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Number 401; A Pattern Of Steadiness

Posted by on Apr 16, 2009

This is my 401st post, and as I do after each century post, I’m going to give a recap of the past 100 posts. I’m also doing something with this post that I haven’t done for any other posts in the past 100, that being I’m skipping three days before this post, as my last post was on the 13th, in honor of what would have been my parent’s 52nd wedding anniversary if my dad was still here now.

When compared with number 301 and, oddly enough, number 101, the more things change, the more they stay the same. First, compared to 101, it took me six months to write my first 100 posts; it took me just under 3 months to write my third 100 posts. This time around, it took me four months to write 100 posts, which makes a bit more sense. One hundred posts every four months comes out to 300 posts a year, so if I keep that up I’ll hit 600 posts by my next anniversary; “if”, that is.

Also, most of the categories remain the same, but the order of posts concerning those categories has changed. Three of the top categories from my first 100 are still here, and from my last 100 four are still here, but this time around, I’ve added two new categories, which means that my top five is, for this month, a top six. Here they are:

Blogging – 20

Internet – 18

Marketing – 15

Research (new) – 7

Affiliates (new) – 6

Writing – 6

I find it interesting that “research” entered the top five/six this time around, because that shows, at least to me, that I’ve had more things that I’ve tested or investigated to share here than I could have had early on, mainly because I hadn’t had the time to evaluate anything. The thing about researched posts is that they take a long time to write. Steve, our friend the Trade Show Guru, compliments me all the time on my output, but researched posts show that I don’t just write everything off the top of my head, that sometimes I put real thought and real time into it all. Just thought I’d point that out. That blogging is at the top of this list is somewhat surprising also, because I’d really thought I had been giving more time to internet marketing topics this past quarter or so, and, though they’re both up there, I’d have thought they would be in the lead; nope.

Next, my most popular articles during this time period. Four of the five were written after #301, which is a good thing for the most part, but one of my articles came beforehand, and I’m kind of surprised it’s still popular because I’d have thought, with more people moving to Vista (or maybe that’s in my own mind”, that this particular post and tip would have dwindled. It’s at number four on this list of visits:

Top 100 Singers Of All Time – 232

Visa Black Card – 155

My Big RSS Subscriber Contest – 144

Getting Google Desktop To Index Thunderbird – 143

The Keys – 140

Next, comments during this time period. This fourth period showed more growth in comments, as it went from 1,344 for the previous 100 to 1,804 this period; I like that. I still wish it was much higher, but I don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. My most commented on articles were:

Upgrade To WordPress 2.7.1 – 70

My Big RSS Subscriber Contest – 60

At Least Be Professional In Your Writing – 55

Nine Best Blogs Of 2009 – My List – 55

Page Rank/SEO – A Short Blogging Research Project – 48

So, there’s those stats for this past group of articles. Now, on my quest towards 500, I’m going to change up a couple of things, because, well, it can either be an experiment, or it’s something that just needs to happen; let’s hear what your thoughts on it are overall. One, I’m thinking about reducing the output of my articles a bit. I’ve been averaging 5 articles a week, and though I can easily keep that pace up, I’m wondering if the number of articles actually keeps the number of comments down. Maybe the output is so much that it’s hard to keep up with each article. I’m not really sure, but I do know that I visit blogs where there might only be one post a week, possibly two, and I see hundreds of comments on those; you see my highest is 70, and that’s over four months time.

Two, I’m thinking that the longer posts, stories notwithstanding, get less activity, for all the work I put into them, and that’s problematic. My solution is to think about breaking them up into multiple posts while spacing them out. So, if an article goes more than 750 words, I’ll break it up into two separate articles that may come in around 370 to 500 words each, since I’d have to add a few words in rewriting a second article to blend in with the first part of an article. That could mean that, for some of my posts, there might be 3 or 4 parts to it, but maybe that’s what’s needed to make sure everyone has a chance to see everything, and maybe the first part drums up interest in seeing the rest of the story, or, if no one’s interested, then the second part helps me with my SEO part. Of course, this can’t be standard, because some posts will have to go over 750 words for cohesion, but I think it’s time to consider it. I want this blog to grow, and though it’s growing, it’s not growing as I’d like it to. And, as I’ve seen how easy it is to post-date articles (this one is actually being written six days ahead), I could easily go out an entire month’s worth of posts, and if I need something more current I always have the option of adding something anew, even if it’s just a quick little video that I like at the time.

