December 31, 2011

Yakezie Challenge Year-End Update

On September 27th, 2011, I joined the Yakezie Challenge.  At the time, my Alexa rank was a little over 4 million.  Part of the challenge, and the ultimate 6-month goal is to achieve a ranking of less than 200,000.  

I have to admit, that when I joined I knew very little about blogging.  Obviously, I knew what a blog was and how to post and play with the appearance of my pages.  I had no clue though about the inner workings of the entire blogosphere in general.  I didn’t know a thing about 3rd party plug-ins or add-ons.  I didn’t know that commenting on other blogs leads to readership of your own blog.  I didn’t know what a blog carnival was.  I didn’t know that people actually paid to host their own sites.  I knew nothing about monetization, other than how to put up Adsense ads, which had never generated any clicks for me.  I had never participated in a forum that is focused on blogging issues.

In the short 3 months that I have been a part of this challenge, I have learned quite a bit about all of that stuff, and then some.  Early on, I learned that I needed to focus on my writing and build up a library of content on my site.  That is exactly what I did at first, but my efforts have since dwindled.  If you look at my blog archive, you will see that I wrote 12 posts in October, 10 in November, and this will be only my 8th for the month of December.  This is due in part to the time that I now spend reading and commenting on other blogs.

Speaking of time, finding it is one of my biggest challenges when it comes to blogging.  I typically have only about two hours per day to work on my blogs.  I get up at 6:30 every morning, despite not having to be in to my day job until 10:30.  I usually blog until about 9, but that 2.5 hours is NOT uninterrupted.  Within that time I have to wake up the family and help get my 4-year old off to pre-school.  I usually get home from work late and rarely work on my blog at night.  Family time is very important to me, and I don’t think my wife or kids would be very happy with me if my every spare moment at home was spent sitting in front of the computer.

I do try to keep up with some of my networking via my smartphone when I have time to kill during my day job.  I am a truck driver by day, and one example might go like this:  I get to a stop where all of the docks are occupied.  I set the brakes, grab my phone and open up Twitter.  I open up my “money-twits” list on twitter, which is a list that I created for Twitterers who tweet or blog about money.  I’ll start to read through the tweets, then click on any links that spark my interest.  Depending on how much time I have to waste, I will sometimes read an entire post and even have time to comment.  I also do this during my lunch-break, or even while inside a stop, waiting to be loaded or unloaded.

Considering the time, or lack thereof, that I put into blogging, I think that I am progressing fairly well.  As of today, 12/31/11, my Alexa ranking is down to 358,182!  This absolutely would not have been possible if not for the Yakezie network and everybody within it.  I have learned a ton by reading and trying to emulate the blogs of others.  If ever I have a question, I simply post it in the bloggers lair forum, and folks are more than happy to help out.

As far as the Yakezie challenge, I am confident that I will reach the goal of obtaining an Alexa page rank of less than 200,000 before March 27, 2012.  With just under 3 months to go, I am well on my way.  Another part of the challenge is to have relationships with at least 10 other bloggers within the Yakezie network.  That part is easy and can be accomplished by simply reading and commenting on other blogs regularly.  In fact, that part is just as much fun as writing.  In many cases, reading posts by other bloggers will inspire a good post of your own.

Blogging has become a part of my life. I think about it constantly.  It is a hobby, to be sure, but eventually it will turn into an income source.  After all, this is the ultimate goal, to make money doing what you love.  I admit, I immensely enjoy blogging.  It is exhilarating to write and publish a good post and know that I am helping others by sharing some of my knowledge.


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