A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I was doing an experiment on one of my other blogs by writing a blog post a day for a month. Tomorrow ends that month and, though it’s been harder than any other challenge I’ve ever given myself, I’ll close out the month by accomplishing that feat; yay for me! lol
Yet, something happened that I thought was really strange. Usually having a lot of content helps your traffic ranking go up; at least via Alexa, which is the only easily visible tool I have to go by. Instead, every day my ranking went down until, with a week to go, I was suddenly unranked. What the hey? Continue reading Is Google Analytics The Only Viable Traffic Entity?→
About a week and a half ago I took a look at my 2010 goals to see how well I’d done and found that I had done better than I expected to do for the year. Unlike Sire, I like setting goals so I have something to measure myself against later on. I always believe that if you see progress that it inspires you to try new things, and if you don’t then it might give you impetus to try harder. It might; we’ll leave it at that for now.
I’m not going to go back over last year’s goals again, since they’re at that other link. Instead, I’m going to list my five goals for this year, not only for this blog but for my internet life as well:
1. Earn $5,000 on the internet overall. This is always a tough one, but when I look back at this year I know that I’ll have come close to making $2,000, if not more. So, maybe it’s attainable; who knows. My only question is whether I’ll count webinars in there. After all, they’re done on the internet, although they’ll be representing my overall businesses so it might not count.
2. Earn $500 on this blog. That will definitely be difficult. I made less than $50 from this blog in 2010 and it was my best year. It’s one of the things on my mind when I was writing the post about what people want for their blogs. There will be more on this subject later on.
3. Get this blog up to around 50,000 on Alexa. Heck, it crossed a major threshold this year, although actually just in the past month, and it’s steadily gone up. I see the relationship between writing more posts, or at least consistent posts, and the ranking, so I think this one will be attainable as well.
4. Write at least two pillar articles. What’s a pillar article? Well, Yaro Starak defines it, in my words, as a long article that actually details a process for something that will have residual benefits over time. His initial post on the subject said articles more than 500 words, but it seems some folks believe you need to get to at least 3,000 words for a real pillar article. I’m not sure I want to go that far with it, but who knows, right? I know it’ll be an article my buddy Beverly probably won’t be reading, but it’s an interesting concept over all. And heck, it might be what I need to have an article that can surpass the infamous cleavage article. Turns out that was probably my pillar article for 2010; I’m so proud. lol
5. Increase my influence through this blog towards helping other business goals long term. I think that’s fair overall; a little something for you, a little something for me. What kind of business am I hoping to create? First, my professional speaking business. I already have two scheduled locally this year, but those aren’t paying so they don’t count. I thought about adding a new blog to my SEO site but that would be starting something from scratch that I already do here, so I’m not going that route. Instead, I’ll work on finding new ways of creating interest in this blog, especially locally, in my quest to increase my influence, which I wrote about a lot this past year.
Okay, there are five goals I’m shooting for. But I did add “other stuff” to the title of this post, didn’t I? One of those things is that I’m not going to be adding a product to the end of every single post in the coming year. Over 3 years I’ve made two product sales, and both of those came via a post that talked specifically about that product. Dennis once questioned this process of mine, and though I don’t think it’s such a big deal overall, I figure I can use my time in other ways. The images will be staying, though. I think an image breaks up my posts nicely, and sometimes I get to add a second one. By the way, today’s image is a gift I got from my friend Scott this holiday season, a lava lamp, something I’ve always wanted; thanks Scott!
Talk about advertising on this blog has been a topic over the years. I’m not going to stop advertising, but a few things will probably be eliminated. The affiliate ads on the side might go. Some of the products might be added to a sales page on this site that will have links to products I’ve talked about that I market, like that book to the left on 20 Ways To Make $100 A Day Online, which actually helped me figure things out and was worth buying. I’ve also talked in the past about my Services & Stuff site and things I need to change about it, and I think I’m going to work on setting it up more as an online store while still retaining some of what I’d originally set out to do.
One thing I’m going to do is more reviews of stuff such as books that I think would be of interest to some folks here. After all, I do read enough, and I’m planning on creating a sales page of only books I’ve read and recommended in some fashion on my S&S site, and I’ll probably link to it from this site as I have some of those other links to the right for specific affiliates.
