The seven year itch (monoblogue’s anniversary)

As has been the case before, I had to prewrite this anniversary post a few days in advance because I’ll be away on the actual date. In this case, once again the Maryland GOP Fall Convention falls on the same day.

However, it really doesn’t matter much this time because I’m not breaking any big news in this post, which has sort of become a “state of the blog” address I do almost every year as I look back at what I accomplished through this site and ponder what lies ahead.

Seven years is a long time in life for me to do anything. Those in the architectural field could appreciate this, but I’ve only had one job which lasted for as long as seven years. Generally by that time I’ve either been furloughed because the company I toiled for ran out of work or I had received a better offer, or at times both. My move here was one of those times of getting both – too bad the job I moved here for only lasted a little over four years.

Yet I persevere at this task, which really doesn’t make me a lot of money nor is it the most-read website out there. I could stand some more of both these commodities, and of course my goal of monetizing content continued on this year with the release of my book, So We May Breathe Free: Avoiding Ineptocracy. It was sort of a hybrid because the book was based on a series of posts I wrote back in 2007 but heavily revised, expanded, and updated in the interim.

But I have noticed my readership took a significant upswing at this year’s election, moreso than previous years. I’ve come to understand the ebb and flow to this website’s readership (great in the fall, so-so during the spring and summer) but the Alexa rating I was pleased with last year is still pretty much the same this year – in fact, during the summer I was ranked well under 250,000 world and under 30,000 in the U.S. No, it’s not Fox News or even RedState, but this isn’t bad for a blog coming from flythrough country (so named because the Beltway denizens fly through here in their Volvos on their way to the beach.)

And because of my book and the demands of my outside job, I’ve been sort of slow in proceeding on a couple projects people have come to expect from me. The good news is that I’m wrapping up the monoblogue Accountability Project for 2012 and it should be ready in the next week or two. As a special added bonus, my Shorebird jonesing will be temporarily relieved with the “induction” of five new members to the Shorebird of the Week Hall of Fame. You may have noticed I took that page private – well, there’s your reason. It will return soon.

So where will my website go in the next year? In 2012 I expanded my reach a little bit by joining up with the Politics in Stereo website as the conservative Maryland voice, and we’ll see if that relationship bears fruit. On the other hand, I think my off-and-on Examiner flirtation is coming to an end. The time invested doesn’t seem to be worth it in either enhanced readership or in my bank account.

Naturally I’ll be covering the basics: liberal lunacy in Maryland and nationally, the Salisbury elections for my local readers, and the conservative commentary you’ve come to expect. I’ve been building up my Twitter following over the last few months, with the goal by the end of 2013 having 1,000 followers on either Facebook, Twitter, or other social media.

I have two other writing goals in mind for 2013. As a blogger, I’ve seen a number of my peers attend CPAC but I’ve never been able to scratch together the funding to go. Obviously you can help with that cause if you so desire, but one way or another I’m going to try and get there this year, at least for the experience and opportunity to meet and interact with key bloggers nationally. People tell me I’m just as good as them, well, maybe they need to know who I am.

The second goal is a second book. It actually took me about four years to write my first one because I did it in fits and starts, but the last six months before I wrapped up So We May Breathe Free were fun and challenging at the same time. Obviously I made some mistakes and would love to learn from them by doing a second tome and creating better results. (That’s not to say book #1 is going away, though.) Originally I thought I could have a second book done by next summer, but I think this time next year may be more realistic. I’ll start devoting a little more time to it after the holidays.

Of course, there may be other unforeseen opportunities awaiting me, whether it’s additional duties for the Patriot Post, another chance at syndication, deeper direct political involvement, or writing features at new venues. The fun thing about life is that you never really know what’s ahead. The maddening thing in life, too, is that you never know what’s ahead.

But I think I have the wherewithal to give an eighth year of monoblogue a go, since I know a lot of people enjoy it and the site has turned out to be a fantastic calling card in the political world. I’ve spoken to and met people I never would have if it weren’t for this site, and rest assured the adventure will continue apace!

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