Finally a full feed at smashill

Ever wondered why there was no full feed at smashill? I did, and you know, it hasn’t been our fault! Feedburner is one nasty service. πŸ™ They tell you that you should use your feed url in a certain way, and then they only display a partial feed. As I am in the process of making smashill the best blog it can be it was uber necessary to finally fix this feed issue. I had been looking into it before, but did not find it. This morning I took some more time to do the research and found a good article to fix it.

I can understand everyone who did not sign up to the feed yet. There is NO reason to not subscribe to it right now, as the problem is fixed! πŸ˜€ Thanks to the a great article by working at home from the internet, who had the same problem. So what are you waiting for? Sign up already πŸ™‚

Sketchbook Friday – Team Kraken

Starting today, every friday there’ll be a tiny glimse into one of my traditional sketchbooks.
Today you meet the Mascott my potential MMA Team would have to wear! In case I’d have a team, or would be into mixed martial arts. πŸ˜†
Traditional Inking. Digitally Colored. Combined with a photo, still work in progress though πŸ™‚
© smashill, all rights reserved πŸ™‚

Sunday's Freebie – Concrete Textures

Sunday should be a day off for almost everyone, even freelancers, and to celebrate this I decided to share a small freebie every Sunday. Guess there was some inspiration from yesterday’s post. Those Freebies will be mostly textures as I take a lot of detail photos to use them myself.
Feel free to use them for any project, but don’t sell or offer them for download. No attribution needed, but appreciated. Enjoy.



download them here

Smashill earnings, stats and thoughts for March 2009

First of all, my biggest goal was surpassed… I made 5$, but not really creatively, just through squidoo lenses. Let’s say it was a good unsuspected laugh. I spend a lot of time reworking different project sites of mine, and to be honest writing content and coding designs for 3 different sites and updating this blog took a lot of my time. It’s great to get things done, but the small projects that I am doing for this site took a bump from that big fat truck of workload.

Project Stats & Earnings

3 files up and running, but I have not been uploading a lot this month, did not make the 5 files yet, will go for those this month. Loads of projects are πŸ™‚

My Zazzle Gallery did not grow a lot this month, I did not sell a piece, but I had a file of the day, which is pretty cool. Wonder if I’ll ever sell something there.
Nothing uploaded or sold this month. Totally neglected this one, nothing new and nothing sold.

Created a flickr account and uploaded 6 photos. Wonder if I will use that service more in the future. It sure looks like a great community.

Twitter has been a lot fun lately. I added a plugin to display my latest twitterings and I enjoy talking nonsense and just spreading my weird little ideas. So far this has been the most addictive social media I’ve been using the last months.

My tablet
I love it. I did not write a review about it yet, but I have used it quite a lot, and it’s simply great.

Site Stats

Since February 11. there are 35 Post and 12 comments, this means I’ve hit the publish button as often as I wanted to. I had 344 visits by 260 visitors, which sounds good to me, my goal of 300 visitors has not been cracked, but it’s all good.
I already mentioned that there are quite a few projects in line, that are about to finish. I’m re-branding my old blog, creating my art site and working on the design for another site that I wanted to have up and running ages ago. Sounds like a lot of work, but it’s all play and fun.
This month I will start marketing my blog, as there is a solid amount of posts and people can start to find some useful stuff. The only marketing so far has been more of an seo marketing, as I tried (and actually succeeded) to be in the top commentator list on a few pr3+ blogs, besides commenting on a few dofollow blogs. I read the posts, take time to write something useful and so far one of the best traffic resources for me has been a nofollow blog. Commenting seems to work, it’s time to work on conversions and marketing.
Sandbox yet has to put me on the playground again, but search does not deliver many vists so far.


Did I meet my goals?

I did good, but did not achieve a flawless victory.

  • useful posts every other day – done
  • 300 Visitors – 350 visits, 244 visitors
  • 10 feed subscribers – failed, I was at 14 and went down to 3, it’s feedburner and the swings might be huge, but still, should be more πŸ™‚
  • 5 comments – one short
  • 5 files approved at istock – not yet
  • earn 5$ with my creative efforts – Did that with squidoo, writing counts as creativity or not?

Outlook for April

My bouncerate went up, so I will work harder on the articles. I will start to reread them twice before I hit publish, it’s pretty obvious how many thoughts are in my head.
Otherwise I want to keep on commenting on the good blogs I found, no matter what the google rank will be I still feel like I am doing something good when I offer my opinion somewhere. Anyone knows a
Stats wise it would be cool to hit 500 visitors, 10-20 subscribers, 10 files approved at istock, 5-10 designs at Zazzle. I really have to get my butt up and upload more of my creative stuff, I really want to get that first sale πŸ˜†

How to pick Plugins to enhance your blog

After about one month it’s time for me to think this whole blog through and how I can improve it during the next months. I really like the simplicity of this design and I went for a very small sidebar by choice. I was so sick of everyone having a huge sidebar saying nothing at all, but somehow I think a wider sidebar could be useful, or a bigger header. I haven’t decided on this one yet. Anyways sidebar blindness is one of those things that I hate, don’t make your sidebar a trashcan, make it useful for the visitor!

Determine what I need

Actually there is not a lot that I want to add right now, which was a big surprise when I thought about writing this post. Let’s first start off with things I am not going to incorporate into my site and why!