And three, I’m thinking that I might add a weekly post of deals that some of my affiliate marketing companies offer, along with codes and the like. Commission Junction and Google Affiliate Network products always have their advertisers sending me new short run specials, and sometimes you can save upwards of 15% if you’re given the code to add onto your sales page while you’re checking out. I’m not sure how popular that would be for everyone, but hey, one has to find new and unique ways to market themselves and their products, right? This one I haven’t fully decided upon, though; I want to think about it some more.

And, one final thing before we move on. I still want more RSS subscribers, and obviously I’m not afraid to ask for more subscribers either. Just to throw this out there, Technorati has finally, FINALLY, bumped me up, and now I’m sitting around 85,000, which I’m not upset about at all. But I want more readers, more visitors, more commenters, and more people talking about me and writing about me. Folks, I’m looking to not just be popular, I want to be a movement! So, get out there, spread the word, share my name and some of what I write on your blogs or Twitter or Delicious. If you haven’t noticed, one thing I often do here is use someone else’s post to write a post of my own, but I link back to it. It’s a good tactic, and even Sire got into the mix by mentioning John Dilbeck in his post against Google’s new advertising policy. It’s works great.

Anyway, by the time you see this, I’ll probably have already put some of these things into practice. Doesn’t mean it’ll stay that way, of course, but for awhile, unless I have a story to tell, this may be the last article you see from me that is more than 1,000 words at a time. For now, please enjoy what I’ve produced up to this point, including this post, and let’s see what the heck 100 articles brings.

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I need to do that… break up my longer articles. I’m not sure any of mine are over 750 (now I’m kind of curious), but if they are, maybe the better way would be to do a series. I have enacted a series for my photos, which is a start, because I feel a page of more than 40 is probably over doing it.

Congrats on hitting the 4th century of posts, and looking forward to the next 100!

~ Kristi

Kikolani´s last blog post..Blogging, Goals, and 101 Things

April 16th, 2009 | 7:47 PM

Thanks Kristi. Many of my articles are easily over 1,000 words, and, as you know, I do have some series here. Do you have more than one blog going, or other websites? Anyway, we now push towards the next 100; this particular ride should be quite interesting.

April 16th, 2009 | 10:39 PM

Hi Mitch,
Congrats on 400 (or 401 to be exact) and thanks for the mention. 🙂
As to the length of your posts, I think it is a tough choice. I think readers prefer shorter posts, but I sense the search engines (especially google) give more weight to long posts (no proof at all, just a sense, plus I have read others say that). So what to do? Readers or SEO? I don’t know.
Anyway, onward to 500, eh?
~ Steve, the trade show guru

Trade Show Guru´s last blog post..Trade Show Booth Staffing Secrets

April 16th, 2009 | 9:25 PM

Thanks Steve. Truthfully, I don’t really know either way on this one, which is why I need to think about it some more. I mean, even with some articles I’ve already written after this one, I got to 1,000 words on a couple and it just didn’t make any real sense to break it into two articles. I think there is a time for brevity, and a time for something longer. I may have to move that up to 1,500 words to decide to break it up, or else, as Kristi mentioned, consider breaking it into a series and be ready for some minor rewriting at times. I guess we’ll see. Onward and upward!

April 16th, 2009 | 10:41 PM

My congratulations also Mitch. You know I do my bit at promoting your blog, and I will keep doing it because I love what you do.

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I will say it again; I think the shorter posts are always better and having less posts should lead to more comments.

Sire´s last blog post..There Are Consequences To Being An Ass

April 17th, 2009 | 12:19 AM

You might be right, Sire, but we’ll see. I mean, sometimes, it’s just hard to keep them shorter, especially when doing research.

