Growing A Website Is An Uphill Battle, If You Survive The Skirmishes

by on July 4, 2012

in bruce's thoughts

Brusimm Website Initial LogoOver the last few years, I’ve been a lone man who has stepped into the digital trenches to try and create a viable website. I’ve tried to run an honorable website, but it’s hard to keep up with everything I love following. It’s a full-time job, at its easiest day.

The ensuing piece is an observation or commentary on myself, my competitors and how hard things can be to eek out a corner of the web, even if you run a website with a moral code.

This is not a commentary on other websites. But I do make observations on some practices I see out there.

Struggling to create and run a website that is empowered by one’s passion is a tough niche to fill. I can attest to that.

When I first started this website, I had my motivations. None of which need to be explored at this juncture, but none-the-less, I focused on my site here.

At first, using recommended and established SEO practices helped me net my first million views in less than a year. That was pretty exciting. But then I noticed that at some point, after some changes that Google had made to its algorithm, my traffic started to ebb away.

And what can one do? As it seems to stand, Google “recommends” the good SEO practice to source your information with links. But they also are looking to give more credit to originating websites and diminish the smaller sites that ping off those originating sites.

I have to wonder if following “good SEO practices” isn’t helping Google ding websites?

I know one website that has dominated its niche by ALWAYS sourcing itself. It’s annoying to those of us who do things right, but I have to look at the end result.

There are other things I’ve seen that work for others.

How they phrase article titles to lure readers in.

I’ve seen sites put up articles up that the title says one thing, but the actual content isn’t there yet. It’s an early web traffic grabber.

I love the the “must watch,” “must see” and “most loved” titles. There’s one fellow that seems to absolutely love whatever it is he’s writing about today. But tomorrow, it’s history because the next “must watch” trailer popped up.

I have a hard time embracing tactics like this. They’re not wrong… they’re just not for me. But web surfers don’t slow down to look for honorable practices. They need their info now and don’t care if someone lied with a title or questionable SEO practice to get them there.

I’ve tried short articles for those who don’t have a ton of time, but Google dings short articles. And Google seems to ding longer articles that cover multiple subjects/content.

There are other quantities that I gauge folks by…

Tracking web patterns, Watching visitors

I’ve seen sites run with my ideas on their sites after I started the practice. Bottom line is that it doesn’t matter who came up with it. The bigger site will benefit. I just have to keep innovating and they’ll get the credit… for now.

Another site I use to respect started populating its Facebook feed with bikini-clad or half-naked women. It’s bordering on desperate versus quality content. This practice cheapened the site for me. I tried to make a polite and constructive note of my point, but it was met with a rather abrupt and defensive reply. So be it.

I care where my website traffic comes from. I don’t need the kind of demographic that might come with these skin tricks. But again, this does net the bottom line, more traffic.

Another site I thought I respected made an inaccurate statement about a promotional movie image. I let them know and they never replied or changed the content. I can only surmise they don’t care about accuracy.

A very common recommendation to web writers is to “engage the reader with a question at the end of a post.” I’ve always felt that this practice categorized readers into a mindless demographic. I’ve tried to resist calling my readers stupid, and today, I saw a classic example. Today Andy Griffith died and I saw this:

Andy Griffith died today. What was your favorite episode?

Seriously?

– – –

The above are just a few nuances I see every day.

I am trying to run a quality website with an eye towards trying to demystify marketing and keep my visitors more informed. But the market for accurate seems to be less sturdy than the web market for eye-catching titles and info.

I am only one man. A man alone on a journey, who is getting tired.

I want to keep doing this. I have fun with it. I like providing quality content. But between questionable practices, nobody sourcing my site when they first see info here, my weakness to use tricks (so far to date), and Google itself, my hobby is looking a bit more frustrating.

Being successful requires a sort of cold-blooded mind-set that says ‘I don’t care how I get to the top. As long as I get there.’ This is why my real estate career floundered. I was too honest and my competitors were outright surprising in the liberal distribution of whimsy information.

What would help my site is if everyone shared my content with their friends and family on Twitter and Facebook. Sharing is caring and would help my site succeed. But I can’t ask you to blindly share. I need to figure out what would inspire you to share my content.

I’ve been trying to figure a few things out and trying to create a different and better experience here on the site. I’d love if you piped in with ideas. If I get enough of them, I’d honestly consider it. But the bottom line is that I need to take one last ditch effort to try and make this place buzz.

You might be catching some logo changes and what not going on.

This, is the battle website owners face everyday. It’s a non-stop battle and the victory will go to the most persistent and consistent of them all. That is of Google doesn’t change another algorithm that smites me from the web altogether!

If you’ve gotten this far, thanks for taking the time to read this, in this frenzy rush of a world we live in.

-Bruce

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Paul Forcey July 4, 2012 at 5:13 am

Happy 4th July Bruce!

One thing I notice is that since you do a full feed I can read your news right there in my email. If I dont come to the site then I can’t share your stuff and I can’t comment.

Think about going to a part feed so I have to come to the site to read the rest.

Social
Yes social is vital no matter how much we love it or hate it. I shared this post on my Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/PaulForceySoftware – now because it is Independence day this post may get missed.

Timing
We all know that most people are going to be away from the PC for today, would this post have been better sent on another day?

Monetization
We read left to right, so the best place to have your adsense ads is on the left , right where you have your huge red B in this post

Are You In It For The Money?
I know you have a day job , but are you hoping to make big bucks for this or really doing it because you feel the need to share?

What are you writing about
I found you for something to do with sci fi, and films, but I have no interest in Nascar, the batcherlorette, the parrot in menlo park. You are treating this like a personal blog , you post everything you are interested in which is great but it means that you lose people and probably links.

If the site was all sci fi you could do a facebook page with nothing but sci fi, if you did all Nascar you could do a facebook page about Nascar and get thousands of nascar fans to follow it.

You may be able to do the same by using categories but I am not convinced it works the same.

It is a lot of work for very little return, financial or interaction wise a lot of the time. But there must be hidden benefits for you?

I for one do enjoy the stuff you do that I am interested in, you have introduced a couple of new books to me which is always a good thing but I still wont be watching the Batchelorette.

I feel your pain and want to say keep on going if you can as I for one would miss the film reviews and sci fi talk

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