Strictly speaking that particular milestone was achieved in March. I’ve only just got round to writing about the occasion! But yes, I can confirm that DGB is now ten years old. Quite remarkable for a scruffy little blogging site that was born on Google’s Blogger platform.
I’m not going to drone on about this too much, as it doesn’t greatly affect anything anyone does in our industry, but I do want to use this post to take stock of the achievement.
I have mentioned in the past that when I started doing this it was never my intention to turn DGB into what it is today. It began ten years ago as a space for me to have a bit of a rant and rave about the misgivings and frustrations I had about the industry I worked in. I saw Matthew Glover do it with his Renegade Conservatory Guy site, and I liked to write generally anyway. So I thought I would give it a go.
I started on Google’s Blogger format. It was crude, but it was free, with a certain degree of design customisation. I started to write about the various things I found frustrating. The things I didn’t like. And that went on for quite a few months without getting noticed at all. That was until a mention on RCG got the ball rolling and the views started to come in.
From there, the whole thing really has snowballed. Once the traffic started to build and I began to cover some of the major industry stories, it was suggested to me that I should begin advertising on there. It’s something I had never really done. I didn’t even know where to start. But I threw some numbers out there that I hoped companies would find affordable to pay to be on such a site, which wasn’t really like anything else. I remember UAP being the first company to advertise on DGB, to which I still very much appreciate. From there the client base grew and I have been lucky enough to make a bit of a living from doing something I still enjoy doing ten years on.
So here I am now, ten years in. The site actually turned 10 years old in March of this year but with a house move, a NFA Winners Event and a baby coming I have only just got round to marking the milestone.
A decade of different
As the site grew into something more polished and relevant, I was determined to ensure that the way I go about reporting about our industry was different to everything else out there. I guess I would be classed as a blogger. Not sure I like that term, it a bit too millennial for me. But I’m not a trained journalist either. I have taught myself to write, at least in my own personal, up-front style. I’ll let you guys be the judge of how good it is!
Although there are quite a few sponsors on here now, and all the PR that comes with, the site was built on my own individual analysis and opinions of topics and breaking news stories. That will always be the case. It will never become a site which just churns out the PR. We have that already, that’s not new. What I will do, as I always have done, is approach subjects that don’t get the coverage they should. I have always tried to do that in the past, to varying degrees of success, and hopefully it has brought into the spotlight issues which we should all be at least talking a bit more about.
Hopefully DGB continues for another ten years. It might not look like it does now in ten years time, but hopefully I’ll still be able to cover topics on a near-daily basis in my own unique way.
I won’t go into too much detail about the ideas and plans I have for DGB in the coming months and years. That’s for me to know and you to find out in due time! I do like to trial new ideas on the site though. Most of them work, some don’t, and I’m happy to admit that.
The one that has worked way better than I thought it would is DGB Jobs. This was my attempt at a jobs service for the window and door industry. A place for companies, free of charge, to post their live vacancies at their companies. I thought I might get a trickle, a steady stream at best. But at the time of writing I am happy to say that well over 370 jobs have been posted since it launched. That makes it one of the most used jobs services in the industry, at least online. As far as I know anyway! I have ideas to expand the service if I can, but there are some GDPR questions I have to answer first before I can roll any of those out.
One that didn’t work was something called DGB Projects. It was my attempt to create something Dezeen-ey for the window industry. Companies could upload a portfolio of images from their most high-end work, for it to then be published online for readers to explore and take inspiration from. It started well at first, but that part of the site was so image heavy it slowed the whole thing right down. It was also very work-intensive for me, and keeping up with it just wasn’t feasible. So I shut that one down. It is something I would like to re-launch in the future, but not right now.
Over the next year or so I have all sorts of things I would like to trial on DGB. Some of which could greatly expand it’s reach from outside the UK. The site has a decent readership from overseas, which is something I would like to explore further if I can.
You know I like my stats. Stats help tell a story. So here are some key ones that have amassed over the last ten years:
- posts published (including this one): 3819
- comments published: 6238 – 584 of which are my own
- DGB Jobs posted: 371
- nearly 1.7m pages views
- over 1m visitors
- over 750k unique visitors
I have a few people following on social media too. Hopefully, so long as you guys keep coming back and bring more with you, I can build on those stats even quicker and beat these in quick time, certainly before the next decade is up!
All time top 10
From the 6000+ posts already published on DGB, these are the top 10 all time most read posts. This excludes pages, which I’ll elaborate on further down this article. Here we go:
The reason why this is a list of posts only, is that both the home page on DGB, and the DGB Jobs page would have been included in this list, and would have knocked two posts out. I wanted to keep this a list just for articles and not pages. Obviously the home page is the leading page here, but impressively the DGB Jobs page is the 8th best page of all time on the site. Not bad for something I started not that long ago.
I want to sign off by saying a big thanks to all those who have been a part of DGB for the past ten years. Thanks to everyone who has read something I have published. Thanks to everyone who has shared links on social media. Thanks to all my advertisers who have allowed me to make a living doing something I enjoy. Thanks to all those who took the time to comment on articles, there’s many of you! Without your participation, debate and support, this wouldn’t be worth doing.
So here’s to another ten years of doing what I do!
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