Saturday, February 27, 2010

One Year of Blogging in Review

One year ago today, February 27th, I posted my first blog entry. I did not know where this blog would take me. I started Learning to DO with one idea in mind: replicate the sort of blog that CiloGear has so that I could update the world on the trials of starting a company. Well, over the weeks starting a company kind of went up and down and who knows where it's at today. I have an email address and contractors refer to me being from Janzen Gear, but what does that mean?

This blog has evolved into something of a melting pot of information both personal and business. Everything from stories and videos from Pakistan to personal relationships and more info about running than you probably want. I have learned that I really like writing. If my job for the next ten years was to pop out several pages every day I could live with that.

By the numbers I would say I'm off to a good start. This is my 234th blog post in 366 days. Over 7,000 visits and 11,000 page views with absolutely zero money spent advertising, hosting, or on development. While that does not compare to the millions per month that other sites get, it is a decently large number. Recently I started averaging over 45 visits per day. If there is one key to getting more visitors every day it is consistency. The more content you have available on the internet the more people will find you. I even get fan email! I also get angry emails sometimes too...

As far as monetizing my blog goes, well, it has paid off. I am currently coaching one person and have made several hundred dollars as a result of that. We knew each other from working together the summer of 2006 and through Facebook stayed mildly connected until he started reading my blog and we started talking more. The next thing I knew I was getting paid to coach him. So I am not directly making money from blogging but indirectly I am.

I have become one of the world's experts in bottom-up meshing in Abaqus and I get about 10% of my hits on that post alone. I'm happy that post is helpful to people because I probably spent two or three hours writing it.

I think that I have been one of the driving factors to influence six of my friends to actually start blogging. For those of you who I helped inspired, yes I do read your blogs from time to time. This is significant for me. Everyone brings something different to their blog. Often times people are pretty revealing and tell things in writing that I would otherwise not hear about at all. This extends to instant messaging and texting as well. The difference with a blog is that the entire world can read it. I encourage more people to get into it. It is kind of like publishing your autobiography in small pieces. One piece of advice, if you do start blogging do it on your own terms. Do not let someone pressure you to reveal something you do not feel comfortable with.

Outside of the blog I spent seven weeks in Pakistan and made it to 23,050 feet and back in great condition. I have averaged more miles run in each of the last five months than any month before. I have run some nice races. I wrote my MS thesis and graduated with my masters. It was a good year.

With my sister I wrote an ebook and we produced it into an actual paperback. Although, I am the only person that has bought copies of it and the ebook has had only 52 downloads. In my mind it is worth it because I learned a lot about writing, publishing and advertising. When I release my next written work I am sure it will do at least five times better maybe ten times better. At this point in my life I am really just focused on getting the information out there and not making my first million. Like the title says "Learning to Do" that's exactly where I am in my life. By the way I am working on several written projects at the moment.

Life is good. Yeah it could be better (I could be paying more than the minimum on my bills), but I don't want to get demanding. Keep reading. I don't where were Learning to DO is headed except forward.

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