April 17th, 2009 | 12:42 AM

So that’s why my posts are so short, not enough research 😉

Sire´s last blog post..There Are Consequences To Being An Ass

April 17th, 2009 | 1:08 AM

Hmmm, I’m thinking that’s not quite it, Sire. I think you make your point, then move on, whereas I make my point, expound on it, then try to hammer it in there again. Hey, I’m just glad there’s no one right or wrong way to do things.

April 17th, 2009 | 9:37 AM

hey Mitch,
“I make my point, expound on it, then try to hammer it in there again.”
That is funny!
I’m going to start calling you “the hammer”. 🙂
Unfortunately, I think my wife sometimes must think I exhibit the above tendencies, which isn’t necessarily a good thing in a marriage. 🙂 ~ Steve, aka the trade show guru, aka “Hammer 2”

Trade Show Guru´s last blog post..Trade Show Booth Staffing Secrets

April 17th, 2009 | 9:44 AM

My latest newsletter begins with a story of how my wife and I interact on one particular subject, and in this case, I feel that the initial hammer is a soft one, which begins with the story, then I expound on my point, then I come back to it in the closing. Seems to be memorable to those folks who actually give me feedback on the newsletters on the back end.

By the way, my wife said to me the other day “you should know better than that”, to which I replied “I think it’s obvious that I don’t!” lol

April 17th, 2009 | 9:55 AM

Congratulations Mitch. I am very happy for you. Reading as I do, via your email feeds, I am not surprised.

Our most popular sport in India is Cricket. The batsmen who consistently score centuries as we call them, that is hundred plus runs in an innings, are the most admired and some of them are icons with huge fan following and mind blowing endorsement contracts.

Pity that there is nothing like that for blogging. You will become an icon hands down. Keep it up my friend. Though I do not comment much on your blog, I am learning a great deal and enjoy reading your posts.

Rummuser´s last blog post..Why Do Men Wear Earrings?

April 17th, 2009 | 12:44 AM

Thanks Rummuser; I appreciate the words. I have to admit that I don’t understand cricket, so 100 runs sounds phenomenal to me, and I’m glad to be in that category. The next 100 should prove to be interesting; better,… well, I guess we’ll find out together.

April 17th, 2009 | 12:50 AM

congrats Mitch!
401 posts …. wow … you made me check my stats… I am only at 132 posts LOL so I am doing a lot less posting on my blog.

I actually started off writing every day but as you know, changed that to only posting one longer article a week.

Am I getting a lot of comments? not really, but I do feel that the “quality” of comments has gone up considerably.

As you know, I hardly do any commenting, plus I deserted my comment strategy all together.

But guess what… as soon as I switched “strategies” I actually saw a rise in subscribers and that is continuing to grow ever since I started writing longer posts.

I do feel though that it is very important to keep your articles easy to scan if you know what I mean.

Breaking up the bigger blogs of texts and leaving more white space in between them, which helps people to continue reading and not put them off, seeing a huge block of text.

Anyways, that is just my two cents and really not that important, seeing that my personal blog isn´t the one I put most effort into, just playing around over there 😉

Mirjam´s last blog post..Case Study Last Update for Now

April 17th, 2009 | 3:48 AM

Thanks Mirjam. Actually, this concept of white space is one I kind of struggle with from time to time. I look at this article, for instance, and based on how I was taught proper grammar, it’s formatted just right. Consistent ideas are all kept together, which may make one paragraph kind of long, but is it off-putting to today’s reader? I’m not really sure. I figure they’re long where they need to be long, and short where they need to be short.

Actually, it’s not necessarily the commenting as much as the visits for each post that I’d like to increase. As I think of a business model which might include what I’m going to call the one “throwaway” post a week where I introduce the savings that are offered by some of the affiliate programs I market through Commission Junction and Google Affiliate Networks, it begs the question as to how folks might respond to a short one with lots of banner links offering discounts with coupon codes and the like being followed up with a dissertation on the next biggest thing or gripe I have. More thinking to do,…

April 17th, 2009 | 9:42 AM

Hey Mitch 🙂
I understand where you are coming from but the white spacing has more to do with layout me thinks and making it easier for people to keep on reading rather than proper grammar and following all those rules.

You can´t really compare a website with a book for example, where big blocks of text are common and the reader doesn´t mind that, actually even expects that.

