Did You Miss Me?

by derek on June 19, 2009 · 55 comments

Wow, I cannot believe it has been roughly five months since I stepped away from the day to day activities of running multiple blogs. While I have been away, there has certainly been a lot that has transpired – some good and some not so good.

The Good

Before we get to the “not so good” things – I have always been one that prefers the good news before the bad – here are a few of the things that have been keeping me busy.
But I thought you weren’t blogging…
Even though I have been away from the daily posting, I have still been somewhat active behind the scenes with the Interweb. Some of you might recall that I had partnered up with a fellow blogger to work on a few sites; the arrangement that we have been working under is that I am responsible for the creation and maintenance of the blogs while she handles the day to day posting.
We redesigned her primary blog, GrowMap (with more design changes still to come), and have continued to work on our site dedicated to helping improve your golf game. In addition to all of that, I am working with a new client right now on a Typepad to WordPress migration – for anyone that has not done this before, Typepad is an absolute nightmare to migrate away from as they severely restrict the way that you can access your own data.
With my break from blogging, I had expected to see my blogs drop completely off the radar but there is still a healthy amount of traffic coming into each site and the earnings have not dropped off as much as I thought they would – more on that a little later.
Punching the time clock…
The day job has flourished as well in the absence of my blogging. Shortly before stepping away from the blogs, I had been transitioned out of my position as a software engineer into project management. As much as I miss writing code every day, I have learned to embrace this new challenge and my first few projects have all been successful.
It has not all been a bed of roses though, as the demands at the day job have resulted in some stretches of longer hours that have taken away from my time with the family; which is the reason that I was stepping away from the blogs in the first place. Things have been settling down lately and I continue to make strides as a project manager, something that has been noticed by management as well.
The wind in my face…
With the summer weather upon us – although some days I really question that – I have been out riding the Harley a good deal, and have a new enthusiast to share this with as my son is now old enough to ride with me.
Not only have I been riding more, I even have some new gear courtesy of Harley-Davidson. Through the power of the blog, I had been in touch with a representative from Harley-Davidson for a few months and just recently she sent me a note asking if I would like to try out a pair of their new sunglasses. So while I have been enjoying the wind in my face, I have been keeping it out of my eyes with a slick pair of shades. Expect to hear more about my thoughts on the gear in the near future.
Long live Derek…
It might not seem like such a big deal, but I have been getting much more sleep. In my previous life, I’d work all day at the day job and come home to spend a little time with my wife and kids before hunkering down with the blogs. On average, I was only getting about 3-4 hours of sleep each night.
Over these last few months, I have been getting approximately 7-8 hours of sleep each night and I feel so much better. Sure, I still have a few late nights but they are now the exception more than the norm.
In addition to getting more sleep, I had an opportunity – or maybe it was an order (see below) – to focus on my health. Not being a fan of the treadmill, I opted for an elliptical machine from Precor and have been logging mile after mile…and kind of enjoying it. I’ve still got a long road ahead of me but I like where this road is going.

The Bad

As I mentioned earlier, not everything has been good since taking a hiatus from the blog.
My head is about to explode…
In mid-February I had a bit of a health scare – there were two instances, just a few days apart, where I had excruciating pain in my head. Being the type of guy that never goes to the doctor, I tried to ignore it the first time it happened. When it happened again a few days later, I got myself into the doctor and they ordered a CT scan as there was concern that there may have been bleeding in my brain.
Talk about stress, nerves, and fear!
Fortunately, the CT scan did not show any cause for concern but the outcome of everything did reveal that my blood pressure and cholesterol were slightly elevated. Neither is high enough to require medication, but the doctor did suggest that I improve my eating habits and exercise more regularly; hence the new elliptical machine.
Poof, where did my blogs go…
How well are you backing up your blogs? I *thought* that I was doing a decent job of it until I had a reason to need those backups. When the server where my blogs are hosted had a few issues, I was told that everything would be restored from the backups taken by my host. There was only one problem – their backups were corrupt and the last good backup they had was from March of 2008.
It was like the last year of blogging never happened.
Fortunately, I had daily backups of the database for this blog archived in email so restoring this blog was a piece of cake. All of the new blogs that I had created since that time, well, I wasn’t quite as efficient with my backup strategy. It took me a few long days but I eventually had everything restored. Needless to say, I am now being much more structured with my backups.
Conspiracy theory or just bad luck…
Earlier I mentioned the fact that my blog earnings have not taken too much of a hit; however, there is one thing that did hurt my blog earnings – my AdSense account has been terminated!
While I was not earning record sums of money through AdSense, it did add nicely to the bottom line each month. As such, I would certainly not do anything that would jeapordize my account – or did I? For the conspiracy theorists in the crowd, I found it extremely ironic that my AdSense account was terminated just a few days after I canceled the AdWords campaigns that I was running for a few other initiatives.
Appealing the decision with Google did not prove to be useful, as they denied my appeal. Rather than worry about it, I simply changed gears and implemented ads from Chitika where I had previously been using AdSense. While the Chitika ads aren’t pulling in the same amount of money each month, I am slowly building that up as a replacement for AdSense.

