• shane@countryexec.com
  • Seguin, Texas
Countryexec.com One Year Anniversary – Was The Ambition Worth It?

Countryexec.com One Year Anniversary – Was The Ambition Worth It?

Hard to believe a year has passed since I purchased the countryexec.com domain and published my first post. Mere weeks prior the COVID-19 pandemic had completely annihilated our way of being, and society was in the midst of a toilet paper outage that I have yet to comprehend. I had been considering creating a website for some time, with the sudden societal downturn and forced restrictions the timing felt right to dive in and give it a shot. Why not right? If we are all stuck at home, may as well be productive. A year in I thought I’d look back at the sites one year blogging anniversary and discuss if the ambition was worth it for those that may be interested in doing the same.

One year anniversary worth it

April Fools Motivation

Besides the obvious of being stuck in a state of stagnation, where it was unknown how safe it was to venture outside your home, I had been wanting to establish a conduit for sharing content for a while. I suppose it was the crossroads of despair and opportunity that finally allowed me to pull the trigger.

Oddly enough, the fact it was April Fool’s Day felt appropriate, so I decided it was now or never and bought the domain. Besides thinking about it, I had never built a website. Never wrote articles on a steady pace. I figured worst case I’d learn something new and leave it at that.


I didn’t obsess over the blog or domain name much. I had fun trying to figure it out. Knowing I wanted something with a .com, when The Country Executive stumbled through my mind, I knew that was the one. In my day-to-day professional existence, I am a technology executive. I think like an executive. Business processes, efficiencies, budgeting, vision are all aspects of my career that exhilarate me.

I am also wildly country. Simplistic really. I grew up in small town East Texas, and after coming full circle in my career and arriving back in rural Texas as a professional I was reinvigorated to be able to coexist as a technology executive away from an urban lifestyle. It was refreshing, and I was loving it. Still do.

Never have I felt more comfortable in my own skin than I do right now. I get to work with an amazing team, dabble with some incredibly cool technology, and I get to do it in a place that feels and by all accounts is home. And I get to do it in the service of my fellow Texans. You could not draw up a more perfect scenario.

With that growing sense of country in me, The Country Executive was born. TCE recently passed the one year mark, but has it been worth it?


About that time last year, I had been settled into my new home for two years. After spending the previous twenty plus years in places like Dallas, LA, DC, and the Silicon Valley, I felt like I had gone back in time a little to how I grew up in East Texas. That country vibe I call it. I began to feel that overlying sense I left behind so long ago in doubting what can be accomplished. We’re not big enough. I could never do that. Maybe one day if such and such happens.

I grew up in that culture and understand it well. Here’s the thing. I don’t accept it. Never will because I know better. Even as so many years had passed since I left rural living, I was surprised when I began to feel the sentiment creep in when I moved to my new area.

I thought technology and opening everyone up to the world closed the gap on all that. As my career progressed, and I moved from city to city through the years, I was out of tune as to what was happening back home.

I deemed there was a lack of communication and thought people that were still growing up as I did many years ago could benefit from a having a voice. Someone that represents them and can relate to what it is like to live in their world. I thought I could be that for others because I am cut from the same cloth.

The Country Executive

I decided that someone could be me. Maybe it needed to be. Maybe not, but being your typical brash Texan that understands this whole technology thing and doesn’t mind putting himself out there I decided to go for it.

I’ve made a career of proving doubters wrong. I carry a chip on my shoulder, and I want to lift those around me. I may be country in my heart and mind, but I have achieved success no matter where I called home. Success is a mindset that can be developed irrespective of most everything else, and I wanted everyone to know that.

First Post

I published my first post on April 2, 2020. I did not understand the tools built into WordPress to allow for maximizing SEO and to write in a clear and concise manner. Over the past year I’ve figured out SEO a little. One of my prouder moments in 2020 was when I learned countryexec.com was the top-ranking site when you searched for “country leadership blog.” Not going to lie, the nerd in me was happy about that one.

One year worth it

Blogging and website creation is no joke. Throw in social media components to build up your presence and it can be downright daunting. I enjoy a good challenge though, and I have thoroughly enjoyed learning the nuances that I have been fortunate to pick up on.

Social Media

Speaking of social media, I cannot believe how well the site took off when I began incorporating Facebook last summer. At the time of this writing, The Country Executive Facebook page has 1650 followers. I have a hard time fathoming that, but I am absolutely thrilled the message of the site resonates in some capacity to that many folks.

Through the power of social media, I believe my intended goal of making a difference in at least one person’s life through the blog has happened. That was it, all I wanted to declare victory. Building a site, creating content were side benefits that I was willing to accept. Making a difference was the intention. Mission accomplished. One year in that was definitely worth it.

