As you can see, I’ve been a busy girl this weekend.
I’d been intending for quite a while to drop the theme switcher in favor of a single, custom theme that I really loved and that I felt really visually conveyed what this blog is about–and I think I’ve basically got it. I may make a few tweaks (the header is a bit tall, and eventually the random old pictures will be replaced by actual family pics of mine) but substantially, this will be the look of TDK moving forward.
Because I’d like to get more readers.
It’s not that I don’t absolutely love my current group of reader friends. But I have two reasons for wanting more of you all. The totally selfish reason is, I’m finally breaking down and adding advertising to the blog, and mo’ readers means mo’ money. Plus my flagging self-esteem needs the affirmation that only massive blog traffic statistics can provide. 😉
And the less selfish reason is, I believe my writing here has value (if nothing else, entertainment value), and I’d like to entertain and add that value to the lives of more people. I think that’d be cool.
So in the name of all that, here are the changes of recent past, present and future at TDK.
- I did some tweaking “beneath the hood” and offsite during October that you probably didn’t notice, but somebody did–my traffic stats doubled from my previous average, and my unique visitors quadrupled. No, I’m not posting actual numbers.
- I spent a fair bit of time writing offline about the blog–what was my purpose in blogging, what topics I plan to cover, what’s the main message of my blog, etc. In the language of my work life, I did some “personal branding” work. I’m trying to get more focused and purposeful in all the areas of my life, and this blog is no exception.
- I customized Brian Gardner’s excellent Downtown Java theme into something that I think really captures what I came up with in my offline ramblings. If you’d like to see how much I customized it, click here to see the original theme. I must admit I stole some additional concepts from one of my favorite work blogs, Copyblogger.
- I added Amazon affiliate advertising to the right sidebar. I like that form of advertising because I have complete editorial control–I choose which items there. I read a lot of books, and I mention the most helpful ones here, so linking to those books I truly do recommend made sense from an editorial standpoint.
- I’ll be adding Google Adsense to the right sidebar. It should be fairly unobtrusive, and I’m not going to ask for “sympathy clicks.” Don’t click the ads unless you’re really interested in what they’re advertising. It’s pretty much an experiment to see how good Google is at presenting advertising that truly offers stuff that my readers would be interested in.
I also added the “Social Bookmarking” icons to the bottom of the posts, but I haven’t heretofore explained what they’re for. If you like having all your bookmarks organized, categorized and available from any computer, and you like sharing them with your friends, then you might want to sign up for a social bookmarking account with a site like del.icio.us, digg, technorati, sk*rt, or ma.gnolia. If you find this site or a particular post valuable, you can bookmark it using the button at the bottom of the posts.
Stumbleupon is another cool and interesting site where you can both find neat, interesting webpages, rate them, review them, and share them with others. Warning: it’s quite addictive. You can “stumble” posts here, as well, if you find them to be of value and want to share them with others.
So anyway, that’s what’s going on behind the scenes here at TDK. We now return you to our regular ponderings. 🙂