Ricardo Sanchez
Coder, Photographer, Youtuber, Blogger

Writing

How To Drive Traffic To Your Blog and Avoid Writer’s Block

Writing is not easy and there is always room for improvement. Attracting an audience is also hard and it takes time. Here are some of the things that have worked for me in the past few years, I hope they can be useful for you too.

  1. Focus on longform articles. People are starting to get overwhelmed with the shortform content abundant in social media. Finding well-written long-form articles is becoming a rarity and so it is becoming scarce and thus valuable.
  2. Use tools to improve your writing. Applications like the Hemingway Editor can help your writing to be more readable. Grammar and spell-checking only go so far, you want your posts to be easy to read and understand.
  3. Write about topics that can stand the test of time. Your posts should be relevant today and 5 years from now. Avoid writing about the hot/popular topics of the day. Also, if your blog platform and/or theme allows it, remove the date from your posts and URLs.
  4. Write for you and not an audience. If what you write is good for you, it will be for other people. This is also a great way to get over writer’s block. Most of my blog posts are a way for me to learn and remember what I’ve learned. Reading and taking notes about specific items you find interesting can also give you an abundant source of things to write about.
  5. Take part in popular blogs and websites by adding smart comments and points of view. Make sure your blog address is part of your profile. People do notice when someone has smart things to say or unique point of views. And, they’ll want to know more about you and your own writing as well.

Hope this is useful to you. If you like this article please subscribe to my newsletter and share it with your friends.

Trip to the border

theundocumentedengineer_423x675There I was in a bus on my way to Matamoros from Guadalajara, Mexico. It was a winter night, on December 27, 1995. I remember a movie playing inside the bus, don’t remember which one as I was too busy with my thoughts, watching the hilly scenery outside the window. The trip lasted about 12 hours and by the time we arrived to the city of Matamoros, it was about 7:00 AM in the morning.

One backpack and about $800 pesos is what I had on me. It is probably the lightest I have traveled since. The $800 pesos was one full month’s worth of my salary working as a courier for a travel agency in Guadalajara, Mexico. At the time, I was contributing to my family’s income and didn’t have much left for savings; the $800 pesos were a risky investment in a dream for a better pay in the United States so I could contribute more to my family. Continue Reading

Kickstarter: Our project failed

greenThis is the message I received this morning from Kickstarter about my campaign failing because it didn’t get funded:

We’re sorry to report that your project, The Undocumented Engineer, didn’t meet its funding goal.

We know how much hard work goes into running a project. You’ve made tremendous progress by launching and working to build a community around your idea.

As you’re figuring out your next steps, don’t forget to keep your backers in the loop. They’re your biggest fans and are probably interested in following along with your progress. You can post an update or send them a message to let them know about your plans for your project.

Continue Reading

Kickstarter: Day 10

It’s been 10 days since I launched my first kickstarter campaign for my first book. These series of blog posts are a story of my journey with my first kickstarter campaign.

These are the things I’ve tried up until today to get more people to back my campaign:

  • Emailed my entire email list. Twice.
  • Have tweeted multiple times from different accounts about the campaign.
  • Tried unsuccessfully to get influential people to re-tweet or tweet about my campaign.
  • Emailed friends and acquaintances directly to ask them for their support.
  • Have posted the video, book cover and excerpts from my new book multiple times on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and even Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • Have written three posts about my failure to get people to back my kickstarter campaign. This is the third one.

Continue Reading

Kickstarter: Day 3

I started my first campaign on Wednesday, July 1st, 2015. So far I have 3 backers, one of them is my wife, the second is a friend and previous co-worker and the third one someone I don’t know. This post is about the changes and updates I’ve made to my still unsuccessful kickstarter campaign a few days after I started it. If you want to read about the launch click here.

A few days after the launch of my first kickstarter campaign and after realizing this campaign wasn’t going to have hundreds of backers in the first few days as I first imagined, I decided to keep spamming people sharing the kickstarter campaign. Social media and direct emails didn’t do as well as I first expected. So naive of me. The next thing on my list to get the word out about this campaign was to write and share an excerpt of the book The Undocumented Engineer, which is what my kickstarter campaign is about.  Continue Reading

Kickstarter: Day 1

After thinking about writing a book for a while I finally pulled the trigger and launched a kickstarter campaign. I wrote a description, created the ugly book cover shown below using Gimp, and uploaded a video created using a notebook and a black permanent marker. I spent a lot of hours researching what a kickstarter campaign should look like. Read multiple blogs describing how to successfully launch a campaign, how to get featured on kickstarter, and even examined some of the successful kickstarter campaigns to learn how they did it. Continue Reading