Post #900; Blogging Baby!

Wow, I’ve made it this far! This is post #900, and at least this time I didn’t miss it by two days as I did #800. I usually wait until the post after the monumental day, but decided to change it up this time in preparation for #1,000 at some point in the spring.

This post is two days before the anniversary of the first post on this blog, which was December 12, 2007. At that time I didn’t know what I was really going to write about in this space. Now I have no idea every time I write what I’m going to write about, but I at least have a format that works for me.

For those of you who are new, let me explain the process I go through. For every 100 posts, I like to go back and take a look at the topics I wrote on and the posts that seemed to be the most popular for one of two reasons, which I’ll mention as I go along. I do it to help me chronicle what types of posts work better than others, but I also think it highlights for people just what kind of writing I tend to do on this blog, if anyone is predisposed to visit and then take a look back at things. And of course it’s another way for me to have backlinks to previous posts, in case you want to check them out. 😉

Time to get to the numbers. I always start with an accounting of my top 5 categories for the month. This month they were:

Blogging – 28

Sunday Question – 13 1/2

Personal – 9

Product – 7

Social Media & Entertainment – 6

That’s the first time that the majority of topics weren’t in double figures; freaky! The products was a fluke, since 6 of those posts were me highlighting the products I have for sale that I created, something I’d never done before.

Next, I like to show the posts that supposedly were the most popular per Google Analytics. This one is always weird because these are almost never any of the posts that were written during the 100 post period, but older posts that, for whatever reason, continue to always dominate the numbers time and time again. There is a new contender on this list this time; first, let’s see the list:

Cleavage – Yes I’m Going There – 4,335

Getting Google To Index Thunderbird – 497

Should Sexting Be Illegal – 415

Webshots – 309

Images Used By Permission – Copyright Laws – 178

The last post was a guest post by my friend Scott, and it was written on August 12th, which is outside the last 100 days, but is still a relatively new post. Regarding those others, I’m really surprised people are still having difficulties with Google Desktop, especially since I’m assuming more people are on a newer operating system and the product now comes in 64-bit. As for that cleavage post… well, no wonder Google Adsense went away on this blog. 🙂

Finally, let’s look at the blogs that got the most comments. As always, the disclaimer is that I commented on them as well:

Sunday Question – What Happened To Modesty – 57

How Can You Get Noticed On Other Blogs – 40

Four Reasons To Put A URL In When Commenting On Blogs – 38

W3 Total Cache – 38

I’m Supposed To Ask You To… – 37

I did write a lot of posts about blogging, but I think the responses were fairly eclectic so that means I really don’t have one style that grabs everyone, other than the one salacious post that I didn’t think was all that salacious. I thought about trying to find a way to only show posts within the 100 with the highest views for the second category, but that wouldn’t be quite fair to later posts, plus that would be way more work. But for your edification, the post with the most views that was within the 100 days was the one on modesty with 107 views.

And that’s that. Thanks for going down memory lane with me. I don’t have any platitudes on what I’m going to write about over the next 100 posts; let’s see where the mood takes me.

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Post #701 – A Period Of Balance


Balance

Man, time certainly has flown. In almost exactly 4 months (actually, I’m writing this 5 days early so I actually beat 4 months), I have written my last 100 posts. From Post #601 to now, there has been some interesting changes, and some things I said I was going to get to that I haven’t gotten to. Oh well, let’s start off with some recaps.

First up, the topics I wrote on in the last 100 posts. I touched upon more topics this period than I ever have before 25 of them, and that means that the top 5 topics are going to show more balance that at any other period:

Blogging – 19

Personal – 13

Business – 10

Entertainment – 10

Social Media – 8

It’s the first time Social Media has made it into the top 5, but I think if I went back and classified some earlier posts that it would make an interesting resurgence, since I’d been writing about it but calling it something else.

Next, instead of going to my most popular posts first, I want to continue this theme of balance. Therefore, something new, just this once. It’s sometimes interesting to see where your traffic is coming from. If you looked at the numbers below on the pie chart that comes with Google Analytics, it looks almost perfectly balanced. Almost, that is; here are the actual numbers:

referring sites – 34.6%

search engines – 27.1%

direct traffic – 21.2%

other – 17.1%

I’ll tell you the truth, I have absolutely no idea what “other” refers to, but I’ll take what I can get.

