This week I wrote an article about my guide to writing a successful Blog. Well according to the comments and the hit's tracker that in and of itself has already become pretty successful, although I accept it's a little bit on the long side. However, in that Blog I talked about the fact that my own Blog wasn't perhaps quite as awesome as I'd like it to be, I always open to suggestions and criticism. The plan for me was pretty much always to take year 1 as a recon mission. Go out into the big wide world, get behind enemy lines and gather as much intelligence as I could. Project Frontline Gamer was a long-term endeavour and certainly wasn't just short-term. Hell, I even have a 5 year plan! Something the USA and UK should have had before invading Afghanistan and Iraq... but I digress.
I always planned for instance to have a very basic layout at first, and just concentrate on the content and not the look of the damn Blog. I wanted to purely focus on what I wrote, I wanted my early readers to come here not because it had awesome gadgets, but because what I wrote pulled them here. I think it worked rather well if I say so myself! I honestly thought that 'operation put myself out there' would take longer than it did, but Phase 2: Make it look prettier, started long before I thought it would. So last October I tarted the place up a bit with a banner an a few more useful gadgets like my Blog roll, and my system files (although those need a revamp now along with much of what I do on here). In short it's meant to have been a slow methodical process of building things up, learning and finding my way steadily... and it has gone a little bit faster than I would have liked it too if I'm honest.
Phase 3, was supposed to commence around the 24 months into Blogging in my original plan. But, as things seem to be going so well I decided I'd start phase 3: content control and tweaking, around the first year anniversary mark. That went out of the window too, after asking readers to get in touch with me I've had a bit of momentum behind me, and as I race towards 11 months of Blogging I find myself wanting to get started on phase 3 a little bit earlier. So I'll be starting to mix things up a bit. The first thing you'll hopefully notice is that I'll be putting some 'pages' up that will hopefully make this Blog a little bit more personable and useful to those who stumble across it for the first time. I also have a few ideas about a certain page, which hopefully veterans of the site and newcomers alike might find useful, or at the very least an interesting experiment. I'll tell you more when it is up and running, but I'll no doubt need support on this one from you lot to make it work. The first thing I've added though is the Google Website Translator Gadget. I hope it proves useful to some of you, although I know its implementation is far from perfect.
So you'll probably see a few things changing here and there as the Blog gets updated and me and Dr Brainiac fiddle about with the HTML code of the template as best we can, to I get things looking just how I want them to. Well no actually, to get things looking as best I can on Bloggers limited platform... That's phase 5 by the way, migrate this across to being its own website fully controlled by me! But for now, I'm sticking with Blogger and my experiments in Blogging. I'll also probably split my Blog roll into 2 or possibly 3 depending on how I'm feeling. This is to make sure that everyone get's their moment in the sun so to speak on my Blog. There will be far more to phase 3 than just putting some pages up and more gadgets and dohikeys around the place... but... I'm not quite yet ready to reveal what those things are just now. So you'll just have to wait to see what those things are. So I'm asking you to bear with me while I mess around with the Blog and see how much of it is editable, as I'm probably not going to be on my normal schedule for a short while longer.
|Why else would we do it?|
However, here's the reason I'm telling you all this... I think it's important to mix things up from time to time. Do things a bit differently if you can, take a chance or a risk or two. Take stock and review what you're doing and see if you can improve things. What better time to do this than around springtime? So go on have a bit of a Blog spring clean, take a look around the place. Does that Blog banner need replacing with something swankier? Could you do with putting a Blog roll up? What about the layout and articles you produce? Just take stock of what you're doing and decide what you want to do. You might just sit back in your chair and have a look around while allowing a smug grin to spread across your face as you realise how awesome your Blog is and how utterly perfect you are... if you do, well sod you Mr or Mrs Perfect! You can go off and stuff yourself with all that Easter chocolate you've got.
But, sometimes we can rest on our laurels can't we? We think we're doing fine so why rock the boat? Normally I'm not one for change for changes sake, but I'm also not a fan of stagnation either! Now I know in my hints and tips I told everyone to try and get into a routine, and I still think that's sound advice, but on the flip side you don't want to get into a rut either do you? so every now and then it pays out to shake things up a bit, and try doing some different things. A change is as good as a break and all that, so why don't you all try to do one thing differently with your Blog over the next week or two? See how it goes, you never know you might enjoy mixing things up a bit and it could take you somewhere new and exciting. Besides you're going to run out of Easter chocolate eventually and then you'll need something else to occupy your time. Peace out!