High Percentage Update
I had a teacher in high school who, in hindsight, was a barely functional alcoholic. Despite this, he told me something I’d never forget.
“There’s a difference between excuses, and reasons.”
There’s a few reasons I haven’t updated this blog in a few months:
1) I started being paid to write about jiu-jitsu.
I got offered a contributor position at the Jiu-Jitsu Times and then a managing editor position at a smaller site called YouJiuJitsu. Both of these were great, I was finally being paid for something I used to do for free. But that meant that every hour I spent on this site, was an hour I could have been making money on another.
2) Watching all the fights was too much of a time sucker.
On average, each fight took me seven minutes to watch, because I wanted to record as much information as possible. This was a mistake for a few reasons, one of which was getting a good sample size just took too long and wasn’t sustainable for regular content.
3) I left my actual job.
Long term, this is a good thing. But short term, it means a scramble to find income and relocate my family. It’s been a big distraction and working on my little personal blog instead of applying for jobs or turning in paid writing is tough.
But while I shelved my passion project for a few months, a funny thing was happening: people were still visiting this site. My first article, still pulls in several hundred views each month. Two out of three visitors stay and look at other articles. Overall, this little square-space hosted site was getting respectable traffic considering it had no ads, no social, and no new content.
But I got more hints that maybe I had been onto something. A stranger contacted me and asked to interview me on his podcast. I assumed he had herd about me from my book marketing (whole separate thing). But no, he had seen one of these articles. There were others like this. The fact was, even though I went away, the need for science and data to improve people’s training did not. I still didn’t find anyone doing the kind of work that I was, probably because they came up against the same constraints.
On a long car ride across California, I had a realization that of all the projects I have going on, this one had the most value to other people. I wasn’t just another voice lecturing people on why half guard is my favorite position. I was churning out actionable data.
So why was I giving High Percentage the least amount of my time? Blogs often struggle to find a niche, a unique idea, and organic traffic. I had all three and was taking it for granted.
So those are the reasons I was away, and the reasons I’m coming back. But in order to make this site successful, I’m going to do a few new things:
1) I need to outsource the actual data collection.
Blogging is about consistency and volume, and I can’t do either when I’m devoting hours to data collection to write a 500 word article that will be read in minutes. Paying people to watch matches will offload that, so I can focus on the analysis, the writing, and most importantly the volume.
I also need to simplify the data I gather. At one point, I was collecting over a dozen data points in a single match. This included every point scored, guard used, sweep attempted, ect. What I need to do is gather less data geared towards answering simple questions. This will make research faster and easier to outsource.
2) I’m going to put ads on the site.
I don’t know if this will work or not. Personally, I can’t think of a time when I ever saw a web ad and thought to myself, “Gee, this seems so interesting that I’m going to stop what I’m doing and click on it.”
My goal here is use any revenue to pay freelancers for research. So hey, if you see an ad that seems even remotely interesting, remember you can always just open in a new tab.
2) I want to ultimately compile everything into an ebook or series of them.
I want the content on the site to be more than interesting. I want it to be useful, even indispensable. Eventually, compiling all the information into an organized system that guides wandering students from point A to point B will take the information from random statistics you use to win gym debates, to an actual blueprint for being more dangerous, more focused, and more high percentage than your opponents.
3) I’m going to go after social
Don’t ask me why I didn’t create any social media pages for High Percentage. It was on the list, but I wanted content to back it up. I have some now and more coming, so it’s time to put on my preacher’s jacket and go spread the gospel of science and data in training.
4) I’m going to slowly make changes to the site
I like my website, but it can be better. I’ve learned a lot about site building, SEO, and content creation since I made it. So I’ll be slowly switching up my landing page, designing a better logo, and doing some back end stuff that will make the site run smoother and be more searchable.
So that’s it. Thanks for all the views, a few comments, and the personal encouragement from friends. Let’s stay on the journey of getting our shit together with data and science.