Today – well, for the rest of this week, actually – the song I shall mostly be listening to is
I’ll Never Go Drinking Again by Squeeze.
Happy New Year to you all.
The first Monday of the year is the time when most people get back in the saddle and there is no better way to get your blogging off to a flying start than to set a few targets or make a few new year blogging resolutions. With that in mind I’d like to share three blogging resolutions of mine with you.
1. Develop and maintain a more cohesive link between my blogging business and my music career. Managing multiple blogs is a lot easier and a lot more profitable when traffic is able to move freely, naturally and easily.
2. Create a structured and modular educational path for anyone wanting to learn more about successful blogging. This blog, the Inner Circle and the 30 Day Blogging Course are the keystones of this path. An additional keystone, Star Maker, will be added in the first quarter of 2009.
3. Solve the advertising riddle that has plagued the blogosphere for years. Find a way allow motivated bloggers to pay for traffic in the form of links and blog reviews whilst maintaining full credibility and integrity.
I have a feeling that number three will be the hardest nut to crack.
And now it’s your turn. What are your new year blogging resolutions?
Although the Christmas holiday period is traditionally a slow time of year for blog traffic, things pick up very quickly once the new year begins, partly as a result of the huge amount of new computers being unwrapped on Christmas day.
This presents everyone, new and established bloggers, with a potential rush of new visitors.
The trick is to make sure you are well positioned to receive them.
The quickest and easiest way to make the most of this situation is to write a blog post aimed at a fresh set of eyes that encapsulates who you are, what your blog is about and why that set of eyes should subscribe to your blog and become a regular visitor.
Avoid simply copying your about page and rewriting it as a post since, if your new visitors like what they see, they will almost certainly head for the about page anyway and realize what you’ve done. This won’t create a particularly good impression and certainly won’t achieve the desired result.
Instead, write a post in your natural style, making sure that your writing gives an honest and accurate impression of who you are.
The important thing to remember is that this is the time of year when you traffic will carry the highest proportion of new visitors. This is the time, metaphorically speaking, to put on your best suit, the one that fits you the best.
If you give a proper and honest account of yourself the new visitors that enjoy your blog will become loyal repeat visitors. And then, as your regular readers come back online as the holiday becomes a memory, your traffic bar will be raised higher and stay higher.
Try not to faint: you are reading a blog post by someone who stayed in on on New Years Eve.
That’s right, you aren’t dreaming – Nelson Galaxy and I did not go out to the pub on New Years Eve. That’s a first for us.
Graham, the drummer from Enormous came round on Tuesday, the night before and the three of us went to the Devonshire Arms – the only pub in the village that was open for business – and proceeded to get incredibly drunk. As one does.
Then, in the day on NYE, Nelson and I worked hard in the studio on some of his new songs – not an easy job when one has a blazing hangover.
Thus it occurred, for the first time ever, at 7pm on New Years Eve, when I suggested to Nelson that we make a meal and stay in for a change, his reply was: ‘Good idea.’
I admit it wasn’t the most exciting New Year’s Eve here in Mansfield’s distant hinterland, the ugly winter wonderland of Upper Humpington.
Nelson and I were both too tired, to be honest: we have been working so hard in the studio and did not have the energy to really enjoy ourselves. I can even remember walking home which is a sign that we didn’t get too drunk. It was very quiet in the village anyway; there was no one around – perhaps everyone else had all been recording albums too.
Mr Galaxy is returning to London today and I am dreading the vacuum that he will leave behind him. He’ll be back in a few months and Audrey and I are really looking forward to that, I can tell you.
In the meantime, it’s back into the routine of lonely days spent slaving over a hot mixing desk for me and my little hairy companion. No rest for the wicked, eh?
I tried reasoning with him; it was having little effect.
‘But I just thought that this New Years Eve was gonna be amazing. You know: dancing girls and everything.’
‘Look, Nelson,’ I told him, ‘this is just a boring little Derbyshire village. We simply aren’t going to find what we’re looking for here – spiritually, aesthetically or intellectually – especially tonight. We don’t belong here, old chum. Let’s count our blessings: we have recorded so much good stuff over the last few days and tonight we have so far managed to escape a beating by the local ruffians. Why don’t we just go home to Audrey? We can open that bottle of Chablis that has been smiling at us from the fridge and listen to the songs we were working on earlier.’
‘But it’s only eleven o’clock and I’m not even drunk and I just thought . . .’ He trailed off, frowned at me and finished the dregs of his warm lager.
In my head, I said to myself: ‘My brother and I should be somewhere else, anywhere but here. I love him and want the best for him, for him to be as happy as he deserves to be on a night like this.’ But these deep and sensitive thoughts of mine were only as fleeting as most thoughts are and were quickly replaced in my mind by more pressing concerns.
‘Give me a tenner and I’ll go to the bar,’ I told him. ‘Same again?’