It’s hard to believe that www.pestcemetery.com is 7 years old. First off I can’t believe I haven’t even come close to running out of things to write about but what’s more incredible is, that I actually have people who read what I write. That’s pretty humbling.
The site started as an idea from my son who had convinced me blogging was a great way to make money. He’s doing that very well btw with his aviation blog, m0a.com. Me? eh, I better keep actually killing the bugs ;). My younger son gets credit for the name- it just popped out in a brain storming session we had while setting things up- Sooo, $6 bucks and a couple clicks later, pestcemetery was born.
In the first few months I wrote quite a few articles but was very discouraged when I saw that maybe, on a good day, 3 people clicked in. So, I thought I might attract some people using animated gifs and the like. I then loaded my articles with, digging termites, jumping fleas, flying bugs or just anything animated I could find, still, nobody came. Pretty depressing. Not knowing much about how to generate traffic or anything really I languished for about 10 months and was almost ready to give up. Well, I guess I did attract at least one visitor one day who was interested in my work- interested in destroying it! I remember logging in and instead of seeing my articles there was a large banner with foreign words on a flag and at the bottom in bold block letters- You’ve Been Hacked! That was extremely troubling that someone would go to such effort over an insignificant little bug blog.
The real problem was, not knowing enough about cyber space we had no way of fixing my site nor retrieving any of my work. For all intents and purposes, pestcemetery was dead.
Long story short, at first I wasn’t too upset that my blog was ‘exterminated’, after-all it didn’t seem to be doing very well and I certainly had better things to do with my time. So my son went off to college and pestcemetery sat. But I kept getting the itch to write and I couldn’t stop thinking of ideas for a new article or a story that I wanted to tell. So, with some concerted effort and a bit of research we figured out how to get my site back up and running and even found all of my articles in an archive site. A little jumbled up and almost all my prized animated gifs were gone but hey, there was life for my little blog.
From there I think I wrote at least one article a night for the next year, sometimes two. I stopped worrying about flashy animations and even put the idea of generating traffic behind me. I decided to write primarily about things that I thought were important and from my perspective as a working tech/owner. I was (and am) always frustrated by the lack of ‘real world’ advice or view point for those in the industry that were in the same place I was. I think in the last year or so I haven’t done one article on a specific insect but rather focused on current challenges, issues or just a good ol story of something that’s happened to me in my career. This may or may not be what some readers want but it’s where my blog over time has evolved and sometimes I’m amazed at the response.
Something else my blog has spawned was no less surprising. Facebook of course is all the rage and I will admit at first I thought I could help drive traffic to my site with it. I soon saw however that posting links on my wall all the time could get a bit annoying. I know I’m irritated when I friend someone and all I get is a sales pitch. So I started a group called, pestcemetery.com–hey imagine that! Here I thought would be a place where likeminded people could come together and learn, grow and share in the industry we all loved. Well, much like my site it was pretty vacant for a few years. Along the line I decided to close the group so comments were no longer public and little by little it started catching on. To date we have over 730 members and adding everyday. There are industry pros from entomologists to brand new techs who check in almost everyday. It’s positively one of the most active places where you can get everything from a mystery insect ID’d to sage business advice or ideas. It’s like all the business guru books rolled up in the latest Mallis edition and positively no one has a problem with sharing. It’s a great group to be a part of.
Well, it’s been 7 years and I haven’t made my million yet by typing all these words and staring at this monitor. In fact nothings turned out quite like I envisioned it so long ago and who knows what lies ahead. From the looks of things and the people I am now friends with because of this little blog and FB group…..well, there’s my million right there.