Does this mean I am back?

So, am I officially back to blogging?
As much as I would like to tell you that I will be here posting every day, I know that I cannot commit to that. But rather than remain silent until I would be able to post daily, I wanted to dip my toe back into the water and tell you all that I have missed the interaction with everyone.
Now it is your turn…what is new with you?

Stay In The Loop!

Subscribe to the Derek Semmler dot com feed via RSS or Email to receive notifications when new posts are published. Follow the WordPress ninja on Twitter too!

{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

Charlie on PA Tpk@Nobody asked me, but... June 19, 2009 at 11:38 am

Nice to see you have dipped your virtual toe back in the pond again.
Charlie on PA Tpks last blog post..Exactly how disgusting am I?

Reply

derek June 19, 2009 at 5:01 pm

Charlie, thanks for the note!

Reply

Kelvin Kao June 19, 2009 at 12:53 pm

Derek, I have no idea how you could function on 3-4 hours of sleep. If I sleep that little, my brain turns into mush. I wouldn’t be able to be an effective programmer. I think your headache has a lot to do with not enough sleep (or bad quality of sleep).
Ah, backup. I did not start backing up semi-regularly until my site got hacked. I did not lose any data, but that made me think “what if I did”?
Good to see you back!
Kelvin Kaos last blog post..Farewell, Analog Television

Reply

derek June 19, 2009 at 5:04 pm

Kelvin, I have always been a night owl and do find it to be a struggle to get to sleep before 12:00am but once I would actually force myself out of bed, I never really felt the effects of little sleep. Once every few weeks, I would have a night where I would come home and crash early and then I would be re-charged.
Better to backup and not need it than to need it and not have it – trust me, lol.
Thanks for the welcome back Kotter, err, Kelvin.

Reply

Brewster June 19, 2009 at 5:21 pm

Hi Derek
Good to see that you have started to post again on this blog. Sorry to hear about your scare, but good to hear that the CT scan showed nothing that you could not do anything about.
Quite a lot has happened in my life since you last blogged. I’ve been to my first conference, and having some success with affiliate offers, most importantly I am going to be a Dad in October πŸ™‚
Joe
Brewsters last blog post..Wordpress hotlink prevention plugin

Reply

derek June 20, 2009 at 3:56 pm

Joe,
Wow, congrats on the news of being a Dad in October! I’m fortunate to have two outstanding boys and absolutely love being a dad. As a matter of fact, I just recently registered a new domain for a dad based website blog/site.
What conference did you attend? Based on the note re: affiliate offers, I am going to assume it was an affiliate related conference but I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for the welcome and congrats again!

Reply

Brewster June 20, 2009 at 4:23 pm

The conference was called “Think Visibility”. There were a few affiliate presentations, and I found these very inspiring. The last two posts on my blog were about the conference.
Thanks for the congratulations – I’m really looking forward to being a dad πŸ™‚
Brewsters last blog post..Wordpress hotlink prevention plugin

Reply

derek June 22, 2009 at 8:38 am

Heading over to check out your posts about the conference.

