This post goes into why Idol began a new website, in sometimes geeky-ish terms, in the words of Sharron-Idol herself. It also summarises her blogging-history from 2008 to 2015 in a few paragraphs; for the purpose of introducing the article, as well as delving a little into the history of Sharron-Idol: known back then as Sharron Field – before she used the stage-name that she now uses for her career.
Idol’s Blogging History (Condensed)
Back in June 2008 I started blogging. I was a tech-geek running a small one-person white-box computer-builder operation. Because it was June 2008 the bottom had just fallen out of the global economy, and my business had pretty much reduced to zero. (Only a year previous to that I was getting a good stream of orders in.) I’d intended the blog to be a part of my business; hence the choice of the domain kkomp dot com. – But the business was as good as finished as the recession took a larger hold: and I realised that I was now an ex-business-owner and also a blogger, on a blog with a weird domain name.
My first act was to mess up the PHP of the site: I’d never used or coded in PHP before; but I was determined to learn how it worked. I crashed the site a number of times and ruined the theme too. I realise that I had to stop doing this as it wasn’t good for my readership numerically. I patched up the PHP that I’d destroyed and started blogging more sensibly.
The serious blog started out as a tech-news blog. Despite the presence of sites such as TechMeme it still gained a small readership. After a while I realised that I’d inadvertently published a couple of computer-help articles; and that those articles were pulling in more readers than any other articles. – So, after further customising the horrible free theme I was using, I published more computer-help articles, which pulled in more readers, and, to cut a long story short, in 2009 I found myself running one of the internet’s top-million blogs with over 300 readers per day.
Then in November 2010, after an entire Summer of technical problems caused by my worse-than-useless web-hosting company of the time. – They will remain nameless, as there is no reason that I should mention fasthosts dot co dot uk. – I tore down the entire malfunctioning site that fasthosts were trying to get me to pay a small fortune to them to get working again, and had it back up and fully functioning on a new web-host and new nameservers, with a new theme that I’d adapted from the WordPress TwentyTen Theme, by January 2011. I even re-wrote most of the articles.
Unfortunately I lost my audience in all this, and I never managed to get them all back again. – I think the most I ever got from then onwards was around 100 visitors a day; only a third of my previous readership figure.
*I won’t be writing posts this geeky or on this train of thought after the site is launched in January 2016 onwards; but this is a filler-article in the run-up to launch.
Idol’s Music Career History
In 2011; after a number of forays into the world of music & entertainments, my childhood and teenage interest in pop-music and stardom/showbusiness reignited. Although I was still writing tech-posts they dwindled in number as I found myself more and more into the music scene and less totally-immersed as a tech-geek.
In 2012 I decided to change career from technology to music. I was following The Voice UK, and I saw an extremely-talented artist; namely Becky Hill, performing. – I just totally knew that she was going to be a star, and I befriended her online. My desire for showbusiness really heated up to full at that point: I knew that Becky was going to make it big, and I knew that I could have done the same at her age too. At that time, at age 47 coming on 48, I may have been getting on a bit relatively speaking; but now – as in then-was a better time than never.
Back to blogging, and I tried to change kkomp dot com from a computer-help site with commercial interest to a dual niche – music and computer help – site.
It kind-of-worked, but the TwentyTen theme I was stuck with (Which I’d re-named “TwentyTenPlus”.) was getting old and outdated, yet I’d customised it so much that pretty well every post and page were integrated into the theme and the theme integrated into every post and page too come to that. If I were to change the theme I’d have to take the entire site offline again and rebuild it from the ground up with the new theme. I wasn’t prepared to lose all my audience again and build it up again from scratch in that process.
2015 arrived, and in the Spring of that year the Great God Google issued forth the decree that all sites must be mobile-compatible/mobile-friendly or they’d lose out massively in search-rankings. The TwentyTen theme that I was using and I was stuck with wasn’t a mobile-friendly theme. I tried out a few mobile-responsive plugins, but they were at best only a bad patch-up job that left me having to edit a desktop version of the site in addition to a mobile-friendly version of the site. (Because of the way I’d integrated the theme with the pages & posts this was the only way that I could operate, as the plugins introduced a new mobile-friendly theme of their own a an addition to my existing theme.)
That brings us pretty much up to date – ‘end of November 2015 – and this new site that Sharron-Idol has spent months building at domain name buggerallon dot tv, to which the domain sharron-hyphen-idol dot com ( sharron-idol.com ) redirects, is almost ready for its official launch-date of 1st January 2016.
Out With The Old – In With The New
I’m moving away from a many-times-hacked, broken-and-repaired-site with a non-mobile-friendly theme; to a new site with a clean fresh WordPress installation and a new, just-customised theme that was built to be mobile-friendly. It’s a big project, particularly for 1 person – even Sharron-Idol – but it’s happened.
In the time since July 2015 to date of writing; late November 2015, this new site has been pre-launched twice, and gone through something like 400 beta-builds (Many of them utter shite.) to get to the stage that you find it at now.
The idea is to replace the old site; kkomp dot com – but no more technical or computer-help posts will be written, unless they have at least a loose-connection to music in some form. People like computer-help posts; but they take the help and rarely if ever give anything back, not even a comment these days, let alone actually buying anything that’s on sale. – It’s a case of “I’ve got what I want now, free, so I’m all right Jack”.
The old site will remain for a few years yet, but all posting to it will cease from January 2016, as will any new commercial activity on it. Eventually as the years roll by it’ll become outdated and will be shut down.
Marketing on a computer-help site is still possible from a commercial standpoint, but it’s a lot of work advertising to an unwilling audience who largely want everything for free and aren’t prepared to spend any money.
– The above paragraph is also a description of how the music industry is becoming of late; but having said that, at this point in time I’m going to hang in there; because I’m not envisioning this current ‘music-for-free’ situation will be lasting much longer: If you ask me it’ll soon be indeed quite possible – in, say, 10 years time or less – to make a decent living as an indie artist from music again… But only as an established indie artist. The newbies won’t find it anywhere near as easy to get a foot in the door as they do today. Of course if I’m right there, then staying with the industry is the best course of action; but showbiz is life now as far as I’m concerned, and I’m an artist/performer for life, no matter what happens. – Whether or not my prediction is correct, and whether or not I make it big in the industry.