2016 is going to be the 8th year of this blog, and I (somehow) feel very proud that I’ve managed to run this blog for that long even though my posting has been somewhat inconsistent for the last couple of years or so. What are my plans for 2016 for myself and this blog? I’m not sure I can answer that but if you’re craving to read some ramblings about this, then read on.
Going in line with me doing more casual posts in this blog plus the fact that I’ve been having this fascination with cooking for about a year now, I decided that it won’t be too out of ordinary to start writing food blog posts which are basically about my dining experiences, etc. Plus this also helps me build my local audience more as discussed in the previous blog post. 🙂
I like writing update type of posts because it’s very casual to write and I can finish it in one sitting. It’s also very spontaneous so there’s not much effort needed here especially if you’re feeling lazy like me. 🙂 Without further ado, here we go.
Completing the Redesign
I wrote about a blog design update post some months ago but still I haven’t finalized everything yet. It’s getting closer though as I have finished putting widgets and modifying some pages. There are some minor kinks in this theme that I’m hoping to fix soon.
The logo isn’t still there but I do hope I can have it before the month ends. Also, this theme has a wide header below the main content area and I wanted to customize so it looks really good. I haven’t decided yet on what to put but I have so far experimented with putting some of the pictures I’ve taken myself as a filler. I want to have an image header that is as personal as possible but I don’t want to be too vain by showing pictures of myself. 🙂
Nevertheless, I searched for sites that are using the same theme and found this blog. Let’s say I want my header graphic to be kind of the same as hers.
Flickr as the service of choice
I didn’t really waste time since I wrote my thoughts on storing photos online. The commenter Jem has corrected me in that Flickr actually allows 1 TB worth of photo which is more than adequate for my needs. They don’t seem to be reducing the resolution of my photos as well.
So I went with Flickr and started uploading photos again. Feel free to check out my Flickr account if you feel interested.
Reorganizing my room
This is kinda offtopic and offline but I started a project for redesigning and reorganizing my room. This will be very hard to do because a). my room is very small to begin with, b). I need to spend lots of money to make it better.
The second reason is related to me living in my parents house. What that means is most of the schemes, colors and whatnot are standard for our whole house and there’s not much that I can change here. Well changing our house too much is not feasible at all either.
I’m still in my early 20’s (well 24 to be exact) but I should perhaps start having a plan for moving out and live on my own.
There are a couple of local companies that have contacted me for a mini collaboration. It is my hope that the mini collaboration is the start for something bigger down the road. 🙂
The first is PricePanda which is a service that compares the best prices for each products. I’ve used them plenty of times before and I discovered through actually just Googling the actual products. Check them out as they’re a heck of a useful website for finding and buying stuff online
They’ve done a great guest post on the Evolution of Smartphones so make sure to read the article in case you haven’t done it yet. They also have a banner ad on the sidebar that I gave to them.
The second one is Zalora Philippines which is some kind of an online service for shopping clothes, shoes, accessories and anything that is related to looking good and fashionable. I also have used them before and even suggested them to my friends.
Zalora was kind enough to give me a gift certificate in exchange for our mini collaboration. The lady I’m in contact with was very kind and accommodating. But it was the service that is really impressive.
I ordered stuff from them through the certificate that they gave me and the orders arrived in less than 24 hours which was amazing. Throughout the process their staff have been helpful to all my inquiries and nagging questions. 🙂
Look out for more future collaborations between this blog and Zalora. 🙂
Accepting Guest Posts again
During my hiatus, it was the guest posts that kept this blog alive and now I would like to announce that I’m accepting them again. But for a difference, I’ll be more strict this time. The article obviously has to be top-notch but at the same time I am only allowing up to 3 links and the links have to be relevant otherwise, they would only be placed on the poster’s signature and nowhere else.
I tried the model where users would register and do their own guest posts from the WordPress backend. That didn’t work too well as I was overwhelmed with spammy guest content from users. So instead you can submit your guest posts the old fashioned way which is through the contact form.
So that’s it for the updates! 😉
Despite of me being totally busy with work and other stuff, I decided to launch a new website purely based on it being a hobby (or maybe not even really). ‘Passion projects’ aren’t really the best thing in life because aside from the fact that it doesn’t give you assurance of making money, its also a time sink and something that could hinder you from doing other things that are more “worth it” financially speaking. But life is all about being happy eh? 😛
So what’s up? It’s been almost 3 months since I last posted here in this blog and the last two posts didn’t even seem like “real” posts from me. 🙂 Overall, I just posted less than 40 posts for the past year and just 4 in the past 4 months. Oh yea!
I’m sure you’ve heard me before coming up with a lot of alibis and excuses for the lack of posts and today, I would still do the same by saying that I’ve been busy the past year with my work primarily and other client tasks. But the difference is that I will not come up with a list this time of what to expect from this blog. But rather I would discuss some drastic changes going forward.
