When I nervously posted my first article on the WordPress blogging template in June 2007, I did not in my wildest dreams anticipate the extraordinarily fulfilling experience that lay ahead.
But I have realized all along that to provide readers with interesting, and hopefully useful, content is only part of the story. It is also necessary to provide them with a pleasant and stimulating blogging environment, offering a variety of exciting and dynamic features.
And talking of features, I have added a few interesting ones over the past few weeks. These features reside in the sidebar (i.e. the column on the right-hand side of the blog site) and include the following:
Since Donald Coxe’s departure from BMO towards the end of last year, I have been inundated with enquiries about whether his much-revered “Basic Points” research reports would still be published. The good news is that Donald is planning on resuming these reports, and a new edition may very well appear later this month. In the meanwhile, Donald has also resumed his weekly webcast, which can be accessed by clicking on his image in the sidebar.
Jeff Saut’s webcast providies daily update on the investment scene. He is Head of Investment Strategy at Raymond James, and although you may not always agree with his views, the audio commentaries are stimulating and insightful.
You might have noticed the “listen now” image in the top left-hand corner of each post. I have installed a feature that converts the text content of the blog posts into near-human quality audio files, allowing readers to download the posts to iPods and MP3 players.
A Twitter feed has been added to the sidebar where I post short comments (maximum 140 characters) on topical market issues, and also on my personal whereabouts. You can also “follow me” directly on Twitter by clicking here. As an aside, this social networking site was used extensively by Barack Obama during his presidential campaign, and has also become a “search engine with a difference”.
Two useful items that have been in the sidebar for a while are a Dow Jones Radio podcast and Newsflashr.
The Dow Jones Radio podcast provides a short and sweet hourly update (one-minute duration) on markets every day markets are open.
Newsflashr is an innovative aggregator of financial news, bringing readers up-to-date headlines (fully clickable) from most of the important newspapers and blogs.
This brings me to the question of advertising. I run the blog for the love of it with no commercial consideration. But it does cost money to maintain the site in the sense that various expenses are incurred, ranging from hosting to ongoing development and maintenance. In an attempt to at least try to cover the costs, I have resorted to some advertising.
Although I do not have any say regarding the Google ads that are displayed on the site, I have tried to be selective as far as the other advertising slots are concerned. I believe services such as Fusion IQ and Wall Street Stock Selector are unique and have the potential to add dollars to readers’ pockets in these troubled times.
FusionIQ is a web-based software platform “fusing” the two widely followed investment disciplines of technical and fundamental analysis into a cohesive, equity and group ranking system. The system is based on objective and unemotional criteria, allowing investors to determine which stocks to buy, sell, or hold, while traders can target specific trading candidates before they make their moves.
Advertising revenue is dependent on traffic to the site – the more visitors, the higher the advertising revenue. And this is where I want to appeal to all my subscribers and readers to please spread the word about Investment Postcards being a valuable resource. If each of you can “recruit” just one additional reader, it will be immensely helpful. Please also become a “regular” by subscribing to the updates (see subscription facility at the top of the right-hand sidebar).
The deal I’m offering is simply the following: help me boost the number of readers/subscribers (and thereby reducing theblog’s operational losses), and I undertake to continually improve the site for the benefit of the entire community. It sounds like a win-win situation. Up to the challenge?