Darren Rowse at Problogger is once again holding a writing competition for bloggers. His last competition, on How Tos, was held just after I started blogging, and I entered a post I wrote called Account Security. This time around, the topic is about Reviews and Predictions. It’s pretty timely. As I’ve been thinking about what to write on this subject, it occurred to me that I’ve also been thinking a lot lately about where I want to go with this blog and the web. It seems a perfect match up.
This time last year, if you’d asked me what I’d have thought about blogging, I’d have said "not much." I honestly thought that blogging was one of those flash in the pan things. After all, who’d want to hear what I had to say.
About four months ago, for some reason that I have since forgotten, I visited a web site called Dexterity. The owner of that site, Steve Pavlina, who used to be an independent game developer had gone on to start a personal development business and blog. An article he had written that fateful day led me to consider what blogging was all about. That same article led me to the Problogger website.
I decided to try a little experiment. I would start my own blog. I would write about something I was passionate about, and I would see if I could earn money from it. From that inauspicious beginning, Stropp’s World was born and three months later, and a whole bunch of posts, I have earned almost ten dollars from it. Not much, but it’s a start, and better than I expected.
Yoiks and Away
Do you remember that Warner Brothers cartoon where Daffy Duck is Robin Hood?
I can remember splitting my sides laughing at the scene where Daffy grabs hold of a vine and with the cry "Yoiks and Away" swings off a branch straight into a tree. Then again with a weaker cry he swings straight into another tree, and so on. Even at 41 years of age that still cracks me up.
Well that’s where I feel I am right now. Standing on a branch with a vine in my hand. Do I leap off into the unknown? Or do I just climb down the tree and stay where I am?
One of the criteria I had when I first started Stropp’s World was based on a principle called the thirty day money back guarantee. This was based on the idea that most people never followed through on their intentions because they looked too big in the cold light of day.
The internal argument usually goes, "How can I start blogging, how can I keep this going for one, three, or five years? It’s just too much."
But. If I say I’ll try it for thirty days, at the end of that time I have the right to stop. No questions asked. That takes a lot of the pressure off attempting something. In my case, for Stropp’s World, I set a ninety day money back guarantee. If I felt at the end of that time, that I’d had enough. I’d just stop.
I’m at the ninety day mark now. I enjoy blogging with Stropp’s World, and I’ve done better than I expected. My first direction now, is that I will keep going with this blog.
Secondly, I’ve been feeling for a while that I’d like to do better with Stropp’s World. Part of that is to get more readers. Like other bloggers, I get a lot of google hits, but it doesn’t seem like I get a lot of regular readers. I’m going to need to do some research into that.
I’ve also mentioned before, that I am working on a web project with a friend. This is picking up steam, and I reckon will fit quite nicely with what I am doing with the blog. It will be a MMO related website application, and will initially work in with World of Warcraft, but will also work with other games. This is probably the bigger, scarier part of my direction. More details later, probably late January if things go well.
I’ve also got some plans for not only expanding this blog, but perhaps, possibly, starting one or two other blogs. These will more than likely be devoted to my other passions. One of which is software development. Yes, I’m a geek. Geek pride baby.
To Infinity and Beyond
2007 looks to be a good year for me. Filled with some risks, and hopefully the rewards from taking the risks. I’ll probably need a little courage to take the risk and step off that branch. I’m hoping there won’t be a tree on my way down.
Yoiks and Away!