7 Links to Learn More About Me and My Blog [#7Links]

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m trying to decide what direction I want to take my blog and I got some good feedback. Part of the process I’m going through is looking where I’ve been before, in terms of blogging, to give me a feel about what I’ve done well and enjoyed doing the most.

I’ve been blogging for five and a half years now, so I’ve done quite a few posts. I realize that some people I know are somewhat regular readers here, others jump in when I post something they’re interested in, and then there are the random visitors who find my blog on Google. Whoever you are, this post will hopefully help you get a better feel for what this blog has been all about. I was prompted to write it by the 7 Link Challenge over at ProBlogger.

  1. My first post: Backing Up DVDs
    What’s weird to me about piracy laws is that it’s perfectly legal to have a digital archive of movies you legitimately own, but it’s not legal to break the encryption on DVDs. You’d have to do it in real time using some sort of digital to analog converter, which would be a pain. That means that I was encouraging illegal activity on my blog. Great start, don’t you think?
  2. The post I enjoyed writing the most: Four Ways to Be More Consistent in Your Bible Reading
    There were a lot of things I really liked about writing this post, but I was especially happy with the end result. I could have also put is under most helpful post link, but I really enjoyed writing it a lot.
  3. The post which had a great discussion: Is God a Republican or Democrat
    I wrote this on the day of the the 2008 Presidential election and it got quite a few people to comment on it. I don’t blog much about politics, but I think this was one of my best posts and since it got so much discussion you might agree.
  4. A post on someone else’s blog that you wish you’d written: The Death of the Weekly Program/Bulletin/Newsletter
    Tim Schraeder wrote this post on his blog and it created a lot of buzz. Best quote from the post: “know the primary way your audience receives information and communicate to them that way.” It’s a move they’ve stuck with and made improvements to in the two years since they made the switch.
  5. My most helpful post: Motivation: Finding the desire to workout when I really don’t want to do it
    This was a reflection of how I stayed motivated to workout during the months after my first daughter was born. I think it was really helpful for most anyone who’s looking for tips on staying motivated in exercise.
  6. The post with a title that I am proud of: The Biggest Flaw in John Hollinger’s ESPN NBA Power Rankings
    I’ve never been a fan of Hollinger’s Power Rankings, probably because I am a Mavericks homer. But this post’s title sums up what I think is most wrong with the system and then I decided to elaborate for a few hundred words or so.
  7. The post that I wish more people had read: Delighting in God (OR a theology of worship taught by a seven month old)
    Having kids has definitely given me more perspective on life and what it means to have God as our Father. This post was a reflection on how all people should be more engaged in worship.

So, those are my 7 links. How about you? If you have a blog (that’s more than just a couple days old) why don’t you do this on your blog? Or are there some posts that I’ve done here that you think would fit better than what I listed above? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Image by jessica r

Three Lessons I Learned About Blog Traffic This Past Month

I think everyone who has a blog goes through stages in his or her blogging. Inevitably a blogger hits a wall. The inspiration to write disappears and you feel like you don’t really have anything valuable to offer the blogosphere. I hit that wall this past year big time, but over the past couple weeks I’ve been blogging more regularly. Over the past few weeks I’ve learned a few lessons about how blog traffic fluctuates right along with how frequently you write. Here they are.

More posts = More traffic

Take a look at the above graphic. It’s a chart from Google Analytics of the visits to my blog over the past 30 days. See the peak right in the middle? That’s the day I decided to get back into regular blogging and posted three new posts that day. I linked to the posts from my twitter and facebook accounts and traffic jumped. It jumped quite a bit, in fact.

New traffic doesn’t come automatically

You can also see over the week or so that followed there was a drop off again. It lines up perfectly with a fall off of blogging again. For some reason I had thought that my bump in traffic would keep up. It didn’t If you want more readers you have to write more.

Writing about popular topics will generate new traffic

One of the posts I did this past month was about Ed Young, pastor at Fellowship Church, and the news story that the local ABC affiliate ran about his salary. That post generated a comment from a person I’m pretty sure I don’t personally know. Also, my blog is the number seven Google search result for Ed Young salary and number eight for mega churches in Dallas. Those stats won’t really general much long term traffic, I think, but it does show that hot topics, either nationally or locally, will bump your traffic.ProBlogger by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett

Those are just a few things I’ve learned over the past month in blogging. What are some tips you have about generating traffic to your blog? Share in the comments.

You can also find a lot tips in Darren Rowse and Chris Garret‘s great book on blogging ProBlogger. I’ve read it and highly recommend picking one up if you’re interested in becoming a better blogger.