Thirty six months blogging milestone

Last week this blog had quietly passed its third birthday. Back in the beginning three years were a time I set for myself as initial period, time to experiment, see where it leads and make conclusions.

I hadn’t posted much lately. Not really case of getting bored, but more of taking a pause to think about things and this three years milestone.

Readership

The growth had been slower this year, but it almost precisely came to roughly one thousand visits daily. Arbitrary figure I just thought it would be cool to achieve. :)

thirty_six_months_traffic

So this means during third year this blog was visited over three hundred thousands times. That is more than in first two years combined.

On other hand amount of comments and new vocal readers had been lower, in line with less posts made. In terms of readership I was always thinking more about small core of constant readers and subscribers, those that genuinely like all (or at least part) of the blog. However traffic figures and  climbing bounce rate now make me also consider passing visits and how I was neglecting to account for their experience and maybe missing opportunity to convert them into constant readers.

I am cautiously curious about getting some skills in web analytics and learn properly not only about those few who comment, but also about all those thousands that brush by.

Content

This blog was initially about sharing what I know already, excellent software that makes things easier and more reliable. Since there was only so much of that it had later moved on into explorative phase – looking for even better stuff proactively, as well as letting it come my way.

Lately I feel that explorative phase has burnt out as well. Trying out new stuff just for the sake of maybe squeezing a post about it or dealing with pitches about things I have no remote interest in (Facebook client on Blackberry? yeaaah, I don’t think so) got annoying.

What does this mean for the blog? I am getting even harsher on fluff. Maybe-seems-nifty is not something I will bother to write about. Back to the things that get me genuinely interested, excited and fired up. Even if that means that posts are few and far between.

I fully understand that for some readers this will be unwanted move and cause to leave, others will probably welcome it. In any case I am glad that you were reading me and just as glad if you continue to do so.

Design

The current ReStatement theme was born from perspective of hobbyist blogger, desperately trying to bend WordPress to be less convoluted and obnoxious towards novice user. Development of that theme was long, complex and immensely valuable learning experience.

I had recently started working on new theme from the new perspective – working with WordPress professionally, having attained some real skills with it and spending a lot of time polishing them not for the sake of this blog, but for the sake of mastery in general.

There probably wouldn’t be that many changes at looks (I steadily continue to suck in design), but I will definitely try to push the envelope on visible and invisible features to make this blog showcase of how much farther I can take it now.

Monetizing

Guess what – making anything considerable via running advertisement didn’t work out. Anyone surprised? :) For now, at least, I had removed ads from the blog and stopped worrying about that.

On other hand earlier this year I quit my day job and now work from home as full time WordPress developer. So far it had been busy, challenging, tiresome, rewarding and overall major work and lifestyle changed that I hadn’t envisioned even closely when I started this blog.

Goals

I am not really goal-oriented with this blog lately. However the things I’d like to get done are probably:

  • finding a pace that does not make posts seem chaotic, but prevents me from falling into posting for the sake of posting;
  • working on new theme and functionality;
  • making stronger point here about my WordPress skills and things I do with it.

Overall

These three years had been eventful, educational and full of unexpected turns (life tends to have those). It is hard to go wrong, working on something that you find interesting and rewarding. This blog sure remains such thing for me.

How had these years (months / days / minutes) at this blog been for you? :)

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16 Comments

  • Good to read about your achievements.

    As far as monetization is concerned you should have used Adsense atleast.

  • @Mithun John Jacob

    Good to write about them. :)

    AdSense got on my nerves by not offering any convenient payout methods in my country. My only option is check and caching it is so convoluted around here that I just gave up on it after couple of attempts.

  • I am getting even harsher on fluff. Maybe-seems-nifty is not something I will bother to write about. Back to the things that get me genuinely interested, excited and fired up. Even if that means that posts are few and far between.

    I think that is a good call.

    And as far as focusing more on WordPress content, I like that too : )

    Congratulations on 3 years. I’ve been following this site, and your work elsewhere, since last year when you were working on the new theme. I’m glad we crossed paths over at Theme Hybrid. Good luck going forward, Rarst.

  • @Brian Krogsgard

    Will see how it goes. :)

    I have no idea how prolific I will be about WP content. This is something quite complicated to write about at top quality level (see the mountains of crappy content about WP around).

    It is also challenging to find good topics that are not banal, yet are not too far into my obscure personal needs and constructs.

  • Rarst,

    I have been following your blog from day one and have your site on the What’s On My PC blogroll. It is one of my daily reads. Thank you…

    Rick

  • @Rick

    And thank you very much for all of that! :) I hadn’t commented in a while over at your blog, but I do drop by now and then.

  • Hey Rarst, congrats on the milestone! Wow to think it’s been three years of reading this blog. That’s pretty incredible.

    I agree with the stricter of fluff as well. All your posts are interesting and I’d rather go a couple days without reading something new than to read 5 posts every day about the same thing everyone else is talking about.

    As for the WordPress stuff, definitely looking forward to reading that. I got thrown into some WordPress development at work and was amazed at how easy diving right in was. Can’t wait to read some of those posts.

  • @Angelo R.

    Yep, it was new blog and then suddenly it no longer was. :)

    Don’t less WordPress fool you – it is pretty easy on basic level (add function call here, remove function call here) because it is made to be that way, but if you get into any level of serious development it will wreck your brain a lot. :)

  • Congrats on your progress. :)

  • Hey Rarst, I haven’t left a comment in a while, but I still try to visit when I can.

    Congratulation on your three years milestone, and on your new career!

  • @JeeMan

    Thank you! As per post there hadn’t been much posts to visit often lately.

    I am currently dealing with backlogs on multiple fronts, so that I can free up more quality time for the blog again.

  • Rarst, I have been occasionally finding interesting articles and useful tips on your blog since the time I stumbled upon you at ghacks some years ago. I believe you have helped and inspired many. Keep it up.
    Tobey

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