Reverting back to casual posting
One of the things that I’ve done in the past 2 years (more evidently the past year) is that I moved slowly from being a casual blogger that has passion for internet marketing and blogging to a blogger who wants to build expertise and strictly cater to that expertise. I started to “act” like a guru on something and thus wanted to connect to my audience as someone who knows A LOT about something rather than just simply being myself. Obviously this has burned me out to the point that I hated writing here anymore.
When I was just getting started about 4 years ago, I idolized Shoemoney because he’s just so ‘plain’. He writes something useful about our industry but he also writes a lot about ‘personal crap’ or things that he’s interested but most of is audience are not. And I used to post like that. I had a lot ‘childish’ posts about having a bunch of mouse for my PC, receiving gadgets from companies, and even love life posts. It’s not really “so professional” but its enjoying.
Going back to what I was doing the past year, it became clear that its “unfulfilling”. I started to work on things like capturing more newsletter subscribers, strategizing on funneling prospects to buyers, writing bait posts that will eventually get readers to get my incentives and all of those ‘Frank Kern’ type of ninja things. Of course, no offense to Frank, but I was not built that way.
And last but certainly not the least, Robb Sutton’s post about ‘Blogging needing to get back to its roots‘ made me realize a bunch of things as well. So props to you Rob!
What will change & what will not
Does this mean I’m not going to monetize this blog anymore? No of course! Ads are still there and will always be there forever. I haven’t really made that much money from ads recently (probably less than $1500 for the past year) however I still see a lot of value in the “spaces” of this blog. I’m not going to push this too much but ads will remain. 🙂
How about the usual ‘marketing’ shit like capturing email leads, funneling them, selling info products to them, upselling etc.? I will probably still however this will never ever be a priority. In fact, I don’t even think I’m going to do anything aside from getting some newsletters out. I don’t see myself putting out any product today, and in the future. 😉
How about the posts? As mentioned above, I will do more casual posts. More of “I feel good about writing this today” kind of thing. Maybe not so much as say posting cat pictures, or ranting about neighbors and colleagues and stuff. But it depends on how I feel. I’m sure I’m going to lose out some readers along the way but hey this is my blog.
I will probably be doing some massive changes to some pages to reflect the shift of focus for this blog. Sure, pages like Freebies, Why Subscribe to my Blog will remain unchanged but as mentioned, the blog will not revolve around showcasing those things anymore. I’d be happy if I get more and more readers however, as long as I’m feeling good about what I’m doing, then I will just continue it. 🙂
So whats next?
I don’t know! I’ll probably write next about the version 4.0 design of this blog and then some ramblings here and there. The one thing to keep in mind is that MelvinBlog will still continue to be an internet marketing /blogging blog however I wouldn’t be pressuring myself too much about coming up with guides and rich-content type of posts. I may put out some posts about a marketing strategy that worked well for me but that would be few and far between.
As I’m writing this, I’m actually getting more and more excited about this ‘rebirth’ in blogging. I haven’t really written anything on ANY other blogs of mine but that FOR SURE will change in the coming months. Either for the good or the bad, not much that I cared anyway. 😉
Not so many people can create a blog and be a blogger that gets a lot of people to read his blog. That being said its much harder for someone to create a blog and be a blogger that people would like and would love to read to for a long time.
I know that of course, I’m a lurker. In my free times, I do a lot of blog hopping and try to see what the blogosphere is talking about. Some blogs are good and I like them a lot while some are good, yet I don’t feel like I ever want to get associated with them. And that’s the truth, needless to say.
There seems to be some key substance or ingredients that make a blog or the blogger that’s behind it likeable for people and for this post I’d like to share them to you based on my own experience. If you find that I’m missing something in the list, feel free to let me know it through the contact form. Anyhow here’s the list:
1. The blog loads smoothly and quickly
Let’s face it, blogs these days are plastered with ads. Look at you’re blog, look at my blog, look at this blog. But the truth is that it does not mean that your blog has to look cluttered, the truth is that there’s a lot of ways still to make a blog presentable and look uncluttered. And that is by making sure your blog loads smoothly and quickly.
There’s nothing worse than craving to find information only to wait for days and days before that info loads (of course “days” is a hyperbole description). I experienced that too and it took me a while to realize that my blog was loading slow enough for people to actually just move away and bounce from my site.
2. The author cares to reply to comments
These days, it can quite be hard to drive and attract traffic to your site especially if you’re just starting out. There’s just so much to read and there’s a chance that someone is always better than you, writes better content and knows more. So how do we counter that as a smaller blogger? Well the simple answer is to interact better to our audience.
As obvious these days, blogs that get loyal audience are the blogs that care about their readers. For my own perspective, I always feel appreciated everytime someone takes some time to reply to my comments and thats the reality about it. You may not be able to reply to all comments or may not be able to do it in a timely manner. But what’s important is to at least show you interact with them.
3. It’s easy to connect to them
Blogging is often associated to social media simply because they’re really connected to each other. You see, I have a blog but because I have a blog, I also use Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Stumbleupon or whatever. What makes a blogger approachable and easy to connect to is when he/she shares his/her information publicly to his readers. When connecting to him/her is easy.
