Back to basics
As you may have noticed, I haven't exactly been All-Bran regular in terms of my posting frequency on here for the past few months. I guess the cause has been one part lack of motivation, one part lack of creativity and one part laziness. A poisonous cocktail indeed.
On the week I sat down and browsed through the Swollen Pickles archive. Some of what I found was good, some terrible, some a crass cash grab and some a reflection of where I was at personally at that point in time. This blog originally started off as a personal development experience. I wanted to see if I could start something from scratch and stick to it. In that respect, it's been a success. When I started I had no idea what was involved in starting up website from scratch, let along digging into any sort of code.
Not long after I set this up I decided that I'd try to make it self sustaining. I wanted to see if I could set up a blog to pay its own way in the world, and not rely upon me propping it up financially. This led to the inevitable monetization of the site. It didn't take me all that long to learn that income was directly related to traffic volume. More traffic, meant more money. This led me to analytics. Why were people coming here? What were they looking for? Tailoring content to search results had its advantages, more traffic. Giving people more of what they wanted was a fairly solid formula. The disadvantage being that it took me a little further away off the track that I had originally set out on. I set up other sites but in doing so found that I was spread too thin.
In looking through the archive I can almost pin point the moment in which this became more of a chore and less fun. In attempting to give people what they wanted, or what I thought they wanted, I wasn't getting what I needed out of the process. I'm sure I'm not the only person in the world that isn't a huge fan of chores. When something becomes a chore, I naturally steer away from it, toward something more fun and entertaining.
I guess what I'm trying to say, in a rather long winded fashion, is that I think it's time to get back to basics. Embrace minimalism. Strip the site back. Rebuild it. Make it something that I would visit myself, rather than something to cater to others. Back to basics.