Somehow this is my 100th blog post which is worthy of celebration in my book! In honor of this milestone, I thought it might be fun to just post briefly about the blog itself and provide some context and anecdotes.
How It Started
This blog originally started under the domain of MarketplacePartner.com in 2012. This is a company I co-founded and was a software tool for online retailers to list their items on marketplaces. Think of it as a very lightweight, FTP driven, Channel Advisor. So the original orientation of this blog was very marketplace heavy since that’s what our bread and butter was. We then “pivoted” the business to be for suppliers and had marginally better success under SupplierPartner.com. Ultimately though we couldn’t get that business off the ground and sold it at a loss. Having nowhere else to put the blog, I moved all the posts to tomfougerousse.com having just read the excellent book Platform and set it up as it is today, which is basically a blog about whatever I feel like writing about, with nothing to sell.
Why I’m Still Doing It
Initially, I thought maybe one day I could move into consulting and this blog would help to establish me as a credible professional. I also just enjoy the task of writing something out and explaining it in plain English, which forces me to understand it better myself. Then I realized this blog was easily worth my time investment for two main reasons. In my current role as VP of Ops at JM Bullion, and in my last role as Director of Ecommerce at Rugs USA, both CEOs have told me that one of the biggest reasons they hired me was because of this blog. Getting that feedback is enough to ensure I’ll always keep it going until I’m no longer in need of income. The second reason is because of the vendor relationships it’s allowed me to create. Regular readers know I review software on a regular basis, and giving thoughtful, honest, feedback on products has opened countless doors for me. Whether it’s getting to have direct input on the development of new features, or getting superior treatment by support or even being able to negotiate lower rates, having taken the time to publish my thoughts has always benefitted me. You’ll also notice I don’t publish smear campaigns. There are plenty of software tools in need of bashing, but I’d rather just focus on the good ones. I have no monetization strategy for this blog though aside from some Amazon affiliate links for the books I review.
Why It’s Picked Up Again Recently
I think I’ve posted more in the last month than I have in the prior 8 months combined. The reason for this is that my 4 year old son has begun going to bed an hour earlier each night, which has suddenly given me an excess of free time, so cranking out a post a week no longer seems a daunting task.
Some Fun Points
My most trafficked post of all time is my Amazon.co.uk post by a long shot. It still gets more monthly traffic than my other posts combined. That is the closest thing I’ve had to going viral. There are some other search terms I’m pretty proud of landing on the first page though, such as
Most of the software I review ends up on the first page of that search as well when the word “review” is added.
In the end, these are all long tail terms and my site traffic is pretty low. I don’t do any SEO other than just writing my posts, so in a good month, my blog will have around 600-1000 unique visitors, I’m also infrequent with my posts, which I hope to change for the foreseeable future.
My email list has also been growing recently, it’s just surpassed 100 members. In dealing with the hundreds of thousands of visitors to the ecommerce sites I’m involved with, these numbers are pitiful, but getting an email subscription notification in my inbox gives me a bigger endorphin rush than all the Facebook likes in the world.
So in conclusion, thank you to all you readers and especially the email subscribers. Hopefully, the next 100 posts will take me less than 5 years!
Also – tell me what you’d like me to write more about in the comments!