Next, my post popular posts, and this time, the one in the lead is kind of freaking me out. You’ll see why when you look at the numbers:

Cleavage – Yeah, I’m Going There – 1,262

Getting Google Desktop To Index Thunderbird – 184

Top 100 Singers Of All Time – 143

Watch Out For Secret Shopper Scams – 109

Cuban Cars – 86

Every one of these posts are older posts; none of the new posts in the past 200 made the list. But look how far ahead that post on Cleavage is; wild! That Secret Shopper article is more than 2 years old; if this blog had Page Rank, that bad boy would probably be a 5! And the article on Google Desktop should be fading away as more people should have moved to new computers and should be on he 64-bit product by now. I’m stunned, to tell you the truth; just goes to show you never know what people are going to gravitate towards.

And finally, the posts with the most comments during this time period:

Sunday Question – Do You Take Care Of Your Physical Self? – 48

Cleavage – Yeah, I’m Going There – 44

Why Do You Revisit Some Blogs And Not Others? – 39

Are You A Lurker Or Participant In Life? – 39

My First Look At MS Office 2007 – 38

I didn’t change any of my marketing material over the past 4 months, but I did add the Facebook widget advertising my business page, and I added the badge to the right showing I’ve hooked up with Alliance P50 bloggers. Something I said I was going to do but didn’t do was create a widget that would highlight all the things I’ve specifically talked about as in a review, and I need to remember to add that. As I wrote that post about trust I was thinking that maybe I’ve built up enough trust in some people that the few things I’ve reviewed, as well as my little sales page (there next to me with the parrot), might get more visitors, and thus sales. Or not; we’ll see how it all goes.

And there we are. If things are going well, I’m at a hotel right now giving a presentation on customer service, which that sticky above is talking about. It will be down later this evening, as that event will be over, and I’m doubting there will be any last minute stragglers hoping to pop in on the webinar tomorrow. Anyway, here’s this update, and if I keep this pace up, we should see #800 come September, I guess.

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Post #601 – Time For More Changes

Wow, 600 posts, and I’m still going relatively strong. I didn’t quite hit the date I had expected to hit when I wrote post #501, but I’m close to that date, and I feel good about where I am, so it’s all good.

IMG_20140508_204242
Look tired don’t I?

When I wrote post #500, I said I was going to start being a bit more personal on this blog, and it seems that I have been. It’s translated to more visitors, which makes me feel like it was the right way to go. Here were my top 5 topics for the last 100 articles:

Blogging – 30

Personal – 10

Product – 8

Entertainment – 7

Research – 6

It’s the first time entertainment has shown up on my top lists, but I enjoy those posts, though they take the longest to do, what with my looking for videos and products to shill. It does seem to be true, however, that list posts get a lot of attention, even if not always a lot of commentary. This leads to the topic of my most popular posts during the time period, and once again, most of the most popular were posts written beforehand. As a matter of fact, one that’s popped out of nowhere was written in April 2008! Here they are, and, for a change, when they were written:

Getting Google Desktop To Index Thunderbird 406 visits, 12/2008

Top 100 Singers Of All Time 272 visits, 01/2009

WordPress 2.9 Upgrade; My Issues 120 visits, new!

Watch Out For Secret Shopper Scams 119 visits, 4/2008

Isn’t that incredible? I wonder what’s going on that so many people still need help with that older stuff. Next, my most commented on articles during the last 100 posts:

My Top 10 Favorite TV Shows – 41

Trying To Understand Squeeze Pages – 40

Beyond Blogging – 36

It Pays To Be Bad Sometimes – 32

Limit Login Attempts – 31

Those are the stats I wanted to share with you. I could look at plenty more, but I want to go in a different direction, to let you know what’s coming.

I don’t make money off this blog; that doesn’t mean I can’t. However, what’s a bit more important is streamlining a few things and promoting some other things better. So, here’s what’s coming, if I haven’t already made the changes when you read this.

A lot of the banner ads are going away. I’m probably keeping the one at the top and maybe one on the side, but that’s it. My hope is that some of my remaining real estate will look like a prime place for advertisers at some point, but initially it’s going to clean up the page a little bit. The books are going to remain, but I might repackage how they look on the site, if it fits.

I’m going to add an area where all the products or things I positively review will be listed, with a link to that review. I think those things deserve to be sitting out here more prominently, especially a product like Mailwasher. Usually when we write about these things they only remain prominent for a short period of time, then get lost in the abyss of newer posts. That seems like a smart business move.

