.
Day 501, The almost Monday Tuesday Post
The truth is, I’m often my worst critic, I am often hard on myself with lofty expectations of what I want to achieve but without the necessary time spent performing that change.
There have also been a number of triggers to this forward decision.
- I know I can do better
I feel super pumped about this blogging. I love and have always loved writing. It’s coming together.
- I have to do better
Because upon reflection, the only way is up, baby. (Yes, that is a song lyric hidden in there)
- I want to break myself out of a “comfortable uncomfortable” situation
This is the kind of work I want to do in future, period.
- Now is the time
I’ve got no dependents, there is no restriction, the economy is as stable as it can be (touch wood).
- Lack of the right feedback
Because if I have been doing it wrong, you audience haven’t been saying enough about it. Stop being so nice! Apart from that, there aren’t enough of you!
The core of my issue:
I’m busy. I work 9-5:30 weekdays with a job that already uses a lot of computer knowledge that drains my brain. I like to relax after work with certain shows. I watch Neighbours (an Australian soap) religiously, I am currently watching Defiance, Under the Dome, Gotham, Dr Who and The agents of shield at the moment. I have to cook my own dinner (and I enjoy cooking) but it takes time. I wash and iron my own clothes, go shopping for my groceries and do house related stuff. I often write on diversionary topics because I have come up with tons of great ideas for Science Fiction and Fantasy novels. I also enjoy playing Blood Bowl (a computer game adapted from a Games Workshop board game) and The Sims 4 (which has taken a bit of a sideline recently). Of my YouTube subscriptions, 3 of them involve people playing and reviewing video games (LGR, Angry Joe Show and JackSepticEye).
On top of that I have my study for DD309, the final module of my Honours Degree in Business Studies which I have been working on entirely from home since 2008. The third tier modules are harder, require considerable reading effort and have longer, more involved assignments. So I fit this in where I can and it normally forms a high priority.
Then, to make it more complicated I am the guy who sorts out all of the payments on a shared house. I live with my ex-girlfriend (but not through choice) in a fairly small terraced dwelling. We both have new partners and I tend to romp with my girlfriend to all sorts of places. I enjoy bowling and the cinema with my squeeze and she has quite a record of beating me at both pool and air hockey (grrr).
I also like to see my ma and pa who live 45 minutes away in a place that has one of the worst bottlenecks in the universe, worsened now by a certain supermarket beginning with “W” (not WalMart).
So, it becomes a great juggling act. Often times I am forced to compromise on something and much of the time that is Blog Prefect.
Over the past 2-3 months I have had a rather slim amount of time available. The time that I used to bathe in has been eroded by exam prep, more trips out with my girlfriend and some/most of the listed distractions.
What do I not have time for?
I don’t have time to write a lot of the articles to the depth and level of thought that I used to be able to. I note that my epic, well performing posts, were written when I had plenty of time. Whilst I have written some “Bobby Dazzlers” recently, they pale in comparison to my big guns, two of which were scribed at the very start of the year.
My Google+ Hegemony, the place I have been doing best in my Social Media entry to the site, has died down considerably. I need to improve my methods, my scope, my participators, my reciprocal sharing, my circle penetration, reinvigorate the blog prefect community page and otherwise kick ass.
Twitter is doing well at the moment, I have picked up a ton of new followers, all of them appear to be awesome and I have some of my fellow bloggers to thank for this. However, my Twitter critical mass is miniscule. I pull about as much weight as a sickly parrot. I need more time to be a boss and take over the world. The branding on my Twitter needs work.
Tumblr, despite my efforts, is not pulling its weight. It is not pulling in the punters. I need more time to discover what works better. I already know the answer is images but I don’t have frickin’ time for images!
Facebook is currently a dead loss. I currently feel that any time spent on this is a waste because with my limited time, I can’t sustain the required impact. Many have complained that Facebook is a bit Facebroke and I can’t afford the time to spend on this platform. I’ve never been a big fan of Facebook but many of the experts cry red, black and blue murder that Facebook is liquid platinum.
StumbledUpon was an experiment but I don’t have the high-end articles required to really shine there. I often look with envy at what is kicking about on SU because I need to have the time to craft that epic shiz too!
LinkedIn was started but I felt nervous in going further so it has gathered dust ever since. I could probably make this place work but don’t have the time.
Besides all that…
I actually hate adverts. This is why you may find my site contains nothing in the way of Adsense or Adwords. There aren’t even any affiliate links here. I did for a time run a Fiverr advert for my own service, the service idea was a flop and so I let the dust gather on Fiverr. I need to do better at presentation of my awesome.
Social Media Marketing & Networking are not areas I’ve mastered
I managed to get my followers (with some supreme help) in Google+ to 1,800+, very few of those interact with my stuff but it is mostly because I haven’t been a great participator myself. I’ve been taking a bit too much recently and not giving back which has led to a drop in my overall G+ activity. My community page for Blog Prefect never reached any mass so I stopped updating it a long time ago.
Twitter has some momentum but because I have tragically little time I can’t capitalise on it. In truth Twitter sat dead for almost a year because I had a brain freeze on how to use it effectively. It was only when one of my friendly bloggers and my sister added me that I started to get momentum, up until that point I had no movement at all.
There are lots of other areas I’ve partially explored with poor results including; StumbledUpon, Tumblr, Facebook & LinkedIn.
There are many more social time sinks that have not yet been explored but I realise will swallow my precious time if I even step foot near them.
So what does this all mean and where am I getting to?
Blog Prefect is one of my joys to write for and this is not some veiled announcement that I’m going to be shutting up shop. If anything, Blog Prefect has got me through some hard times because it is the one consistent element of my world that I feel in control of. Being the boss is ace!
However, I am going to take a period out of my standard schedule to work on an MVP (Minimum Viable Product). I make no earnings from Blog Prefect and at time of writing it has only turned in a loss (through the hosting, domain name and Market Samurai). I believe that at the crux of some of my issues is the lack of a product. This feeling has been galvanised by seeing so many of my compatriots make a better fist of the importance of sales.
I want to have a go at an eBook and have a strong lean towards this as the next piece of cement to my infrastructure. I want to be able to start learning about the marketing involved around my own product and actually make Blog Prefect pay for itself.
The most fun I’ve had in recent time is collaboration with other bloggers and this is something I will be concentrating on going forwards.