Like Grandma's basement

Sometimes I order an old record from eBay, sight unseen. Or seen via photo. But not smelled. I have no idea how it's going to smell until it arrives. I guess that's how I ended up with this album, which smells like grandma's basement. I guess that this is proof that it really is an original pressing from 1963.

The album: Crash! Kenny Burrell with the Brother Jack McDuff Quartet.

Great album. I've already listened to it half a dozen times in less than a month.

Growing Spam Resource

My deliverability blog Spam Resource got about 398,000 visits in 2023. Is that good or bad? It feels good. It's been fun blogging about email, deliverability, mailbox providers, marketing best practices, and all that kind of stuff. Near the end of 2021, I slowly started to overhaul the blog with the hope of increasing visibility and traffic.

First, I added images to every post. There were more than a thousand posts on the blog, and I went back through every one and added an image, stock photo, or graphic of some sort to it. That took a while, and at first, I wasn't very good at it. Slow load times due to big files, and generic stock photos (and a hefty stock photo licensing fee), and a struggle to find graphics to fit particular topics. Deliverability isn't photogenic or visually inspiring. But I got through it all, and ever since then, every single new blog post gets a graphic -- which I now usually create myself, either from scratch, or starting with royalty-free imagery of some kind.

Next, I revamped the blog template to make the site look a bit like a news site, with sections and groupings of different topics. The intent there is to expose more content on the main page, and make the blog look more like a resource than just a linear sharing of somebody's brain dump. If you visit the main page of the blog, you'll now see that there's a lot of content there just ripe for the browsing, versus the old days when the front page just showed the last 5-10 posts and nothing else.

All of that, plus email newsletter automation that will compile a week's worth of posts into an email newsletter for me, even if I don't have time to do it myself, have resulted in a blog that seems to be growing. Traffic is up, people actually link to my blog posts, and the newsletter gives me another avenue to connect with and network within this industry.

Blogging doesn't seem to be as cool or as hip as it once was. But it seems to be working well for me!