This blog just passed 2 million hits since I started back in the dim and distant Internet past of 2007 with How much money will my software make (and what has that got to do with aliens)?. Wow.
I haven’t been posting much recently, but I haven’t given up either. Watch this space. Until then, here are the top 10 blog posts to date:
|The software awards scam
|Lessons learned from 13 failed software
|10 things non-technical users don’t
understand about your software
|Your harddrive *will* fail – it’s just a
question of when
|Where I program
|If you aren’t embarrassed by v1.0 you didn’t
release it early enough
|SWREG customers beware
|The 1% fallacy
|The world’s fastest Rubik cube solver is
made from Lego!
|The brutal truth about marketing your
Stephane Grenier is publishing an interview a week from his 2008 book Blog Blazers on followsteph.com. This week he published my interview from the book. It was interesting to re-read it 5 years on. I never did quite reproduce the success of my early software award scam post, but I am still posting – albeit not very frequently.
I have updated this blog with a new (and hopefully more modern looking) WordPress design. Please let me know if you have any problems with it.
I published my first blog post 6 years ago today. I didn’t even notice the fifth anniversary of this blog, so I am going to indulge myself today instead. 277 posts, 3459 (non-spam) comments and over 1.6 million page impressions and I am still here, posting sporadically as time and inspiration allows. Maybe I will still be writing in another 6 years. Maybe not.
Here are some of my favourite posts from the last 6 years, in no particular order:
It would be nice to break 2 million impressions. I calculate that this will take approximately another year at the current rate of progress.
I have lots of ideas for new posts. But if there is any subject you, dear reader, would particularly like me to write about – add a comment below. I don’t promise that I will write about it, but I will certainly consider it.
Well, not in pounds or dollars. But, according to WordPress.com and to my considerable surprise, this blog has now had over a million impressions since I started it, 3 and a bit years ago.
OK, I know Joel Spolsky or Jeff Atwood probably wouldn’t get out of bed for a meagre million impressions, but I still couldn’t resist crowing about it.
As you can see in the graph below the traffic is very uneven, dominated by a few posts that made it on to the front page of social news sites.
In fact over 40% of the total impressions come from just 5 (2%) of the posts:
Here are a few things I have learnt along the way:
- As with many things in life, persistence is the key.
- Choose your audience and write for that audience.
- Pick a realistic posting schedule and try to stick to it.
- Find your own voice.
- The titles of posts are important.
- Don’t expect lots of clickthroughs from social media sites to translate to lots of subscribers.
- Get your posts proof read (thanks Claire!).
- I am lousy at predicting how much interest a particular blog post will generate.
- Don’t blog about blogging.
- Be prepared to break the rules from time to time.
Although time is sometimes scarce for blogging I have lots of ideas for future blog posts. But if there is anything you would particularly like to see on this blog, please leave a comment.
MicroISV blog aggregator planetmiscroisv.com has died, for reasons unknown (Floyd, if you are reading this, I hope you are OK). Glenn Rice of backupbrain.com.au has kindly filled the gap with new aggregator microisvcentral.com. Thanks Glenn! Hopefully he will be able to fix the problem that is causing posts from this blog to not be displayed properly.
I have just finished reading “Blog Blazers, 40 top bloggers share their secrets to creating a high-profile, high-traffic and high-profit blog” the new book by the indefatigable Stephane Grenier of followsteph.com.
The bloggers interviewed are a diverse group, blogging on everything from personal finance to fashion. It also includes interviews with a number of software-related bloggers: Jeff Atwood, Ian Landsman, Patrick McKenzie, Dharmesh Shah[sic], Eric Sink, Rob Walling, Bob Walsh and yours truly. Stephane also interviews himself, which must have been a strange experience.
Each of the interviewees was asked a standard list of questions. Some of the questions are more interesting than others. For example the question “What makes a blog successful according to you” resulted in 40 minor variations on “It depends”. But there is a wealth of useful information for bloggers, beginner or veteran. It will take me a long time to work my way through the many links and digest it all. I might even end up buying The elements of style by Strunk and White, which is recommended several times.
Stephane has done a great job of pulling together interviews from such a wide range of bloggers, including A-list blogging celebrities such as Seth Godin. I was very flattered to be included. At $16.95 I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who writes a blog, or is thinking of writing a blog. You can buy the book and/or ebook online from blogblazers.com. The book is also available from amazon.com.
As an interviewee I received some free copies and I am giving away two of them. If you would like one, please add your email address in a comment below. I suggest you obfuscate it to avoid spam-bot harvesting e.g. me [at] domain.com . I will pick two at random on Friday 21st Nov.
The good folk at WordPress (where this blog is hosted) are offering a $30/year ‘no ads’ upgrade. Before I rush out and pay my $30, I am wondering how many of you actually see ads on this blog. Please add a comment below to let me know if you see any ads on this page. A simple “yes” or “no” will suffice. If the answer is “yes” a screenshot of the page would also be appreciated ( email it to andy [at] oryxdigital.com ).
I have now been writing successfulsoftware.net for a year. During that time there have been a high points (such as my post about bogus software awards making the front pages of Digg, Reddit and Slashdot) and low points (such as WordPress accidentally shutting the blog down). Here are a few numbers for anyone that is interested (as reported by WordPress.com):
Total Views: 311,424
Most views in a day: 56,447
Genuine comments: 856 
Spam comments: 22,050
The post on bogus software awards accounts for a whopping 178,000 views on its own – over half the total. When I wrote it I only expected to get about 200 views. In fact, I have been consistently wrong at predicting which posts would generate the most interest.
Often the commentary on a blog article is more interesting than the original post, so I am delighted by the number of genuine comments. Thank you to everyone that has contributed so far. I apologise if Akismet marked your comment as spam and I didn’t spot it. I have given up looking through the spam logs. There is just too much of it and one can only read so many spam comments about Viagra and bestiality without becoming profoundly depressed about the human condition.
I have got plenty of ideas for new articles (33 to be exact). I just wish I had more hours in the day to write…
 Including replies by me.
Floyd Price of Code Spaces has taken over the day-to-day running of microISV blog aggregator planetmicroisv.com from Baruch Even. He has already given it a fresh coat of paint. I appreciate the efforts of Baruch and Floyd to maintain this useful resource. planetmicroisv.com is well worth adding to your RSS feed if you are a microISV (or aspire to be).