The Story of Personal Blogging – Days 601 to 700

>>>>>>The Story of Personal Blogging – Days 601 to 700

The Story of Personal Blogging – Days 601 to 700

2016-11-07T15:47:57+00:00 June 30th, 2016|Categories: Blogging, Website|Tags: , , , |

Ahmad Imran

Blogger, writer and founder of the REASONTOUSE platform. Passionate about providing quality information to help you make better decisions. For regular contact, sign up to the email list.

To date, I have written my “personal blogging story” every 100 days. So 7 articles in 700 days of blogging.

Going forward and as an effort to further refine and focus my articles, this story will be written on an yearly basis. Every 29th of July (birthday of REASONTOUSE), I will write about the previous 12 months and give you a wider picture and lessons learnt in that period.


 

On the 27th of June 2016, this blog completed 700 days of its journey.

Every 100 days, I write the story of the past 100 days.

In this episode, as always, you will get a few key lessons from blogging – all based on my personal experience.

I am positive, motivated and working on this platform with a high vision and action plan. There is no exit for me in this game except to reach to the level that I am looking for.

However, nothing comes overnight. It takes time.

I believe in learning, executing, refining and then enjoying the success.

The blogging ups and downs are like a huge learning curve for me. I want all these blogging lessons to be captured and shared with you so you can improve your blogging through my experience and analysis.

Stay tuned.

Let us see some statistics first.

 

 

High-Level Blog Statistics (20.03.2016 to 27.06.2016)

These are only a few key statistics to give you a flavour of the scale of this blog at an age of 23 months and run on a part-time basis. Remember there is more to it than these traffic numbers only.

In the last 100 days, REASONTOUSE had an average of 8,500 “unique site visitors” per month. This is an increase of approximately 7% if we compare it to the previous 100 days.

“Average pages per session” remained similar to the last time – at approximately 1.4 pages per session.

“Average session duration” was more or less the same as the last time – 1 minute and 40 seconds per session.

Finally, the “adjusted bounce rate“ was 18%, again no change from the last time’s 18%. This is the percentage of people leaving REASONTOUSE within 30 seconds of landing on any page and without clicking on anything else.

You can see that it is not a “get 50K visitors in a week” kind of performance, but I am not working for it either.

I believe in slow but solid growth.

I want to master the art.

One step at a time.

 

Influencer and Blogger Outreach

In my last episode, I mentioned that I naively ignored blog marketing and put it on the back burner in my first 18 months of blogging.

I have started to concentrate on marketing my content more strategically. The more I read about it, the more I am convinced that reaching out to influencers and fellow bloggers is a key strategy I need to adopt.

Have a read what Brian Dean (Backlinko – blog specialising in SEO) wrote about blogger outreach on SmartBlogger. If there is one article you need to read about the importance of blogger outreach, this is the one in my opinion.

The 3 distinct categories on REASONTOUSE mean that I have to target each one of them individually. This is because the influencers in each category are in different circles. I opted to start with the “website” category and started outreaching to my target list of bloggers and influencers.

With a view to create genuine and strong working relationships.

It is important to define your target list carefully. It means to create and work towards a mutually beneficial working relationship with people who already have a better foothold in the industry than you.

I started with one of my favourite blogs – SmartBlogger by Jon Morrow.

 

I wrote about what can we learn from Jon’s Smartblogger.Com – an authority in the world of blogging.

I let him know about my article and got his pat on the back and a share with his audience. Glen Long (Managing Editor – SmartBlogger) commented on the article and encouraged me for my work.

I am not looking for and don’t expect an overnight dose of “deep relationship building”.

It is more about building long term and sincerely beneficial working terms with others. It is to get yourself introduced in the block. It is to tell others that you are in the game too. It takes time. It has to be natural. It has to be a win-win for all.

But there is always a start and that is exactly what I am doing.

On the same theme, Ramsay Taplin (BlogTyrant) and Adam Connell (BloggingWizard) are two other major names in the blogging world. I have been their reader and admirer of their work for new bloggers like me.

I decided to feature them in my expert roundup with their high-level insights related to blogging. They have agreed to participate for this post which will be published in July 2016.

I haven’t stopped there.

I have written to Lifehack.org with a view to become a contributing writer on their platform and expand my visibility further.

And I am developing my strategy to tap into Android smartphone industry as well with its influencers and reputable bloggers.

The key is to choose wisely the people you want to work with. And then work with them with full heart, sincerity and ambition.

 

Keeping the Blog in Tip Top Form

Never think that if you are managing your own WordPress blog, it will not keep you busy with its maintenance and demands.

You will need to keep adding useful features, get rid of unwanted items and keep an eye on general design and maintenance of your WordPress blog.

And this is easier said than done.

It needs time and effort put into it.

There were 3 particular items that kept me busy recently:

 

1Research for the best possible email optin form solution and start using it. I have been collecting emails and building my list, but in a casual way.

I have been collecting emails and building my list so far, but in a casual way. There is a need to be more strategic and formal about email marketing. It needs to be done with full heart and effort – not half baked.

I settled for “Thrive Leads” in the end and now working on it to produce my first formal email optin.

Obviously, it is a part of the bigger picture relating to email marketing and I need some time for it to be fully integrated and planned before I go live with it.

