state of the blog

My 2010 state of the blog

state of the blogI started this blog by accident.

In May I was using the space to manipulate a Hybrid child theme, and it was around the time the Alabama primaries for 2010 were heating up. The Republican primary was June 1st, 2010 and on June 14th I wrote this post in part just writing some random thoughts about the primary runoff and in part creating some dummy content to see on the site.

While I was breaking WordPress on my live site I realized people were actually finding their way to that post from some fairly popular Google search terms.  So I decided I needed to lock down V1 for the blog design and actually start blogging. So I did. And my blog sucked. In fact, it still sucks — depending on how you define sucking.

I think I wrote some decent posts, but if you click on those links or just browse around here for a little while you’ll notice there is no coherent singular topic I wrote about in 2010. In terms of creating a popular blog, such a method is a great recipe for sucking. If the point of the blog is to write what’s on your mind, then perhaps it is not so bad — as long as I don’t care about getting any visitors of course.

So, let’s look at the numbers just for fun and quasi-embarrassment.

  • 4,510 — Visits
  • 8,184 — Pageviews
  • 1.81 — Pages/Visit
  • 70.47% — Bounce Rate
  • 2:08 minutes — Avg. Time on Site
  • 78.31% — % New Visits

In summary: traffic and statistics for this website are terrible. My most popular post was by far my tutorial on creating a feature post slider using jQuery, followed by the few posts on the Alabama elections.

Contributions to other blogs

What I have been far more fortunate with blog-wise over the last few months are my contributions elsewhere. I’ve been able to contribute to two popular blogs that have plenty of readers and are really fun to be a small part of.

Political Parlor

Political Parlor is a great blog about all things Alabama politics that has a very intelligent and involved community of readers that are very generous with comments. Political Parlor is read by just about everyone influential in Alabama Politics and many of the other contributors are legislators themselves.

The man behind the blog, Danny, was kind enough to let me contribute some posts regarding the elections over there throughout the month of October. You can see all my posts here. I hope to continue to contribute to Political Parlor whenever I feel that I can be helpful and add to the conversation. I am very thankful for Danny’s blogging advice and editorial comments on my pieces there.

WPCandy

WPCandy is a leading blog in the WordPress community for news, opinion, tutorials, and more. WPCandy was originally a tutorial site that went quiet before Ryan Imel took over, revitalized it and relaunched in August. Now its purpose includes tutorials but has really become the leader at providing “minty fresh” WordPress news for the community.

I sent Ryan an email in late August saying that his readers might find it interesting that Glenn Beck had launched a major website using WordPress and they put up a post about it and gave me a hat tip (too bad I can’t stand Glenn Beck). Soon after, Ryan asked if I’d be interested in a guest post or two and I loved the idea. As of today I’ve written about 30 posts for WPCandy and am having a great time.

What now?

Between Political Parlor and WPCandy I’ve had a great opportunity to write in some pretty decent sized blogging circles and also learn an enormous amount about my writing style and blogging in general. I continue to have an insatiable desire to design websites and write about various topics I’m passionate about.

Unfortunately writing about all of my interests on this blog will not make it any more fun to read. Most people that end up here are moderately interested in one topic or another, but most definitely not all of them — especially enough to subscribe or keep it as a steady bookmark.

Going forward I will target this website more as a portfolio for sites I design or WordPress themes I release and a place where I talk about things I’m doing elsewhere. Not too many riveting posts will originate here. But you can expect some structure and layout changes to the site itself and a redirection to at least have coherent, singularly focused content. Content about myself.

In the end I hope for krogsgard.com to be my hub where I can direct people to other stuff I’m doing that is more specific and targeted to specific audiences. So traffic will continue to be low fairly low, but the reader will hopefully fully understand why they are here and where I want them to go from here.

Lots of ideas

I don’t know whether it’s good or bad, but I have far more ideas than time. I have been collecting all of my ideas and prioritizing what I actually think I can accomplish and what is most important to me.

  • I intend to keep contributing to Political Parlor when I feel I can provide quality content and WPCandy as much as I can help out and provide quality posts.
  • I certainly plan to release multiple WordPress themes this year, including a couple of parent themes for targeted niches built off of Hybrid Core, an awesome WordPress theme framework.
  • I plan to make my willingness to design custom websites for a bit of extra money more obvious, either on this site or perhaps a different outlet.
  • I think there is a hole in the WordPress community for a singular place for absolute beginners to learn the essential tools of getting started with WordPress.  I plan to plug that hole with a new website called Tutrd.com, pronounced “tutored”, where beginners can go and developers can lead clients in order to learn web design, development, and blogging basics for WordPress. Tutrd.com is in its infancy, but I think it is a great opportunity for 2011.

Wrapping it all up

All in all, this blog sucks, but I’ve had a lot of really great opportunities to contribute other places in 2010.  I’ve learned an enormous amount and hope to keep contributing elsewhere, but I also have some ideas of my own.  I look forward to learning even more in 2011, and making some of my ideas a reality.  So follow me on Twitter, stay tuned for new announcements, and be ready for an incredible 2011.

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