Welcome to the final edition of the member's newsletter for 2021! It's over a week to Christmas and the end of the year, so I will be taking a short break to eat chocolates and finish up all the excess wine I ordered. I hope you get to meet up with your loved ones and be merry too.
Postscript – Supersized
I was blessed this year since I received more feedback on my writing.
The screen shows the top pages from June 2021 to December 2021 (from my Matomo install). Feel free to read the top posts.
While the last six months featured perennial favourites from previous years, it also features new entrants like my post on Monopoly Junior.
More gratefully, readers have also reached out to me this year than previously. It's lonely sometimes to write, and hearing from you makes these nights easier for me.
In conclusion, Ghost seems to have weaker search engine performance than my previous Hugo and WordPress iterations, and unique page views and visitors have decreased.
However, readers are more engaged – you can see this from the bounce rate and average time spent on the page. With the feedback I have received, I find this more rewarding personally than plain page views.
So while using Ghost and writing “newsletters” has been a significant change for me compared to blogging, I will stick to my current path.
In 2022, I will be doubling down on Ghost. While I don't have enough subscribers to justify moving to the next tier (from Starter to Creator), the improvements are focused on my quality of life. Unfortunately, I have to set up these improvements – custom themes and custom integrations. However, this automation is vital if I post more than a week on different channels. I believe automation is something I would like to write about on this blog.
What am I reading now?
In early editions of this newsletter, I mused openly about what to write and how to write. What exactly is a newsletter, and how does it fit in the whole scheme with a blog post? Should there be a regular one? Should I send an email of my post or direct readers to the website?
I also tried new things like video posts. I even wondered whether having a virtual office is an exciting avenue to meet readers and write content is meaningful.
The main problem is that I wasn't convinced that the effort matched its impact. I have a limited amount of writing time, so I have to prioritise. A regular post with roughly 5 mins reading time takes a few hours over 1 or 2 days to research and write. A video post would take longer than that – I am still not very good at recording and editing efficiently. Working on a video post would reduce the time to write a regular post.
Furthermore, this paradigm is still one post at a time. If the post I am working on fails to materialise this week, there is no post. (This occasionally happens, like this week where my post on the death penalty went kaputt)
I don't think I have found the answer yet, but I will not stop trying. In 2022, I hope to figure out how to write thematically rather than a post. Thematically , because I have good ideas that aren't easy to compose in one post, I must rethink the various mediums I can use to express the points effectively.
That's it for this newsletter, and that's it for 2021.
Oh wait, there's still one more resolution I have for 2022. This one is probably the most challenging.
A few months ago, I took a personality test as part of my career development. It told me that I am very introverted, like within the top 1% of a population.
I feel there are some issues with assessing one's personality using a questionnaire. However, I am aware of how my personality manifests in my behaviour. I rather sit down than express an opinion in public. I don't post much on my social media profiles, even though I have some thoughts. I rarely post fun content on the blog on social media. Maybe it's not appropriate. Perhaps no one will like it.
This lack of effort to promote this blog is hurting it.
Of course, personality is not destiny, and my resolution for 2022 will not be about being a social media whore. This is not about selling myself out.
Instead, the goal is to get 50 subscribers for this blog in 2022. It's not an impressive number. I hope to convince every subscriber that they are part of something special here. Part of that effort includes getting that word as often as I can.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Please do take some time to fill in the Subscriber Survey. I will see you again soon (probably in the week of 10 January 2022)!
Love.Law.Robots. – A blog by Ang Hou Fu
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