I've been blogging for over 11 years now. To some, this may seem like a small achievement. However, to me, it's a huge milestone and one I will cherish forever.
My blog has had a very rocky history. Some months, I would post every day and other months, I wouldn't post at all. In fact, I think for some years, there would be absolute silence. I lost faith in myself and my blog.
But I've somehow regained my faith in my blogging ability, and I've reached a tipping point where I want to keep going and will keep going until the day I die. I've made so many great connections, heard so many great stories, and I want to keep sharing my stories with everyone I can.
My blog has also taken many forms. It's gone from a dev tutorial blog to a CrossFit blog to a more general life update blog. I'm posting about what I want and when I want, and there's no niche or specific thing I want to do with it. I just want to share my stories, and if anyone reads it, it's a massive bonus.
Maybe one day it will turn into something more than just a blog, but for now, I'm happy to keep going, keep sharing my stories and find enjoyment through writing.
Last week I checked my website's analytics and took a lot at how many views I had compared to the previous months. I was genuinely surprised that I managed to gain over 3,000 views, and the jump between the previous month was 1,600 difference.
It's so big that I thought I'd make a post on how I managed to grow my blog over time. Please also be aware that I have been a blogger on and off for over ten years, so the views over time aren't extraordinary compared to other bloggers, but it is a noteworthy achievement.
Last month, I focused on building my social followers. I updated my Facebook page, Tweet more on Twitter. My blog posts have been imported into my Medium profile and also posted to my Coil profile. Last month was also my first full month of weekly posting to my Substack newsletter, and even though I don't think Substack affected my website views, it's helped me grow a tight-knit community. If you're not sure what any of these social networks are, or you're not sure how to utilise them, don't worry, I'll explain that now.
I haven't focused on growing my LinkedIn connections, but I have started converting my blog posts into LinkedIn articles. No one from LinkedIn has been signed up to my newsletter subscribers or viewed my website. Because of this, I don't think it's worth writing about today.
For my Facebook page, I'm not sure how many people are people I don't know vs friends who have liked my page. However, I decided to go to ham on the invite button and invite everyone on my friend's list, which has helped me from 138 to 142-page likes. I think a handful of those likes have clicked to view my website at some point.
I've mostly been sharing my newsletter posts instead of my blog posts on Facebook, which means most views won't actually be coming from here unless they click on about section which most users won't do.
Twitter is, by far, my most used social network. It's incredible how you can find so many amazing people and connect with them. I follow people I find interesting and join in their conversations when I feel if the right moment.
Most of my interaction is liking and retweeting, which I think if you're just starting, it won't be the best strategy. I feel the best approach is searching for interesting topics, and join in the conversation.
Every so often I'll chuck in a hashtag or two, but I don't focus on hashtags. I'll mostly focus on following and connecting with new and current people within my network. Be yourself and don't seek out to be something you're not. If you try to be fake, people will know, and they will call you out for it.
Medium is excellent as an additional source for your blog posts. If you haven't signed up, I would recommend you do it now and join the partner platform. Once you're on the partner platform, you will get revenue based on a reader's read time. The longer you can keep them interested in your post, the more money you can make from them.
My strategy is importing my posts into a Medium story, which will add a canonical link back to your original blog post, and have a link in the footer which says "Originally published at https://michaelbrooks.co.uk". I've joined a couple of Medium groups and participate in any posts where possible.
This is where I believe most of my new traffic has come from, and I connected my blog to their payments system so I could receive support from their readers, and linked my latest posts to my profile page. A couple of my posts have been featured on their community-supported section which I'm proud of, and the community on Coil has been very welcoming, and I've connected to a few people from here on Twitter.
If you haven't done so, I recommend you take a look at Coil's website and sign up. If you're wondering how much I made from here last month, it was around 10 pence, which isn't a huge amount, but it's better than nothing, and it helps keep me going.
My latest blog posts are also created as a newsletter post. Honestly, I'm not sure how long I'll carry on doing this for as I'm thinking of changing the format of this. What I might do is create links to my latest articles which will be posted to my blog, and new sections such as what I'm currently reading, what I'm listening to and who I've found interesting this week.
If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, then please leave a comment down below, and I'd love to read it. Alternatively, you can @ or dm me on Twitter, Facebook, wherever takes your fancy.
Hacker News or HN as others like to call it is a great community of developers, creators and business owners. They offer a lot of advice and support, and overall they're a fantastic community. I've posted a few milestones and updates on there, and have received comments, views and new followers.
I decided to create a new group called "Creator interviews" which anyone can contribute to, but so only I have added content there. I have also linked to my blog where I deemed it was helpful for the topic at hand, and I think this has helped me gain extra viewers on my blog.
That's pretty much how I use the plethora of social networks, and I'm constantly exploring new avenues and seeing what works, and what doesn't. As always, you're more than welcome to comment below and subscribe to my newsletter if you haven't done so already.
I'm super excited.
This week I released my first ever eBook, and it's all about creating your eBook and selling and marketing it to the public. It goes from ideas, to writing and from selling on marketplaces and marketing to social media and email lists.
It only took me two years to finally get my arse in gear and focus on writing. I used a free writing tool called WriteNext, which has been fantastic. It allowed me to write distraction-free, and I then transferred that writing over to Google docs.
Once the eBook was complete, I uploaded a PDF to PayHip (similar to Gumroad, but UK based) and shouted about it on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Twitter got the most support and shares, and a day later, I managed to make my first sale. Posting about my first sale sparked a second.
The eBook is also publishing on Draft2Digital which publishes to Amazon, Apple, Rakuten, Barnes & Noble, and many more. You can also use Draft2Digital to convert your eBook to a physical and audiobook, but I think I'll skip that for now. Hopefully, once it's on those marketplaces too, I can make some more sales.
All of this is covered in more detail on my eBook, and you can take a look for yourself here - https://payhip.com/b/REwe
It's small-fry when compared to other Indie Hackers, but I'm super happy, and it's given me the confidence to keep on creating and selling.
It started off as a website to showcase my PHP development knowledge but has now grown into a blog where I talk about anything that's on my mind.