A few days ago, my blog turned seven (7). Wow! And this post right here is number 329. This is roughly one post per week over the last seven years. Not bad. ;D I can’t believe I was able to publish that much at this rate for so long. However, I have decided to slow down my publishing rate for some reason. Following are some insights:
Right from the beginning, I wanted to share knowledge in order to give something back to the community. That is: Not only consuming information from the Internet but feeding it with information as well. Since I was working with some interesting firewall vendors such as Palo Alto Networks or Fortinet as well as (new) technologies such as IPv6 or DNSSEC, I had many things to write about that were not that commonly present on other blogs. Since back then my list of post ideas increased constantly. And while I spent a couple of nights per month at some hotels (due to my job), I also had some time left to write those posts.
My 2nd motivation was to document everything for myself. Kind of “the project is only finished when the blog post is published”. Indeed, doing it that way I learned a lot of details for every technology I am working with (because I don’t want to share smattering), while I have quite a good wiki for myself. It happens really often that I am using the search field in my own blog to find something I was doing a couple of years ago. ;)
However, life changes. In the meantime, our family has grown – now we got 3 kids – and we have moved into our own house. Yeah. And as everyone owning a house knows, you’re never finished. ;D I have also changed my job to be at home every evening to have more time with my family. Good decision!
Now, talking about my blog, after all those years of using my spare time documenting something for the Internet, I got some reputation (which is nice), but no income at all. This was not a problem for the first years. But since I don’t have spare time left anymore, it’s kind of hard to prioritize something that costs you a couple of hours a week. Getting a positive comment every now and then won’t keep you motivated for decades.
I have tried to monetize my blog in a couple of ways – but none of them worked at all. Ads via Google AdSense was easy to use but did not pay off. About 90 % of my readers have adblockers. Disabling the adblockers for my blog voluntarily doesn’t work. Furthermore, I don’t want to overcrowd my blog with ads. It will only annoy those people without adblockers. I don’t want to hide my blog behind a paywall as well.
I also tried a donate button for some years. But, do you know what? Within two years only one single person has donated. Only one. In 2 years. To be honest, this is kind of disappointing. I have a couple of hundred readers a day, but everyone only wants to get good information for free. Well, that’s how the Internet works. I have to deal with it. (Maybe because my articles are not of interest to private persons, but only for employees. And why should an employee donate from his private pocket for something in regard to his job? Hence I can understand it.)
Finally, I tried to find some sponsors. Long story short: Nobody was interested in sponsoring my blog. That is, no company related to network firewalls. Okay, they have their marketing budgets and my blog isn’t big enough to justify such an effort. (By the way: I am receiving some weird guest blog post inquiry mails every other day. But this is not the way I want to sell my blog.)
What Happens Next?
This way, I will keep my blog alive. Maybe I will get even more new readers since they won’t be flooded that much anymore. ;)
What do you think about it? General ideas? Know issues? ;) Please write a comment below and share your opinions. I am highly interested in them. Appreciate it.
In case you are interested, I’m making music at our church (find me at the electric guitar):
or practicing the guitar by myself #MakeMusicChallenge:
or doing some photography:
Not talking about my biggest hobby: my three kids. ;)