All that, and hopefully I’ll still be entertaining, thought-provoking, educational, and all around unpredictable in the coming year. My hope is that you’ll benefit more than I will, but I want to benefit as well.
Last week our friend Kristi had a post on her blog titled 125 Fearless Female Bloggers. I thought it was a pretty neat list, and I decided I wanted to do something like that for black bloggers.
Of course, because I was doing it, the thing wasn’t going to be easy. I had to decide on my criteria. I came up with these rules for myself:
* had to be an individual blog
* had to be a self hosted blog
* couldn’t be an entertainment blog
* must have lots of newer content
* had to be ranked under 200,000 on Alexa
That last one almost proved to be my undoing. Turns out there aren’t a lot of black blogs out there under 200,000 that fit the criteria. Most of the blogs that do are entertainment blogs. I excluded them because most of the content on those blogs isn’t original content. That doesn’t make them bad, but it just didn’t work for what I wanted to do. And I will acknowledge that some blogs are high because they’re attached to a person’s website; that’s not a disqualifier in my book, just a smart business move.
I know most of the blogs I’m going to talk about, but I have to admit that I then had to go do some research. And I have to admit that I’m somewhat at a loss on how other folks ranked blogs when they did similar posts. One guy had to stop because he was going off Technorati for years, then they changed their algorithm. I’m not really trusting Technorati right now because this blog’s been growing in numbers in many ways, yet Technorati has dropped my rank to around 125 from 494 earlier in the year, and raised my business blog to around 425 with way fewer visitors.
Some other ranking blogs decided to rate people based on… well, there you go; I’m not quite sure. Maybe it was feeds, maybe it was how “black” they were on their blogs… I just have no clue. So I had to determine a standard, and there you go; no matter what people think about Alexa, it still is a more viable tool than many others I’ve found.
Why was I compelled to do something like this? Because when it comes to numbers, there really aren’t a lot of black bloggers comparatively. And there certainly aren’t a lot with clout. Sure, some have influence, but probably one of the famous names in the group is Marc Lamont Hill, who some people might know because he’s been on TV a lot, and his blog only comes in around 250,000; not bad, but outside my criteria.
And there’s the preamble; now on to the list, which is 8 only because I couldn’t find two more in about 2 hours worth of research; that’s a shame.
8. Attraction Marketing Online – 141,107 – Mavis Nong writes this blog, and it’s pretty much along the lines of the types of things I sometimes write about here. It’s mainly about marketing, but she also talks about plugins and blogging and the like.
7. How To Split An Atom – 123,399 – Steve Spalding is the creator of this blog, and he talks about all sorts of things like blogging, politics and social commentary.
6. Evelyn Parham – 113,692 – Evelyn talks about health issues, healthy living, natural products and vegan stuff; I like it, but I never going to be a vegan! 🙂
5. Afrobella – 112,099 – her real name is Patrice Yursik, and she talks about black hair care and beauty products for the most part. I doubt most of you would benefit from this, but a few of you might enjoy some of what she writes about.
4. Oliver Willis – 84,301 – Oliver’s blog is definitely political, and he has multiple posts a day on the topic. Some are very short, links to other posts, some are videos, and some is commentary; my man is definitely passionate!
3. Biz Chick Blogs – 79,341 – Tia Peterson’s blog is one of my new favorites because she covers mainly topics about blogging and writing. She’s also a go-getter, writing on a couple other networks.
2. Basic Blog Tips – 55,483 – I don’t know her last name, but I see Ileane everywhere. She’s well respected and well liked, and man does she offer lots of tips on blogging, which makes sense based on the name of the blog.
1. 2 Create A Website – 6,477 – I have to admit this is a new one for me. Lisa Irby is a webmaster for many sites who writes on blogging, websites, traffic… basically internet stuff and ideas. And even though most of the time I think it’s kind of a joke, hers is the only blog on this list with a PR of 5 (heck, Ms. Ileane’s blog is a PR 0 like mine; come on now!).
And there you have it. Please visit these blogs, and if you see something you like make a comment and let them know I sent you.
