SEO, Community Service, and Travel

SEO, Community Service, and Travel Featured Image

Welcome back to The Renegade Coder! I’ve been kind of quiet lately because life happens. This next week is no exception. For starters, I’m completing my move to Atlanta. There’s a whole host of other fun things I’ve been working on too like SEO and community service, so let’s get started.

Table of Contents

Preparing for the Move

I haven’t moved completely yet, but it’s coming. Naturally, I’ve had to spend a lot of time getting work done in Erie. I need to be in a good place to be successful while remote. I’ve been busy working on relocation stuff like where I’ll sit and how I’ll communicate with my team. I also have to get a performance review done before I go, so it’s been busy.

In addition, I’m trying to manage my personal life a bit. I got my Jeep patched up, and I’m planning on getting rid of what’s left in my apartment. Loading the Jeep to leave is going to be its own challenge. Looks like I’ll be hauling our two cats, so I’m not sure how that’s going to work yet. I also need to spend some time with the family and see some coworkers, so naturally I’m going to be a bit overwhelmed. Hopefully, I can get back to the grind in a week or so!

I’ve been getting quite a bit of support from my close friends about this whole move process, so that’s been great. Everyone knows my situation is pretty uncertain for the next year, and those close know I’m working out the details the best I can. However, I’m starting to get irritated with the question, “why?” It’s like everyone is blown away that I’m going the nontraditional route (and not in a good way). Everyone seems to think I’m an idiot, and it’s really frustrating.

So to address the reality of the situation, I’ve created a brief blog post. It’s a bit of a rant, but I figure it will serve to dispel any sort of rumors people have been hearing about my situation.

Engaging in Community Service

With the rant aside, let’s jump back to something a bit more pleasant.

I’ve always been a big advocate of community service especially in your own community. However, I haven’t been super involved lately. That was until the other day when I took part in my third straight GE in the Community Day. As usual, we took over a community school and remodeled it. The following are some fun stats from that event:

57,000 square feet of wall painted

207 gallons of paint

70 yards of mulch/top soil in the playground, landscaping and outdoor learning center

1 HUGE fence; cleared both sides

I personally was involved in painting the office and a classroom, but others painted hallways and handled landscaping. It’s usually a pretty fun event, and it’s always great to get out of work! 🙂

Tackling SEO as Usual

One of the things I’ve come to really struggle with on this website has been SEO and just general organic traffic. It seems the old website was doing much better, yet I’ve put quite a bit more time into it here. However, I have a theory. I figure my site has been flagged for duplicate content since I transitioned many of my original tutorials to this site. As a result, The Renegade Coder is having some trouble gaining traction.

That won’t stop me! I’ve been going even further to try to improve my SEO. I started by using one of those free SEO analyzer tools, so I’m now aware of things like heading lengths and keywords. You should notice that my titles and headings should be a bit longer now. I’m shooting for at least 15 characters with keywords that I can reference in the text. No longer will I try to be clever with titles. Take a look at some of my Java lessons. The titles are a lot more informative as well. I tried to include the objective of the lesson in the titles. For example, I changed “JUnit Testing” to “Increase Code Confidence with JUnit Testing.” I hope that engages users a bit more and is quite a bit more enticing to search engines. Maybe those tutorials will start ranking better.

The other bit has just been fixing up URLs to read more cleanly, fixing up images to contain alt tags, and cleaning up old plugins. I’ve also gone ahead and tried to use the minify feature of W3 Total Cache. I’m hoping that doesn’t break my site. It should theoretically speed things up a bit as well. We’ll see!

Working on a Small Project

For about two months now, I’ve been working on a series of articles that I plan to release some time next year. I can’t really talk about their subject matter, but I can say that right now I’m grinding on work related to them. By the 29th, I should have quite a bit more free time (assuming all goes well). For now, y’all will have to wait. I just wanted to give you a small reason why I’ve been so quiet lately.

Song of the Week

Once again, I’m letting you in on my punk side. I apologize if this is a bit explicit, but it’s about where I’m at this week. Take a listen! I enjoy the raw emotion, and the reference to Cleveland makes it hit pretty close to home.

Real Friends is a pop punk band from the Chicago area. Check em out! They’re probably among my top 5 favorite bands at the moment. This bit is from their latest record, The Home Inside My Head.

General Site Updates

Not much other than SEO updates. Check out the latest plugin changes below.

Latest Articles

Latest Plugin Updates

  • Updated All In One SEO Pack to version 2.3.14.2
  • Updated SitOrigin Widgets Bundle to version 1.9.4
  • Updated Wordfence Security to version 6.3.15

Latest Marketing Updates

  • Bumper stickers have arrived! I put one on my Jeep today. I’m hoping it drives some new traffic (pun intended).

Coming Soon to the Renegade Coder

As stated last week, not much has been in the works. I’ve been pretty busy, and the time I do have goes to fleshing out these articles. I’m pretty stressed out this week in particular as Saturday is going to be a crucial day for my life moving forward. I also fully expect to get swamped at work this week as I’ll be in a new office next week. By next week, I should be quite a bit more relaxed assuming all goes well this weekend.

I could really use some words of encouragement this week. My sleep log is not great, and I don’t see it getting too much better until next week. If you get a chance, just say hi! Especially if you’re local as I don’t plan to come back for awhile.

See y’all next week! 🙂

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Jeremy Grifski

Jeremy grew up in a small town where he enjoyed playing soccer and video games, practicing taekwondo, and trading Pokémon cards. Once out of the nest, he pursued a Bachelors in Computer Engineering with a minor in Game Design. After college, he spent about two years writing software for a major engineering company. Today, he pursues a PhD in Engineering Education in order to ultimately land a teaching gig. In his spare time, Jeremy enjoys spending time with his wife, playing Overwatch and Phantasy Star Online 2, practicing trombone, watching Penguins hockey, and traveling the world.

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