Post Study Interim Blogging Reality Check – June to October 2013

 Four Months of Freedom

Freedom! I am free from the oppression of the Open University for this year until February 2014. Happy days! I completed my exam for module B201 on the 7th October with 20 minutes to spare and left fairly satisfied that I hadn’t dropped a huge clanger so fingers crossed when my results return in November time (approximately). In February I undertake B301 which is a much more demanding mandatory element of my honours degree. Groan.

I wanted to take stock at this time because it is a prime period to turn up the wick on my exploits. I have time free to pursue further tweaks, further content and further audiences.

Interim blogging reality check:

Blogging Reality Check

Jackson’s world is a brilliant place but unfortunately I have to live in the real world too.

My current WordPress theme.

  • I have gone through a change from Graphene to Twenty Thirteen as should be apparent.
  • I’m not entirely happy with Twenty Thirteen but have made some useful tweaks such as the new archive section which uses a plugin to provide a better view than the WordPress default.
  • I’ve had to disable the featured picture and remove the doubling up of the post title as this was driving me barmy.
  • I’ve had to disable pingback/trackbacks because ultimately these were causing issues and in so doing I’ve had to go back to the database and update the post records retrospectively.
  • I’ve been adjusting my authorship element but still am unable to indicate that I’ve written the posts but have actually figured out why (because I’ve posted all as the administrator).
  • The Snippets are showing properly now which I’m happy about.
  • There is no default author.php for the Twenty Thirteen theme.

Google+ Progress

As part of my goals for world domination I have expanded at a pace I am happy with on Google+. My circles now contain 641 which is a good number. There are of course a number who are in what I might class as the dross pile (the most diplomatic term I can assemble) and still a lot of people I haven’t been able to interact with. One of the downsides with Google+ is that whilst it does show those people who have interacted with you the most at the top of the circle there is no way to cattle prod those at the bottom.

Other Social Media

I’m sorry to say that both Facebook and Twitter now fall under the “Other” category because the amount of effort I put into them and the return in my investment of that time is not proportionate.

I’ve warmed to Facebook because at least it presents my posts neatly but Twitter bugs me. Twitter bugs me because I feel that a lot of what occurs there is of low value. I’ve always had this thought before I joined the social media platform and my fears were verified. Of course I am a bit like a monkey with a gun at the moment and my displeasure is more fuelled by not knowing how to do it well.

I am working on LinkedIn at this time and unfortunately I’m a filthy “no-face” until I get my image on there. I haven’t been on since I set it up which is kind of naughty. I’ll see how this goes.

The blog itself

I am much happier with how the blog now looks. I hope that any returning visitors view the site more positively than they have before. Because I seem to have very little feedback it is difficult to gauge how things are going and I know that part of my problem is that I don’t use my email (headboy) effectively with this site. I plan to do a whole lot more over the coming months but welcome comments on ideas and ways I can shape things.

My Mega Post

I have written a massive post. This is a truly massive article on a subject I’ve been very passionate about. I’ve been reluctant to release the article because I am well aware that my current readership will not engage with this article. What I need are gamers and the support for them on Google+ is weak so I need some strategy to deploy this bad boy. My SEO voodoo is weak also and I need to understand how I will get a better result so this post is currently stowed like the life jacket under an aircraft seat.

What would you suggest?

Current Sitrep

WordPress Stats:

  • 412 views, 154 visitors

Filtered for quality in Google Analytics where visitors have stayed longer than 30 seconds and don’t originate from Crawley, West Sussex, England.

  • 350 views, 81 visitors

Other Stats:

  • Visitor comments of good quality = 1
  • Best performing post to date = Analytic Cold Turkey: A month on
  • Best performing Social Media referrals = Google+
  • Best performing comment referrals on other sites = Tom Ewer’s Leaving Work Behind

In conclusion, things are moving along at a slow pace but I’m happy with the direction so expect more to come over the following four months!

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