I write my reflections after writing more than 400 blog posts in this site for the past 10 years. Here are the insights and lessons learned that will guide the next steps that this website will pursue in the next 3-5 years.
Table of Contents
Where It All Began
Writing blog posts like this one has been a major part of my daily life. I am one of those who spend more than the normal 3 hours and 55 minutes to write a blog post. Sometimes, a single blog post can take hours, even a day or more, to finish.
I created this website, Simplyeducate.me, way back in 2012 partly as an avenue for me to unload whatever comes to mind. I used to maintain a diary to write my thoughts but the availability of the internet to share these thoughts propelled me to undertake something that I have never planned nor imagined I would do.
I came to love website building thus thought of combining this interest with my writing passion. From zero knowledge of web development, I can say with confidence that I am now at par with advanced web developers.
In retrospect, I would have made web development as my career although it’s comforting to think that I have lots of experiences, knowledge and skills related to my current work as educator and field worker. Those knowledge, skills, and experiences enriched the educational blog posts I churn out each time something of significance comes up.
Writing Blog Posts in Various Writing Platforms
I once wrote in other writing platforms the likes of Triond (with its sub-websites Quazen, Healthmad, Authspot, Socyberty, Bizcovering, Beyond Jane, among others), Experts Column, Blogger, Wikinut, Ezine Articles, Hubpages, Factoidz, and even diary like blog sites like Live Journal and Xanga. Many of these writing platforms are already dead. The reason may be the proliferation of much better website development platforms and the dynamic nature of the internet. Also, user preferences vary over time aside from those defunct sites labeled as content farms.
The internet was at its infancy when I started. Internet speed was then so slow, and saving a blog post would take years, ironically speaking. Because of this, writing and publishing a blog post may take days. That is using a desktop, by the way, or an old, boxy IBM with a diskette containing mere megabytes of the earliest windows operating system—Windows 1.
It takes considerable time to save, edit, review, and finally publish whatever I wrote. Nevertheless, publishing articles, or simple thoughts, is worth the time to gain satisfaction of being able to share one’s musings and get feedback from all over the world.
It’s amazing how someone from faraway places gets to have a glimpse of another person’s thoughts in another place made possible by the vast coverage of the internet. Virtually anyone with internet connection can find your stuff of ideas and learn from them.
What Happened After 10 Years of Writing Blog Posts?
What happened after 10 years of writing blog posts like this?
Times have changed a lot for sure. Many innovations and software applications came into being changing the way things are being done online.
After 10 years, I have seen how the internet evolved. The digital landscape I came to witness before is way much different that it is today. The focus has shifted from the pure blogging satisfaction to monetization of whatever you have written online. I didn’t mind paying for my internet connection fees until I read about the possibility of earning something from ads displayed together with my content.
As a result, we can now see ads in almost all the blog posts we read, pockmarking the once clean blogging interface. The digital marketers have found a way to sell their wares, at the expense of blog post loading speed.
To understand how these things work, I need to do a bit of analysis on how blog posts published in this website perform. To do the analysis, web publishers and developers like me need to register to Google Analytics. Also, when I joined Ezoic, I used their in-house analytics that gives me insights on how each blog post performs.
There’s a lot to be gained from big data analytics. It allows me to see fluctuations in earnings as well as insights on site speed. It also tells me if I was able to successfully implement recommended strategies to make the website work better.
Earning Online for a Cup of Coffee
As a web developer by choice, I have explored the area of content monetization as part of sustaining my activity online. I no longer just write but took a keen interest on strategies to earn online, inspired by other bloggers who have successfully connected themselves with their audience. Viral content is each one’s ultimate goal in the hope of earning more with more views.
I can say at this point that I have surpassed my once desire to earn at least an amount sufficient to pay the internet connection fees. Or as Google puts it, enough to “buy a cup of coffee.” That is, after putting in a lot of work including search engine optimization, trying all means to speed up website loading, writing as regularly as possible, sharing the blog post in social media sites and other search engines like Baidu, Yandex, Bing, among others.
Still, quality content is king. People still read articles with ads alongside a blog post. That is because they value the content and it’s for free. And if they are interested in the ads they see, that will likewise satisfy their need or want for that product they encounter by viewing the ad.
The publisher benefits, the reader benefits, and business owners get a piece of the pie. Everyone wins including the behemoth Google who gets a part of the purchase transaction as well as display.
The quest to earn for this purpose was made possible by applying in popular ad companies that help you earn with every view or ad placed alongside your content. I once used Google Adsense, but reading a few reviews about Ezoic, I enrolled my website to avail of their amazing technology that optimizes ads to improve the publisher’s income. While it took a while for the system to optimize ad placement, the revenue is way much better than Adsense.
E-Book Development and Publication
I learned to sell e-books, using the very content I have already written which I compiled, edited, and published in book form. It also opened the gateway to consultancy services.
Book development is in itself a tedious process before. I explored various book writing applications like Scrivener and Lyx.
Although I have paid for Scrivener I forgot where I placed a copy of that application. I came to like Lyx, the free, open-source book writing application that fascinates me. I like coding a little to create great e-books.
Cybersecurity Concerns and Blog Posting
I used Linux for five years as my main operating system on those times I cannot afford to buy a licensed windows operating system. I still use Linux nowadays, but given its limited software applications, I returned to the windows operating system despite its vulnerability to viruses, hacking, and endless updates.
If I feel my windows system is compromised, I switch to Linux. But my use of windows is less problematic now as I subscribed and paid for an Avast Premium Security protection. If a virus is able to penetrate my operating system, I have a warning system in place.
This concern is relevant to writing blog posts. That’s because at this point in time, there are a lot of cybersecurity issues to deal with. Hackers out there have become more active.
Being infected with computer viruses, trojans, and the like can rob time that should have been devoted to writing blog posts. It can also obliterate the website which you painstakingly created.
I almost lost all of my blog posts when I could no longer open the website on one occasion. Thus, it pays to be vigilant and ensure the protection of precious articles which had taken a lot of hours to produce. Backups are a must.
I have seen a dip in traffic since the advent of ChatGPT in November 2022. While blogging armed with your own ideas and laborious information gathering to verify your argument is still a venture worth pursuing, there is a need to adopt new technologies to avoid getting sidelined.
ChatGPT and similar apps can do blog posting better, although I noticed that not everything that these apps say is TRUE. We should read and everything the AI tells us.
I learned not to trust everything instantly given to me by technologies like this much hyped culmination of big data claimed to have an IQ of 155. They are subject to error, glaring at times. Disinformation is a very likely outcome.
Currently, I’m exploring the use of artificial intelligence whenever there is a need to harness their power. I can now create blog images without fear of violating copyright, and there may be no need to subscribe to a grammar and spelling correction program.
Video production is also something that I need to focus on. The younger generation prefers highly visual content to enable them to learn. It will be a matter of time that people will no longer read all text material.
Anyhow, these are my musings to mark the 10th year anniversary of this website. Thank you for taking time to read up to this point.
Have a good day. Enjoy reading the curated posts in this website.