This post is somewhat off topic. The subject of the post is the reason it was not published as the second post of the week on Friday as usual.
I need to back up a bit here.
Since starting this blog back in April 2009 (after testing the water with a blogger.com blog for 8 months), it has gone through several changes, in appearance, focus, topics covered and audience demographics. Numbers of visitors have risen and fallen, comments have increased and decreased. Subscription levels dropped dramatically when I switched the focus away from Network Marketing, Internet Marketing Systems and Penny Auctions to Personal Development and fundamental values for a successful and balanced life.
Since that change in focus, subscriber levels have increased slowly, but not to the point where the blog could be considered a success.
Over the 5 years I have been publishing this blog, I have produced 439 blog posts with an average of around 700 words, that is enough material for a couple of full length books. The posts occupy 22 pages in the blog index and the website runs to 20 published pages. With my boomer generation distrust of electronic storage, I print out every post and have four cartons full of my work. Apologies to tree lovers, but in my defence, I do set my printer to print on both sides of the page. I also back up this blog every week on my hosting server, my own hard drive and in the cloud.
Over that period, I have also started 6 more blogs of my own in specialised niches, published thousands more words on them, abandoned 3 of them, left another simmering on a back burner awaiting possible resurrection. Converted one to a site to promote some of my other business activities and I post infrequently on my political blog when I feel strongly about topics that do not fit here.
I have also set up and started many other blogs for clients, provided content for some of them for varying periods, been a contributor to forums, discussion groups, and a regular commenter on both big and small blogs. Two e-books have been written and published.
All told, I have produced a huge amount of content, spent hours on researching, creating, writing, editing, finding graphics
When I was in England last year, my brother asked me whether the time I spent on writing, doing work for clients and my other internet marketing activities were worth the effort. He has a much more hands on “real” business. He works long hours, but at the end of each day, he knows exactly how much he has made from each customer, what he and his employees have earned. He can easily calculate his financial return on hours or dollars invested.
Looking at my figures, his comment was that it is just not worth all the effort. No amount of telling him how much I enjoy writing and trying to help other people think differently, lead successful and healthy lives, could persuade him that what I was doing made sense.
His final comment was, that I was “hoping” a hobby would somehow evolve into a business that would provide me with an income to live a comfortable life, but in reality I would go broke unless I changed something dramatically. He was not being unkind or negative, just realistic.
Of course, he is absolutely correct and at times, I have had to resort to doing some off-line work to survive, but being pig-headed, I have refused to give up. However his words have been a constant reminder that I need to change my strategy if I want to have a financially secure old age. I am reminded of the old adage that to continue to do the same actions while hoping for different results is a sign of insanity.
With that motivation to get moving, I have been studying other successful bloggers, ones who have large followings, produce good, valuable content and who are, generating a reasonable income from their writing, on-line and associated activities. I have not wasted time on those that claim to have the secret to huge wealth with little effort.
As always, it is those that promote themselves and their work, who are doing well.
Two bloggers that have accumulated huge followings over a comparatively short period are:
James Altucher who I have mentioned before.
James Clear who I have only recently started following and who presented an excellent webinar last week in which he laid out the exact steps he took to take his blog from zero to 71 000 subscribers in 18 months.
Both bloggers and others like Chris Brogan provide very good, but not consistently earth-shatteringly-brilliant content. All are open and honest about their own successes and failures, James Altucher at times, embarrassingly so. All are down-to-earth with an absence of BS.
All of them are masters at spreading their work to huge audiences.
Lastly, all of them distribute their posts by email, they do not wait for readers to visit their blogs. Since the end of Google Reader, which made it easy to follow numerous blogs without subscribing to them directly, I have noticed that it is too easy to forget good blogs for days or weeks and lose track of them completely. The only blogs I read regularly are the ones which send me every post by email.
I know that this is a common problem for both bloggers and followers.
I am making a few changes.
Firstly, I am reverting to my more down to earth Contrarian Thinker & Speaker description of who I am. Although “Alchemist” describes quite well how I am able to help people in both their personal lives and businesses, most people under 60 have no idea what the word means. Many assume either some industrial or chemical qualification, others something more sinister.
It’s a description that was recommended by other coaches, and advisers, but one that has not left me comfortable.
You will see some changes in the header of this website, and in the Home page.
Secondly, I am changing the 4 post summary bulletin that is emailed every 2 weeks to subscribers to an email newsletter of each post in full on the day it is published, generally every Tuesday and Friday.
Topics will continue to be about personal development and living an extraordinary life, including; inspiration, perseverance, commitment, determination, resilience, endurance, discernment, stoicism, motivation, purpose and goals. I will also be including some health related posts.
Every email will have an unsubscribe link, one click and you can be taken off the mailing list.
The third change will be to tidy up the site, obsolete pages will be removed, the proliferation of sharing and “liking” buttons will be reduced to the standard WordPress share and like buttons. Improvements to the more recent versions of WordPress have removed the need for some plugins.
Lastly, I will be looking for more opportunities to broadcast my content to a wider audience by guest blogging, more actively curating posts on social media platforms.
I will strive to create content that helps, entertains, inspires and informs you, I hope you continue to follow this blog and welcome comments on the changes.
graphic courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net