Half way update on weekly blogging

How about transparency? Nobody is reading this anyway, are you? So far replies and comments are absent. That is ok. User generated content takes a long breath, I know that.

I skipped a week or two in this second weekly real logs series. That can happen to the best I assume. To jump back on the train here is a small update.

As you notice, I reached 10K visitors in December. The visitors dropped after that, as a delayed response to me not publishing anything during the month December.

After that, you see a gradual increase of visitors numbers to 11.359 for March.

The interesting element of this blogging experiment, is that I only do on site SEO. No link building whatsoever. This is organic growth as a result of content creation. I am curious how far this will go by simply publishing and not bother about the external hustle for incoming links, guest posting, all that stuff. I do not have time for that!

Of-course, any link love is highly appreciated. In fact, I think guest posting here would be interesting for you if you are reading this. Because this blog is going to rise and rise..

On the other hand, I noticed some of my sites have dropped in page rank, so perhaps the external stuff matters. I will consider that and come back on that topic. Later.

To stay a little more close to the format of this blog series of real logs, I will give a small report of this week.

Week 13/14

Currently I am looking for a position in Bolivia (of all places) because we plan to move back there in three months from now. I am applying to vacancies and contacting organizations that I could serve there. Any suggestion is welcome…

Furthermore – while being in the Netherlands – I am selling stuff that I still had in storage here. Marktplaats.nl is the local, Ebay owned, portal were Dutch residents sell all there second hand things. It is a thriving market place. It made me realize that it is a wealthy place with so many quality items people just want to get rid off.

On the other hand, there is this oppressive social structure, maintaining large portions of the population in a so called poverty trap. For those depending on social security income, it is almost impossible to work a way up. Enough about politics, I prefer to stay far from that. For now.

Something else, I integrated advertising on this blog. Personally I find the automatically generated relevant ads from google a very effective method to monetize content. A website does need to have enough traffic before to even think about advertising, but I think with ten thousand monthly visitors it is worth giving it a try.

Alternatively, affiliate programs can be an option, but I prefer to focus on the development of my own products and services. Therefore, a low maintenance add solution has my preference, for this weblog.

Certified internal auditor

Last week rushed by in a blink.

All schedules overboard for a little vacation time so I will not write too much now. We’ll see.

Contracted internal audits for management systems

I did pick up my internal auditor certification last Monday. I am glad and perhaps a bit proud to have some previous acquired competences affirmed with this certificate, and of course I have a better understanding of ISO 9001:2015 and the auditing process. I am looking forward to assist organisations with contracted internal auditing services, or consultancy on management systems.

The training with INTECO was based on INTE/ISO 9001:2015 for quality management systems as a reference standard, and the INTE/ISO 19011:2012 guidelines for auditing management systems. The contents of the Spanish guidance documents are identical to the English versions, respectively ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 19011:2011.

Overhead

Spent some time on administration, billing and refunds. The yearly tax filling due date is rapidly getting closer, so that needs to be sorted out.

File management, and getting a new lap-top ready for use, such things take time. Non productive time. Overhead. Billed time should compensate for that, or be included in your rate, but does it always?

Failure is not an option

This weekend we spent at Caribbean beaches Puerto Viejo and Cahuita. It has been a while ago since I jumped into the warm tropical sea. It is a nice reminder on the great country we are living in. Almost forget about it, but it is awesome to live in Costa Rica and to have such nice beaches at just a few hours distance -in each direction-. Makes you forget about slow WiFi.

Because of a family urgency, I had to take the first flight option to head to the Netherlands today. Luckily I could get a ride to the airport in San Jose (SJO) and right now find myself waiting in Houston for a connecting flight to Newark, and later on to Amsterdam.

They sell T-shirts here at the gate. Two prints stand out: “Houston, we have a problem!” and “Failure is not an option!”. I feel like the second slogan should be the motto for the coming weeks, combining this inevitable trip with taking action upon the opportunities that lie ahead.

Reflection

An intercontinental flight is always a moment of reflection for me. Time to think, get organised, evaluate and make plans. Also moments to work a bit. The long waiting hours in the boarding area passing by faster than ever. Getting back to it now.

How I totally missed out on Woocommerce

Week 10, Monday
How I totally missed out on Woocommerce. Woocommerce came out in 2011. I tried setting up ecommerce sites in 2010 and said, no more! After trying solutions for WordPress, Joomla and Magento. There was just not simple solution available to build a platform myself, so I gave up on it. No more ecommerce for me! Never looked at Woo.

The WordPress platform is evolving rapidly. I was struggling with multilingual sites before, and ecommerce solutions. It was difficult back then, yet now there are so many solutions available that allow easy integration. It even became possible to use WordPress as a platform for application development.

Because of the clear demand for ecommerce integrations on Upwork, and my own need for a billing solution for my hosting services, I dived into Woocommerce today to check it out, and deep dived into payment integration with iDeal, the main online payment method in the Netherlands. Got it all sorted in a few hours and could receive payments in less than 24 hours. An amazing advance in technology.

Tuesday
woocommerceI set up the web shop for my personal finance information site, and prepared products for free distribution and sale. I receive great feedback and many downloads on a few cashflow excel sheets, so I prepared those for this trial. The ability to receive (recurring) payments is just one of the features that a Software as a Service needs to have, but an important one. It is part of the essential infrastructure. I am not sure if this is something that I should be outsourcing according to the lean bootstrap movements, but I think I should do what I am capable off, and outsource other tasks.
The marketing activities, content creation and dispersion on social media, are processes that I am refining and documenting now, to be able to hand these tasks over to an assistant. Step by step moving forward.

Wednesday / Thursday
Set up Facebook advertising against all my principles doing a test with paid advertising. Ironically enough the first paid download came from organic traffic… Time will tell what source of traffic works best.

Beans appeared.

Een bericht gedeeld door Jeroen Houdijk (@jeroen.houdijk) op

Friday:
Paperwork, boring migration stuff I will not bother you with. Lasts day not to detailed logs, but the bottemline is that I managed to get a product out for sale that I created myself and that was just floating around on my (virtual) disks somewhere.

I plan to publish some kind of a faq section on WordPress stuff, coming up next. The coming two weeks will be a bit different because of family visits, so we will have to see when and how.