4. When the blogger is nice and transparent
By saying nice, I don’t mean angelic or religious in some way or another. What I mean is that the blogger is nice and a true person. Here’s the thing, I myself is a big advocate of criticizing someone and in my blog I always voice out if some things or tools suck and that’s because its who I am.
I wrote a post not so long ago entitled, “its not about making controversy, it’s about being me” and in that I emphasized the importance of being yourself and not faking it. Although I also covered the consequences that one could face by being so transparent. Blogging is a human to human connection and I haven’t seen anyone succeeded who’s pretending to be someone else.
5. They reward their readers once in a while
This is a big reason for most readers and audience why they have to stay. Not all bloggers do this and I’m not talking about rewarding someone by giving him cash or gadgets. What I’m talking about is the simple things like commenting back on the blog, or giving a mention or link love. How about a simple retweet or a stumble? Those things are really small yet they mean a lot especially for your readers.
Those are the 5 things that I think makes a blog and its blogger likeable . They are definitely simple things but the effects can be dramatic especially for the growth of the community of your blog.
Did you notice I haven’t even included writing good content? Yes, writing superb articles will always be a factor for one’s success but good writers and informational blogs aren’t really always likeable, you know what I mean? People read for two things, first is to find information and second is to connect and if you’re just going to write good blog entries then I’m not sure that’s enough for you to be successful.
I just named 5 here because I know you have other things in your mind too. So what are the other key ingredients of a likeable blog that you think I missed out?
I know the title of this post raises the eyebrows of some of you here but let me just get my point here. So basically here in this blog, what I have been preaching is that you can never make money blogging unless you put in enough effort. you do it wisely and execute things strategically. Heck, most successful bloggers even take like one year before they even get to where they are now. And that comes with the fact that they are consistently putting effort from day one.
In this blog, I wrote some few tips related to making money blogging although this blog is NOT about that topic. I wrote posts like how this blog makes money, how I doubled my advertising income, monetizing local traffic and stuff like that. Another popular blog posts is this post which is entitled making money isn’t hard, it just involves a lot of hardwork which has completely nothing to do with making money blogging.
If you read those posts, you can see that most of the things that I do or attain are possible because I’m workaholic. I do exert a lot of effort in this blog (although not these days though) and most bloggers that I know do the same so there’s a commonality between bloggers who are making money.
Work hard, Don’t Expect at All
Ok I know I’ve been taking both sides of the fence here which definitely will confuse you but let me explain. Some of you here know that blogging isn’t really the main way I make money ever since. Before it was affiliate marketing. I did a lot of CPA stuff, promoting offers through PayPerClick, making a lot of money back then and some of you are aware with it.
I don’t do it that much today because of all regulations and affiliate marketing is a fly-by-night thing. I can be making $100 in one day or losing more than that. There’s that much risk that convinced me to stop doing it.
I also spent some little time with freelance writing early back in my college days and was associated with some companies. This was just a part-time gig for me as I was studying so I could have some allowance on my part.
I enjoyed blogging ever since and probably had spent the most amount of time in it without really making nearly the amount that I make with other things.
Having a Day Job
So late last June, I took a job at a certain software development company as their online marketing guy and with that I applied all the knowledge that I have to that company.
Obviously its nice for me because it was my first ever job and it allowed me to kind of like have an income source outside the internet which I also considered consistent (at least for the first 6 months) because you’re getting paid monthly.
Consulting & Client Work
The demands of having a day job is tough but that didn’t prevent me from pursuing this consulting & client work business. Very few know that I manage a startup company at Round Table Networks and that I did some consulting way back last year. It was good and the money was enough but back then I didn’t find it that fulfilling so I stopped doing it and instead focused on my sites.
Late September I started doing it again to just try to see what would happen. Luckily I got some clients that I have been working until now and that has brought both good things and bad things to me. The good is obviously the compensation and the bad is that I have lesser and lesser time to spend for my web properties which includes this blog and some other stuff.
Making Money Blogging & Not Expecting at All
I don’t know. I, myself is confused on what the topic of this blog post really is but I guess its just about accepting the fact that living off with the sole money that you make from blogging is almost not possible these days. I mean I still make a decent (not phenomenal) monthly passive income from this blog and some of my other sites but they just take a backseat with what I do primarily.
The main point here is that if you’re trying to make money from your blog but you have a job that you make consistent amount of money with, then just don’t expect too much from your blog. Sometimes its better to just work without expecting something because in that way, you don’t get depressed or frustrated when you don’t make that much money.
Looking back now, I realized that blogging was NEVER the main thing for me. Sure, this blog is one of main prized assets that I have online but it just acts as a second fiddle to the things that I really do. It was affiliate marketing before, having a day job and consulting work for now.
I think it’s equally important to have this mindset that sometimes enjoying something is enough and may alone justify the effort that you put into it. I know that statement is debatable.
I try to make money blogging, but I don’t expect that much. And that helped me a lot in focusing on more important things that I need to prioritize without getting frustrated. How about you?