Man, that’s a tough question, isn’t it? Even though there’s one more week to go, the reality is that we’re 2/3rds of the way through this year. There’s so much more to do, but we’ve done so much already, haven’t we?
Goals by Craig Quimby
When I took a look back to my goals for 2010, I can’t say that my progress towards them is all that pretty. However, it’s not a total loss like it was for 2009. So far, I have reached one of my goals, that being to get at least 3,000 real visitors a month coming to this blog. At the time I’m writing this, I’m averaging 3,200 visitors a month, which is pretty neat. And my Alexa rank did get to 106,000, so I was pretty close before it started going back up a little bit. But I still have a shot at that one.
I’ve also taken on some things I hadn’t planned on for the year as well, so it all balances out at some point. Still, I’d have to say that overall I haven’t quite accomplished what I was hoping for, though on 4 of the 5 I’ve improved over the beginning of the year.
What do I hope to accomplish by the end of the year? I hope to take my social media marketing workshop to another city. How I’m going to do that is still up in the air, but it’s a goal. I want to hit another milestone figure, that being $300 in one month online. I think my highest month was around $225, so it’s not totally out of range. Yeah, my goal for the year was much loftier, but at this juncture I just want to show progress. I have ideas; no I’m not sharing them. But if something succeeds, you’ll be the first to know.
I’m backing off my goal of 500 RSS subscribers for the moment and I’m going to shoot for 200. That might be attainable, as I was at 161 one day last week, and as of January the highest I’d ever had was 126. It will take a lot of factors to happen, but one can hope.
I also want to continue working on growing my influence locally, since, at least for now, I think I’m covered online. I think that if I can do better locally, my financial standing would drastically improve, and I’d feel more free to take time off to go to Barnes & Noble here and there just to have some time to myself out of the house. I work a lot; rather, I sit here at the computer doing a lot.
So there’s my bit of sharing; what would you like to share?
Suffice it to say, I’ve been writing a lot lately about influence, especially influence online. In one of my previous posts, I mentioned that there are ways of tracking how one’s blog is working online. Now that I think about it, I’m not so sure that most of these are all that effective.
I’m not sure if y’all remember my post talking about Technorati’s new ranking system some time ago. Before they made the change, you knew that if you could get your blog into the top 100,000 that you were doing pretty well. Then they changed it and, at least for me, it became impossible to know what was good. However, at the time they made the change, this blog was ranked at 491, and since the high was 993, I figured I was at least in the top half. It’s been awhile since I took a look at Technorati, and where am I now? I’m at 128; what the hey?
I don’t know how Technorati works, but I can’t believe this blog has fallen in influence that far. A look at my Analytics stats says my traffic has drastically increased over the last six months, and my ranking fell? My Alexa rank has improved and my ranking fell? Now, comments have stayed the same, but do comments actually drive Technorati that much?
It’s reminded me of other blog ranking systems that at one time or another I’ve belonged to, including Sire’s Cool Blog Links, where out of not so many sites I’m ranked down in 6th place. What’s even weirder is that his blog is ranked 10th on that site, and his Alexa ranking is 30,000 points better than mine. Strange, right?
There have been other blog ranking sites that I’ve joined and unjoined over the years, mainly because the rankings seemed, well, arbitrary. On one I was in the top 50 out of 250 while in another I was sitting around 315 out of 400, and one other I was around 275 out of 500. What did any of them mean? I didn’t have a clue.
There’s also always the question as to whether the measure of a blog is the amount of comments it gets. I even debated another blogger through my blog when he stated he believed that people’s content stank if they weren’t getting a lot of comments. I love comments, as I feel it means I’ve connected with someone on a particular post, but Seth Godin gets people quoting him all the time and he doesn’t even allow comments; I’m thinking that’s proof that comments aren’t a measure of influence at all.
I believe blog ranking systems are fairly arbitrary in what they mean to bloggers in general. If there was one standard that all the systems agreed with, then it might mean something. I get locked into Alexa because it’s not a blog ranking, but a website ranking, and at least it gives you a real tool of comparison to use. Don’t get caught up in blog ranking systems as a true measure; use them for entertainment purposes only, and you won’t get caught up trying to rank for things you can’t control.