Wednesday 21 March 2007

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To talk about milestones may be a bit exaggerated, but I was more than delighted to welcome the 1.000th visitor to Bell Tower Birding yesterday, since I started at the End of last year's November. Sadly, I was asleep when someone from Long Beach, California - for the 1.000th time - had a typo and ended up accidentally at Bell Tower Birding, or otherwise we could have had a little on-line celebration.

Right now I have somewhere between 25 and 30 visits per day and I know that other sites get 1.000 visits easily in one or two days or even a handful of hours, but this baby of mine is meant to be growing slowly but steadily, and as they say: "the road is the goal" (in German anyway, don't know if it works in English as well), I am enjoying the ride and don't mind if reaching the top of the pops takes a bit longer.

By a lucky coincidence, Mike recently had a great post on blogging, I know you've read it and know what I mean, but here's the link anyway.
In this post, he quotes Jason Kaneshiro (visit here if you - like me - have no idea who he is and what he does) who presented 9 tips for anyone who wants to "move forward in the blogosphere". John at "A DC Birding Blog" has also covered the issue here.
So when I reached a Thousand visitors - and with it realized the responsibility I have for not wasting so many people's time - I thought I'd check how I am doing regarding these 9 Tips.
So here goes ...

1. Blog Often
Bad, bad blogger!
Shame on me.
Below is a small graph that shows how "nicely" the number of my posts per month has developed.
Well, blame it on a lack of time or any other excuse, but this trend just has to be reversed now!

I promise things will get more diverse again.

2. Figure out a Niche
Oh, that's difficult. What could my niche within the birding blogosphere possibly be? It's not "birding in South-East Michigan", because that niche is already occupied by excellent blogs (e.g. Nuthatch or WoodSong).
Birding at the Arb? Ha, if ever I'd get there!
German Dude trying to find his way through North American birding?
Well, maybe.
Hey, I suppose my niche is to have no niche at all?

3. Learn the Technical Stuff
I'm quite happy I manage the basics of blogger, but I'll try to shift into advanced mode soon, as soon as I start posting more than once a week again so it's worth it!

4. Read other people's Blogs regularly
That's easily done, I always check the links on my site on a daily basis, mostly even several times!

5. Comment on other blogs
I try. If I have something to tell, which doesn't happen all too often.

6. Read up on how to write
No, I won't. My job is writing assessments day by day by day, sometimes a 150-pages document within not even a handful of days. I am not going to read up on how to write because if I get some time off writing to do what I please, I try to go birding!

7. Write posts that you want to read
You mean like a post I'd stick to even if I accidentally landed on my blog? Hmmm, actually this is part of the reason why I didn't blog regularly in March: no ideas, brain drained. So here I might say again "I try".

8. Figure out why you're blogging
Well, for fame and fortunes, why else? Or maybe because Charlie said I should? Or - gasp - because it is fun to do? I'm still working on this one, stay tuned... Funny how I never reflected upon the why, yet.

9. Set some goals for yourself
Goal No. 1 is easy: start blogging on a regular basis again. That should be achieved soon.
Goal No. 2: expand your blogging and the fun you get out of it
Goal No. 3: fame and fortunes

All right, so I am all set, ready for 2.000!

Let's go on then!


Anonymous said...

Well if all Mike's post did was get you to blog more I think it was successful...and how do you say "the road is the goal" in German? I need to be ready to impress!
Congrats on 1,000!

Anonymous said...

Jochen, I hate to break it to you, but fame and fortune may not be the lot of the bird blogger! Still, you're talented enough that you may lead us all into the promised land. Like Corey, I and your other readers look forward to more of your inimitable German dude dealing with North American birds observations.

And when are you coming to visit New York?

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that it takes time to build up steady traffic. In my first month I struggled to get 20 visitors a day. Now , after 18 months my average is over 300 daily with some days exceeding 500.

Keep at it - you are on the right track. Commenting on other birding blogs is one very effective way of getting known.

Jochen said...

Thanks for all the comments!

"Der Weg ist das Ziel", pronounced - roughly - dare weig issed (as in hissed) dazz (with an A-sound like at the beginning of hour) tseel.
In German it means that you do things not to have them done but because you enjoy the doing, like climbing a mountain not because you want to stand on top of it but because you simply love climbing.

what do you mean, neither fame nor fortunes? Oh, hmmmm, what now?? Well, I guess I'll just have to stick to the "it's fun" part then!
No plans for NYC yet, but when I get there I'll surel let you - and Corey - know. Maybe we can get the timing right then and meet up with Charlie as well!

thanks for your support, I do think that eventually my "hits" will rise and I have both patience and time... Wait until I get a digital camera!

Anonymous said...

Another trick.....go birding with as many married birders as possible, and eventually you will receive the visit of the spouses who wonder why the dinner was exclusively made out of frozen food


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