Friday, December 26, 2014

10 Years of Blogging

This is the 2,538th blog post on the Saipan Blog.  I've been blogging for 10 years.

Tiana and me in early 2005
In 10 years this blog has taken my readers (both of you) from Florida to Japan to Saipan back to Florida and then up to Washington, DC.  I've worked in conservation nearly the whole time, with a few adventures sprinkled between jobs.

It's been a great ride, but it hasn't always been easy.  Now I look this this (I'm on the right):

A photo posted by Angelo Taotaotasi (@sharkdefenders) on

The years have not been kind.

Earlier this year I set out to write about my experience blogging over the last 10 years.  I didn't do a very good job.  So what have I learned in 10 years?  Not much.  If I knew more or was a better writer, I'd be getting paid to write this rather than typing it out from my living room while watching Netflix.

One thing for sure is that being a successful blogger takes time and perseverance.  The recipe is simple: You get visitors and readers by building search engine optimization and posting material that makes readers want to return.  When something is getting lots of searches, you want to be at the top of the Google results.

Fat guys running half marathons and going to Jollibee don't get lots of searches, and hardly any return visitors.  Japanese bikini girls are way more popular.  It's also popular to write mean things about politicians, you know, like calling on the governor to resign (even if some people still like him).

So what have I done well?

Every year I get a boost in traffic for people looking to plagiarize my (terrible) JET application essay.  And my trip to The Northern Islands  and my tongue in cheek blog on Famous Chamorro People are still popular.

My photos of coconut crabs were snarfed by Boing Boing and now appear all over the internet.  They are probably the most popular photos other than the one of a crab on a garbage can.  Check out Twitter search and count how often they pop up.

And then there's all those conservation posts.  Oh my.  Let's say that I write in a different style now that I'm over 30 (well beyond, I admit).

See, I told you I didn't learn much.

Merry Christmas!

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