My fellow readers and bloggers, welcome to this year’s State of the Blog Address. I’d like to first thank everyone for stopping by, reading my words, commenting, linking, liking or tweeting. I’ve noticed an upswing in visits recently, and for that I am humbly thankful.
We here at HooHaa Nation strive to be a strong and viable blog. While we know that everything isn’t perfect and we don’t fit a certain niche, we feel this blog is carving its own spot in the blogosphere.
A ‘lil HooHaa started out no more than a small personal blog with a bunch of BS on it. It has grown a little and became more of a place for different items to be posted. In time, it’s grown to be a potpourri blog of all sorts of things — geocaching, sports, real life, current events, photography, hiking, disc golf etc.
That’s what makes this place “a ‘lil HooHaa.”
It’s unfortunate that I can’t find that one little niche to go forward in and make this blog something that a certain factor of people would follow all the time. Alas, with real life, it’s tough to focus on, say geocaching or disc golf or something along those lines all the time.
Plus, I’m not sure I’d have enough to say to cover those topics full time.
That being said, it’s nice to see when you hit a certain spot, you get the readers and such. For example, my post recently on the Vibram Open was my largest single-day count for visitors (since I started keeping those stats in February). It was magnificent!
Though it went down after that day, the reality is, this blog has grown to average more than 3,000 visitors per month and for that, I thank you the readers.
I hope this site continues to grow.
So what is in store for the coming year or so of the HooHaa Blog? A lot, I hope. A lot of growth. A lot of good content. And a lot of good ideas.
I hope, anyway.
To, hopefully, make the blog better, I have made some changes.
The biggest is probably the commenting system.
I switched to the disqus comment system. This is a plugin that eliminates the original WordPress comment system.
This system is much better (I’ve tested it on another “fake” blog I set up to check things out). The replies to people are much better, it allows people to comment by using social networking sign-ins (I won’t be having them all) and you can still just log as a guest with your name and website address. It’s extremely simple, so if there are any issues, drop me an e-mail and I’ll help you out.
If you are going to just post as a guest, type your comment and click in the “post as” box. In there, you’ll see many options to post. If going as normal, just put your e-mail address (required as was before), your name and, if you want to add your web address, click the link that says “Optional: Link to your website.”
I notice many websites are using this system, so I’m sure you’ve all used this already anyway! And, if for some reason I decide I don’t like it, I can go back to the old system without any issues. (All comments are still there, they are just transferring over to the new system. They should be done soon. If not, I’ll be going back to the old system very quickly).
Another change that has been done is adding social sharing icons at the bottom of each post. If you liked a post, like it on Facebook! Or tweet it. Or make note of it at StumbledUpon. Or give it a “+1” on Google Plus. All of those options are at the bottom each individual post. I thank you in advance for any of these things you do!
One other change — or addition — is contests. The first one is currently going on (see the quick note at the bottom of this post) and my hope and plan is to do a contest every few weeks. There are many things I am giving away (and have received some donations recently, too), so hopefully as the contests continue, more and more people will enter and win some good stuff.
If you have other ideas, hook me up with them! If you think you have something that might make a good blog post, let me know and I’ll see what I can do.
Besides the changes that have been made, there’s more coming.
- In-depth journalistic-type posts. I have been working on a few series of stories that I hope to share with my readers. As many of you know, I was a journalist for many years and I still like to dive into those types of things. Though these won’t be hard-hitting news stories, I am hoping that the feature-like approach will be an attraction. Some of the topics I have been working on are long-distance hiking, professional wrestling and disc golf. All have been compelling so far and I hope they will be when I am done with the projects. I am looking for more ideas, too.
- Guest bloggers. I am hoping that I can work it out to get some good writers/bloggers to come aboard and do a guest post. I’d be more than willing to do ones for others, too. I won’t publish just anything, however. There needs to be a distinct topic being covered (can be pretty much anything) and be written well (in other words, no Internet shorthand, proper grammar, spelling etc.) IF you would like to be a guest blogger here, drop me a note so we can work it out! I have three or four people already interested and hope to add more to this list!
- Photoblog integration. This is not a guarantee, but a hope. For those who don’t know, I have a daily photoblog. It’s something I’ve had for years, but I would love to be able to integrate it into this blog and have them work together. However, I don’t want to bring it all over here if things don’t transfer well.
I have had this blog since 2005 in different “lives.” Since February, I’ve done a lot to try and make it a place to come for some interesting reading. I hope that can continue. I’ve seen the page views raise on the blog and it’s starting to average upwards of 2,500 or more visitors per month. That’s a good thing and I hope that continues as it helps me continue to do this on a daily basis.
And for those of you just reading, thanks for coming. But feel free, too, to drop a comment or two at times. I love hearing from readers!
Reminder! Contest going on! I am holding my first (of hopefully many) contests this week. It runs from Sept. 11- to 12:01 a.m. Sept. 18. You can see all the details on the contest post. Enter for your chance to win!
Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook by clicking the button on the right side of the page!