Marketing to Make Ends Meet

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It’s been four months since the launch of The Renegade Coder. Since then, I’ve created 48 posts, 10 quizzes, 6 bumper stickers, and 1 product. On average, I’ve probably sunk about 20 hours a week into this site. That’s in addition to my 40 hour work week and the classes I’m taking. As of today, I’m switching focus to try to get my content out there.

I’ll be straight with y’all. It’s been almost a year since I launched my first website, and I haven’t made a dime. It’s tough. I’ve tried being an Amazon Affiliate. I’ve tried Google Adsense. I’ve tried Patreon, and I’ve even tried launching a store. Nothing seems to be working. I don’t get hits on Google, and my social media friends can’t even bother to click through the site. It’s a shame because I really feel like the content should speak for itself. I guess not, so I’ve decided to take marketing more seriously. Over the past week, I’ve done some major rework of the site and my marketing strategy. Hopefully, it pays off!

Table of Contents

Search Engine Optimization

By now, you should be quite familiar with the fact that this website has been a learning experience for me. I’ll be honest, I don’t know anything about search engine optimization. For awhile, I was sort of learning by failure. Now I’m a bit more educated as I’m starting to use to tools to help me out.

All in One SEO Pack Struggles

Among those tools, I was using the All in One SEO Pack. It was great for awhile, but I started to get a little irritated with it the other day. Basically, it had this little box that let me set the title and description for each post for SEO purposes. Usually, I would just copy the title and excerpt from a post in these areas and call it a day. Unfortunately, if you change any of that later, you have to change it twice. I eventually got fed up with this as I made changes and just decided to delete the plugin.

The Switch to Yoast SEO

Now, I was just going to forget about it, but I figured that plugins was probably doing quite a bit to help behind the scenes. As a result, I decided to switch over Yoast SEO, and so far I’m extremely happy about it. This tool is much better in assisting with SEO. It let’s me set keywords, and it tells me how I’m doing with my writing. I really love it.

Internal Linking Updates

Overall, Yoast SEO led me to do a complete overhaul of the original Java Basics series. Now every one of those posts is setup for maximum SEO. If you get a chance, checkout that series. I went through and moved the buttons around a bit, so it should be easier to surf around. There are now three buttons at the top of every post. One is for reviewing the lesson with free GitHub material, the second is for the quiz, and the last is a link to the shop for exploring projects and study guides. The following is an example from the Introduction to Coding in Java lesson:

Increased Marketing with Better Internal Linking

Then at the bottom of every article, I’ve added previous and next buttons. For now, all of this is done by hand, so it takes awhile. In the future, I’d like to integrate it as a part of the theme.

I’ll slowly be phasing this sort of structure into the data structures series as I’d like to keep engagement up. Look out for that!

The Core Code Concepts Study Guide

In addition to SEO, I’m also looking to get more products in the store. I’d like to get more projects going, but they take time. For now, I’m starting to make study guides. On deck, is the Core Code Concepts study guide. It’ll feature a whole host of topics needed for just about any student of Computer Science, so get hyped!

The plan with this document is to target high school and college students studying introductory Computer Science topics. In particular, I’m hoping the study guide will help those looking to take the Computer Science AP test or course. At least for right now, I think that’s good group to target. That way I can get them in the door to using the site when they transition into college. If you know anyone who might be interested in that, send them my way!

Marketing with the Notification Button

To continue with the honesty trend, I only have 3 email subscribers. I’m not ready to start sending out emails, but it does make outreach a bit challenging. I mean I have the form at the bottom of the homepage, and I also have opt-in opportunities all over the site. Hell, I don’t even get comments on my articles. So what do I do?

As a new marketing initiative, I’ve decided to add a subscriber button to my website. This will give subscribers notifications in their browser every time I upload a new post. I think this will be much easier for my users, so I’m expecting some conversion soon. If you’ve read this far, why don’t you kick it off by subscribing below. That would brighten up my day for sure!

Song of the Week

Surprisingly, I haven’t really listened to music this week. However, I did hear that one of my old WoW and Xbox Live buddies released an album, so I figured I’d share. The following image is a link to their latest album on Amazon, or you can check it out on their bandcamp page.

Of course, this segment is called “song of the week,” so I should probably pick at least one song off the album. For me, it has to be the first track, Dayze. Y’all know I’m a sucker for clean vocals. Anyway, enjoy!

General Site Updates

Obviously, there’s a lot going on, but there’s not much new in terms of plugins and posts.

Latest Plugin Updates

  • Updated Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights to version 6.2.1
  • Updated Media File Renamer to version 3.6.4
  • Updated SiteOrigin Widgets Bundle to version 1.9.7

Coming Soon to The Renegade Coder!

Well, as stated already, you can expect more products to make their way into the store. Beyond that, I’m just looking for better ways of marketing my content. I don’t plan on working on my Java series that much for now. Instead, I just want to get what I have to the general public. Maybe then I’ll be more motivated to get back to the technical bit! Until next time.

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