Online For A Year! – My Learnings, Experiences, Analysis and Plans

Celebrating one year of darpandodiya.com

Soooo, it’s been a great year! I started this blog cum website in August 2014, completing a year in the last week. The analytics show that I’ve received 1,01, 392 total page views till the moment. More than 1 lac! In this post, I will share the insights. Insights like, the problems I encountered, some intriguing stories, learning experiences and future plans.

Keep calm and read on! 🙂

How It All Started? – The Journey

3rd Semester of B. Tech, Computer Engineering.

During 3rd sem, I had a meetup with cool Mr. HTML and fancy Ms. CSS. I immediately fell in love with the HTML – CSS couple.

I wanted to discover more about them. Meanwhile, a well wisher suggested me to read the book Head First HTML & CSS to get closer to the couple. I found the way and by the end of 3rd semester, I was seen reading last cover page of the book.

4th Semester

While reading, I noticed that the couple had no brains. They looked sexy and all but when it came to applying some logic, they stood silently in one corner. Also, when there was a need to hold some information efficiently, they ran away.

PHP & MySQL to the rescue!

Thus,  I started with the basics from a book from O’Reilly (Couldn’t recollect the book name. 🙁 ) A month into learning phase and I found a break –
A department project for converting existing manual pen, paper based placement process to an automated web application. Project partners were Tanmay Rajani & Joel Pinto. Cool geeks! The project taught me innumerable things.

Shortly after, I was included in the Felicific ’14 web team as an assistant designer. It was a great semester, learned a lot about the web technologies!

5th Semester

I spent the summer vacation learning WordPress, SEO, Marketing, Hosting, Advertisements etc. First earnings – developed first professional website. Then second professional and third…!

The Seed

If I can make sites for others, why not create a one for self?

Execution started, bought a domain name, bought hosting, found a simple yet beautiful theme, published AboutContactProjects pages.

The Millenium Question – What to write on the website?

I had no clue about what to write. For a week, I wondered. One beautiful Sunday morning, I concluded that being a travel freak, I could post photos/videos/travelogues on the blog.

(On a related note, I have always loved writing. I started writing diary in 10th standard.  Those who had conversed via WhatsApp know the length of my messages. :P)

The First Post

About Don Hill Station. The article was well written, but I failed terribly at marketing & promotion. For a month, no one visited the blog.

However. However, Google liked the article! As I had the content that can be really useful to fellow tourists, I was placed at the first position in the search results. A bombastic motivation!

Since then, I have focused heavily on getting better rank for Google searches. Now, with right SEO techniques, most of the articles I write acquire strong search positions.

I had the head start that I wanted. Kept writing 1 – 2 posts every month. The last summer vacation was the most productive one. I published total 20 posts! That is, on an average, a post after every 3 days. It sounds easy, but trust me, writing is a hard task. Really. I highly recommend you to read this post.

Money Model

I don’t write for money, but at the same time, I’m not here on the earth just for charity too.

The easiest way and most efficient way to earn money from your web content is to show advertisements. I opted-in for Google AdSense.

First try for account approval: Rejected – No content
Second try: Rejected – Less content
Third try: Accepted!

So how much did I earn? Nothing actually. The hosting and domain name charges got covered through the ads. Hence, no profit, no loss.

Time For Some Analytics

Views:
First Month – 10 per day
Third Month – 50 per day
Sixth Month – 120 per day
Tenth Month – 200 per day
Twelfth Month – 400 per day

Current: 450 ~ 500 per day!

Total Comments: 222

Total Subscribers: 192

Total Posts: 42

Highest Viewed Posts:
Don Hill Station – 26,000 views
List of Hill Stations – 11,000 views

(The numbers shown on website posts are misleading. Due to some bug, the numbers don’t get updated. And I am too lazy to fix it!)

Most Engaging Post: 

Meet The Tyrion Lannister Of DDU – Hardik Gol! – This article has gone insanely popular in DDU. There was a time when handling communications became too difficult that I had to switch off the internet to relieve self. My best work till the date.

Logging Life Smartphone Way – I received some of the best accolades via this post. It has become popular on Reddit also.

The Perks

Running a FirstnameLastname.com has quite a few bonuses,

  • As I write travel posts which are immensely useful to tourists, I get calls from them asking directions, tips, accomodation options on a daily basis. Occasionally they offer me to join their group. That is the best feeling ever!
  • An excellent platform to share thoughts. Name anything, interview, photo gallery, project portfolio or a poem. The blog stands to be a frontline solution for all.
  • That, “Oh see, he has his website!” exclamations.
  • New connections with strangers. I wouldn’t like to sound a bluffer here, but through the posts, I got in touch with many kinds of personalities, including but not limited to, a renowned doctor, an IAS officer, an RTI activist..

Next What

I still have a long, long way to go. A lot of things to learn. A lot of places to explore. A lot of topics to write. I’d like to quote here,

I haven’t been everywhere. I didn’t do everything. But it’s on my list.

The few checkpoints I solidified are,

To take the visits count to 1000 per day by next year.
To meet that mark, I will need content.
To attain content, I will need to travel places.
So, if you’re planning for a trip, give me a call. I will join you for sure! 🙂

Find a better revenue strategy.
As I mentioned earlier, Google AdSense isn’t much profitable. I’ve devised a different model which I am planning to introduce from next month. Hoping for the best!

More brevity & clarity in English.
There’s huge scope of improvement. I wish to be more adept at articulating my points.

To be more consistent.
Currently, I publish posts in a random time span. Sometimes 3 posts per week and sometimes goose egg in an entire month.

Thanks Note

Parents: If they hadn’t allowed me to travel around, this site would have been blank.

Kunj Dodiya: Younger brother. Has been part of many adventures. Many photographs displayed on this site are taken by him.

Rahul Thakor: He has constantly given me ideas, suggestions, corrections and what not!

Tapan – Parth – Pramod – Naimish – Bipin – Tushar: Generously offered me Unlimited WiFi every time I desired. Tapan offered free food too! 🙂

Bhavya Gandhi: Advisor and motivator. He’s often the first person with whom I share shower thoughts and crazy ideas.

Signing Off

That was the timeline. It’s great that you’ve come down this far reading the tales. Now, it’s your turn to start a blog/website!

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8 Comments

  1. chirag pandya

    so again you came up with a bang post.keep working hard.

  2. Well done DD.
    You achieve so much in this one year.
    I can feel that you will complete yr next all checkpoints.

  3. sagar dhadnekar

    your consistent hard work has given this progeny. content and narration always remained intriguing.
    good luck.

  4. Am I that much supportive to you???
    Thanks and keep going

  5. Naimish Gami

    nice post Mr.D especially presentation .. !!

  6. Tapan Dodia

    *pay?

  7. Tapan Dodia

    Sir ,Good going ,Keep it up.
    What have you done for me ,I can’t pay that because you have done that much ..

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