VMUG Advantage video series - blogger tips

Posted by Paul Braren on Jun 10 2021 in
  • HomeServer
  • Virtualization
  • VMUGAdvantage
  • I was recently having a discussion with the leadership at the VMUG Organization, and given my 10 year anniversary of blogging happened this month, we decided together that it'd be a good idea for me to publish some short tips videos about blogging. I have a problem with being succinct (just look at any of my articles), so what better way to practice brevity than to limit my time on camera for each clip? I'm always open to trying new things.

    Below you'll find my notes that I had jotted down, to prepare a little for what I'd try to capture on camera. Instead, weeks later, I wound up improvising, capturing shorter versions of the details below. Between the words and the videos you'll hopefully glean some nuggets of information that help you in your journey into blogging, whether it's about home labs, home tech, IT, or whatever you like to do. Just be you!

    Disclosure: TinkerTry.com, LLC ad space has been purchased by VMUG via BuySellAds within the last 12 months. While we came up with the 5 topics together, VMUG had no say in what is written here in this article or what I said on camera.


    • It's summer, why not enjoy the outdoors and talk to myself (and the camera) for a while? At least I'm not between two ferns.


    • Passion for topic.
    • My somewhat goofily-named blog called TinkerTry is vague enough to endure.
    • what I mean by this is that my attention wanders, but the vague name still applies.
    • My tagline was chosen early on: efficiency, virtualization, storage, backup and more.


    • I get a sea of spam, despite my polite warnings on my contact page, with random companies looking to pay me to post backlinks.
    • I also get at least one invite a week for guest blog posts by folks I do not know at all, and have no reason to trust.
    • I get several invites a year to put some tracking code into my site for good money, but that would hurt my reputation and rankings, and my ability to sleep well at night.
    • Unlike most ephemeral-article sites, I actually go back and make corrections, based on new information and/or incorrect details. This is why I appreciate reader comments, helping make my articles better for everybody.


    • BSA ads, Disqus, forming an LLC, taxes, etc.
    • With BSA, they used to take 30% commission if I used offsite purchase buttons such as in the Virtualization category. It was 20% if they were hosted on-site. Then they removed onsite buttons, and re-arranged the categories including virtualization, so I had to stay on top of asking to be added again.
    • Disqus has been a good commenting engine, adding a lot of value to the articles. Their eventual, inevitable push to adding advertisements meant I had to pay to avoid the way-off-topic ads.
    • Same goes for Google Search Engine, paying to avoid the ads.
    • Disqus' article recommendation engine is decent, useful since I dumped WordPress and some handy article recommendation plugins long ago, too much whack-a-mole to stay on top of security concerns.
    • LLC formed to handle any YouTube and BSA and other sources of revenue.
    • Also helpful to have custom email for a more professional appearance when communicating with others.
    • Skimlinks ultimately wasn't a good choice for revenue earning for a site like mine, especially once they lost partnerships with Amazon and Newegg.
    • Skimlinks automatic redirect code didn't work out as it messed up VMware store URLs, so I went with manually creating f a v e . co URL shortening, but that resulted in problems with Google search, so eventually, after many many hours of a manual effort to purge my entire site of all such links, I'm back to pretty much only having affiliate links for Amazon.


    • By backend I'm referring to the behind the scenes code that runs TinkerTry.
    • I'm currently using Kirby, details here.
    • I'm currently editing with Microsoft Visual Studio Code for now, it's good, but it's proven to be less than ideal for seamless sftp and/ grammar/spell checking.


    • YouTube, Twitter, etc. No Facebook for me, not ever.
    • This one was tough. Setting up YouTube and Twitter with the same branding and logos and such is a challenge for anybody artistically challenged, like myself. Even favicons were tricky for me.
    • I'm so grateful to have had one of my son's help: he has the skills and the Mac tools to create the logos, and to share them in the SVG (scalable vector graphics) format.
    • Notice how my TinkerTry logo doesn't blur when zooming or out. It's the little things.

    See also at TinkerTry