February 2021 State of the blog

Truth be told, I am writing this in the middle of January. We have a lot to cover this year and I’m excited to tackle what will hopefully be the best year of the blog yet.

The Month of January

With January I tried something new; I took my New Year’s resolution post and tried to make it a hybrid of my goals and the status update posts I did throughout 2020. In the future, I will leave the two separate. The formats I’ve come to realize are completely different even if in theory it could “work”. It’s better to take the time to do both as January is the month I have the most to say and really sets the tone for the year. So with that said, what’s in store?

Poetry and Short Stories

Last year, I took time to evaluate stock and see what I valued as a writer. I played with business articles on Linkedin and even considered a second blog on Medium. I also, had an informational for writing roles and ultimately decided not to mess with the formula. Poetry I’ve always loved and short stories are great writing practice. I’m obsessed with dystopian fantasies and realized I could write my own stories to further my own writing abilities and entertain. In fact, October I’ve dedicated to the pursuit. A spooky month to write and this upcoming year will be combining horror with various genres rather than strictly horror.

I’ve found my strength in writing Sci-Fi stories and thus I’ll primarily be sticking to this genre until my writing improves. Poetry will cover any topic that comes to mind as I’ve been doing it the longest and there are few barriers when I sit down to write.

Articles

I’ve been meaning to write more, however, articles take a while and do not always have the intended payoff. In the past, I just wrote whatever was on my mind as I navigated the world. As I’ve become more articulate, there has been less of a need to write about such topics. As such, I’ll be reassessing how I approach articles and see if I can’t find ways to innovate my process. The month of May is dedicated to Mental Health and will essentially be my “article” month but ideally I would like to do more if I can find a nice flow.

April, May, and October

This will be the first year where certain months are focused around a theme. April will be Poetry Month with a new poem every week. May will be Mental Health Awareness Month and will be an article every week covering various Mental Health topics, and October will be Horror Month with a focus on writing Short Stories. No more guessing when I’ll be writing, I spent a year figuring that part out!

Status Updates

Overall, status updates have added a cohesiveness to the blog that has been much needed. It gives me a chance to keep everyone in the loop and helps to organize my monthly thoughts. I’ve played around with a couple ideas and have decided 9 status updates a year works for my needs. I thought about doing a seasonal update (Autumn, Winter, Spring, Summer) but realized 4 a year might be too little and my initial concern of my status updates getting in the way of writing other posts has all but disappeared. I also thought of a bi-annual update in an update mega post but have opted for gradual updates even if I feel I don’t have much to say in a given month. Short or long it matters not as I can shift the focus of what I cover in each update.

Marketing and other Goals

I’ve had limited success with Twitter and Facebook. Without a dedicated marketing team, that leaves success up to the fates. Last year I put a lot of pressure on myself to expand inorganic growth and learned quite a lot about social media along the way. This year, I’m taking a step back. I now have a Facebook page and Twitter is still around. Social Media I find to be exhausting and not where the majority of my readers come from. Organic growth through the WordPress reader is how most find my blog and I’m ok with that; this is a hobby blog and I’m not a company, so growth will come naturally.

Asking for Follows: The Stats

While it doesn’t hurt to ask for a follow or a like, I found that asking for support only made a real difference in the first months of 2020. After that, it was more or less the same as it has always been. For the last quarter of 2020, I stopped asking for follows at the end of each post and didn’t notice any changes. As such, I’m making the change for 2021 to make a mention on my update posts and thus free my other posts from the clutter. I also may draft a default statement rather than write out a new statement each time; this change should be cleaner and I expect to see positive results for 2021.

Patreon and Ko-Fi

The ultimate goal is to have the blog pay for itself, the dream is to make a little extra spending money on the side. To do this, I will need to invest more time and energy into both sites, which is easier said than done. 2020 was a successful year for Patreon and was happy to receive some support during the year. Unlike asking for a follow, I may simply keep adding a link to my support page after each post or I may simply ask here. While there is a tab on the website, I’ve found more engagement when I’ve taken the time to mention it should you feel inclined to help out this one man blog. All in all, 2021 is looking to be the best year of my blog and my hope is that it dwarfs 2020, which is now officially the best year the blog has had.


Follow, share, and like if you enjoy my content. If you want to support me as a creator, below is a link to my payment page:

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As always, thanks for reading!

The life of Mike: An update post

So it’s been a while. My blog has been expanding quite a bit since graduation and there have been a lot of changes. I’m trying a new format for how I relay the information, so hopefully you find this helpful.

Changes since January:

  • Site now has a Patreon as well as advertisements
  • Site has been upgraded from a personal account to a premium account
  • Site theme has been updated to accommodate for photography and the occasional original videos
  • Bought camera so I can actually take photos
  • Learning basic coding to help with edits
  • twitter feed has been integrated into the blog to make for a more personal experience
  • Goodreads reading list has been added so you can see what books I’m reading at the moment.
  • Added my personal mission statement to the navigation menu

In addition to these changes, I also plan to eventually add a contact tab (currently figuring out the best way to implement) and am adding Ko-Fi to content centric posts (so not this).

Patreon and Ko-Fi:

I’ve been struggling for the past few months figuring out ways to monetize my blog in a way that builds a stronger community. As much as I love writing, writing well takes time and effort. At the moment I am hopping contract to contract in the Hellscape that is the current US job market. As such, I am looking at ways to become independently sustainable. I realized the problem with Patreon is the subscription. I like with Patreon that I can set long-term rewards and will keep the page as I still think it’ll (eventually) add value to the site as it grows. But I also realize sometimes people read content and simply want to chip in some money but don’t care for rewards and don’t want to pay every month; that’s where Ko-Fi comes in (it’ll be a “buy me a coffee” button). With Ko-Fi you simply click the button, pay what you want for the post, and that’s it. Most of the money spent goes into the blog and it’ll allow me to create better content and to do so more frequently.

Upcoming Posts:

The plan is to do a Corporate America series! The series will be a few articles such as a look at contracts (small business vs. corporation), reputation (the in’s and out’s, why integrity is important, etc.) and How to spot a manager from Hell (a tale of modern day managers and a look at when to leave a company). I also want to post about the gun “situation” in America, however, I also don’t want to get burned at the stake (this article has been years in the making and might be a few more years in the making). Come May, I have a lot planned for mental health awareness month but want to keep that a surprise. And finally, more poetry and fiction! I’ve been enjoying what I’ve wrote thus far and am glad you have as well! I have a few stories I’ve been bouncing around, it just takes time to write and edit (I’m only one man).

In Other News:

I have decided rather than trying to build a team for this site, I am going to keep the site my own. While an editor would be nice, quite frankly I do well enough on my own that the cost would far outweigh the benefit. As for the writers, if need be, I will have the occasional contributor (however, at the moment, there is no need).


That’s it! Thanks for reading! It’ll be a while before another post like this, so sit back and enjoy the content in the coming months; I have a lot planned and am glad you can join me on this journey.

 

With love,

Mike