  • At the moment I am not looking to get a lot of advertisement spots, but maybe I should plan ahead and leave myself the possibility to add some of those mighty funny 125*125 buttons, which I think are pretty useless. There are better forms of advertisement, that will probably work better for both sides. Let’s be honest, who clicks on those ads?
  • A top commentators widget won’t appear on my sidebar as well. To be honest, this site has a pagerank of 0, happens to all of us when we start out. Yes that’s right, so far the pagerank strikes at that amazing figure that my income was last monthZERO. The more annoying part with a top commentators widget is that you have to fight spam comments like no good once you hit a pagerank of 2. There are far better ways reward people for comments, and to be honest, do you really want to make people comment for that? I prefere unique and useful comments over some useless guys hunting comments to up their own pagerank.
  • Follow comments via mail & comment luv, I am not sure if I want to integrated those, and as I am not sure I will stay away from them until I made up my mind if I really like those things or not.

Those two things were on my mind when I started out, but I am glad I did not ad both of them.

After a few weeks of writing, there are things that I’d like to add.

  • First of all I really want to put my best content forward. There are great post, for example when I compared word of mouth with viral marketing, but then there are simple posts telling people to join twitter and adding me. So I really would love to add some sort of featured posts with a short extract on the front page or in the sidebar.
  • After writing quite a few articles it might be smart to add some more stuff at the end of every single page. For example an invitation to subscribe to my feed, similar posts that might be of interest and stuff like that. Besides the actual usefulness for the readers it would be beneficial from a SEO point of view as it would be good for the interlinking of my page.
  • Some sort of advertisement that is a direct fit for this page. I have no idea how to do that yet, but I’d really like to add some space on this blog that offers an unique advertisement space to sponsors. As I am a firm believer that 125*125 ads don’t offer a lot value, I really think there are better ways of visual advertisements. This is something that can’t be fixed with a plug-in that easy though.

Making it happen

Actually those points are just tiny tweaks, and once I have a bit of time at my hands I will just fix it this weekend. Adding a few plug-ins to increase the usability might take some time, but it’s one of those investments that will show instant gratification.

Staying away from clutter

My main point of improving a blog is that I don’t want it to be cluttered. It should be easy to find everything you are looking for, neither do I want a sidebar that loads longer than the rest of my content. The nice part is that I am really happy with my design right now. It is exactly what I want right now and I will work on it within the next months. Sometimes it’s far better to just start out and get something going than to wait for that perfect spot. So, don’t wait to create that perfect design, blog or whatever and just get going. You will get there along the way.

Why should you use twitter?

I have absolutly no clue why, as it is pretty much a real time killer and a waste of time, but in case you use some handy twitter client such as twirl, it feels like one of those sexy instant messangers from back in the days. Just public. So kinda stripped and naked, and even though I am no nudist, twitter can be pretty cool.

Overall I recommend it, even though I thought I’d never say that, as I just tested it through, which is boring and annoying. But twirl, yeah that’s cool and you can follow some interesting people everywhere! Just follow me and listen to my nonsense. Come on let’s have some fun, twitterin in the morning sun. Damn I soooo need the ocean…

Smashill earnings, stats and thoughts for February 2009

Well, as this project is just starting out, and all the projects I created for this website are in the making, my profits for this particular project are at exactly 0$ πŸ˜€ Stunning figure ain’t it? Well, nothing to be ashamed of, we all have to start somewhere. My plan is to make around 200$ by the middle of the year and between 500-1000$ by the end of the year. Pretty ambitious? I don’t think so, it would be awesome if each and every small project starts to generate about 10-30$ per month, and the more products I add the more money I can probably make. On the long run this might add up to some nice additional income. I am not trying to quit my job, I just would love to substitute it with smashill and the projects related to this blog.

Project Stats & Earnings

I got approved at i-stock this month, after 3 attempts, but none of my files have been approved yet. Most of the pictures I uploaded there are pictures I would have done for myself, and probably quite a lot of them will get declined. Maybe, or maybe not. I still have to find out if I am too artsy for commercial pictures or not. What’s funny though is that one of the pictures that I got accepted with was rejected this time, which I actually think is pretty funny. πŸ˜†

My Zazzle Gallery is growing, but I have not sold anything just yet. I didn’t have the time to create a custom store and market it properly, but that’s probably better once I hit 20-30 products. So far you can see what I have produced in my gallery.
Mygall seems interesting, you have 500MB and 100 images you can upload and sell. It’s a site that is located in Germany, but as for everything this month, I have yet to make a sale here. I decided to go for a pretty high royalty rate here, as most of my pictures are not for the mainstream, which would justify lower prices.

Equipment on the way
Yesterday I placed my order for my graphic tablet, which will be a Wacom Intuos A3, I picked one up at amazon for a discount due to the package being damaged and the product having a few scratches. Hopefully the whole thing will still be working, which I am pretty sure it will. I don’t care if there are 1 or 2 scratches, as long as the surface is ok and there are no pieces missing. Otherwise I still have a 30 day money back guarantee.

Site Stats

Starting on February 11., 12 Post and 1 comment. These stats are pretty ok for a brand new site, …without promotion at least. I do not intent to do real marketing just yet, as I have other projects to finish this month. So I will make up my mind how I promote this site in April. The good part is, I am already ranking in the search engines and receive some minor google traffic, which might be killed by a sandbox any given day, but we will see that.


Outlook for March

The plan is to continue publishing useful posts every other day, document my journey towards creative freedom and find some great resources. Blabla, yadda yadda πŸ˜‰
My goals for march are 300 unique Visitors, more than 10 feed subscribers, 5 comments, 5 files approved at istock and earn at least 5$ with my creative output πŸ˜€ Hopefully I will have my new tablet within the next few days, after that my creative digital output should multiply.