The Past, Present, and Future of Retro Ramblings

Welcome!  Before I begin, I just want to take a second and wish you a Happy New Year!  I hope you’ve had a great 2017, and hope 2018 is even better for you.

For me, and this blog, 2017 was an up and down year.  It started out just fine as I was plugging away at writing some new stuff, and enjoying the feedback I was getting and the interaction with everyone reading.  I was having fun and flying high.   I was starting to really get into a groove, and in April I teamed up with Jason at Rediscover the 80’s for the 2-part crossover article looking at our favorite episodes of the G.I. Joe cartoon series, and it was a blast.  But it wasn’t very long after that that things started to change for me.

I started getting advice from folks in the blogging world about how to make the site bigger, and how to focus on the SEO end of things, and the monetization of the site.  Before I knew it, I was focused more on that than I was the actual the content that I wanted to create.  Then along came some other folks offering sponsored posts, and man, I thought the big time had arrived.  Here I was hosting a blog about all the cool things I remembered from my childhood, and getting paid for it!  The problem was, I wasn’t really focusing on all those cool things from my childhood.  I was told that I shouldn’t be making a post with just a scan of an old advertisement, as that didn’t score well in SEO.  I was told that I shouldn’t have any of those short posts that I had done in the past…that I needed to focus more on long form content that was rich in keywords.  Really?  Those old advertisements always scored pretty well on Twitter.  I know because of how many people liked, commented, and retweeted them.  As it turns out, me and those other folks score things differently.  I like to see people light up when they see an old ad that jars some memory inside of them, while these other folks just like to see a high SEO score.

When I started Retro Ramblings, it was to be a way for me to share cool old memories and pictures of things that we all remember and love.  I never had any intention of doing posts or articles with the idea of turning a profit.  But in the end, I let myself slide down that slippery slope that I’ve watched others go down in the past.  It’s not what I wanted, and I’m sorry I let it happen.

Earlier today I was reading Matt’s post over at about all the things he loved about 2017, and at the end of the list he started talking about his readers, and how much he loves his interaction with them.  I miss that myself.  I let so many other things and ideas get in the way of me just being myself and writing in my own voice, that this had become a chore to do.  It went from being a hobby to being a competition, and I’m f’n tired of it.

So just this week, I contacted some folks who had some sponsored posts scheduled, and politely declined their offers, and let them know that RetroRamblings no longer has need or want for sponsored crap.  I’m tired of writing for a search engine.  I’m tired of writing for an SEO score.  I want to get back to just sharing cool old shit from back in the day.  I’m going to start posting more old advertisements again, because dammit, I love sharing that stuff, and I know some of you out there enjoy seeing it.  I’m not going to worry if my posts don’t reach a certain word count anymore.  I’m writing what I feel like writing, whether it takes 1500 words, or just 150.  I just want to be me, and talk about the things I love.  Most of that will certainly be retro in nature, but without the reigns of “branding”, I may just take the opportunity here and there to talk about modern stuff as well.  Stuff I like…regardless of how I’m “supposed” to blog.

I want to apologize to any and all of you reading this that miss the way things used to be around here.  I’m sorry I lost focus, and worried more about what someone else wanted to see instead of just writing what I wanted to write, and what you wanted to read.  I won’t be making that mistake again.  Going forward, Retro Ramblings is going to be just what it was always supposed to be….me rambling on about cool old shit.  I hope you’ll join me on the trip down memory lane.

Happy New Year,
aka The Retro Rambler