What A Busy Week

I am pretty excited to know that I am almost finished with my 32 hour work weeks at the grocery store. At least, for the time being and everything continues to go well with freelancing. The grocery store will serve as a crutch in case things in the freelancing world cave in. This past week, I published an interview on BloggerTalks.com with Steve Hodson, published a great post that was welcomely received by the Performancing community called 7 Tips On Building Relationships Through Blogging, produced a fun open mic edition of Perfcast and to top it all off, produced an hour and a half WordPress Weekly with Jane Wells were we covered a ton of ground related to WordPress 2.7.

WordPress 2.7 Beta 1 is out and ready for the publics consumption. November 10th looks like the date for a release candidate while the end of November is aimed for the actual release of 2.7. I am going to bite the bullet and work on getting my content from my Jeffc.me domain and the content on Jeffro2pt0 back into one file and then import that into a new installation of WordPress, that being 2.7 beta 1. Then, I’m going to work on slimming down the theme and installing one plugin at a time and get back to the basics.

One of the subtle changes I am going to make is to remove the FeedBurner graphic. I was having a discussion with Andrew Rickmann on the WordPress Weekly after show and I was talking to him about going back to the basics and how I am getting to the point of doing things my way instead of the popular (what the rest of the blogosphere is doing) way.  So, I’ll remove the graphic because I don’t care to see it everyday. I’ll check in from time to time but it is not a priority for me anymore. My priority is to clean this place up, highlight my freelancing work and then publish content on a regular basis by treating this blog as if it was my Tumblr account. That means, publishing links to articles that interest me, sometimes I’ll write a long form article, opinionated pieces, bits of my personal life, random thoughts, etc.

I just feel that it is time for me to reclaim this blog as my own and no one else’s. While I enjoy writing content for people, I always enjoy writing content for myself and getting my thoughts from my head, out into the open. I want to get back to the point in time of where I can freely express myself without thinking about the boundaries I have placed on this blog by writing for others.

Will I still talk about WordPress and Web 2.0 and all that other stuff? Of course I will, as I see fit, but don’t expect this site to be an authoritative figure in any subject. I want to converse with people and discuss things, concepts, ideas, whatever. So, that will be the focus of the site after I have reformatted it. Along with the reformat, I plan on doing a redesign but it will not be anything drastic. I’m tired of spending 17 hours each time I redesign the site. I’ve always been a fan of forests and so, that is the theme I am going to head towards with the redesign.

For those that will continue to ride the train of life and blogging with me, its time to move on to the next stop. For everyone else, you can get off here. But don’t forget to send me a postcard :)

Taking Over For BloggerTalks

BloggerTalks logo

Thord Hedengren who did a wonderful job with BloggerTalks.com, a blog exclusively focusing on interviews with other bloggers has moved on to greener pastures. Guess who has taken his place? Me.

Each week will feature a new interview. These interviews will mostly be text based but don’t be surprised to see an audio interview mixed in as well. This is a cool position for me because I enjoy interviewing people as I treat interviews as one on one opportunities to learn. I’m a curious guy who always has a series of questions to ask and although mainstream media loves to ask softball type questions, I’ll ask any question I see fit.

So far, I am making an average of $1,200 – $1,400 per month of blogging income. This is almost as much as I made working full time at the grocery store with the exception that the grocery store provided medical benefits. Something bloggers don’t tend to get unless you work for a major blogging network or corporation.

Starting November 1st, I’ll be working weekends only at the grocery store and will be using the time during the week to pump out content on the sites I write for and try to make even more money in this game known as blogging.

Blogging Is A Juggling Act

As I reach ever closer to my goal of being able to use blogging and online activity as my primary source of income, I am finding it increasingly difficult to manage my time to accomplish tasks from day to day. I’m currently bringing in around $1,300.00 a month from my blogging ventures but that cash is spread out amongst 3-4 different jobs. On top of this, I work 32 hours a week from 9PM-5AM and that doesn’t seem to make things any better. I’ve also noticed that my sleeping pattern has changed to the point where I am really sleeping in instead of waking up at a decent time. This is leaving me with even less time to get things done and it is driving me up the wall.

