I failed in attempt at writing a interesting first paragraph, so here it is. It’s new years day at the moment and here is my 2011 year in review, aka what I learnt in 2011, mostly inrelation to blogging and websites.

Write what you know and do.

My job is a technical one, I fundamentally work in telecommunication/ISP networks however I also do a lot of work with servers (at least that was true in my last role), we all get to that stage troubleshooting where you give something a quick ‘Google’ because your either out of ideas or just want to confirm a theory, before you possibly beak it even further. So my aim was simple, over 2 months I would make note of my searches, document the solutions to problems and post that in a blog form. I am no SEO expert but the plan was people must be having the same problems.

In sort it worked; my most visited page was one of the first that I did in this idea, this blog now gets on most days over 100 people, and it’s had a few peaks over 500 which I don’t think is too bad. Another advantage is you can also look back when your faced with the same problems again, as I am sure you will be 🙂

Create rules and follow them

Another problem I hit was actually finishing a post, I either got bored or just didn’t think the quality was good enough, the post then got deleted or left in the wordpress drafts section, so there were two simple rules:

Use wordpress – Ok so a bit of background, I would write a post in something like microsoft word and then copy/paste over to WordPress when it was finished, I am not really sure why I did this, but it was certainly a bad habit. I would just close word, lose all the content and be no further in progressing my blog. By writing everything in WordPress it’s always in the draft section, staring at you to do something about it.

No Drafts– So the second rule, your never allowed to create a new post if there is a draft in the queue, ‘first come first serve’. Finish the post and get the content out there for people to see, you will probably get some search traffic from it! Plus it gives you some motivation to write about more stuff when the drafts bin is clear.

Projects cover costs.

If you enjoy building stuff then start a project and build something useful (route.im and whatportis.com are an example of mine), once you have created it post the new service/idea on a few social sites like hacker news, just make sure you put all your effort into creating it!

Throughout 2011 my server bills have all been paid for by the first 3 days of 4 projects that I launched, cool isn’t it? Your left with something useful that can continue to grow, with no costs or worries about costs for the remaining year!

Finally even if your not ready to ‘show off’ the service to a forum/social website, build it and keep it sitting there to improve on later, chances are some people will find it (using search engines etc..) and start to use the service. You can improve it when your ready and you will already have some decent ‘testing’ done.

Links aren’t bouncy.

I am the first to acknowledge this blog structure isn’t great, however i blame that on not having enough content in all the areas yet, something that I will hopefully progress and address in 2012. But I admit you can certainly help out your visitors, in the blog post text add some links to relevant other posts that you have done, chances are they will be interested in the content and probably click through, therefore browsing instead of bouncing.

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