Reply

Danu June 20, 2009 at 4:27 am

Hi Derek, Welcome back
I’m sad to hear that your AdSense had been terminated, I hope you can get the replacement from other PPC program.
Danus last blog post..MSI X340 (silver) Laptop

Reply

derek June 20, 2009 at 3:57 pm

Thanks for the welcome. The only frustrating part of being terminated from AdSense is that they don’t provide you any information on WHY your account is being terminated. No worries though, I’ve replaced them with other options and life goes on.

Reply

Steve@Free iPods June 20, 2009 at 5:35 pm

Five months…dang…it will be Christmas soon πŸ™‚
Balance will continually be a difficult thing to find, you’ll get there in the end though Derek, when you retire!
Steves last blog post..How to use your iPhone 3G S as a broadband dongleÒ€¦with caution!

Reply

derek June 22, 2009 at 8:40 am

Yeah, I had a hard time believing it had already been that long as it really felt like a few weeks – not months.
Balance is a struggle, and even when one retires there is a need to pay attention to balance…you don’t want to sit around doing nothing EVERY day, lol.
Your comment did get eaten by the spam machine but I pulled it back from the abyss. Sorry ’bout that. πŸ™‚

Reply

Steve@Free iPods June 20, 2009 at 5:36 pm

Ooh, what happened to my last post, did it get canned Derek?

Reply

Odzyskiwanie Danych June 21, 2009 at 7:30 am

Good to hear you’re ok after all, a headache like that should never be ignored!
Now that you’re back, I hope you’ll get back to at least semi frequent posting πŸ˜‰

Reply

derek June 22, 2009 at 8:41 am

Thanks, and I will try my best to fit in some posting around the time spent at work and with my family.

Reply

Steve@Free iPods June 25, 2009 at 5:32 pm

You could always post that I am running a competition to give away an Apple iPhone 3GS!
I wont post the competition URL unless/until you are happy for me to do so!

Reply

derek June 26, 2009 at 6:51 am

Steve, I am always happy to help someone that has been an active member of the community that had been established here.
Feel free to post it here in the comments or shoot it to me and I will see what I can do.

Reply

Dave Brown June 22, 2009 at 7:49 pm

Glad to have you back man. This makes me think I need to be really sure about backing up my blogs and everything.

Reply

derek June 26, 2009 at 6:54 am

Thanks Dave! Absolutely give some thought to your backup strategy and make sure it is covering your needs.
Btw, I really like the photo of the Chevy steering wheel in your portfolio!

Reply

Steve@trade show displays guru June 23, 2009 at 10:08 am

Hi Derek,
Good to have you back. I hope your toe in the bloggin’ water is soon followed by a foot…
Did you ever find out what caused the headache? I’m assuming it wasn’t slightly high blood pressure and cholesterol. I’ve had a few headaches in recent years and just attribute it to “getting older” (plus the stress of everyday “normal life”). Anyway, good to have you back bloggin’. ~ Steve, the trade show displays guru
Steves last blog post..Belated Happy Fathers Day

Reply

derek June 26, 2009 at 6:56 am

Steve,
Thank you; we’ll see if I can get the whole foot in the water soon.
As for the headaches, the doctor indicated that they thought it was a result of a sinus infection that was compounded by the high blood pressure. In both cases, the headache came on during a particular moment of exertion – which is what was giving the doctor concern but all of the tests came back showing no problems and it hasn’t happened since.

Reply

Steve@Free iPods June 26, 2009 at 7:16 am

“A particular moment of exertion” – the mind boggles!
The comp page is http://www.gadgets4nowt.co.uk/win-a-free-iphone-3gs.html – if you fancy posting it as an article, that would be awesome. No worries if not though!

