I am making progress

with the site re-design and re-launch. I am about 2/3 through reading Michael Connelly’s The Scarecrow, which will be published by Little Brown on 5/26/09, the same day that I will re-launch libdrone.info and my new Amazon book store Libdrone Sells Books at libdrone.com. I have been thrilled to have the time away from producing regular blog content to work on the re-design. I am pleased with what I have to go so far, but my goals and methods for the site going forward are becoming clearer and I have been analyzing my traffic and realizing that fully 49% of my visitors are located outside of North America.

I was visiting a friend today. This friend is a good bit younger than I am and is a music DJ and a techie who’s been online forever. He was poo-pooh’ing “blogs” for the umpteenth time. somehow he thought blogging was like posting on mesage boards or getting your name on a web site. I took him to Blog Catalog and showed him what _I_ mean by blogs. I showed him that I was the number one non-paid listing for “Books” on BC. I went over and logged into my site and showed him my Firestats in my WP dashboard. and he looked at the 130 uniques per day viewing 550 some odd pageviews and said, hey you got yourself some decent traffic there. I pointed out that all of those visitors (and showed him the hits table, which blew his mind) had come from search engines and the fact that they viewed an average of more than 3.5 pages each indicated they were finding value and digging deeper into the site.

And for the first time since I dropped out of Entrecard when my friend (who never understood why I ‘bothered’ with ‘just doing a blog’ –you could be on MySpace, you know?) understood clearly my 10 year business plan of accumulating highly tagged, high quality original content that can appeal to a broad audience and consistently receive search visitors with No marketing expense to bring them in. And soon my Libdrone Sells Books store will be opening and I will once again, as when I first began my career be a direct seller of books. I can’t wait to get the site finished and get back into the game and get started on Year 3 of my 10 year plan. Stick around, folks. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

Check out my updated punch list if you want to see how the upgrade is coming:

Let publicists know about the break and re-luanch plans– emailed Julie, Miriam and Tracee on 4/23 (done)

Let advertisers know about break and re-launch plans. msg’d all 8 advertisers on CMF. will take PW widget down during hiatus.

TRL on hiatus 4/29–5/26 4/29–migration post goes up. post is closed to comments. done

1) JD creates mirror–done

On mirror site:

2) change theme to http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/whiteplus

substitue existing header graphic for theme included graphic in new theme. re-size rather than crop the header image. make sure the barcode scanner’s line shows–done

ask JD about changing font color in blog header– working on editing header image. having trouble finding right font color for header

3) Consolidate all of the About pages under one About Page that has links to About Me And About This Blog, About The Links, About The Bookstore, About Books and Libraries, About My Audience, About Libdrone.com, Instructions for all in one About page below. working, largely done

Add widgets and privacy policy page– this page may go under About or under something else but definitely buried.

Add review copies and submission page– this can under Something, maybe taking place of suggestions and guest reviews page

4) Change dotCom page title to Blogroll. libdrone.com will become the book store page on it’s own blog done

5) Review and Revise Suggestions and Guest Reviews page

6) Add bookstore page using Amazon’s a store in Beta, working

7) Experiment and work with widgets and widget placements to get a very well designed an professional looking layout

Add a Welcome page that explains all of the changes

8) check and test EVERYTHING three times

9) Write and schedule May 26th, 27th, 28th and 29th posts about Michael Connelly’s The Scarecrow–reading, Barry Eisler’s Fault Lines rcvd, Steve Luxemborg’s Annies Ghost rcvd, Joel Goldman’s The Dead Man rcvd

consider) ??Renew paid Library Thing membership Re integrate Libary Thing Links to all posts less than one year old. Consider using Library Thing widgets to place long strings of book covers on bookstore page. to do that. Include a link to library thing profile in sidebar

May 24th– JD points the URL to the new site a full day plus before the Resuming post goes live (gives time to work out any kinks and can put up a ‘how do you like the new look’ post as soon as the new site is up and running properly)

next upgrade (whenever) add non-blog page for V-Bulletin. meanwhile Comment On Book Blogs!

Hello,

From April 29th to May 26th my blog The Thin Red Line will be going on hiatus. The site will be up (and will continue to get traffic from search visitors, which is my main source of traffic) but I will not be posting any updates during this time. When I relaunch on May 26th, I will have a brand new look and theme and a number of new pages and site features. I am writing to you because you have an advertisement on my site that will be running during this planned hiatus. As I said, the site will be up and will no doubt continue to receive search visitors, so your ad will receive some impressions. If however, you feel that you want to pull the ad during the hiatus, just reply and let me know and I will request that your ad be canceled and your credits refunded. Alternatively, I would be happy to place an ad on your site when I re-launch next month. I wanted to let you know about this a few days in advance, just to keep you in the loop. Thank you for advertising on The Thin Red Line, which will be back for it’s third great year starting 5/26.

Alan

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