The minute I clicked send for this email marked my 20,000th hour blogging.
During those 20,000 hours I’ve:
Had five different offices; three were in three different houses. Two were leased outside of my house. I’m currently in office #5.
Gone through four computers. I’m on number five.
Wrote around six million words.
Published at least 12,000 articles (not all written by me and certainly all not successful).
Tried at least 25 different WordPress themes and hundreds of plugins.
Used six different hosting services.
Earned revenue from ten different ad networks and services.
Made it through at least a dozen Google core updates (with mixed results).
Smashed up two vehicles. One of those crashes I wasn’t in the car. Forgot to put on the e-brake on in a sloped parking lot. Car rolled across the lot. To this day I’m grateful it was another car that stopped it rather than a person.
Not that crashing cars has anything to do with blogging.
Most of those 20,000 hours were great hours. I can’t imagine having done anything else.
Not once did I look at the clock wishing more time had passed.
Which reminds me of the bit in The Office TV show where they’re unloading a truck.
The Temp says “we could get this done a lot quicker if we formed a type of assembly line.”
Stanley, a veteran at the company, replies with a look of disgust “this here is a run-out-the-clock situation just like it is upstairs [in the office].”
Watch the clip here.
I’ve had my fair share of “run-out-the-clock jobs”.
Blogging is the opposite of a run-out-the-clock situation. It’s never done. That’s both good and bad. It’s good because that means it can always grow. It’s bad because it’s hard to learn to walk away at the end of the day and not dwell on it outside of work.
I’m a slow learner. Always have been. But if I like something I keep at it. Eventually I figure stuff out.
Once in a while I actually get good at something.
To date I’ve managed to build up some decent sites.
Creating something game-changing still eludes me. Hotmail, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit, Zillow, YouTube, Zoom, Shopify, TikTok to name a few are examples of game-changing web properties.
I don’t have visions of grandeur. I don’t expect to ever build something like those lauded sites.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t attempt to push the envelope. Do something different within the content publishing model.
I don’t have close to the coding chops or resources to launch a new platform or app.
What I do have is the willingness to dig deep trying to come up with content angles that appeal to people.
A very simple version of this is digging for topics and keywords that have little or no competition. That’s a very simplistic way to do something different from other sites. BTW simple doesn’t mean less than or bad. Simple is often the best way to go about things. Complicating things is easy. Distilling something down to simple and keeping it simple can be tough and requires discipline.
Publishing low competition topics is my bread and butter. I continue doing it daily. If it ain’t broke…
Over the last 20,000 hours I’ve worked hard to hone my content publishing skills and writing.
Once in a while I did things that worked wonders.
Two weeks ago I stumbled on a new type of content I hope will be the biggest hit yet. It’s not entirely novel but it’s also not all that widely done.
It’s a visual content concept. No, it’s not an adult site.
There’s plenty demand for it. So much so that currently people pay for it. I swear it’s not an adult site.
As someone who loves earning from ads I’m happy to give away that which others charge money for.
Given what ads pay these days, I think it’s worth giving away.
My point is not to reveal precisely what I’m doing. If I did that I’d give up my angle. My niche sites are still my focus… not merely an experiment or source for case studies to serve Fat Stacks.
But I can tell you this much.
If there’s a way to give away stuff that is otherwise sold, you just might have a huge opportunity.
Not only can the traffic and ad revenue be good, but content that is so good that people are willing to pay for can most definitely attract links. Never forget about the power and opportunity to attract links from content. Natural inbound links pay off for years.
Okay, I’ll give you an example.
Software and online tools.
This not what I’m doing but I may down the road.
Offer online software tools for free. Assuming the server costs don’t bankrupt you, free online tools can do wonders.
For example, I recently had a developer code a simple plugin to add features to another plugin I use. It cost me $280.
I could give it away. I might. I commissioned it for my personal use. Turns out I’m not going to use it but it works.
The point is to dream up stuff people really, really want. If people already pay for it or have to sign up for it, that’s even better. Imagine how excited they’ll be to get it for nothing.