One Year Of Blogging

One Year Of Blogging

Today marks one year of blogging for me on JoshuaRust.com. With any anniversary comes a chance to reflect back and see what, if anything, you have learned from the last twelve months. Here were the goals I set forth when starting this blog.

Goal 1: Learn how to use WordPress. Progress: meh.

WordPress is easy to use but I never really got into the guts to customize it. Instead I just chose a few different themes and went with it. I did learn how to host on AWS, which was interesting, but other than that I made a few mistakes along the way finding a way to get this blog on the internet.

Right now I am dealing with having an outstanding account that for whatever reason auto-renews on BlueHost. Even though I asked for my money back and that request was granted, I never received an actual refund and I’m still getting emails from them that state my account is open. They owe me money at the same time I’m paying host fees to Amazon. I will add though I’ve been very happy with my current hosting service, I just need to put the issue with BlueHost to bed.

Goal 2: Read a lot of books and write reviews on them. Progress: meh

So I found out I’m both a) a slow reader and b) a distracted reader. I read three or more books at once and then get bored with them/find something else more interesting before I finish them. At this point I’m trying to concentrate on one book at a time and to find time to read. Not easy when you have an infant at home though, so we’ll see how this works out going forward. If I could just get to my one book a week schedule I’d be very happy. I’m not sure what that will take, but I’m starting to look for ways to be a more efficient reader. My guess is I’ll have to schedule an hour after work where I can stay at my desk and get my reading in.

Goal 3: Learn how to write better. Progress: much improved.

Writing is hard. Communicating is hard. I was good at neither, however, I’ve improved considerably. I was told to get better at both you should be more prolific. I’m still getting there. Although my goal was to post once a week, I still have a third of my 52 drafts not up on the site. They need to be edited, or refined a little more, or rewritten. I would love to post them on their original dates and have a solid year’s worth of posts on this site. Let’s see if I can get there.

What I did improve on was editing and getting my message across. I tend to have muddied thoughts, and writing helped me find focus and cut out the cruft that doesn’t add value. This has been very valuable.

Goal 4: Find out more about myself. Progress: tracking well.

I learned a lot for sure. I’ve always been interested in finding that one sentence that ties everything together towards a purposeful and meaningful way of living one’s life. I think I’m close to it, and I’m going to try to make a case for it next week. Stay posted.

Goal 5: Learn SEO. Progress: impossible.

Search Engine Optimization is dead. You can use Yoast to make things better, but we’re in a pay to play system now. If you want to get read you have to buy search words or pay to promote them on social media. There is more noise than signal out there, and getting through the fog is hard, and costly. At this point, writing this blog is a labor of love mostly.

Would I do this again?

Absolutely. I found it incredibly rewarding and I’m going to keep this blog for another year. It continues to evolve little by little and I hope to make it more unique and provide value for others and just not myself. How to do that is yet another question.

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