Happy Birthday RaspberryTips! (2 years)


This article will be very different from all the others on the website.
As the title suggests, I started this site 2 years ago and I could never have imagined what was going to happen in these first 24 months!

So, yes, this post will probably be more ‘me oriented’ than usual, but it may probably be of interest to some of you who want to know more about the history of this website, or maybe how to create your blog.

I will start by the beginning, and quickly explain the main steps that led to the actual website. Then I will share with you 5 tools I recommend if you want to try to create your blog, and I’ll finally give you a list of 5 popular posts on the website right now!

From baby steps to giant steps

So, let’s start by the beginning, with the main steps I have done to build this website.

Getting started

Everything started in July 2018 when I buy my Raspberry Pi 3B+. As a Linux system administrator, I was very interested to see how it works and what I can do with it.

Almost simultaneously, I discovered a YouTube channel about blogging with a nontraditional approach to blogging and getting traffic. I was very interested, and finally buy their main product (Project24 from IncomeSchool, I will talk a bit about this later).

Even if I have created many blogs before that, they were almost always a notebook for me with all the tips I found at work or on my side projects. I never succeeded to get traffic on the website, and I often abandoned the idea after a few months.

But for RaspberryTips, it was different, I had a step-by-step process to follow and a good subject (Raspberry Pi) that validates all the checks they recommend doing before starting on a specific topic. Let’s go!

30 posts

So, the challenge in the Project24 method was to publish 30 posts as fast as possible (in 2 or 3 months max).
For the first time when starting a blog, I had a target for a minimum posts to publish, and not “do this until I get bored”.

It was a challenging time, but I discovered that I can publish almost 1 post a day by doing this on all my free time before and after work.
Simultaneously, I was discovering that the Raspberry Pi is not so different from any other Linux device, so working on my passion was not so hard.

2 months later, my 30 posts were online, on a basic website.
I bought a professional theme (X Theme I think) and a logo on 99designs, but I don’t recommend doing this if you start now, you can find good free themes and create your logo easily.

So, my 30 posts are online, I’m done with almost all the steps described in the Project24 course, so I’m relaxing a bit πŸ™‚
Even if the “Project24” implies working on a project for 24 months, I wanted to see if what I have done could interest someone, and if Google liked the website to rank it on first page.

Getting traffic and moving on new content

I stopped working on RaspberryTips for almost 3 months (October-December 2018), I have created another website in French during that time.

Then I check the RaspberryTips analytics to see how it goes. The Project24 course tells us that we need no wait almost 8 months to get the maximum traffic from Google, so I didn’t expect anything only 3 months after.
And I saw this graph:

Almost 1,000 visitors a day in December, it’s serious for me!
All my other blogs get 0-5 visitors a day πŸ™‚
It was time to get back to work!

I also received an unexpected but awesome boost from the Raspberry Pi Foundation on Twitter, which probably helped me to get some quick traffic in the first months!

From January 2019 to February, I published another 30 posts to try to accelerate even more. After that I rarely stop to write, about one new tutorial each week.

Creating a book

There are now over 120 posts on the website, with various topics. I learned a lot in the process about Raspberry Pi (hardware, operating systems, software, etc.).
I thought it might be time to write a book. Finding the information among 120 tutorials is not always easy, but a step-by-step book made a lot of sense for me.

Creating a book is a different job to publishing on a website, you have to be very organized, and to learn many things about the format, publishers, and obviously new tools.
I also worked for first time with freelances to proofread my text. As I’m french, I often do grammar errors and strange sentences. On the website, it’s not a big problem (or at least, people like my tutorial even with the errors ^^), but on paper I wanted a double-check on each page.

Finally, 6-9 months after starting working on it regularly, the book was published in April 2020, on Amazon (more details here).

Launching a YouTube Channel

In my blogging course (Project24 from IncomeSchool), they often talk about YouTube. For them, it’s a growing opportunity, and they recommend starting a YouTube channel.
For months, I have ignored this advice, I thought it was not for me.
I’m an introvert, French with terrible oral English, rarely done a video before. I have no idea how to do something decent on YouTube.

Finally, in December 2019 I started thinking more about this, considering a way to create useful videos to illustrate my tutorials on the website, even without speaking in it.
Then I thought, “why not?”. And I did a trial, with a goal to publish 30 videos and see how it goes.

The next video on Wednesday will be the 30th!
So, we are almost at 500 subscribers, with regular positive comments.
I’m not fully satisfied with what I’m offering (and I will probably never be ^^), but I see that some of you find it useful, so I’m not sure what to do.
I will take a break on YouTube this summer, and see how it goes and what I can do after that.
Let me know in the comments if you have any idea or suggestion about it.

Creating a French version

This year, I also created a website in my native language, French!
The website is available at RaspberryTips.fr

As often in my projects, I have followed the “30 rule”, by publishing 30 posts in French.

I’m now waiting a few months to see if French people are interested or not.
I would enjoy continuing, but I need to be sure I get enough traffic.
The goal is not to work on the .FR and working less on the .COM, so if nobody is interested I will continue on the .COM only πŸ™‚

Exploring new horizons

I have always a few projects running in addition to the weekly content.
If you are in the mailing list, you already receive secret news each month, so you already know everything πŸ™‚

For the others, you can subscribe to this by filling the form in this post (or in the sidebar). I send an email each month with the latest tutorials and videos, and another with my current projects

The last projects I finished are the Resource pages and the Private consulting offer.
Both are here to help you the most I can. Either by giving you all the tips to find good software or hardware for your projects, or by offering you consulting sessions if you need a specific help on one project.
I hope you’ll like this new services!

5 tools I use every week

If my story inspires some of you to start a website on one of your passion or skills, this part is for you.
I will give you an overview I’m using almost every day to build RaspberryTips.

