Some of the more frequent visitors to this website may have noticed that my posts have been a little few and far between over this last week. I have good reason, if you care to know what I’ve been working on:
– I’ve enlisted a little help in giving the website an overhaul. Nothing crazy, it’s all "back-end” stuff, and there’s probably going to be no major changes that you’ll even notice.
The reason being, and I don’t mind saying it here, is that the guy who I had design the website back in mid-2010 had really screwed up a lot of the code. It also turns out I could have achieved the same results, for about half the price, with another developer. I’m not going to lie, that last sentence stings a little. Lesson learnt, that’s for sure! If you’re in the similar position of hiring a website design firm, make sure you ask for references, and get at least 3 bids. Seriously!
The changes should be rolling out within the next few weeks. As I say; it’s probably nothing you’ll notice, apart from the load time being drastically improved, and the site will be compatible across every web browser (even suck-ass Internet Explorer).
So, in these next couple of weeks, if the website looks kind of “funky” (not in a good way), just bear with me! All will be fine soon!
– Delving into my sites’ analytics, I noticed an increased amount of traffic coming from mobile devices. Currently I’m at about 300 hits a days from mobile traffic alone, and I figure that’s a number I can’t afford to ignore.
I’ve therefore deemed it necessary to optimize this website to be compatible with all forms of mobile traffic, including the iPad. Again, no real huge changes, apart from the load time, and it should also be much easier to navigate. Changes will be finalized hopefully within the next week.
– Designing and sending emails has been one of the biggest challenges I’ve been faced with over the last year. Writing the content, optimizing and embedding the photos, adding links, proofing, testing, adjusting, and testing again takes hours! Hours that I just don’t seem to have.
It also doesn’t help that I view email content as the least intimate way you can engage with an audience online!
I’ve therefore decided to go with a RSS themed email, which will be sent weekly with that weeks’ posts. It’s not ideal, and they won’t quite look as sexy as my previous emails, but they’ll get the job done! My theory is that I can spend more time working on my content, and less time tearing my hair out.
– Last but not least! I’ve never hidden the fact that this website generates revenue from featuring specific wines / wineries. It’s not a business model that most wine blogs can claim, and probably not one that most have even attempted.
Blogging ain’t easy, that’s for sure! And making money from it is even harder! Wine blogs have come and gone, but I’m here for the long haul. I have too much invested.
Truth be told, in this last year, I’ve actually had to turn down a handful of wineries who were looking for me to review their wines. I’ve always said that if the quality isn’t there, there’s no way I can bring myself to put my name on it.
I’ve also stopped reviewing wine samples from PR companies. Free wine is all well and good, but again, the quality of the vast majority of it is questionable. I’m also not too into working for free so that someone else can profit. It’s a dying business model, and PR firms need to find another angle to approach wine writers.
So, I’ve been spending an increased amount of time trying to close the gap between these featured wineries. The main obstacle being that the wine industry is years behind most other industries when it comes to their online presence. For some reason, they can see the money in investing $1000’s in magazine ads, but even the smallest expense toward online marketing is “outside their budget”. It’s a work in progress, that’s for sure!
That’s all I have! I just didn’t want anyone to think I’ve been slipping. I’m a one-man band, and so things sometimes take a little longer than expected! Regular scheduled programming will commence shortly, and there might even be a few surprises along the way.
Thanks for reading. It means a lot!