This blog has brought some exciting and unexpected things into my life. In this article, I’ll discuss some of the biggest surprises that have come about as a result of this.
A brief background
It was about a year ago that I first began to really get into blogging. I knew of blogs and actually had a few on livejournal and myspace for a few years. I was vaguely aware of RSS back in 2002 when it first came on the scene and began to gain some popularity. I just had never really gotten into the whole blogging thing.
I began reading blogs some and started learning. I was inspired. But I still never ventured into the “edublogosphere.” In February, I began writing down some of my thoughts on teaching, but didn’t read other teacher blogs. It wasn’t until June before I sat down and began to make a conscious effort to make So You Want To Teach successful.
I moved from my blogger domain and actually set up my own domain over here. I began adding some stat tracking stuff and really started to make a go at it. I found blog carnivals, I found TeacherLingo, I began to interact on other blogs. Before I knew it, my blog has begun to get some pretty high traffic levels. Quantcast says that it is getting nearly 9,000 pageviews per month, and over 75 unique visitors per day. The growth is relatively healthy growth, but a few surprises have really helped me out.
5 blogging surprises of 2007
- I was featured on Zen Habits
This was huge as Zen Habits is one of the top 500 blogs, according to Technorati with over 26,500 subscribers. I was actually twice in the same week. Once as an interview about my clean desk habit (which happened to be on the same day I had posted my article Less Stress: Declutter Your Desk), and the other placed me at the top of a list of “Ask The Readers” tips for decluttering.
- I was featured on chrisg.com
In an article about flagship content, Chris writes:††
Everyone has experience to share. Joel wrote from experience and put together 7 Questions That Will Save Your Career. What advice could you give to somebody wanting to follow your own career?
- Blogging guru Lorelle left a couple of lengthy, positive comments
One of the most respected names in WordPress blog design, and the author of such gems as Fortune Cookie Blogging and How To Know When To Stop Blogging, Lorelle applauded my efforts to get rid of obtrusive advertisements in my blog. I still maintain a few paid text link ads, but have completely eliminated Google AdSense, Amazon ads, and all other graphical advertisements.
- Comments coming like crazy
Since the beginning of October, I have had a whole lot more readers visiting my site. A lot of that had to do with the Zen Habits interview mentioned above. As hard as I try to keep my inbox empty, I am lagging behind in the email department. Some of that has to do with the busyness of this time of the year, and some of it has to do with a greatly increased flow of email from the blog. It’s definitely a good problem to have!
- Carnival of Education traffic
I was amazed that hosting the Carnival of Education in the first week of December ended up bringing more traffic than the Zen Habits interview did. On top of that, my RSS subscription count increased by 20-30%. Part of that has to do with the fact that the Carnival of Education brings in targeted readers, whereas Zen Habits brought in readers looking for productivity stuff. Since productivity is merely one facet of this blog’s purpose, the readership didn’t increase quite as dramatically then. I will be hosting the Carnival again next week, by the way.