30 Things I Learned in My First 30 Days of Blogging

Thirty days ago I published the first article on The Dough Roller. At the time, I had no idea just how humbling the first 30 days of blogging can be. With that in mind, here are 30 things I’ve learned in my first 30 days of blogging:

1. It turns out, Furl is not something you see at a frat party. You know, as in, “Watch out! Frank is about to furl!”

2. It is impossible to correctly type in the URL for de.lic.ious. Or is it del.ic.io.us? No, that’s not right. I think it’s deli.cio.us, right? Is it even legal to have that many periods in a URL? If it is, it shouldn’t be.

3. With so many free WordPress themes available, it’s easy to find one that is exactly what your looking for. Well, almost exactly what you’re looking for. I mean, you can’t expect to find absolutely everything you want in a single theme. Ok, none of them seems to be the right fit for me. Help! Of course, maybe the perfect theme is out there, just waiting to be discovered. Let’s see. I’ve looked at about 5,437 of them so far, but I’m determined. Suggestions appreciated.

4. Messing up the html code in a post can screw up all the other posts that follow it on the same page. That’s some free advice for you right here at The Dough Roller that only took me about three hours to figure out. I’d accept donations for that advice, but I haven’t figured out how to add the donation feature to my blog. Besides, you have better things to do with your money.

5. Hitting the refresh button on site meter will not increase the number of visitors to your blog. Neither will hitting the refresh button on Google Analytics, FireStats or any of the other 38 counters I use. But as with WordPress themes, I’ll keep trying.

6. No two site counters actually report the same data, whether its visitors, page views, or whatever. This can come in handy. At first I just assumed the counter with the highest number was correct. When I graduated to advanced blogging in week three, I learned to add all of the counters together to determine the most accurate statistics. That way, the more counters you have, the more visitors you get. Now you know why I have 41 counters.

7. Feedburner. Ah, Feedburner. Do some blogs really have tens of thousands of subscribers??? That can’t be, I’ve only got…[hold on, let me check] 38, which includes my wife, mom, three aunts, a cousin, and five people at work who don’t even know they’ve subscribed.

8. I learned from Darren Rowse of Problogger the importance and value of keywords and outbound links. And if Problogger thinks it’s important, it’s important. You can’t go wrong following the advice of Problogger.

9. Carnivals. I have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for all carnivals and especially all future carnival hosts. You’re the greatest, and your blog is better than all the rest. Really.

10. Counting spam, I received 4,573,421 comments in my first month. Not counting spam, 21. Let’s hear it for spam!

11. It’s possible, if you really try, to have a CTR (click through rate for you newbies) of less than . . . . Well, I can’t tell you what my actual CTR is, but let’s just say it’s very close to the interest rate some credit card companies have been offering lately.

12. The upper left hand sidebar is the best, most profitable place to put a Google Adsense ad. Or is it the right sidebar? No, maybe it’s the upper middle of the first post on the main page above the fold, except on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and every other Friday, when the absolute best place to put the Google Adsense ad is . . . . Hold on, here. I can’t give away all me secrets.

13. I don’t care about the money. In fact, I may remove all advertising from my blog, just to prove that money means absolutely nothing to me. Wait a minute, The Dough Roller is a personal finance blog. Ok, the ads stay.

14. If you use a Google Adsense plug-in, make sure to put your Adsense id in the code. Otherwise, the plug-in author will get all of your revenue. A whole week went by before I figured that one out. That was a 37 cent lesson I’ll not soon forget.

15. For a week [and this is for real], I thought Google Adsense was malfunctioning because I had made $0.00 in revenue each day. I stripped out all the Adsense plug-ins and anything else I could think of that could possibly be the problem. All I was left with was my blog and no revenue. Hmm, I guess I found the problem.

16. I think Amazon is spamming me. I keep getting e-mail from Amazon reminding me that I have yet to generate any revenue through its Affiliates program and offering what I’m sure are very sincere suggestions on how to make my first sale. Keep trying Amazon, I like your spunk.

17. Publishing a post on a blog is like ringing a bell. It can’t be un-rung.

18. Photoshop is expensive; Gimp is not.

19. The first, real, substantive comment a blogger receives feels great. Even if the comment tells you what a moron you are.

20. Blogging is like playing golf. It’s that one, positive comment each round that keeps you writing.

21. Writing posts that show everybody just how smart I am doesn’t generate a lot of positive reaction. I know, its insane, but true.

22. There are some really great personal finance blogs out there giving good, sound advice. That’s it, no joke.

23. I’m still at 38 subscribers–I just checked.

24. Success is the hardest thing to forgive. I didn’t really appreciate this wisdom until I began following successful blogs.

25. A 2-column theme is superior to a 3-column theme. A 3-column theme is superior to a 4-column theme. And a 4-column theme is superior to a 2-column theme. There, it’s settled.

26. Blogging, at the start, is a rather lonely adventure.

27. Writing four posts a day, as it turns out, is quite a lot of work. I think I’ll scale back to 2.7 posts per day.

28. I shouldn’t quit my day job anytime soon.

29. Coming up with a list of 30 things about anything is a lot harder than you might think.


If you enjoyed this article, will you share-it, furlit, diggit, fluffit, stuffit, trip over it or whatever else you crazy cats and kittens do when you like a post? Oh, and subscribe, too. I’m trying to break 50.  And so you don’t feel cheated:

30. Blogging ain’t that bad; I think I’ll stick with it.

Topics: Make Money

25 Responses to “30 Things I Learned in My First 30 Days of Blogging”

  1. I’m a subscriber! And I don’t even know what furl is. I always thought that’s what you call the face that Don Knotts made when he overheard something racy on Three’s Company.

    • Emma, I look back on that post, written one year ago this Friday, and am just amazed at how far I’ve come. Keeping learning and moving forward and great things will follow.

  2. I can honestly, truely say, you are very funny. I usually don’t understand less lone bother with the blogging thing. But you make it very interesting to learn. I am still smiling. I don’t think I could leave this site without saying kudos to you.

    Be Blessed, and don’t stress.

  3. Nice list… I still don’t know what “furl” is!:) I especially agree with 19 and 25; have also noticed #6 – sitemeter and google analytics never agree on the number of visitors – but if sitemeter says someone came through on link X, and google doesn’t show it at all, how can it *not* be true that someone came through on that link? I confess I still don’t see all the benefit with google analytics – it just doesn’t work with me for some reason.

  4. I’ve been blogging for about 3 years now and I still only have 6 followers. And, don’t even ask me about Adsense. For all I know, my neighbor is getting those proceeds. Best of luck, howver, on your bloggy.

  5. I realised this was written June 27th 2007. So how many followers now Dough Roller? The counter I can see says over 6000 readers – wow! Love the fact that old posts never die, they just keep on being linked to. Here’s hoping some of mine from my first 30 days (not sure it’s even up yet) will be linked to in 3 years time. Great post loved it!

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