Nerd Guru

Because technical people need good soft skills to get ahead.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Next week's Blogoversary: Stats and How I got here

I'm not sure "blogoversary" is a word (at least no spell checker that I tried recognizes it), but it is my attempt to combine the words "blog" and "anniversary". I doubt I'm the first to try, so I'm not trying to take credit for anything, but I probably need to explain that before I share some statistics and announce the details of the contest I'm running to commemorate the occasion that will culminate in somebody winning a $50 Amazon gift certificate.

Why January 11 and how I got here

But first, you might be thinking, "Dude, your date archive goes back to September 2006, how can January 11 be your blogoversary?"

As Obi-Wan once said, "You're going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view." I refer to myself as being bald despite the fact I still have some bit of hair left too, so sue me 8).

I started this journey in January '06 when I had the idea to write about this topic I've embraced: how the key to a growing engineering career is in the soft skills, not in the technical know how. First there was an outline of ideas I shared with a few friends. That grew over the next 9 months into 5 book chapters and a proposal I sent off to an editor.

While I was waiting for a response, I figured I'd see what kind of grass roots interest there was in this topic and I started to post the chapters in snippets that September. This, along with two original topics on interviews and resumes became the "reference material topics" prominently displayed on my right side bar. It let me experiment with a few things and I started to learn about what the blogging community was really about.

Then in January, I got my "no thanks" email from the editor I sent my proposal to and decided to get serious about the blog. My first post was a Book Report on Naked Econmics and, except for my 2 vacations, I've posted twice a week since. The people I've met in the past year and the lessons I've learned are far too many to list here, but it has been an extremely rewarding experience I plan on continuing.

Some Stats

As long as I'm going off topic, I might as well go waaaay off topic and share some stats. Most of the time, I have no idea whether or not this is good or not, so laugh or cheer depending upon your perspective:

Click to enlarge

So, not as big as Mark Cuban but some nice steady growth there. You might notice the big traffic spike in August without a subsequent growth in subscribers. I did a lot of StumbleUpon marketing during that time and found that it got me the general population but not necessarily the audience I was targeting. Over time and a variety of marketing techniques, I found that guest articles on sites where my target audience already had a much bigger effect on the subscriber number. That's what has worked for me, anyway. Your mileage may vary.

I've learned a ton in the past year doing this and hope to continue that in the coming year. Look for some minor navigation UI changes here over the next week. On Monday I'll announce the details of the Nerd Guru First Blogoversary Scavenger Crossword Contest Spectacular and on Thursday it'll go live. As mentioned before the holiday break, the winner will get a $50 Amazon gift certificate!

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posted by Pete Johnson @ 5:31 AM   3 comments


At 11:59 AM, Blogger JibberJobber Guy said...

Pete, all I can say is, you have made the blogosphere a richer place for me, and it's been great to get to know you. Keep it up!

At 7:44 AM, Blogger Pete Johnson said...

Thanks for the love, Jason, I really appreciate it!

At 7:47 AM, Blogger Bob Andelman said...


Congrats on your first anniversary! I hope you'll have many more!

Bob Andelman
Mr. Media


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