I eventually added Twitter and Pinterest as mechanisms to generate traffic. Currently I have 203 followers on Twitter, and another 134 on Pinterest. Obviously nowhere near the sites Facebook followers, but I enjoy engaging on those platforms as well.

All told the site has 1987 social media followers right now. That is just banana sandwich to me. I am beyond thrilled The Country Executive message hits home with that many folks though.

And That Logo

Ah yes, the longhorn silhouette. I’ve always loved that image. It’s pure Texas. Once the site was up and running, I began trying to figure all these different aspects out in support of the site. My first logo wasn’t that great in my opinion. I liked it enough to use it, but I like the longhorn so much more. Funny thing is I’m actually an A&M fan, but I still love how the longhorn silhouette embodies all that is Texas. Go figure.

Eventually I paid for a subscription to Canva Pro and the graphic creativity took off. Canva is a super fun platform to play with. If you’re a blogger I highly encourage you try it out. I legitimately enjoy making the various images for the site and figuring out how to incorporate the logo.

I began creating images with motivational quotes and sharing them as “Wednesday wisdom” on social media. That’s another fun part of doing this that makes the time spent more enjoyable for me.

The Country Executive Wednesday Wisdom

A cool thing about the logo is multiple people have mentioned to me how much they like it. Eventually I’m going to dip my toe into revenue generation for the site at some point, I’m thinking t-shirts and stickers would be cool. Ideas are floating around now. At some point I’ll get around to working on a design and I may just pull that trigger on some Country Exec branded swag!

Site Traffic

Literally the day The Country Executive had its blogging anniversary, the site passed 10k page views. It was such an odd coincidence. Much like the nearly 2000 followers on social media, I cannot believe countryexec.com has had so many people check it out.

In the first three months and change the site has already surpassed last year’s total traffic. More people have been on countryexec.com so far in 2021 than all last year. Wow. That may be because I understand SEO at least somewhat now versus not at all for the first few months of blogging.

I enjoy the challenge of trying to optimize content. It’s like each post is a test to beat the others in all these different performance categories. If you’re wondering, my personal favorite post was the one late last year about “Country IT.” That’s one of my favorite go to phrases. Right or wrong I believe I invented it, and its underlying meaning defines me as a professional. I am Mr. Country IT!

One year worth it

Global Reach

One last thing about the sites reach is the pageviews I see coming in from around the world. It’s absolutely amazing! People from New Zealand, to Namibia, Sweden, Guinea, and Gibraltar have been on countryexec.com. Far and away most of the sites traffic comes from the US and Canada, but I think it is so cool people from around the world can read my words. One year in, putting positivity out to the world and having the world receive it has 100% been worth it.

The Verdict

In conclusion, after one year and all the time and work that has gone into and continues to go into the site has definitively been worth it. I’m not 100% certain what’s in store for the future, but I’m sticking with it. I don’t feel as though I have to, I want to.

It’s not easy. Being a tech exec is a full time and then some job. I am married of course and have a bunch of dogs that I enjoy spending time with. They make me laugh every single day, and I try to keep my priorities in line.

I’m into fitness, another time killer, and vehicles. I have a 40-year-old Jeep that I both enjoy and drives me nuts. I still have the 2006 GSXR-1000 I bought new and used to race. It’s the same bike I used as the main picture for the post on developing an enterprise mindset. In other words, I have a lot of interests and obligations in life.

Helping Others & Myself

Blogging can consume a lot of time. Easily. That’s not how I run countryexec.com though. My goal is two posts a month and a few social media interactions a week. That’s about all the time I can spare, and I’m good with that. The site isn’t stagnant, and I still get to live my life. It works for me.

One of the surprising aspects of all this is how much clarity I personally derive from writing content for the site. The original premise was to help others, but somehow, I believe it helps me more. It’s therapeutic.

I certainly did not expect that, but it helps with content creation because I enjoy the peace derived when the words flow out. The site has become part of me. I take pride in being The Country Executive.

One Year – Was It Worth It Conclusion

So, after spending the past year building the site up was it worth it? Yes, yes it was. I have zero regrets. I spent a few hundred dollars on something that I have received no monetary gain from, and I take no issue with that. One year and twenty-one posts later, it was worth it.

A sense of fulfillment has been ascertained from sharing experiences through the medium. From having a voice and trying to be a voice for positivity. I feel as though I accomplished something I wanted to do, just like leading one of the long-term impactful technology projects I have been doing professionally for years. A personal side project.

I’ll keep doing it for as long as I enjoy it. Life is funny like that. Maybe I’ll wake up one day and feel as though the site has run its course. I believe I’m a long way from that day. As for the 10k plus views on the site, I thank every single one of you for allowing me to share my thoughts with you. Let’s keep this train moving forward. Until next time thank you for reading, and please take care of yourself and the ones you love.