2Research for the best possible poll and feedback service that can link in to my blog – either from within the blog or managed externally but linked to my articles.

I strongly believe that it is important for any blogger to engage with his/her audience. One of the best ways to do that is to get interactive and seek their feedback.

I have tried TypeForm (which I quite liked) and then TotalPoll Pro (which fits in nicely with my theme) but every time there are one or two significant niggles which are stopping me to formally implement the system.

I will keep hunting for now. If there are any solutions that you can recommend, I would highly appreciate your input.

3On the maintenance front, keeping my site speed top-notch was on top of the list recently.

I had to spend hours and hours trying to sort out the site cache system which helped me to reduce my server response time.

In essence, I am now using a combination of “WP Fastest Cache” plugin and  CloudFlare’s Free CDN service to manage my site cache. This allows me to use dynamic cache via CloudFlare Page Rules and has been significantly useful.

 

The key is, until you are in a position to outsource the design and maintenance of your blog, be ready to spend time and effort to keep it in good shape yourself.

Otherwise, weeds will grow in your garden.

And affect your brand and image.

 

Read More to Write More (and Write Better)

Almost all good writers are good readers.

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” – Stephen King

I have started building my own library on Kindle now.

I bought one for this purpose and started my own personal collection of books now. At the moment, I am concentrating on the personal development discipline but I am sure this will grow with time and further books will be added to the list.

Nothing can beat a good book and the value it provides.

If you are not a book reader, think again. You need to get your reading habits strengthened somehow. Only you can decide how will you achieve that.

I don’t know who said it originally but I heard it from Jim Rohn for the first time. Since then, it is difficult to forget this.

“Its not what the book costs but what it will cost you when you don’t read it.”

Other than reading a book, I spend at least an hour daily reading and analysing relevant information from the internet.  Be it a gadget review, a case study, a new Chromebook launch or an interesting article on WordPress blogging, I tend to be disciplined and read as much as I can.

To keep me up to date within my niche.

I surf more. I read more and most importantly, I keep storing useful information in my Evernote bank. There is no substitute to good useful information which you know where to find when you need it.

If you want to become a successful blogger or writer, make sure that you never underestimate the importance of reading and knowing more. You should be on a constant hunt to learn and know more about your niche in particular but anything generally.

I don’t care how you get it, make sure you get it if it is useful and relevant.

Because your own personality and wisdom shine in the words you write.

And this makes your content engaging and attractive.

 

Lessons From Blogging – What is Your Story?

We want to hear your story.

You have an option to write on this platform and summarise your blogging journey for the benefit of other bloggers.

Alternatively, you can share your thoughts or questions on any particular topic about blogging in comments below.

There is no such thing as a silly question. Come out and speak up your mind. Let me know if there is anything I can help you with.

Or have you got any lessons from blogging that you can share with me?

If you want to keep in touch with me and my story, join here for free. I am sure there is plenty we can learn from each other.

To be a successful blogger and writer.

 

  • Hi Ahmad,

    I am green with envy right now and you know why :) Great work on your increasing numbers.

    One thing I wanted to discuss in your comment section was the idea of “friction”. I know that you are looking to expand your email list and you might be thinking about some more aggressive opt-ins. Whilst recently listening to the Social Media Marketing Podcast by Michael Stelzner (specifically episode 140), there was discussion on this friction. I have been considering a more aggressive method of improving my following along the lines of more directed subscription magnets. What are your thoughts on this area?

    Cheers,

    Jackson

  • Jackson, you know why my list is not moving as fast as I would like to think? My resistance to the idea of aggressive marketing and getting people’s email addresses at any cost.

    I just don’t like popups at all. And I am not a huge fan of pushing the people to give me their email either. I believe that one day my content will be of quality that people will gladly give me their address without asking much,

    You know what, perhaps this is not the right approach. I think I will end up somewhere in the middle.

    Ask for an email address but ask subtly and nicely. I am thinking about it and will start my process shortly. Cheers again for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

  • Popups do suck. I admit that myself. It is why I have also avoided using them. There is the argument that a lot of the time that you invest in writing this free content should be worth something. A small amount of friction can be looked over.

    I don’t like “takeover” Opt-ins which lock out the entire screen. Such an event has often led me to skip the article all together and I’m not sure that is the action you want to promote.

    Many Big Wig bloggers use aggressive forms of Opt-In but not all.

    They try to work on guilt topics to draw people to push the button and you can tell that the element has been split tested.

    Does the softly softly approach work long term? It does for some bloggers.

  • Jackson, The big wigs have been through the game and they know that aggressive approach works. They are doing it for a reason.

    It is just me and my principles. I know I won’t be as successful if I don’t do popups but in the long run, I want not to annoy my readers. Just my thinking :)

    I am thinking hard on the best way to introduce optins. Will start shortly. Cheers.

  • Annoying readers is the last thing you want to do if you’ve already worked hard to get them to the site. I can understand for established bloggers with large audiences that they need to start gaining by separating the wheat from the chaff. For those on smaller numbers, harsh approaches may not be the best way to gain authority.

    Let me know which way you decide to go. It’s a topic of interest for my properties as well.

  • Will surely do, thanks.