I’m really thinking about cutting myself down to weekends only for a little while to see if I can get my life back on track. I envy those like Lorelle and others who seem to write mile long posts and publish things on time. These folks make it seem easy although I doubt it really is.

Kudos to those out there who are making a living online by creating content while also maintaining a social life as well as a second job.

Time Keeps On Ticking Ticking Ticking…

I hope I don’t get sued by The Steve Miller band for using that lyric for my post title. Anywho, it’s been awhile since I’ve published anything here at my home away from home and with good reasons. Of course, you have the obligatory statement about how there has not been much time for me to publish anything and in this instance, that is true. I’ve been really busy between getting WordPress Weekly back on track, maintaining Perfcast,  contributing on a daily basis to Performancing.com and then there is that crappy night job I have which always seems to ruin everything. In a nutshell, that explains why there hasn’t been a post published on this blog in awhile.

Back when I redesigned this site, I did so because I wanted to dive into experimenting with monetization techniques while also narrowing the site down to just a few categories. I’m still not interested in monetization right now so that idea has been tossed aside. As for slimming down the blog, I have to admit that I feel stupid by transferring all of my personal posts away from this site onto its own domain with its own blog. I thought I was doing a good thing by doing this but now, all I have accomplished is providing yet another site for me to update. I should of just kept everything under one roof and told people that if they don’t want to read my personal mumbo jumbo, to just subscribe to the categories they were interested in as I see each category being its own blog. I’m not sure yet if I will re-import my personal musings back into this site so the verdict is still out as to what I am going to do.

Asides from all of that, I am inching closer to finally being able to cut myself down from 32 hours a week at the grocery store to perhaps weekends only. There are some changes afoot over at Performancing. There are also some other opportunities opening up within the SplashPress network which may help me accomplish my year end goal of only working at the store on the weekends while blogging full time. With all of this going on, I am throwing away most of my living space and will be purchasing some equipment to transform it into an office. I’ve seen some nice looking furniture at Officemax which would look even better in my room. I feel I’ll be much more productive with an office environment compared with what I have now which is more of a mashup of a work space.

The leaves are starting to change color here in northern Ohio while Fall is definitely in the air. I have yet to have my annual fall picnic with my girlfriend but that should be coming within the next week or so as the leaves reach their peak color. Soon enough, it will be Winter time. The time of the year where there is not much to do besides blog. How are the leaves in your neck of the woods? Looking forward to Winter?

Before I let you go, I have decided to bring WordPress Weekly back online. Starting this Friday at 8P.M. EST, I’ll be broadcasting live with my Canadian co-host all things WordPress. The anticipation has been building and I am looking forward to interacting with members of the WordPress community yet again.

Last but not least, I have removed the URL field from the comments here on this blog. This means I have also disabled the CommentLuv plugin. This is only an experiment for the month of October as I want to see for myself what happens to not only the volume of spam, but which types of spam I receive. To read more into why I am performing this experiment, read this post on Performancing.com.

Back To The Beginning – Then And Now

Then And NowLife sucks without the Internet. So to kill time, I’ve been going through my backup files to figure out which ones I feel I can definitely live without. While organizing my backup files, I came across a text file which contains all of my posts from my blogging venture over at EFx2.com. What an interesting read. What I call my very first blog post in 2004 contained an abundant amount of typos with no regard to grammar. As a trip back in time and for archival purposes, here is what my very first blog post looked like.

General: Something Fresh
Wednesday, November 17, 2004 05:52 PM

Well I’m pretty new to the blog scene when it comes to having my own. I have read over the years about blogging, and I have seen many many weblogs that just end because well I guess they get boring and people don’t want to update them anymore.

