My Blog in 2023 - A Year of Growth, Costs, and Community

My Blog in 2023 - A Year of Growth, Costs, and Community
In: General

I just wanted to start by saying a big thank you to all of you for your incredible support and feedback. Without you, I wouldn't be here writing this blog post.

As I reflect on 2023, it was truly a year filled with growth and meaningful experiences. On the personal front, my family and I had the opportunity to enjoy two wonderful holidays and reconnect with loved ones, creating cherished memories.

At work, I had the chance to learn and grow, particularly in my role as a Network Engineer. I'm also excited to share with you how my blog journey evolved throughout the year.

Over 100 Posts in 2023

At the beginning of 2023, I set myself a simple yet ambitious goal - to write 52 blog posts, one for each week. I knew it might be challenging, given my responsibilities at work and with my family. But what I discovered is that when you do something consistently, it becomes second nature, just like eating, walking, or watching movies.

Whenever I found a spare moment, I would start jotting down content. If I learnt something new, I couldn't resist sharing it on my blog, hoping it would benefit someone else out there. Similarly, whenever I encountered a problem and found a solution, I would create a blog post about it, so that others facing the same issue could easily find a fix.

To my amazement, when I counted my posts at the end of the year, I had written just over 100 of them. It was a milestone I couldn't believe I had reached. Most of these posts revolved around NetDevOps, Python, and a bit on Cisco ISE, topics that I'm passionate about and eager to share with you all.

Nearly 400K Views and Over 200K Unique Visitors

Tracking website statistics is crucial, and in my case, I rely on Google Analytics. However, Google made some changes to their analytics platform in June, causing my data to be spread across two different sources.

Despite the data divide, when I combine both sources, the results are nothing short of amazing. In 2023, my blog received just under 400,000 views and welcomed over 200,000 unique visitors. Honestly, I thought my content might come across as a bit boring, but your response has been incredible.

What's particularly fascinating is that the majority of the traffic comes from organic search, accounting for more than 90% of the visits. About 40% of our readers come from the United States, with around 12% each from India and the UK. It's wonderful to see such a diverse and engaged audience appreciating what I write.

Feedback and Support

I've been fortunate to receive a wealth of feedback from various sources throughout the year, including LinkedIn, friends and colleagues, comments on the blog, and even messages via the contact form. I want to emphasize that I greatly appreciate both positive and constructive comments as they serve as valuable guidance for my ongoing growth and improvement.

On top of that, I've introduced a 'Buy Me a Coffee' option on my blog for those who want to show their support, although it's entirely optional. It's been heartwarming to see readers actually buying me a coffee (I went out and bought a coffee on those days) To those who have done so, a massive thank you!

Rest assured, I make it a point to read every single piece of feedback or comment that comes my way, and I'm always ready to engage in conversation. So, if you have anything on your mind, don't hesitate to share it. Your voice matters, and it's a driving force behind the growth of this blog.

The Cost of Running a Blog

While my primary motivation for running this blog has never been financial, it's worth noting that maintaining a blog does come with its share of expenses. The hosting alone costs around $300 per year, and there are various subscription fees for essentials like the Cookie Banner, domain, email services, and a few other odds and ends. As you probably know, everything seems to be a subscription nowadays.

I did experiment with running ads for a few months, but it quickly became apparent that they were negatively impacting the user experience. The website felt clunky and slow, and quite frankly, I hated how those ads disrupted the flow of my content. So, I made the decision to stop running ads for now to keep the blog hassle-free for you, the readers.

What's New for 2024?

As we step into 2024, I'm thrilled to share some exciting additions to the blog

  1. Paid Membership Tier - I've introduced a paid membership option for those who want to show extra support for my content. It's available for just $2.99 per month.
  2. Monthly Calls - For paid members, I'll be offering monthly calls to provide career guidance or answer any questions you may have about the topics I've covered in my posts. It's an opportunity for us to connect more personally and dive deeper into your career aspirations or the content I've shared.
  3. Content Goals - My goal for 2024 is to surpass the 100 blog posts I wrote in 2023. It's a challenging target, but I'm eager to take on the challenge and continue delivering valuable content.
  4. Video Content - Additionally, I'm considering adding video content to the blog. I understand that some readers prefer video format, so when I create written content, I'll explore the option of recording related videos to cater to different learning preferences. Your feedback on this will be greatly appreciated.

I'm excited about these new developments, and I can't wait to continue this journey with you all in the coming year. Your support and engagement mean the world to me, and I'm committed to making 2024 even more valuable and insightful for our community.

Written by
Suresh Vina
Tech enthusiast sharing Networking, Cloud & Automation insights. Join me in a welcoming space to learn & grow with simplicity and practicality.
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