A Crazy Experiment In Blogging

20 Jul 2015

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If I could read your thoughts.

Did I click the wrong link?. Why does this blog look like 90’s website?.

We’ll get the answers soon. Before that - One question.

Are you interested in blogging?. You wanna start a blog for yourself?. Or you already have a blog and want to make it more successful?. Have you googled for help anytime?. When I started blogging, things were pretty simple. Go to blogger.com register a blog for you and start blogging. It was free, quick and no hassles. I was curious to check out the current scenario for newbies or wannabe bloggers.

I googled, “I want to start a new blog” and reviewed the top 10 search results. I was astonished by the steps needed/suggested to start a new blog. Here are most repetitive suggestions from the well-established websites and bloggers.

All I wanted is a simple medium to express my innermost feelings in words, to write, to expand my wings, to fly along with my unicorn. I don’t care if anyone reads my blog. I write for myself. Hmm.

Earlier, blogs were a simple personal online diary. We felt good writing in it. There was no “measure of success” attached to a blog. My friends would be surprised, “Oh. You have a blog. Great. Send me the link. I will read”. I would share the link and we would discuss what I wrote and there would be an offline exchange of ideas, discussions etc.

Now, It’s different. Too much of noise out there. Blogs are content providers and we are content creators. We create content that would be liked and shared by the readers. We write catchy titles. We add beautiful images and videos because the readers are not patient enough to read. We make list based blogs in every niche because it gets shared more. Some people write long content because it gets shared too. In a way, readers dictate what they want to see on our blog.

There is a new measure of success associated with the blogs. “hits, visits, page views”. They are not called readers anymore. Only visitors. Who cares. All I need is the incoming traffic to my blog and viral shares. The more traffic I get, the more money I can make out of it. The recent trend is collecting emails and spamming your Inbox. Email List = Money.

Have you seen any decent blog recently - which does not ask for your email, does not sell you a product and does provide full feed in RSS/Atom?. A blog which is not interested in web traffic?

I wish things stayed as simple as it was.

The Crazy Blog Experiment

What happens when I take a relatively successful blog (approx. 300 - 400 readers per day) and tear apart all the components which are considered to fuel the “so-called success” of this blog?.

Elegant Design - Removed it. (Only HTML, Not even CSS)
Beautiful fonts - Removed it. (System default fonts)
Catchy Images - Removed it. (No more copyright violations)
Good Commenting System - Removed it. (Added a contact form instead)
Mobile Responsive Blog - By default HTML is responsive.

Now, there is nothing left in this blog. Except the bare metal. Except for the words that I wrote.

I am sure there will be a huge drop in the traffic. Many visitors won’t come back. I am not bothered about those visitors. I want to see how many people are really interested in what I write. I don’t need the comments on the fly. It does not serve any purpose to me. There is no commenting system in place. There is only a contact form. If my readers really want to contact me, he/she has to take the efforts to fill in a simple form. I am sure they will.

What will I get out of this experiment?

I already started reaping the benefit of this experiment even before I publish this blog post.

  1. I thought I write long blog posts. But most of my blog posts are short. Styled in 600 pixels width and filled with images. I was in an illusion.

  2. Majority of the images used in my blogs are downloaded from the internet. I was probably violating the copyright of someone’s art. I removed almost all of them. I retained only a few with proper attribution to the artists.

  3. I designed this blog. I thought, I was all about logic and did not have an eye for creative design. When all the distractions are removed, I liked the end product. The current design of this blog.

I hope to see a change in the reader’s count. Good or Bad. I want to retain this blog design at least for a year.

If you want to know the “free” tech stack that’s running this blog, please read this article Blog like a Programmer. If that sounds too technical, you may want to try blogger.com.

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