I will try not to let that happen here. I am currently pretty involved with Photoshop and graphics design. Recently I have developed some skills related to Cinema4d, a 3D rendering program. Using this program allows me to create some cool renders that I have been using for some of my abstract wallpapers.

I hope to see you around and go ahead and leave a comment in the shoutbox. I will be at work turning this blogging site into a spiffy graphical wonder in the next few weeks or at least see where my limits are with this system.

General is the category while Something Fresh was the name of the post. You know, I think I remember that day in November when I hit the publish button for the first time. So what have I learned since then?

  • Spell checking is a godsend.
  • I’m a much better writer, now that I have blogged for such a long period of time. I’m getting better with each post.
  • Blogging is still fun when you write about the things that interest you.
  • Comments are still one of the best things I love about blogging.
  • The friendships I have made over the years through blogging have been wonderful.

Back in 2004, there was no Web 2.0. It seemed like blogging was much simpler just four years ago. Now a days, you have videos, screencasts, podcasts, audio posts, images, galleries, massive interaction, and everywhere you look, there is something embeddable. I may sound like an old fart reminiscing the good ole days, but I’m simply comparing two different time periods of blogging. I’m sure those who started blogging back in 2000 have much more to say in regards to then and now.

What I’m interested in, is hearing your history of blogging. Create a blog post and link back to this one if you must or simply leave a comment. When did you start blogging? What changes have you noticed between then and now? If you feel a little daring, you can also share your thoughts on the future of blogging.

I've Made The Move

Hello there. Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend. Just wanted to pass a note along that yes, I am still alive and kicking. Working for Performancing has been an eye opening experience in more ways than one. Especially the business side of blogging. Working with the people involved with the site as well as participating in the community has shown a completely different side to blogging that I was once accustomed to when I blogged solely on Jeffro2pt0. Things such as monetization, social media marketing, and all that other jazz that goes along with it.

The great news is, a lot of the content I have published on Performancing.com has been submitted to StumbleUpon and other social media outlets without help from me. That has to be good for something, right?

I also wanted to say that I finally made the move. The move from being a full time employee at the grocery store to being part time (maximum of 32 hours per week). I have made the decision to try and improve my writing skills while also making headway with my job at Performancing. I enjoy blogging so much more than stocking shelves which is why I have made the move. Although I will lose my full time medical-dental benefits package, I feel like I am in a position to take a risk and see where this goes.

In the meantime, I am also trying to set my schedule up to give me more time to publish content on this blog. I miss the days of publishing 4-8 times a day and then coming home from work to see 5-10 comments. I’d like to get back in that groove and publish content that I want to write but just haven’t had the time or will power.

I was thinking the other day about how I discontinued the podcast at a bad time. WordPress 2.6 was released as was the theme repository shortly after the podcast died. This has got me stoked for Perfcast in September where David Peralty will most likely be my regular co-host which should be fun.

Other than that, I plan on cleaning this place up a bit, rearranging things and trying to get a posting schedule set for this blog. Now before I let you go, I’ve mentioned that I missed posting on the blog but what I am wondering is, do you miss me to?

I’ve Made The Move

Hello there. Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend. Just wanted to pass a note along that yes, I am still alive and kicking. Working for Performancing has been an eye opening experience in more ways than one. Especially the business side of blogging. Working with the people involved with the site as well as participating in the community has shown a completely different side to blogging that I was once accustomed to when I blogged solely on Jeffro2pt0. Things such as monetization, social media marketing, and all that other jazz that goes along with it.

The great news is, a lot of the content I have published on Performancing.com has been submitted to StumbleUpon and other social media outlets without help from me. That has to be good for something, right?

I also wanted to say that I finally made the move. The move from being a full time employee at the grocery store to being part time (maximum of 32 hours per week). I have made the decision to try and improve my writing skills while also making headway with my job at Performancing. I enjoy blogging so much more than stocking shelves which is why I have made the move. Although I will lose my full time medical-dental benefits package, I feel like I am in a position to take a risk and see where this goes.

