8 Things I Learned on My Blogging Sabbatical

Ok, so I really didn't take an official blogging sabbatical (i.e. I didn't go anywhere), but during part of November and the month of December I pretty much took a break from blogging. I just needed to take a breather from the intense schedule I created for myself to get this blog going, and it was well deserved and well worth it.

While I was out, I did tons of reading, started working on a new site, and did a lot of relaxing and reflecting. Here's my list-o-seven things I learned:

  1. Money doesn't drive me, learning does. I've always been this way and just have a constant need to learn something new. If I'm not learning something new, I get bored really fast, and I hate being bored.
  2. Making money online is hard work. No matter what you read, unless you are being lead step-by-step through something by someone who has done it before, then making significant amounts of cash (with zero capital to spend) is going to be hard work. Scratch that, the work isn't really hard, it's just time consuming. It takes a lot of reading and applying what you have learned and starting over when you fail to get good at it. So making money online is time consuming.
  3. This is not a make money online blog, but I want to make money online. DEVTRENCH didn't start out as a make money online blog but I sure write about it a lot. It's an interesting topic that I'll probably continue to write about, but less frequently. The focus of DEVTRENCH in the future will be more on the topic of how I do web development.
  4. I don't know anything about marketing, and I'm pretty bad at it. Marketing does not come naturally to me and has been the biggest learning curve for me. I've focused on the design and development side for so long and feel really strong in those areas, but am just taking baby steps in online marketing. This is the topic that has been feeding my hunger for new things to learn.
  5. Speed matters. The design of this blog kind of went over the top on its last redesign, so I'm scaling things back. I'd love to get it under 50KB, but it's a hell of a lot better than the 400+KB that it was.
  6. Black Hat. Much of what I've read over the last month has been about black hat SEO. I don't know if I'll ever use these methods, but in reading about them, it's really helped to round out my knowledge of SEO. I think it's important to read this stuff because you have to know what methods are available in order to make a decision on what you can do.
  7. Read Read Read. If you are going to stay up to date in this field you have to be a reader. I'm a terribly slow reader, but I love to read when I'm learning something new. Reading will accelerate your success if you learn to 1) Only read when are actually learning something, and 2) Apply what you have learned.
  8. This blog takes a lot of work :) So much in fact that I have to cut back in order to get to some other projects. It's been a real struggle to monetize this blog, so I'm going stop the focus here and make my main focus be on other projects. I've had the realization that this blog is not going to be real popular until I've paid my dues on other sites. I'll still post as often as I can, but they'll probably be shorter how-tos and tips, than long tutorials.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas!!