Gavin Bowman's blog

Micro ISV Blogging: Summary

Over the last few weeks I posted a series on Micro ISV blogging, here is a brief summary of the five articles so far.

Micro ISV Blogging: Useful Extras

After my slightly under-whelmed take on affiliate programs and advertising for Micro ISV blogs last week, I’m really feeling the pressure to include something good this week. Fortunately, there are a couple of really useful services that I haven’t touched on yet in this series, Technorati and Feedburner.

Micro ISV Blogging: Gold Rush?

This week I’m going to look at affiliate programs. It’s highly unlikely that you’re starting a Micro ISV blog to make money from affiliate programs, your blog will be about communicating a message or trying to engage with prospective customers. You want visitors to stay on your site and look at your products, so you don’t really want to give them an easy way out; even if you will make a few cents from the clicks.

But, affiliate programs can be tempting, fun or even profitable. In the rest of this post, I’m going to take a quick look at some of the most common options, and then try to start a conversation on whether affiliate programs are a good idea at all for Micro ISV blogs.

Micro ISV Blogging: How?

Over the last couple of weeks, I tried to tackle the what, when and why of Micro ISV blogging. This week, I’m taking a look at some of the software and services that will help you get your blog up and running.

There are a lot of different ways to start or host a blog, many of which are free. I don’t have first hand experience with them all, so I’ve just provided a brief overview of some of the best known options. Whatever system you’ve been using, I’d love to hear about your opinions and experiences in the comments.

Micro ISV Blogging: What and When?

Last week, I started this mini-series on Micro ISV blogging with Why? I put forward the reasons I think Micro ISV founders can benefit from blogging, along with a few reasons not to start a blog.

This week, I decided to try to tackle the "what and when" of Micro ISV blogging. I wouldn’t go so far as to say you need to have a strategy when you start a blog, but sooner or later you will need to think about what you’re doing.

Micro ISV Blogging: Why?

I’m probably preaching to the converted, but ever since I started blogging, and even more so since I read this forum thread, I’ve wanted to gather my thoughts on this topic.

If you’re trying to start a software company, chances are you already have a million things to do with any given minute. What could possibly convince you to commit any significant chunk of your time to publishing your thoughts online?

Firstly, why not?

14 Lessons Learned from 2005

In Your Best Year Yet, Bob Walsh made a few suggestions for taking stock and trying to start the New Year in a stronger position. One of the ideas involved listing lessons learned in the year, and this is the list I came up with when I decided to give it a try.

What I’d like from 2006

Rather than looking back at 2005 again, or telling you my resolutions, I thought I’d use my first post of the New Year to outline what I hope to get out of 2006.

I should probably have taken the time to pin some of them down to something more measurable, but they are specific enough that I’ll know if they happen or not. This time next year, I’ll try to remember to reprint the list and explain what I did, or what went wrong.

Not Getting Things Done

So it’s the end of another year, and as is often the case, the looming of festivities, obligations and interruptions dragged my productivity into the gutter. I’ve had a very unproductive December, I managed to do plenty of thinking and planning, to keep up with support and enquiries, and even built a new site for one of my products, but actual development practically flat-lined.

This year I’ve become very aware of the weakest link in my motivation, and that’s the incapacitating effect of anything "looming". Any big distraction that’s just on the horizon, whether I know when it’s going to happen or not, if it’s coming soon and I know it’s going to impact on my productivity, my motivation takes a hit.

Micro ISV Mistake #6

I knew there would be more mistakes to write about, maybe not so soon, but I’m glad I’ve finally labelled this one and taken a really good look at it. It’s something I’ve known was an issue for a long time, I just hadn’t let myself see how big it was.

The choice of primary keyword and part of the name of my core product wasn’t heavily researched. I just picked a word I knew meant what I wanted to convey and ran with it. It wasn’t a word I could see any major problems with, and although I was vaguely aware that at some point I’d need to identify and target more suitable keywords for an international audience, I put that thought in a little box and ignored it for most of the last 18 months.

Mistake #6 is choosing a keyword that confuses 99% of your market.