Friday, 27 April 2012

State of the Blog: workload, monetizing & Instagram

Friday, 27 April 2012

It's been awhile since I checked in with a State of the Blog--which, for the benefit of any newcomers, is where I let readers know about stuff pertinent to Dan's Media Digest's output and future.


As I've mentioned for awhile, I'm in the process of altering how and when I blog. This is requiring a psychological change after six years doing things a certain way, as I'm trying to maintain quality while reducing workload, but without the number of blog posts nosediving. As part of this new initiative, I recently ditched many shows from my blogging cycle and passed on reviewing a few others (Titanic, Magic City). It's not worth struggling to write about something I'm not passionate about (positively or negatively). Follow me on Twitter if you want to know what I think about things I don't cover here. As a result, I've only been reviewing Mad Men, Fringe and Community every week--and only Mad Men's reviews have been of a "typical" word-count. This has allowed me to concentrate on more one-off reviews (Justified, Derek, Have I Got News For You?, Would I Lie To You?, Veep) and, unbeknownst to readers, frees up time to do other things (watch box-sets, read scripts, write features... um, go outside, etc).

I'm always concerned such a change will frustrate regular readers, who've perhaps got used to reading multiple new posts every day. Or are perhaps annoyed their favourite show isn't being covered now, which could be enough to make them visit less often in general. If that has happened, my page-hits haven't been affected to a worrying extent--although the overall audience has dipped slightly this year. But that's an understandable and expected consequence, that can't really be helped. On the plus side, whenever something goes up that's of arguably higher quality than usual, because I've had time to fine-tune it over a period of days/weeks instead of hours, that content is often more popular than usual. I also find that such work is more likely to be re-tweeted on Twitter, or liked on Facebook, which helps drive more eyeballs to DMD. A big thank you if you regularly spread the word about pieces you've enjoyed reading here, BTW! I know and appreciate that a few regular readers (if not frequent commenters) always make the effort to re-tweet choice reviews on Twitter, which is fantastic.


Behind-the-scenes, lots of opportunities are presenting themselves regarding monetizing this blog in ways that don't damage DMD's quality and content. Or hurt its reputation. You may start noticing more "sponsored posts" soon (like yesterday's G.I Joe piece), but it will never be for things I wouldn't have blogged about anyway, or think I can have some fun writing about. In fact, it probably encourages me to write about a few things that would probably have slipped me by otherwise. I'm also going to sell some advertising space soon. This will also mean the occasional text-advert at the foot of some posts (a few have appeared already), but nothing too distracting. Plus, there will hopefully be more competitions on the way--which I feel is a nice treat because, let's face it, you have a better chance of winning goodies here than most other places online! If any companies/business reading this post want to get involved with DMD (via site advertising, sponsorship, or competition promotions), just email to make an enquiry.


By the by, I now have an Instagram account! If you want to follow me, my username is DANOWEN79. I mainly upload dull photos of buildings, common wildlife, and home utensils. I'm new to Instagramming, so have much to learn. If you can't seen any reason to follow me (what, you don't like photos of car parks?!), you may be persuaded by knowing you get to see my real face as my profile pic there. (It may not be wise to follow me if you've let yourself believe I'm the blogosphere's answer to Brad Pitt. If so, I urge you to stay blissfully ignorant.)


That's about it for now! If you have any questions/suggestions, please make them known in the comments area below. Are you happy with DMD's changes and refocusing this year? Have you failed to notice any difference? Do you have a better idea about how to cut-down my workload without the blog suffering too much? Please, let me know! Thank you.