I’m about to launch the 3rd iteration of my travel blog. This has taken way longer than I had hoped, but but the launch day is close at hand. Just a few minor bugs to get worked out.
I have never been quite satisfied with my website. This time I got hired help and I think I’ll be quite happy for a while. It will make my photography much more prominent, be easier to navigate, the total width will be about 100px wider allowing more room for content, and its designed to drive more subscribers.
The big content addition I’ll be adding is my Aweber newsletter. It took me a while to come around to it, but the evidence in support of developing an email list is pretty overwhelming. The fact that Aweber syncs with Feedburner doesn’t hurt either. My current plan is to release the email newsletter every two weeks and include updates on where I’ve been, photography, and articles. Myself and other tech savvy people I know tend to use RSS and dismiss email, but it is much more accessible to the majority of internet users. I think most of my subscriber growth will come via newsletter subscriptions.
I’ll also be displaying videos prominently on the front page, which I hope should give me more incentive to shoot more of them.
I may have some other projects in the works soon too. All and all, I’m pretty happy where things sit.
Once all the website stuff is done, I’m going to turn my attention to my photos. I am officially declaring my attempt to self host my photos to be a failure. The storage costs alone will be more than using a service, and my goal of getting more photos indexed in Google Image hasn’t worked out. I’ve moved all my Flickr photos to Smugmug and have linking all my new photos to my Smugmug account.
Smugmug is great. The level of customization they allow is what makes it a great service. I’m going to map photography.Everything-Everywhere.com to my Smugmug account and customize it so it is pretty seamless with my blog. This should provide a much better experience for the user than my current site. Over time I’ll gradually change all the old links over to Smugmug and remove the images off my webserver. I’m giving up on getting indexed in Google Image.