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The Happy Rock Is Looking For Feedback

by The Happy Rock on April 8, 2008

happy-birthday-rock-cake-candles.jpgThe Happy Rock is coming up on its one year anniversary, and I am ready to make some changes. I have learned a lot in the last year, both personally and with regards to business and running a website. It has been a great journey.

With my MBA complete, I have some more time to devote to my side endevears. The $10,000 question becomes, “what should I put my effort into?”. I have a list of about 25 projects and business opportunities that I have stored up over the last 2 and a half years and The Happy Rock is most likely high on that list.

So what would the readers like to see? What should I change? What areas do you see for growth?

Should I focus on more a particular topic? Change the site layout? Get rid of some junk out of the sidebar? Develop more cohesion? Review more books? Hire a proofreader? Study writing? Post more? Bring in another writer(s)? Give it up because the market is saturated? Sell the blog?

Everything is on the table!! My goal with all my business ventures is make money while helping others, so that I provide a decent life for my family and give to help others. At this point I am open to whatever opportunities are given to me, but I about the fact that being a writer isn’t one of my top few strengths.

Don’t be a afraid to put it out there, I am not the type that gets offended. Criticism is often a pathway to great growth. I would love to here your input.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

spillingbuckets April 9, 2008 at 8:28 am

I really like your blog. For some reason I really like the title, and the picture you use as the header.

You do have a lot of stuff on the sidebars, and I will admit that I haven’t really looked at all of it. But it doesn’t come across as too cluttered to me.

I guess I like it all. ;)

I see you read “the simple dollar”? Recently he posted a book review of “Getting Things Done” by David Allen. We both read it and implemented his ideas, and are really getting stuff done now! If you have a lot of projects and ideas and find yourself overwhelmed with starting them or doing things then I would really recommend this book. We only started this recently, but it has made a huge difference.

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PT April 9, 2008 at 10:58 am

I just checked your archives…we started blogging one day a part last year. Crazy.

Anyway, congrats on the success with the blog and the MBA. I couldn’t have done both. I don’t know how you did that. :)

Best of luck in year 2.

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Ed B April 9, 2008 at 12:50 pm

Your blog is fine.

If you want to drive more traffic, then perhaps develop a contest or two. So people can win free junk. Or, start posting pictures of cats with mildly humorous captions.

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Dean Watkins April 9, 2008 at 4:21 pm

I only recently found your blog, but I’ve been really enjoying it. I think it would be helpful to review more books, and maybe clean up the sidebar some. As far as other writers go I think I like the personal feeling of all of the input coming from the same person, but I know that’s not a good model if you plan to expand. I’m also a Christian so I’m glad that you shared your faith. I’d I love to hear more about the connection for you between your faith and your finances. (Maybe I haven’t been reading long enough yet.)
I’ve also found Dave Ramsey’s material and I agree with most of it, except that I think he’s a little too over the top about only buying investment property with cash. So I’m not sure if this is the place to mention that, but I guess I have an interest in more on the real estate section besides…pay off your house early. I think there are alot of good bargins right now in real estate and I’m trying to soak up all I can about it…so that I can get into an additional property.

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Sue April 10, 2008 at 12:16 pm

My two cents. I assume that you would like to gain more readers. Having a contest might be helpful. There are a number of blogs that I have been reading prior to checking out the PF blogs. They have alot of traffic. There are certain niches that work well. I don’t know their secret but try to study those blogs with alot of traffic to see how you could improve or change yours.
Also being dependable seems to be helpful. Discuss a certain topic every Monday and Thursday. I assume podcasts are the way of the future / present.
Every day just try to learn one thing new and you will always be ahead of the game.
Maybe your wife and others could do guest posts.
Maybe there is a new and different blog carnival that you could start.
If you are researching something worthwhile on line create a post about it.
I have read that putting comments on people’s blogs creates more traffic then emailing them a question.

My friend and writer Life in the Hundred Acre Woods has her own blog and guest posts on other blogs.

I would say stay your course but find new ways to up your readership. Good luck.

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The Happy Rock April 13, 2008 at 10:48 pm

Thanks for the solid feedback. I am still very much thinking and praying things through.

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The Happy Rock April 13, 2008 at 10:51 pm

@spillingbuckets – I love the philosophy of GTD. I have been growing my system for about a year now, and it just keeps getting better and better. Here is a nice link to a Dave Allen interview that was really helpful.

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The Happy Rock April 13, 2008 at 11:00 pm

@PT – That is kind of crazy. You have gone the ups and down route for hte first year, and I went slower and steady. Your latest efforts are really paying off! Great job.

@Dean – I love the personal side too, but writing just isn’t one of my strengths. I do fine, I guess, but it doesn’t get my juices flowing. I love the idea creation though. Also I mad a concious decision not to share too much about my faith. I don’t hide it, but the purpose of this site is to get people debt free and in a financial position to perue their dreams. Thanks for the thoughts!

@Sue – That is a list that will set any blog soaring. I have done or plan to do alomst everything on that list! Great job.

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Pete April 15, 2008 at 11:07 am

I just found the site this week, and I love it so far!

the one feedback that i would give is that to me the color scheme isn’t my favorite – mostly the sidebars I think? For some reason the colors just don’t mesh well for me. I also might clean up the sidebars a little bit, but they’re not really that bad – they’re actually much more organized than mine. Other than that – nice job!

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Thecpa May 2, 2008 at 7:46 pm

Happy Rock,
I have enjoyed reading your posts almost since you started this blog. I enjoy the personal interest stories. I like the inspirational posts like getting out of debt and understanding how we get there in the first place. I like the tips you leave from time to time such as how to save on cell phones and how to eat right. I thought the toilet paper post was hilarious.

I like the new web page. I like the bigger font in the posts which makes it much easier to read.

My only complaint would be the typos. But I always know what you meant to say, so it’s not really a big deal.

I’m looking forward to the next year of reading at The Happy Rock. Thanks for all the good information.

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The Happy Rock May 6, 2008 at 11:07 pm

@Thecpa – The typos are a big problem, well actually a symptom. I don’t think I am a great writer, but I like to think I do an adequate job. The thing is that because writing doesn’t come naturally so just translating my thoughts to paper in a way that isn’t a jumbled mess leaves me with little energy to proofread thoroughly enough. Also in general, I am a big picture guy, and the details suck the life out of me.

I do proofread, but my brain just doesn’t see the typos. I had been using software to read the posts back to me, which helped, but I haven’t done that in a while. I either need to hire an writer/editor, change my posting system, or live with it. I know it probably takes away from the message sometimes. I do apologize.

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Sue May 11, 2008 at 10:02 pm

This an example of a site that gets alot of traffic.
Rocks in my Dryer. Her Work for Me Wednesday gets alot of links.
http://rocksinmydryer.typepad.com/shannon/2008/05/works-for-me-if.html

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