Google tools

I’m using many Google Tools to manage and track things on RaspberryTips:

  • Google Analytics: a tool to track the visitors on the website. Mainly to have an idea on how the site goes in terms of visitors, but it’s powerful to analyze everything (for example to get the most popular posts, the main referral sources, etc.)
  • Google Search Console: to manage the ranking on Google Search, to check that each post is indexed and see the trends in Google Search.
  • Google Suite: you probably already use it. But documents and spreadsheets are mandatory to write drafts or track the results (similar to Word and Excel)

I also use Gmail, Data Studio and probably other apps, but you have the main ones here.
I don’t use Google AdSense so much, as I’m now with Ezoic for the ads on the website.

Finding a good mentor

It’s not really a tool, but it’s probably the most important in this list: find someone to give you the best advices possible.
Starting a blog is easy, building it to get traffic and eventually grow it to a small business is a different project.
It’s almost not possible to stay motivated and get thousands of visitors if you don’t have a strategy to follow.

As I already told you, for me, it’s Project24 from IncomeSchool. When you start a new website, there are 60 steps you need to follow one by one to get a good start (30 posts and 10 videos).
Each step is explained with one or more videos, it’s doable by anyone.
There are many courses to improve your writing, find good topics, picking a good domain name, etc.
It would be too much work to find good resources on each point on YouTube or Google, a course is mandatory.

Also, a strong point is the community. You can ask your questions and get answers from the mentors or from other bloggers that follow the same course. It could be really useful to solve a problem you have.

So find a coach, a mentor or a solid course before getting started, you will save much time and money by doing this. And it helps to stay motivated in the first months when you will get 0 visitors on your website.

Emailing providers

You have probably already seen the form on the website to join the community in the mailing list.
To manage your email addresses, write the emails and schedule them, I’m using MailerLite
It’s a good tool to do this, and really cheap to get started.

SendInBlue is another tool I recommend, I have started on it with RaspberryTips.fr, and it’s probably cheaper at the beginning (free until you reach 300 emails per day)

Image tools

In another category, I often work on images (and video) to illustrate the website, emails and videos on YouTube.
I work mainly with 3 tools:

  • Canva: an online image editor to create thumbnails and social pictures for example. It’s free for the basic features, and there is a premium version to unlock everything (more pictures, more effects, …)
  • Adobe Photoshop: Even if I create images on Canva, I still use Photoshop to resize them and also to adjust pictures from my smartphone and screenshots. It’s not a free tool, but it’s mandatory on the web.
  • Adobe Premiere: This one is only for videos. It’s a video editing software. It’s expensive, but it’s the one I prefer to do the job.

There are many alternatives out there, it’s not mandatory to buy these products, you can find free alternatives that are probably enough to get started, I just share with you the tools I use. They are the best for me, maybe not for you πŸ™‚

Raspberry Pi Hardware πŸ™‚

And obviously, in two years I have accumulated tons of devices and hardware for Raspberry Pi.
I shared this photo with you a few months ago (by email):

It’s even worse now πŸ™‚
But I like having new stuff to play with, and then sharing with you what you can do with it, if I recommend them or not.
I’m sure you have the same thing at home if you are on Raspberry Pi for over 2 years πŸ™‚

5 popular posts

Before the end of this special article, I want to share with you 5 of the most popular posts on the website, published during these 2 years.
I’m sure you’ll love them!

15 Best Operating Systems for Raspberry Pi

best operating system on raspberry pi

I often get this question about which operating system to install on Raspberry Pi.
Even if Raspbian / Raspberry Pi OS stay the best one to start, you can after that experiment and try to optimize things with different operating systems.
I have tested most of them, and this post is my top 15 selection!

Link here

57 Raspberry Pi Commands you Need to Know

It was the one pushed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation on Twitter at the beginning of the website, and it’s still one of the most popular posts today.
One of the biggest barriers when you start using your Raspberry Pi is to learn the commands, or at least remember those you will use the more often.

In this post, I give you a selection of 57 commands you can start with, with a short explanation for each one, must read!

Link here

12 Best Retropie Games

wave race retropie

Retropie is a major topic on RaspberryTips. Almost each time I find a good topic to help gamers it’s a success πŸ™‚
I think Raspberry Pi is often used as a retro-gaming machine, so I try to also help them even if I don’t play a lot.
Here is my list of favorite games to try on Retropie, Recalbox, Lakka or any other gaming platform ^^

Link here

Run Raspberry Pi OS in a Virtual Machine

This one is more a surprise for me. I write it knowing it should probably interest some people, but I never expected to see this tutorial in my most popular posts.
Anyway, if that interests you, you will find a step-by-step tutorial here with everything you need to run Raspberry Pi OS in a virtual machine (VMWARE, Qemu or VirtualBox). There is even a PDF you can download and print to follow the steps later.

Link here

17 Best Apps on Raspberry Pi OS

guake terminal

For beginners on Linux, and especially on Raspberry Pi OS, it’s difficult to find the good apps they can try for all kinds of activities.
For example, if you come from Windows systems, you’ll never find the same apps on Linux.
This post is a selection of apps you may need, to use a Raspberry Pi as your new desktop computer.

Link here

Conclusion

That’s it, you now have good overview about the RaspberryTips story, a few tips if you are interested in starting your blog, and also 5 posts I recommend reading if not already done!

These last two years have been busy for me but I loved working to develop this site and this community.
Who knows what the next 2 has in store for us? πŸ™‚

Patrick Fromaget

I'm the lead author and owner of RaspberryTips.com. My goal is to help you with your Raspberry Pi problems using detailed guides and tutorials. In real life, I'm a Linux system administrator with a web developer experience.

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