Tuesday, August 12, 2008

BlogCoach: Lessons from Month Two

Time for another behind-the-scenes update: About nine weeks into it and I've settled into a nice routine with BlogCoach. I'm posting about four times per week with interviews (more on the way!) and guest posts on Wednesdays and blog critiques on Fridays. There are so many insightful articles on blogging being published right now! I hope you're enjoying seeing them pop up in the BlogCoach Reading List. I'm trying to make sure that what we publish on BlogCoach is both unique in the busy "blogging about blogging" world and complementary to everything else that's out there.

Unexpectedly, joining and using Twitter (@babycheapskate) has been like stepping into a fun new blogging arena. Through Twitter I've met some lovely bloggers outside my niche, been offered a paying blogging gig, and been invited to contribute blogging and web 2.0 articles to a new online magazine (more about that one soon). Tools like twitterfeed send clickable "tweets" automatically when I publish a post. My stats show me that Twitter has been a source of hits for BlogCoach.

Thankfully, I've stopped messing around with my template as much. I have tweaked BlogCoach a little over the past four weeks, though. I added an email subscription button (Feedblitz) and added a "recent comments" widget that I think supports the idea that BlogCoach is a collaborative effort. I also added a "popular posts" feed widget to the middle column. I deleted that archive because I felt that articles can be accessed more easily via the label cloud and recent articles module. I'll be deleting the scribit widget soon, since, as you can see, it hasn't gotten much use.

What about readership? At Baby Cheapskate, thousands of readers check in every day. It's a little disorienting to turn around and work on a blog with around a hundred a day. Whereas I'm used to a dozen comments per post on Baby Cheapskate, I may only get one response to a BlogCoach post I think is really good. I've decided to focus on content rather than traffic or monetization. It's the one thing I do have control over. And from what you tell me in your emails, posts and tweets, you're enjoying what you're seeing on BlogCoach. Subscribers are up--over 100 at last.

Over the next few weeks I'll be soliciting new interviews and guest posts from bloggers and designers you know and love (email me with suggestions!). I've got several more blog critiques lined up (you guys are good at those!), and a few fun ideas that I'm keeping mum about for now.

Please stop by the Blog Coach Community Board and post a tip, ask a question, make a suggestion, or just say hi!

Readers: How's your blogging going? What's changed over the last month? Any new opportunities? Big jumps in traffic?