Hey Tynan, I was wondering if you remember or have analytics for how long it took to get to a 1,000 subscribers? We've been working hard on our blog for a few months now, but, we've both been probably a little bit disappointed with the growth we've achieved. I know that so much of how many hits we get is a direct correlation to how hard I work on the web/fb/twitter, but eventually lord knows I'd like to just have some type of community there that works with us instead of something we fight for.
Anyway, I've been reading Tynan.com for a few years, but I'd like to know more about how it was in the beginning.
I started my first site back in 2006, and progress was pretty slow. The site I started back then is now my "full-time job". It is mostly user-generated content, and probably took bout 2.5 years before it was producing a substantial income ($1,000+/mo). You just have to keep working on it. Success won't come overnight.
I'm not sure how relevant my experience is, because I think things were different, and possibly easier, back when I started.
My blog began as a personal log for Polyphasic sleep. I had no intention or desire for it to become big-- I just wanted to remember what happened after the experiment was over. As luck would have it, polyphasic sleep was a hot topic back then, so I started getting visitors... maybe 50-100 per day.
That seemed like a lot to me, so I felt obligated to entertain them... as if 50 people showed up at my door, bored.
The next big jumps to my readership came when I started posting crazy stories I had, like the indoor pool and the tunnels under UT. From there I just kept writing, and people kept subscribing... it was never a fast jump, but just a gradual increase until I had some significant amount of readers.
I think that the best things to do now are to do guest post on the most popular blogs that will have you (the biggest lasting bump in subscribers I got was from posting on IWTYTBR), to post frequently, and to only post high quality posts. Seasoned readers will put up with the occasional fluff post, but new readers will unsubscribe.
Hope this helps...
I can only speak from my own experience but I can feel with you. I've got a German blog, which I devoted A LOT of time to during the last 2.5 years and it felt like there was one tipping point along the way where it sort of took off to the next level (speaking of Germany, that still means considerably smaller than an American blog). I don't know what caused it but I believe it was just time and commitment. The rest falls in place if you've got great content.
And then, also be clear what a community means to you: Is it 1,000+ followers or is it rather 20+ comments on any given article? There's a huge difference between PIs (mostly achieved through the long tail and sheer amount of content) and regulars.
Good luck with it!
With only one more night to get through before the end of Bet #2, we're both still in it. There have been a few scary times, but mostly we both feel like we've been doing better than ever. When we get back from our holidays, maybe we'll start a new bet.
Steve Pavlina wrote about us in his latest blog entry because we bought him a flat panel monitor to thank him for inspiring us. If you read my old blog, then you probably saw that this is my third attempt to get on the sleep schedule. However, each time I gave up because I felt like it was impossible. Seeing Steve do it gave me the determination to press through the hard part, and now here I am on day 45+.
I'll be going to my grandparents house for Christmas, which will pose a unique set of challenges. Mainly, the others in my family aren't particularly supportive of this decision, so they certainly won't help me wake up. My solution is to pay my little cousins to wake me up. I'll post some updates from there to let you guys know how it goes. As it stands, it's 11:30pm the night before I have a morning flight, and I haven't even started packing. So much time to do everything I need to do... it's fantastic.
My first unprocrastination session was incredibly effective. I strongly resisted doing it right away after I finished reading the message, because I had been planning sleep immediately after reading, and I was tired. But I realized I could do 10 minutes, and although I had legitimate reasons for not wanting to, I was also running away from it, and it was more important to face things. So I made my list and then I did 10 minutes on my first item, and I got it completely done which felt fantastic. It was something I'd been procrastinating on for a long time.
Things did not go quite so well for the rest of the week. I didn't do anymore dedicated unprocrastination sessions for the rest of the week. Mostly because I didn't set a trigger (maybe I would have if I had been prompted to in the article :-)). However, I did have in my mind the items on my unprocrastination list, and I did knock them off pretty well each day during the week.
This was an interesting exercise, but at the same time, it felt like it was taking away from the energy I've been trying to put into my habit. Since starting this change labs thing, I have been trying really hard to do my habit each day (a morning routine), and adding 10 minutes of something as hard as this just felt like way too much to add in as well. I am barely hanging on with the "starting small" stuff! 10 minutes of facing really hard stuff that we've been avoiding is actually not all that small …
Nevertheless, I can see how developing the habit of "unprocrastinating" could really help so many areas of my life, including the art of habit change itself.