I’m also probably going to add back Google Adsense to this blog, which I removed a long time ago. I’ll probably go with a smaller ad than that long one I’ve had before, just to have something here. If people are looking for topics I hadn’t thought about before on this blog, maybe they’ll be the ones who’ll find what they’re looking for on Adsense, right?

And some of the “trinkets” things to the right I’m probably going to remove as well. Not all of them, but some, like the one presently saying my blog is ranked #254 on Winning the Web, will be gone, mainly because if you click on it and go to their site, it pops up this book thing that sometimes won’t go away even when you hit close, and if it’s irritating me then it will probably be irritating others as well.

I appreciate every one of you for checking in with me from time to time, and I hope to find even more things that add value to your online or offline experiences. Most of all, I want to be at least someone entertaining; nothing worse than a lot of boring stuff. Now, it’s still my blog, which means I’ll put on here whatever I want to put on here, but it doesn’t mean I might not entertain thoughts here and there; just be ready for me to debate you on them. 🙂

Onward and upward, as we head towards #700.
 

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How Much Do I Write?

At the time I was originally asked this question about how much I write, I thought it was an odd question. My initial inclination was to say that I’m always writing, but that’s not necessarily the case. I do write a lot, but not all of it is what I’ll call creative writing. That being writing my blogs, writing my articles, working on my book, writing for webpages, etc. But most of it is. I thought I’d talk about it a little bit here, just so y’all can see what I do with myself most of my days, unless I happen to be on the road consulting somewhere.

Let’s start with my blogs. You can easily see how much I write here. The first full year of this blog I wrote 300 posts. At the clip I’m going now, it’s going to probably come in around 275 for the year, as my anniversary date is the 12th. I just hit my 200th post on my finance blog, Top Finance Blog and on the anniversary date I wrote post #201. On my business blog, Mitch’s Blog, I just wrote post #622 earlier today, and I’ve had that blog just over 4 years, which means I average about 150 posts a year for that blog; not too shabby if you ask me. So, all told, that’s over 600 blog posts a year.

Next, my newsletters. I write two newsletters, one on general business issues, the other on health care billing issues. I’ve been writing them since 2003. I put the first one out every 2 to 3 weeks, which means at a minimum 18 a year, and the second one, because it takes more time, I write maybe 5 or 6 a year. Each one is a minimum of 800 words, often getting near 1,500 words each.

I write blogs for other people. At this point I’m writing 3 other blogs, each one getting at least 200 words, but y’all know me; how often am I writing anything less than 350 words? Those are all at 20 articles a month.

I’ve been writing articles for other people. My main client has me writing 27 articles a week, almost all of them at least 400 words. One of my other clients has me writing one article a week of around 500 words. I write articles for two other websites that I’m not going to mention here and average 3 to 4 articles at each a week.

I’ve mentioned in the past that I’m subscribed to around 200 blogs or so. I’m starting to whittle that number down because some folks aren’t talking about things that are keeping me as interested anymore, plus it’s really time consuming trying to keep up with that many blogs, as you can imagine. Being kind of a news junkie, I also read a lot of news sources each day, plus research for articles has me reading even more material. Anyway, I make it a job, so to speak, to comment on at least 5 blogs a day, but some days it can go as high as 30. I don’t write one line comments because that would be disingenuous, and only comment when I have something to say, but I also know that blog commenting is what helps drive traffic to your own blog.

I write articles and other things for my other websites, some of which I’ve talked about here before. I try to write one new articles every couple of weeks for my medical billing site, Medical Billing Answers. I need to write more articles for my reviews site, Reviews of Everything, and I now have a different perspective on how writing reviews could lead to product sales, thanks to these ladies at Affiliate Blog Online, and at my anti-smoking site Smoke Not So Much. I should be adding more articles to my other site Services and Stuff, articles, which actually has a few of those articles being read often, and is my own ezine article exchange that I should be taking more advantage of. By the way, anyone else who’d like to have an article listed on that site, contact me.

I’m also always writing outlines for projects I’m either planning or am working on. For instance, last week I gave a presentation at a medical billing meeting here in town, and I put together an extensive outline for the presentation, which lasted a week. Sometimes I have even more writing that has to come out of those presentations. For instance, when I gave my presentation this summer that resulted in the webinar I’m marketing at the top left of this blog on social media, that came out of an outline I had to write.

And finally, I think, my books and stuff. I’m working on a detective story and, of all things, an advice book for young people. The second was supposed to be a joint project, but it looks like I’ll be doing it all on my own at this point. There was another story also that was supposed to be a joint project that I think, once I get extra time, I’ll be writing that one on my own also. And I have two more ideas for websites that aren’t even at the outline stage yet, as I’m trying to determine how I’d like to work it and what I’d actually put on it and whether I believe anyone would actually come to it.