Reply

Internet Strategist @GrowMap June 24, 2009 at 1:17 pm

Derek is so modest (or busy) that he didn’t even tell ME he wrote this blog post even though we email or chat or Tweet most days. How can I share your writing with the world if I don’t know about them?
Be sure you’re avoiding Aspartame as it is a cumulative toxin that can cause headaches, muscle weakness, symptoms similar to M.S. and many other very serious issues. It lurks in some very unusual places (like hi-fiber All Bran cereal) so be sure to read the labels.
If you want to see some really awesome work check out the NoBogies blog and the transformation Derek has engineered at GrowMap. He just installed the awesome professionally designed logo header and matching Favicon last night. Now it is up to me to go change out all the Avatars and Gravatar to match.
Derek has many super talents. I am very fortunate to have his assistance. I hope you’ll all come by to ooh and ah over what he has done!
.-= Internet Strategist @GrowMap´s last blog ..Select Keywords First to Make Your Content Easy to Find =-.

Reply

derek June 26, 2009 at 6:58 am

You’re too kind – but it is funny that we chat so often yet I failed to mention the post to you.
The aspartame is something that I don’t do a good job of avoiding at all, as I drink way too much Diet Coke.

Reply

Steve@Free iPods July 8, 2009 at 12:59 pm

Got any tips for Twittering then Derek. I am still new to it and don’t get all this @ type messaging.

Reply

derek July 10, 2009 at 8:29 am

The best tip is to simply be yourself and engage other people. If you’re only trying to promote yourself or your site with twitter, most people will see right through that. Find people with similar interests and start conversations with them.

Reply

Dave Brown June 24, 2009 at 2:17 pm

Dude typepad sucks, just on a random note, that thing gave me so much headache on a server that I had it installed on. Yikes.
It’s always nice to be noticed by management when you pull long hours. Something that I feel like a lot of managers seem to forget, Is telling your engineers that the work they do is not going unoticed.

Reply

derek June 26, 2009 at 6:59 am

“Dude typepad sucks” – I thought that was worth repeating!

Reply

Daisy@womens health July 5, 2009 at 9:25 am

Welcome back Derek! I am glad you dipped 1 toe back into the water and are ok. I am curious to find out how you’re getting on with Chitika.

Reply

derek July 10, 2009 at 8:31 am

Hi there Daisy and thanks for the welcome! Chitika has been earning a little bit so far, but not nearly as much as I was earning with AdSense. It is probably only averaging about $1.00 per day right now (if that).

Reply

Rick @ Business VoIP Solutions July 8, 2009 at 12:11 pm

Hi there, I am currently doing some “ghost writing” for a couple of blogs with contrasting topics. The big challenge to me is to not only write well but write topically to maintain eyeballs. It’s like being the only writer for a TV sitcom coming up with new story lines. I think a five-month respite is therapeutic.

Reply

derek July 10, 2009 at 8:33 am

Hi Rick, thanks for stopping by. You’re right that being able to continuously come up with engaging content for a variety of topics can be quite the challenge. I’ve been there with my writing for a personal finance blog, parenting blog, and blogging blog.
Best to you with your ghost writing!

Reply

Richard Hampton July 8, 2009 at 6:42 pm

Reading your post and comments was very entertaining. I am glad to hear that you’re back again the time I started reading your post. Sure I’ll frequent your blog.

Reply

derek July 10, 2009 at 8:34 am

I’m trying to be back in the saddle and I welcome you to peruse the archives for some of the previous content that others have enjoyed too. Thanks for stopping by.

Reply

Ling@Uptake July 10, 2009 at 8:50 am

Great to see you blogging again, Derek! Glad to see you’re doing well on the job. And do take care of your health. Without that, the rest of it is quite meaningless. Hope you continue to blog as and when you can. Feels good to be visiting here again. πŸ™‚

Reply

derek July 10, 2009 at 9:43 am

Hi there Ling, great to hear from you!

Reply

Ruri July 14, 2009 at 6:40 am

No matter if you cannot use Adsense anymore. More important don’t lose your visitors.
How your ads with Chitika? I also want to know how it compare with Adsense? I also want to try with Affiliate program.

Reply

Mike @Paxil Side Effects July 14, 2009 at 9:07 pm

I read about one guy whose AdSense account was terminated without any given reason and he actually sued Google and won. However, when he published a story about it Google got mad and appealed the case and then they won. The only benefit he ended up with was finding out the reason for termination.
.-= Mike @Paxil Side Effects´s last blog ..Paxil Side Effects Γ’β‚¬β€œ Side Effects of Paxil =-.

