Growing the Blog

Now that I have a blog site, I have started to add analytics and monetization options…

1. Google Analytics

This is probably the most important item I added to the site. Google Analytics let’s you see how much traffic is going to your site, where it’s coming from, and how users are spending time on your website. You start over at Google Analytics and setup a new site. I also setup Google Tag Manager to make administration easier. Then I used the WordPress plugin “Google Tag Manager for WordPress” to easily add the tracking code to your blog content in one place. Then you can go to the Google Analytics website to see charts and graphs. I setup a dashboard of my favorite graphs. Basically at the moment I don’t have any users, but I have had a few visitors from China and Japan. And a few search results for Amazon have brought up my site!

2. Google Search Console

I also went to Google Search Console to see information on how Google Search views the performance of my site. These results can affect my search result ranking. It requires adding a TXT record to your DNS settings of your webhosting company. So far I haven’t found this information to be at all useful, but maybe as the site grows….

3. Amazon Native Ads, Bounty Program, Etc

See any Amazon ads at the bottom of this content? Cool right? I get paid if you click them and buy things! First you setup an affiliate account for yourself at Amazon Affiliate Program. It was pretty easy to setup Amazon recommendation ads in there. Then add the content to this blog using the “Ad Inserter” plugin. You can also look through the bounty program for other ways to drive traffic to Amazon and make money.

4. Amazon Affiliate Links

You know what’s cooler than Amazon ads? Amazon affiliate links! First you setup an affiliate account for yourself at Amazon Affiliate Program. Then you find a product and it will generate code you can include on your site. If anyone purchases through that link, I get a percentage!

It’s Alive!

I started my blog with just notes in Evernote. In my head I wondered if I should post it publicly. What’s the point? Do I really want people reading my inner-most thoughts? Well, I got bored and decided, why not? It will take awhile before it gets traffic anyway….

First question, what domain should I get? I wanted something anonymous and not linked to my name. But with a variety of topics it was hard to think of something relevant and simple. TinyGeekGal.com seemed to represent me, which is really what this blog is about.

Then I went to GoDaddy.com and bought WordPress. When searching online for what to write blogs in, WordPress was the clear winner if you ever want to grow it or monetize it. The good news is that when I bought the basic WordPress product on GoDaddy, I got the domain for free! I went through the initial setup steps to link my domain, etc, which were a bit tricky to understand, but didn’t take too long either. Once I was in WordPress, picking a template, setting up a menu, etc were really straight forward.

I also wanted to link an email address to the site for people to contact me. GoDaddy used to offer free email forwarding when you buy a domain. But I guess it doesn’t count if you get that domain for free when buying WordPress. I was only offered Microsoft O365 email with my WordPress domain. So, I set it up there, and can always tweak it in the future if I want. 

Then I copied my first post out of the notes in Evernote, and into WordPress! Formatting took a few tries. WordPress tries too hard to be user friendly. I’d rather just write the HTML code itself. It turns out you can, but took me a few minutes to find it.

The tags and categories are useful given I plan to write on a variety of topics and can use them to differentiate and point people to relevant similar posts.

Let me know in the comments, what do you think so far? What should I write about next?

The First One

So I decided to start a blog tonight. Why? Well, first I’ve been thinking about how to make more passive income. I’ve been dreaming about early retirement for awhile now. Second, it also acts as a bit of a journal or diary. Getting my thoughts out there is always healing. I’ve worked on emotional health a lot the last few years and this could be another avenue to help. Third, I love mentoring. Perhaps this blog could be a way to help others.

It’s not that I think I’m particularly unique. It’s actually the opposite. I think I have a lot of common life experiences to everyone else. While I definitely have a variety of topics I could touch on, I’m not an expert in them. It’s more about just sharing my life experiences. 

So, what could I share?

  • Parenting: I’m the mother of an amazing 7 year old daughter.
  • Infertility: I suffered for years from infertility. Going through In-Vitro Fertilization to have my daughter, and struggling with losses along the road.
  • Divorce: I went through a difficult divorce after a very long relationship. It’s not to talk negative about my ex, but rather talk about the challenges with sharing custody, etc.
  • Early retirement: I’ve been in Software Development for 19 years. Given all the other things happening in my life, I feel burned out and often dream of retirement. As I work in this direction, perhaps I’ll have some successes and failures to share.
  • Work: This won’t be another technical blog. Rather, coping with work life balance, being a senior female engineer, imposter syndrome, etc.
  • Technology: Or I could talk about technology, but maybe more the fun stuff, like how my home is smarter than me.
  • Exercise: I’m not a fitness guru. I was athletic growing up and definitely have certain passions, but no motivation to actually work out anymore. I’d love to magically wake up and be in shape. Short of that, I can share real life with folks about starting up exercise programs and not sticking to them. I’m lazy, but don’t want to be.
  • Migraines: I have them, I fight them, I’m currently winning…
  • Organization: Here is where I’m a champ. I’m seriously OCD. I have calendars and to do lists like crazy. Perhaps too much. My brain is constantly thinking of them. Anxiety could be another topic…
  • Wedding planning: I’m engaged! No, I won’t be a bridezilla, this is my second and will be very “us” and low stress (if I can manage that).
  • Step parent of teens: My fiance has 2 teen boys from a previous relationship. How is that family blending going?
  • Home improvements: There’s usually some project going on.
  • Crafts: I love to craft and do it when I can.
  • Blogging: Since I’m starting one, I can talk about how to.
  • Amazon shopping: I buy pretty much everything on Amazon.
  • Mental peace: As I mentioned above, I’ve worked on emotional health a lot in the past few years. I’m still a high anxiety person by nature, but am working to find peace.
  • Juggling it all, or not!

I wouldn’t want to just share the facts, but the emotions as well. Perhaps it will help someone feel not so alone…

Let me know in the comments…. what do you want to hear more about?