A few short months ago, I created my personal blog called  Wes Johnson – MrWes Words of Wisdom.  The blog theme has been based on my life experiences and wisdom gained along the way.  In the spirit of the nature of this blog, I’m going to take a moment to reflect on where it’s been.

My original goals:

  • To generate networking opportunities
  • To market myself as an excellent communicator
  • To share my knowledge and wisdom with my readers

What I received:

  • knowledge – I learned the terminology and how to do many new blogging related activities
  • experience – I have gained hours upon hours of experience while writing and developing ideas for my blog
  • wisdom – I have learned what works and when to use it
  • respect – I have gained the respect of others who have read my work and appreciate my style of communication 

The Journey

WordPress

I started my blogging journey by learning WordPress the web-based framework for making blogs like this possible.  I’m using the self-hosted version, so there were a few access issues that needed to be resolved in order for everything to function properly.

After installing WordPress, I started learning about Themes and how they work within the WordPress framework. Themes are simply the look and feel of the website the user experiences while they’re visiting.  Many themes are free and developed by individuals.  Sometimes, a developer may not have tested or encountered a particular scenario.  This requires a little bit of PHP programming or CSS magic to resolve these issues.

Once my Theme issues were resolved, I moved on to the WordPress Plugins.  A WordPress Plugin allows a developer to extend or create a desired feature that can be shared with the rest of the WordPress community.  There a many popular Plugins that help bloggers improve the user experience.  I have commented on a few.  My most recent discovery was Pretty Link, a WordPress Plugin that aids in creating permalink shortcuts using your domain.  Pretty Link adds an extra edge to those that are trying to develop their brand.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

My journey continued with Search Engine Optimization.  I had to learn the terminology, tools, and techniques to improve opportunities to be recognized by search engines.  Fortunately, there are several WordPress plugins that have helped in my SEO efforts.  SEO isn’t automatic, but the tools make it easier to keep up with the important aspects of SEO.

Google Analytics and Web Tools

Two important tools I’ve been utilizing during my first 100 blogs are Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Toolkit or GWT. 

GWT – helps the blogger/webmaster see which searches are finding their website.  It also points out areas that may be affecting their rankings.

Google Analytics – helps the blogger/webmaster see exactly what’s working and what’s not.  This tool provides great insight into which pages or objects in my website receive the most requests.

Google Analytics provides information like:

  • Traffic sources (Search engine referrals, website referrals)
  • How many unique visitors I’ve had over a period of time.
  • Average Pages per visit
  • Average Duration of visit
  • Which page(s) they land on
  • Which page(s) they leave from
  • Bounce rate for each page.
  • Where the reader is from.  Not specifically, but their geographic information.
  • How many conversions I’ve had.  A conversion is getting a reader to take some kind of action, for me it’s visiting my about page.

A few Google Analytics details for MrWes.net between August 28th and September 27th 2009

  • 50 countries are following my blog
  • top 3 countries are United States, Canada, United Kingdom
  • 47 states in the U.S. are following my blog
  • top 4 states are California, Texas, Florida, New York
  • The bounce rate is 2.5%, when readers find my website, they usually stay a little while and read a few of my blogs.

Content (Ideas)

When I first started, I did have a concern that the flow of my ideas would dimish over time.  I am happy to report that I still have lots of ideas for many more blogs.  Of course, since this is a personal blog, I do have the freedom to write about any topic I wish.

Future endeavors

In an effort to expand my horizons, I have been considering breaking my blog into two parts.  I already have control over the domains mrwes.com and mrwes.net.  I would keep mrwes.net as my personal blog and make mrwes.com more focused on one topic.  Perhaps tutorials and technical support.

What do you think?  Is there a topic you’d like me to spend more time on?

The Journey continues

I hope you have enjoyed my last 100 blogs.  If you have enjoyed them, please feel free to Leave a Reply and let me know how much you’ve enjoyed them.  Tell your family, friends, networks and associates.  You can bookmark blogs that you find useful.  You can track this blog using an RSS feed or Subscribe via email using the Posts icon in the upper right hand corner.