In the meantime, I am also trying to set my schedule up to give me more time to publish content on this blog. I miss the days of publishing 4-8 times a day and then coming home from work to see 5-10 comments. I’d like to get back in that groove and publish content that I want to write but just haven’t had the time or will power.

I was thinking the other day about how I discontinued the podcast at a bad time. WordPress 2.6 was released as was the theme repository shortly after the podcast died. This has got me stoked for Perfcast in September where David Peralty will most likely be my regular co-host which should be fun.

Other than that, I plan on cleaning this place up a bit, rearranging things and trying to get a posting schedule set for this blog. Now before I let you go, I’ve mentioned that I missed posting on the blog but what I am wondering is, do you miss me to?

ScribeFire Reviewed

Well, this would be my second screencast produced out of Camtasia Studio 5 and I’m learning more and more that screencasts are the not the easiest things to create. I’m also trying to learn the magic recording/producing formula which will net me the best results on sites such as Viddler. It sucks to create something that looks so good on my local machine, only to have it look like crap on Viddler. But I think I’m getting closer to the magic bullet.

In any case, Brian asked me about ScribeFire and what it was all about. This screencast aims to answer that question while also providing an in depth review as to what this extension is capable of.

To get the best quality, select the option to watch the video at FullScreen.

Is Content The Only Thing That Matters

My experience in blogging as part of a blogging network is very limited but based on what I have experienced thus far, there is a very strong focus on creating content because the content drives traffic which in turn, drives advertising revenue. The question I have is this, is content the only thing that matters?

I’ve noticed publishing systems which have seen better days, publishing systems which are way out of date sometimes by over 4 version releases, things that are broken and after notifying the guy up above about the problem, the broken thing is still there after 7 days, front end designs which could really be improved to not only highlight what is going on on the website as a whole, but increase accessibility of the backlog of content these blogs provide. Hell, some of these sites don’t even have a proper archive setup. Does none of this matter?

I realize that most technically savvy people browse sites now a days through their favorite RSS reader, but people still come to the site itself and I don’t understand why more emphasis is placed on the frontend and backend of a particular site along with the content that is published on it.

Are any of the things I mentioned above money makers or potential increases in revenue if the improvements were to be done? I would think with an archive page, it would make it easier for people who actually visit the site to find stuff in the backlog. With a focus on community through a recent comments block, you tell visitors that people hang out here and actually discuss things, with a related posts block as well as an area which highlights 5 or so random posts, you give visitors a chance to see something ELSE that might catch their eye, keeping them on the site longer and perhaps turning them into a subscriber if they weren’t already.

As a blogger, I could just as easily do things on my own. But my own blog doesn’t rake in any money and I have no experience or desire to mess with adwords, adsense, sponsored posts, text ads, direct advertising, and all of those other methods of monetization. So I write for others. As I have found out, it is tough to write for sites which in the back of your mind, know they could be so much more than what they are or have been in the past but because of ownership and the way things work, things just don’t work that way.

I guess the bottom line which I have had to cope with is this. The blogs I write for are not mine. I am hired on to write content for the blog, not much else. I can give suggestions, critique, comments, or whatever else, but I must not make demands and just because I say something, doesn’t mean it will happen. Writing for someone is not like Burger King where you can have things your way. It’s their way or the highway. I respect that, considering it’s not my site, but I wish it wouldn’t boggle my mind how making improvements to a brand or website and trying to take the site to it’s fullest potential would be pushed aside because none of those things make money. Sure, they don’t make money DIRECTLY, but I think I could make a strong argument for changes like what I described above to make money INDIRECTLY.

Has anyone else here ever written for someone else? Either an individual or for a blogging network? I wonder if you have gone through the same situations as I listed above. If so, how did you deal with those?