24 busy hours in the life of my site

A week and a half ago, my boss said he would have to cut my hours for June. I was bummed but also grateful to still have a job, and I figured things would be alright.

I’ve worked 16 hours since, and it turns out my new free time has been largely consumed by this site. I’ve written thousands of words, done several interviews and even covered a baseball-themed art show. To any fellow bloggers looking to improve traffic, I found that by doing extra footwork recently, I got immediate results. In the past five days, I’ve had more visitors than I used to get in entire months.

(By the way, before I go any further, I should say I’ve tried to steer this site away from personal posts of this nature. This post is mostly for friends, regular readers and fellow bloggers. To others: Monday will be business as usual here with a review of a book about a Deadball Era pitcher.)

More and more, I’m believing that Search Engine Optimization, at least for blogging, isn’t about fancy coding or high tech maneuvering. I think it’s about putting in long hours, doing work others in the blogosphere can’t or won’t do, making an original contribution.

Monday epitomized this. Here’s what transpired:

12:00 AM: The beginning of Monday morning finds me still awake, not having to work until Tuesday, finalizing my post on forgotten Negro League/semi-pro great John Donaldson. Having done three interviews the Thursday before, including an hour-and-twenty-minute session with Donaldson’s lead researcher Peter Gorton, I know I’ve been given a good story.

2:00 AM: I post my story, email David Pinto of Baseball Musings in hopes of getting a link and go to bed.

7:00 AM: I awaken as my roommate gets ready for work, check online, and see that Pinto has linked to me. Excited, I submit the story to another big site, Baseball Think Factory and email Gorton and my two other interview sources for the story.

7:44 AM: Since Donaldson played in Minnesota, I message a blogger there, Sooze of Babes Loves Baseball.

7:52 AM: Gorton emails positive feedback and suggests I submit the story for SABRgraphs, the Society for American Baseball Research’s weekly email of the best baseball writing from around the Internet.

8:05 AM: I email the person in charge of submissions for SABRgraphs, thinking her name is Robin.

8:11 AM: Actually, her name is Rebecca. But she says she will include my story. I cannot lose this morning.

8:23 AM: I email Gorton that the story is also up on Baseball Think Factory, telling him June 7 is officially Blogger Christmas for me (Baseball Prospectus will pick up the story, too, after SABRgraphs goes out on Thursday, and I’ll work out to contribute to a major baseball site, Seamheads.com.)

9:00 AM: Heading to a 9:30 personal appointment, I stop at the post office for a DVD from George Case III, whose dad, George Case, played in the majors from 1937-1947 and shot color footage there.

10:30 AM: I take my car to the shop for a tire rotation and oil change, since the place does a two-for-one deal and is walking distance from my apartment.

11:00 AM: I watch Case’s documentary. As I will write later for Friday, I think it’s good.

3:15 PM: The shop manager calls to say one of my tires needs to be repaired. I decide to take the car to Costco, since I have a warranty there and don’t want to spend more money. The only catch: It’s a long trek, by foot and BART, back to my apartment, and I have a 5:30 interview with Case III. Also, though I don’t realize it at the time, my only cell phone charger is in my car, since my cat chewed through my wall one, and my battery’s low.

5:31 PM: I return to my apartment just in time and call Case III. We have a good long talk until–

6:02 PM: My battery dies.

6:06 PM: I email Case III to arrange a follow-up for Tuesday. I also see a message from Sooze that she will link to the Donaldson story in a blog she does for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Somewhere in all this, I also finalized my post about if Don Mattingly belongs in the Hall of Fame.

Needless to say, I don’t have days like this very often, but I’d welcome another.

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