February 20, 2012

Rambling Road Meets Zzyzx

Zzyzx Road along the I-15 in California
Week Ending 02.18.12
As requested by PK from DQYDJ.net in a comment on my 2nd ever RoundUp post, I am working “Zzyzx” into this edition of Rambling Road.  I had forgotten about that comment until I came across this picture on Flickr!  What better way to work it in than to include this picture?

Speaking of Zz’s, I don’t get a lot of those these days.  I’ve made it a habit as of late to get up at 5:30 most mornings to work on blogging.  Formerly, I was getting up at 6:30, but this was too close to the time that my distractions started to awake.  My almost 5-year old son informed me this week that it annoys him that I get up so early to work on the computer.  He made a suggestion, saying that I should only do this every other day.  I contemplated his suggestion and instead ignored my blog for the entire weekend.  This is why this edition of Rambling Road was not posted on the weekend as usual.  Happy Monday everyone!

Behind the Scenes at RamblingFever Money
When choosing a commenting plug-in for this blog way back when, I decided to go with Disqus.  My main reason for choosing Disqus was because of the ability they offer to moderate and respond to comments via e-mail.  Most of my weekdays are spent behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler, so this was the easiest and best way for me to keep up with comments during the day via my smartphone.

Last week, one of my Yakezie team members, John from Married With Debt pointed out to me that his comments weren’t showing up on my site any longer.  Unbeknownst to me, several of my commenters, including regulars, were being kicked to my Disqus spam folder.  I apologize if this has happened to any of you.  I am now making it a habit to check that folder regularly and approve any non-spam comments.  The good news is that it was actually catching spam comments and not publishing them on my site.

A few weeks ago, I switched templates on this blog in an attempt to give it a fresher, more easy on the eyes kind of look.  When I did that, my post titles on the post pages only were displaying in a smaller font, not the larger font that you see now.  They were larger on the main page, but as soon as you clicked to the post page they became smaller.  For the life of me, I could not figure out how to fix this.  More than once, I scrolled through every last line of the HTML for this site looking for the font size for titles on post pages.  I could not find it.  I know very little about HTML, by the way, and this was not one of the joys of blogging for me.  As I should have done right away, I finally Googled my problem.  Sure enough, others had the same problem and easy step-by-step instructions were provided in a forum I found.  Lesson learned: just Google it right away next time instead of trying to figure it out myself.

I’ve added an Advertise page to my blog.  Although it hasn’t happened for me yet, I understand that advertisers will start to contact me when they notice that my site is starting to get a lot of traffic.  I decided to utilize the expertise of Crystal from Budgeting in the Fun Stuff to handle all of my ad negotiations.  Crystal has an incredible success story, as she has grown her ad business within the past year to handle ads for over 200 blogs!  By taking advantage of her knowledge and pool of contacts, I will be able to save time and earn more money.  Even after paying her 25% commission for each ad deal, I will come out ahead.  As one blogger put it, 75% of a lot is better than 100% of a little.

Blog Progress
Last week, two of my blogging friends surpassed their goal of getting their Alexa rankings under 200k!  Both Jai Catalano and John at Married With Debt achieved this Yakezie goal.  I’m pretty sure both of them jumped into the challenge later than I did, but were able to achieve their goals at record pace.  Kudos to them and all of their efforts.

This blog is progressing, slowly but surely.  I am satisfied with the rate at which I am moving, as my time to work on this is somewhat limited.  My Alexa ranking will be under 200k very soon.  I am to the point now where I am averaging about 100 page views per day.  I realize that this probably sounds feeble as compared to some of the bigger and more established blogs.  It is impressive to me though, as it wasn’t very long ago that it would take me four or five days to get 100 page views.

I was inspired earlier this week when I was reading Len Penzo’s 2-million page views milestone post.  He reminded his readers that he only had 13,000 page views in his first 9 months of existence.  He now has one of the personal finance mega blogs, as I like to call them.  It is always reassuring to see how some of the big blogs struggled in the beginning.  

Links for Weekly Must-Read Sites
According to my plans as laid out at the end of last week’s Rambling Road, I concentrated on less reading and more writing last week.  I of course stopped by and read posts on all of the blogs included on my Yakezie team.  See the blogroll at the bottom of my sidebar over there on the right.  As mentioned above, I stopped by Len Penzo’s site.  His is one I must check out at least once each week.

Yakezie.com is another side that must be looked at every single week.  Featured on the home page are incredible posts by Yakezie members.  Last week Sunil from The Extra Money Blog posted, Alternative Ways of Making Money Online. The highlight here was to make money NOT by teaching others how to make money. Everybody is doing that already.

Sam at Financial Samurai takes another look outside the box, this time in reference to The Gender Wage Gap And A Solution To Income Inequality. Being a father myself, I love his suggested solution!  This is another site I find myself visiting at least once a week.  Sam is the founder and creator of the Yakezie network, but this is not why his site is a must-read.  His writing never ceases to amaze and some of the topics he comes up with are outstanding.

DQYDJ.net is another site I visit on a weekly basis.  Partly because of the relationship we’ve developed starting with our collaboration in Should You Get a Degree or Drive a Truck?  This happened when my blog was still quite new, and PK has been quite helpful to me as I’m learning about blogging.  He’s also a regular reader and commenter on my blog.  Thanks PK!  Last week, Cameron wrote a good piece on their site entitled, The Psychology of Passive Investing.



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