This blog has been living a quiet life of its own for most of 2018. There are few updates, little new material. This lack of time and dedication is also reflected in my actual outdoor activities during the current year. To put it plainly, family and work have taken priority over actual time spent outdoors as well as over the blog.
But. I’m not yet ready to give up on the blog. So I’m outlining my plans for Out in the Arctic, year 2019, for content structure and format, social media as well as monetization.
I’ve been linking people to a Facebook group that I’ve decided to cancel. The behaviour of online and social media giants has been under a lot of critical review lately. I feel that I do not want to reward Facebook with my attention, nor split my efforts into maintaining other sites than this one.
I may still go forward with the Twitter profile but that is only because as far as I can tell, Twitter still lets people see posts from all the profiles they follow, and posting to Twitter will work as a way to let people know about new content.
I am considering launching an email list, but recognize that any content on the list would have to be superb to make it worthwhile to people.
I use Amazon to monetize the blog. I have links from the articles to Amazon where it makes sense, and post Amazon ads that (hopefully) are relevant to the post below each post.
Looking at the past year, the proceeds from Amazon cover about half of my hosting bills, which is ok since I host a lot of other sites on the same server as well. So, nothing major but a lot better than nothing.
I promise not to make monetization central to any blog post
What I do not like is the way I feel that I’ve let monetization affect the content too much in the past. I will still use Amazon links in the posts in the future, but I intend to not obsess about it and promise not to make it central to any blog post. I still appreciate all the click-throughs, though.
As far as the Amazon returns goes, my plans for 2019 is to direct them fully towards acquisition of new gear to review and to limit my outdoors gear purchases only to be funded through the blog.
At the moment funding from the blog will not produce very much in the way of new gear to review, but I have a large backlog of gear to review and topics to write about, so hopefully
New structure for blog
Structure wise, I have not been following a consistent tone. I have trip reports, reviews and general informative articles mixed into a huge jumble. I have been debating internally, wether it is wise to write the general informative articles, like my packrafting series at all. Maybe I should stick to posts about subjects I have first hand experience in?
I like investigating things and sharing the knowledge.
But no, I’m not ready to give up that category of posts. I like investigating things and sharing the knowledge. Instead I will structure the blog more along the different categories of posts, which will be:
Reviews – reviews about the gear I have, use or can hire / loan
My trips – trip reports, when I actually manage to go outdoors
Adventurer Academy – this is the new kid on the block. I will try to structure my general blog posts (both new and old) into a series, tentatively called “Adventurer Academy”. Each post will stand on it’s own, but I will try to tie them together in a kind of narrative that helps people new to outdoors activities proceed from knowing nothing to going out on their own.
Video – When it comes to content, I’m a conservative guy. I like my information in a format I can read at my own pace. I don’t like scrolling back and forward on a video, trying to find the piece of information I am looking for.
I’m dragging myself kicking and screaming to the 2010’s and branching out to video.
But let’s face it. Video is often by far the best way to show something. So I’m dragging myself kicking and screaming to the 2010’s and branching out to video. Reviews and trip reports are examples of content that are naturally suited to video. But, I will accompany any video with as much of the same content in textual format. Best of both worlds
You can count the number of posts in 2018 (at least, so far) with fingers of a single hand. To mend my ways, I am committing to a schedule for the blog. In it’s simpicity, the schedule is as follows:
- One blog post a week
- One video a month
That’s it. If I succeed, by this time next year the blog should be a lot more lively place with hopefully plenty of good content available.
By this time next year the blog should be a lot more lively place with hopefully plenty of good content available.