Ten Thousand Page Views- The Radsresident Experience
The Radsresident Idea
Sometimes the best ideas come about in the most mundane ways. I remember an uneventful Saturday in the middle of September when I sat down and began to surf the internet. I started to read about financial topics and happened upon a website called the Financial Samurai, a website dedicated to passive income. Most importantly, at the top of the page, there was an article called How To Start Your Own Blog. And so, it got me thinking… I haven’t really seen much organized accurate information on the web dedicated to the day to day issues of the radiology resident. Most sites were dedicated to medical students and board certified radiologists interested in radiology topics, but the radiology resident caught in the middle seemed to be skipped over. That being said, there were a few scattered helpful radiology residency related articles and forums on websites such as Aunt Minnie and Medscape, but it was a really a sparsely covered subject. And much of the information was not always reliable and accurate, not really personalized to the individual radiology resident, and was very technical and dry.
In addition, I always wanted to create a website. And, with all the valuable information I have learned as associate residency director over the past 7 years or so, I thought I could really contribute to the body of knowledge of the unappreciated radiology resident. I would target the day-to-day information that radiology residents, students interested in radiology, and others involved in the radiology residency process need and want to know. So these were the humble origins of this blog/website.
From the beginning of the idea for the radsresident website, I thought it would take a very long time to get viewers to the website and was expecting a long slog. To my surprise, in a little over a month and a half, we have already reached 10000 page views! So, why not write an article about what I have learned about my initial experiences, what I think it means for my loyal viewers, and what are some of the exciting changes to happen in the upcoming months?
1. The Most Basic Informational Articles Are The Most Popular
What’s interesting about starting a website, especially for those of you that have never been involved in such an endeavor, is that you get statistics for every activity performed on a website. So, I know where people are coming from, where they are clicking, and how many people are reading each article. I have found that the most popular information has been basic articles such as How to Make a Good Impression as a First Year Resident and How to Choose a Radiology Fellowship. This makes sense because as basic as the information may be, this information is rarely covered in an organized fashion anywhere. We just can’t expect residents to know the language of radiology prior to starting a residency. We should really be working harder to give residents the information they need to succeed in their careers and not expect them to fumble along.
2. The Need For Quality Radiology Resident Information Is International
To my surprise, my articles have already reached over 110 countries. The countries that mostly read my articles are the United States, India, and Canada, but all continents except Antartica are widely represented. I didn’t appreciate the potential scope, reach, and power of my writings prior to beginning the blog.
3. The Power of Social Media
I am part of Generation X, a generation just on the fringe of being immersed by the internet, so I was initially not entirely enamored by the idea of social media. All this changed when I began this website. In fact, I never really understood the importance of websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google Plus. I have discovered the reach of these services is extraordinary. I now know that it has essentially become a requirement for any business, blog, or other informational site to get and maintain customers. It is amazing how you can target a particular audience anywhere in the world and keep them coming back.
4. Subscribers, Search Engines, and Search Engine Optimization
So, what else does it take to maintain a website? You need a group of loyal subscribers and you need a way to find the website. It’s not just about providing useful content for all. You need them to keep coming back for more. How do you do that? You need to provide an easy way for a viewer to sign up for information as a subscriber that allows him/her to return to the website for new posted information. Also, search engines provide the means for new viewers interested in your content and old viewers to easily find the site. If you are on the third page of a search, you are not going to get many new and returning customers.
There is a whole body of literature and science behind getting subscribers and optimizing searches. At this point, I am still a neophyte in these domains but I am continually learning. I truly appreciate the efforts and patience that you, the reader, has allowed you to return to the site even though the site is not yet optimized in these ways.
5. Technical Issues Can Be A Time Sink
Behind the scenes, there are little quirks and bugs that routinely occur to make the site more difficult to operate. As the number of viewer increase, the time spent on fixing these issues also increases. The site does not always work as seamless as it should. I have spent hours on email issues, trying to make pages into posts, and many more details. I can really use some help!!!
What To Expect In The Coming Months!
So, what does this all mean for you? Given the rapid success of this website, even with its imperfections, it makes sense to start the proverbial website 2.0 version. So, I have decided to hire a web developer to improve the site’s ease of use, look, and feel. Over the next several months, you may also notice a significant improvement in the ability to search for this website with keywords as we are going to start optimizing the website for search online. At the same time, I hope to continue to provide the useful radiology resident content that has you coming back to the site for more. Let’s talk again at 100,000 page views!!!