You may have noticed the site has been undergoing some slight changes. Nothing drastic, just a little house cleaning. When you’ve been blogging for as long as I have (and I’m no great blog founder), you tend to acquire things. Plugins, links, clutter. You know – stuff. Stuff that makes you lose sight of what you wanted to do and how you wanted to do it. So, you clean house.
First, I’ve restructured my sidebars. They had been getting disorganized and distracting. Too many things going on at once and some of them ended up being several tiny things. Basically, there was no real focus. So I dumped the small items and focused on the big items.
Pages, I deleted a couple of pages that had become obsolete. They included the Baby Registration page – Corbin’s 15 months old already! The What to Read and DVD Library pages also went out the window since The Company Store really serves the same purpose. It even replaces the Baby Registry for that matter. Check it out.
While I kept the embedded page for The Company Store, I don’t list it in the sidebar (top left). I figured the larger tower ad was more useful and you could bookmark individual item pages if you went to the stand-alone version. I basically stripped the “Pages” navigation to what was most critical to my visitors. Oh, and I renamed it to be more personal.
Also getting stripped was the Blog roll aka “Other Sites”. I had come to realize that most of the links (that weren’t my other sites) were inactive or dead, so…off they went. I also only list them on the front page. In their place you’ll find a list of categories. I figured this would help with internal navigation which seems to be a need I have.
You see, I’m not very social on the net. I don’t myspace or facebook, or even tweet. I blog. And I basically blog about nothing. I have no niche, no over-arcing theme, no clear purpose. What I do have is a bunch of random thoughts that I try to pull together in a cohesive way so that I can share it with anyone who happens to be looking for the same thing.
That’s why I rank very well for Corinthian Leather, the Cost/Address/Reviews of Grand Canyon Skywalk, and Black Tie Optional. Some of the things I rank well for – I’m not so proud of and have a hard time understanding. I understand how I meet the search criteria, I just don’t understand why I am so near the top of the results page for elf xxx (completely innocent, I swear).
But that brings me back to my other cleaning projects. Most of my housecleaning has been behind the scenes. Deleting old plugins that no longer work or serve their purpose, tweaking little things like how things are displayed, figuring out the best font size and color to make the site pleasant and easy to understand…all so I can make money.
Yes, I want to make money with this site. and I do – close to $200 year. But I want more. That’s why I’ve expanded my site ads and added them to the feeds, you read. But I fear this is counter productive. Will I drive away my few regular readers? Will they feel used and abused if I flood them with ads instead of quality content? But then random visitors make up about 99% of my traffic. They don’t care about the ads since they only see them once. My visitors see them all the time – both of you.
So I don’t know. You tell me – what do you like and dislike about this site. How can I make it better for you and how can I attract more regular visitors? Because, frankly, I’m lost.