Starting a New Blog, Finally Making the Time
Welcome to the Old Town Blog. This is a sample post I’m using as a placeholder, while I rebuild this site, and decide exactly which direction I want to go with the blog. Client projects get priority, so my own site ends up a perpetual work-in-progress. It’s also somewhat of a guinea pig I use to test new optimizations on a live website after using my test site.
It’s been a long time since I published a post on my blog. I’ve been so wrapped up in studying the technical side of my business, I just haven’t had the time. After years spent learning how to build a ‘hot rod’ of a WordPress blog, I can finally put it to use.
I usually get up around 5 am, even on the weekend. The first early morning hours of the day, when it’s still dark and quiet, are my most productive. A good night’s sleep refreshed my mind, and the morning coffee definitely helps. It’s time to get into a routine of working on this blog for an hour each morning, before I start the rest of my online day. This should give me one or two quality blogs post each week.
From Gardening Blog to Old Town Web
It’s funny how things work out sometimes. Back in 2012, I got a phone call from a web company. They offered to build me a WordPress blog I could use to make extra money in my spare time. The blog could be about anything I wanted, and I could pick my domain and blog name. They would monetize my blog with pay-per-click ads, and I would get the revenue.
I loved gardening, and spent a long time in the landscaping business during my younger years. The idea of blogging about gardening, and getting a check each month intrigued me, so I gave it a go. Somehow, howtobuildgardens.com was still an available domain name, so I took it.
The deal was, they would build the blog, add three professionally written posts to start me out, and put the ads on it. From that point forward, I would regularly add posts, or pay them to do it. When a visitor clicked one of the ads, I got paid.
Well, things didn’t go exactly as planned. The blog they built for me was butt ugly. It was fluorescent yellow with a fluorescent blue ribbon for a menu. The three posts they published were very short, vague and uninformative. They did put the ads on there, but I was making less than a dollar each month.
Being a very hands-on type of person, I decided to take ownership of howtobuildgardens.com, get my own hosting account and build my blog. That’s when I caught the bug. I became fascinated with the technical side of blogging and building websites using WordPress. Right away, I built a better, more attractive blog than the ‘professionals’ built for me. I added links to affiliate products, not the pay-per-click ads, and started making up to 50% commissions, instead of 3 cents per click.
Don’t Forget the SEO
I had a similar experience with a search engine optimization company. They found my gardening blog, which was already ranking fairly well for some decent keywords, and said they could improve the SEO. Long story short on this one, they used black hat optimization methods along with some useless ones. My blog disappeared from search results completely.
Both these experiences sent me on a mission to learn everything I could about building and optimizing blogs and websites.
I ran the gardening blog, along with several temporary blogs for marketing other types of affiliate products for a year and a half. Then, I decided I would rather make a living running my own business. The next few years, I spent most of my time studying WordPress performance and search engine optimization. I officially started my company in January of 2016, which is now Old Town Web.
Completing the Circle with this Blog
It took another two years of study, and using this site as a guinea pig, before publishing this first post. Now, I’m ready to put some time into writing. Each of these future posts will revisit my studies over the years. I hope this helps others who caught the WordPress bug, like I did. Reading other blogs certainly helped me. I look forward to sharing what I learned with you, and anyone who can benefit from it.
Are you finally making the time to blog? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.