Can you believe it was one year ago today that the merger was complete? Pretty amazing, huh? I mean, just to think that there used to be such duplication seems absolutely mind-boggling! Oh wait – you’re not sure what I’m talking about? Let me refresh your memory…
If you read that link, you now know that I merged my old blog – Joe’s Journal – with the one that you’re reading – JerseySmarts.com. One year ago today, that merger was complete. I think the results have been great, but you could probably be the judge of that better than I can…
One of my favorite parts of the old Joe’s Journal was that crazy header that I put together by blending all of the different things that crossed my mind at the moment. You might be able to tell from that screenshot, but there are a whole bunch of different things on there including the Monmouth University hawk, Stewie from an early episode of Family Guy, the Arrested Development television show’s logo, a Cross, the American flag, my fraternity’s flag, a Lord of the Rings logo, a Smallville logo, a silhouette of New Jersey, a Rutgers University logo, and a bunch of other stuff. Plus, the main color of the site was yellow.
In general, I never hate on any of my old sites and Joe’s Journal is no different. I really enjoyed that blog since it was my personal blog where I let off steam and commented on a variety of issues (the entries have all been merged into this site, so go back a few years and look at some of the older posts – lots of bitching in there!). However, as I began to enterprise my web design skills and I began creating newer websites with stronger capabilities and better marketing opportunities, I realized that I had to begin eliminating duplication in those areas of my life where it was unsustainable and, really, unnecessary.
On that point, a few years ago I opened up JerseySmarts.com as a place where I could capture some of the writing skills of my friends from college and other people that I’ve met along the way. It never really panned out the way I wanted it to, but that’s okay. Since JerseySmarts.com became a viable source of revenue, I wound up keeping the domain and just uploading my Joe’s Journal entries onto both blogs. It was easy, but pretty laborious in the grand scheme of things. I never wanted to engage in larger marketing campaigns or new ways to present content because I didn’t want to have to duplicate everything. Plus, I felt like the impact of my entries was being thinned since they were available in two locations.
The logical answer was to merge the two blogs and condense my efforts to create a single website with greater impact. I think that I’ve been pretty successful in that effort considering that JerseySmarts.com is both profitable and has a wide readership. Since the merger, I’ve admittedly held back on publicizing the blog to the extent that I originally intended and part of that was because I wanted to ensure that I had the commitment to keep the thing updated. With that, I’m glad to announce that today marks one full year of this blog being updated every single day. In 365 days JerseySmarts.com has had more than 365 entries. I think that’s a pretty significant accomplishment for a one-man show. One of the ways that I accomplished this was taking advantage of the ability to “schedule” a post in WordPress. For example, I wrote all of the entries for November 1st through November 16th (that’s today) on Halloween. Hey, I had the free time while sitting around waiting for trick or treaters, so I wanted to use it productively! I can’t guarantee that I’ll be updating the blog on a daily basis for the coming year, so I might miss a day here and a day there, but I made it work in the last year so I might be able to keep the momentum going in the coming year!
If I had my way, I’d get more people to sign-up for the monthly newsletter in the next year and I’d utilize that newsletter for more than just a recap of previous entries. I think that goal is attainable, but not when the newsletter stands at 26 subscribers. Last month I started a new Google Group which replaced the old newsletter system that I’ve been using for the last year. Let’s hope that it has some staying power, huh?
Anyway, we’re one year into this merger and I think it’s going great. Let me know what you think!