All that, and the occasional request for other articles and such, and I’m kind of a writing fool. Oh yeah, I didn’t mention the forums, Twitter, Facebook, the 150 emails a day that I actually download and respond to as opposed to the hundreds of others that I eliminate through Mailwasher every day; oy!

Is it fair to say that writing is my life? How do I get it all done? Well, some days I plan it out, and other days I just wing it. But I never miss a deadline; my credibility is always on the line in that respect. And yeah, at times it’s pretty hard work. But I don’t think I’d want to have it any other way, at least right now.

TimeLife.com

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How I Write Blog Posts

Lately I’ve been seeing a rash of posts on blogs that are telling people how to write blogs. Of course, I have my own blogging tips, which I hope some folks have checked out here and there, but what I’m seeing are the same tips over and over from other people.

Let’s face this fact; just how many times do you want to read “first come up with a keyword rich topic, then write a keyword rich article on your niche?” No matter how many times you read that and how many ways someone tries to write it, nothing is different. How different is reading “write in your niche so that people will find you on search engines?”

I’m not saying it’s not true; I’m just saying it’s boring seeing the same thing over and over. And I’m not saying what I’m about to write is any better than what you’ve seen someone else say. But it will be different, and I’m thinking that’s my little niche. Let’s begin.

Believe it or not, the longest part of my blogging is trying to figure out what I want to write about. For someone like me, that doesn’t often take long. For this blog, since I pretty much write about what I feel like, it doesn’t usually take me longer than a couple of minutes. The same for my business blog, because I know my topic there. For my finance blog, it takes a little longer. I usually scour the news to see what feels like it might be interesting enough for me to expound upon, then I’m ready to go.

The next step, if needed, is the research. For instance, when I wrote my post the other day on my 13 favorite singers, that one took a long time to put together because I had to first list my singers, go find the videos for each of them, and then find the product links for each artist. For the last post, 34 questions, I had to actually answer the questions first. I could have answered them once I started writing, but I had some formatting I wanted to do so I answered them before I posted everything. For my finance blog, research is always essential, because I don’t want to use only one news source to write those articles from.

Next it’s time to either start writing or paste certain things into the writing area. When I’m writing, I go into my zone and just write, and I don’t usually stop until I’ve finished the article. That’s why it doesn’t take me all that long to write. If I have an opinion on something, my mind just puts things in the order I want to talk about them in and I go for it. Kind of my own Mozart thing going on. If I’m just pasting something, most of my work is already done.

Now it’s time for my internal linking. I don’t have full recall of every article I’ve written, but obviously I know my topics. So I go back through my topics to search for articles I’ve previously written on a topic. The internal linking serves two purposes One, it helps my site show off previous material that I’m hoping someone might be interested enough in to want to check it out. Two, at least on my finance blog, it helps with the SEO in reinforcing topics I write about there. This blog does okay in the search engines, but it probably will never get its PR back, which means probably only my affiliate advertising will ever be here, whereas that blog has a high PR, does okay on Alexa, and if I can increase the visits a bit more it’ll be prime property for financial advertisements.

Next is something I don’t always do, but I will check for it. Since everyone says text advertising is supposed to be so great, I go back through my words to see if there’s anything I said that can link to a product. Then I go looking for a product that I can link to and add that link, with the new blue lines.

The next to the last piece is trying to decide what I’m going to highlight at the bottom of each post. Will it be a product? Will it be just a banner ad of some sort? I certainly have plenty of stuff to choose from, so that usually doesn’t take much time either.

And now, the final pieces of the puzzle. I go to All-in-one-SEO and I write something in the description box on what the piece is about. I type in my keywords. Then I go up and type in my tags for the post, which is something I just started a few weeks ago. I select the overall category for the post. The last thing depends on if I’m posting the article immediately or on a delayed basis. If I’m delaying the post, I set the schedule for when I want it to post. Sometimes I write my posts a couple of weeks in advance, so that works great.

And there you go. Now, it takes me less than 5 minutes to write a post, but all the other stuff I add on is what builds up the time. It may eventually take me 10 to 20 minutes to fully complete a post, but that’s okay because the possible rewards for the extra stuff are worth it if you ask me.

Now, whether you fully agree or not, wasn’t that better than the cookie cutter posts you see all the time? 🙂