The internet is a complete different and faster dimension and reading from a screen is totally different from reading on paper 😉

Off-putting? I think it is when someone is a first-time visitor because their attention isn´t grabbed immediately. Me personally… I do skip the longer blocks of text *blush* and am off to something else 😉 Maybe a good idea to ask your readers 😉

Mirjam´s last blog post..Case Study Last Update for Now

April 18th, 2009 | 1:31 AM

Well, as I said to Peter, I’m going to do an experiment next week and we’ll see how well people like it. I probably won’t like it much, but I’m not doing it for me.

April 18th, 2009 | 1:33 AM
Boyz II Men:

Keep up the good work Mitch!

I was curious though. Given your # of visits to posts, your comment numbers are pretty good. 144 visits to your RSS contest, 60 comments. That’s a huge ratio. I think the big thing to getting more comments at this point is to get more traffic as your exsting vsitors are very active.

April 17th, 2009 | 8:19 AM

Thanks Matt. I have a loyal readership that I love, but like most narcissists, I’d love to have more readers and visitors. I’d love to write that one post that goes viral, makes people stand up and say “man, I need to follow this guy” and the like. Yeah, like we all don’t want that. I’ve kind of hit a traffic peak, and I need it to step up even more. Leaving in the weekends, I average 50 visitors a day; I wonder why blogs suffer visitors on weekends, especially in the winter. Anyway, I’d like that to increase even more, to get to a point where I’m getting at least 200 visitors a day. Kind of ambitious, but it’s been proven it can be done.

But I love y’all who keep coming and helping to support me, as I try to support you. And, if your site was a blog more than an actual website, I’d be visiting and leaving comments there often also. Y’all have great stuff on your site, that’s for sure.

April 17th, 2009 | 9:49 AM
Boyz II Men:

Yea, your traffic levels don’t make sense for the quality of the site.

I believe EVERY site does poorer on the weekends as my brothers and I run a network of 5 or 6 very different web sites and each one takes a hit on visitors during weekends. I think it’s just more people going outside/not being at work trying to kill time.

April 18th, 2009 | 8:56 AM

You might be right on that one, but I didn’t quite expect those kinds of drops during the winter months.

April 18th, 2009 | 10:37 AM

Congratulations on reaching 401 posts, that’s a great achievement in itself. I think its a good idea to mix and match thing around from time to time, if you don’t try these thing how can a blog ever improve, you can always change them back if certain elements don’t work.
I do think making the posts shorter is a good idea, for regulars to the site, they will happily read the posts, because they know the benefits your wise words will bring. For casual visitors to the blog it may mean they don’t read the post or just skim through it, which then kind of makes it difficult to comment.

April 17th, 2009 | 9:41 AM

Thanks Khaled. I don’t set out to write long posts most of the time, but some of them just lend themselves to it. It always comes down to how one adds value, or perceives how they add value, to what they’re writing. Still, we’ll see how it all comes along over this next 100 posts.

April 17th, 2009 | 9:53 AM

Hi Mitch,

Congratulations on reaching this milestone of yours. Writing 401 posts is quite amazing.Great energy! I’m only at 150. Personally I prefer shorter posts with more sub headers. I realize lots of people just want to skim through before reading in more detail. But that’s just my 2 cents. Well cheers to your next 100 posts. You can be sure I’ll be reading them.

Peter Lee

Work At Home Blog´s last blog post..Case Study: How Work At Home Homepage Got High Page Rank PR4

April 17th, 2009 | 9:14 PM

You know, Peter, I’m going to write a very long post, break it up into segments, then see how many people actually like that style. I mean, we can test it and see if people like that sort of thing, especially broken up over a week. At the very least, it’ll give me a small SEO boost, but personally, I’d have to say that sort of thing would irk me. It’ll be starting in about a week.

April 17th, 2009 | 10:50 PM

Way to go Mitch! You are a blogging machine! And your content just keeps getting better!
Blessings friend!

April 18th, 2009 | 10:18 PM

Thanks Brandon. The next 100 should prove to be somewhat interesting, I’ll say now.

April 18th, 2009 | 10:22 PM