Reply

joe October 1, 2009 at 5:35 pm

that is so funny i had paypal issues i called them to tell them i had too much cash in my account because i withdrew and they left it in the paypal account and credited it to my bank aswell after 1 hr on the phone with paypal they credited another 800 bucks in my account i told them no that i wanted the 800 out that i had put it in my bank they hung up the cash is still in that paypal it is 1600 now and im not spending it lol

Reply

Daisy August 22, 2009 at 12:27 pm

Hi Derek! Time to update and get rid of the spammy links flooding your blog right now! You have a great blog here. Don’t let it go to waste!

Reply

derek August 22, 2009 at 4:39 pm

Daisy, everything is up to date and I just added an exclusion for the latest round of spam messages to be hitting the site. The hard thing is keeping up with the ones that do slip through when I’m away for a few days.
Thanks for the note though!

Reply

Daisy August 23, 2009 at 3:23 am

Good to hear! I hope you’ll be writing a new post soon!

Reply

Larry @ Metal Halide August 27, 2009 at 7:04 am

Hope your come back soon…I miss the blog πŸ™

Reply

Chris Jones@free ps3 September 1, 2009 at 8:38 am

Good to see you’re back Derek. I must admit I’d stopped cheking back as much. Sorry to hear about the health scare and the google problema. At least the health is in your hands. Google are another matter. If you can operate without them then it sholud have a positive affect on your blood pressure!

Reply

Robert Brown September 13, 2009 at 5:11 am

Good to have you back, I hope that you can post more often in the future.

Reply

Jack@Trucking Jobs September 23, 2009 at 8:14 pm

Uh-oh, did u step away from blogging again? Or are you just spending lots of time on some quality posts that you are saving? πŸ™‚
-Jack

Reply

derek September 24, 2009 at 7:42 am

I’ve been busy working on a client projects and keeping the day job plugging along. I’d like to say that I’ve had a chance to write a handful of great posts but unfortunately I cannot.
Thanks for stopping by though!

Reply

joe October 1, 2009 at 5:32 pm

well nice to see ya back to it life beats us up sometimes but you got to do whatyou like and that is why it is good to take time to tell people anything that you ned to blow off steam i play a few games but i think i am now addicted to bloging lol

Reply

Neon Clock December 3, 2009 at 8:09 pm

Great to know that you are back, buddy! The way which you presented this post is really nice. Do certain relaxation measures else you will be burned out in due course of time.:)

Reply

Cottage Rental December 27, 2009 at 9:22 am

I am reading your post for the first time, and I just want to mention that your content is very good, and I liked your way of writing. I didn’t know you were away, but I am glad you are back.

Reply

derek December 27, 2009 at 4:57 pm

I’ve been spending more time doing the “behind the scenes” work on blogs for clients and a few joint ventures, but I’ve been trying to squeeze in some writing as well. It has been difficult, but please let me know if there is anything in particular that you’d like to see.

Reply

Kinkade, Brian July 20, 2011 at 4:04 am

They say that one of the toughest challenges a writer faces is that: if his or her readers understand the message he or she intends to convey. I have read a few of your blogposts and I can say that you are a writer who does not have to worry about it. Your blogposts are written simply, clearly, and straight-to-the-point and they are highly commendable. It is nice to see you back and I hope to read more and more blogposts from you in the future.

Reply

Martin Write October 4, 2011 at 4:05 pm

While I read your blog post, I had Mase “Welcome Back” playing in my head. So yeah: welcome back. What exactly are you doing now anyway, considering that you’re not actually back completely?

Reply

derek October 5, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Martin, I’ve posted off and on here but I’ve spent more time building up other sites / blogs along with a lot more time offline with my family, as well as my day job. I’ve just recently launched Remarkable PLR and have been working on future article packs.
In addition, I’ve launched a book publishing business that is specializing in eReader publishing. That has been going really well and I close to finalizing the contract on two books with two different authors, and one author has already submitted a second manuscript for review.
The blog posts are not as frequent these days, but there is a lot going on behind the scenes lately.

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: