Post #501 – Way Ahead Of Pace

Some of you saw Post #500, which means of course that this is post #501. This is the one where I recap what’s happened over the last 100 posts.

First off, I’m more than a month ahead of when I got my first 200 posts done, which means I should easily hit my 600th post before my anniversary date, December 12th. Not that I’m necessarily shooting for it, but with my potentially new way of posting, it’s possible. Then again, I ended up going on a major writing jag to hit that number back then; I’m not going to intentionally push myself to hit the anniversary this time around.

Oddly enough, something I wrote in my last post, about talking more on personal things, I actually did for the first time in these last 100 posts. Once again, I also end up with six rather than a top five, with two new categories and two dropping. One that dropped drastically, which I have to think about, is Marketing, where in the previous 100 I wrote 15 posts about, and this time around only 3. Marketing is what will help my businesses survive and grow, so I need to get back to that. Meanwhile, here’s the top six:

Blogging – 23

Internet – 15

Personal (new) – 8

Research – 7

Writing – 6 1/2

Product (new) – 6 1/2

There was a lot more diversity overall on what I wrote about, and I added a new topic, social media, which there might be a growth on as I now know all my previous posts about Twitter and Facebook needed to go under that.

Next, the posts of mine that were visited the most during this time period, which incidentally was 4 1/2 months. And, just like last time, only one post was written during this period; seems my older posts retain a lot of juice and popularity. I might need to go back and monetize those posts. Anyway, here’s the top 5, along with the visits:

Getting Google Desktop To Index Thunderbird – 334

Top 100 Singers Of All Time – 236

Nameboy (new) – 157

Cute Things Falling Asleep – 124

Next the posts that people commented on the most during this time period:

April Income Statistics – Getting Better, Getting Worse – 59

Smoke Not So Much – 51

Google Health – 44

Bloggers Can’t Hide Behind Fake Names Anymore And Defame Others – 42

Michael Jackson Follow Up – 36

I found it interesting that this time around, everything was just so different that the previous times I’ve done this report. No duplicates as far as one post ending up on more than one list; not quite sure how to interpret that.

In one way, I already talked about some changes I’m going to make over the next 100 posts. One thing I said I was going to do in the previous 100 that I didn’t do was to break up the long posts into two posts. It just didn’t look right, and none of the topics really warranted it. I also said I was going to advertise my affiliate programs more; nope, didn’t get around to that either. But with my supposed new focus, maybe that will change up. I did start including more affiliate links into my posts when the words matched up, especially on my “lists” posts.

I’m not sure many people link within the content as much as I do, and I make a conscious effort to do it also. One thing I need to think about is based on some things I’ve been reading lately from both Problogger and Lynn Terry about repurposing old blog posts that may not have gotten much attention in the past. They say rewrite the posts and either post them anew or make sure you link to them and get the benefit of age out of them. I have linked to many of my older posts, but I’ve never thought much about rewriting any of them. Yeah, time and money; always comes down to that, unfortunately.

Meanwhile, since I hit that 100 subscribers on Feedburner it’s gone down slowly, and my Technorati ranking is dropping fast also. More reasons to change some things up, try to be fresher. I want to grow; then again, who doesn’t?

That’s all I have; on to #600!

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Post #500; Something New For Me

This is my 500th post on this blog. It’s taken me less than 2 years to get here, and if I keep up the pace, I could hit #600 by December.

I don’t usually write a post acknowledging a milestone post on that day. What I usually do is wait until the post afterwards, where I usually give stats about the last 100 posts. I’m still going to do that, but I decided to go freestyle for this one, which is a pretty big deal in my mind.

When I started this blog, it’s intention was for me to talk about whatever I wanted to talk about. At some point, it turned into a blog that was about something. That something was more than one thing; well, is about more than one thing.

I’ve written about affiliate marketing, or lack thereof. I’ve written about websites and about internet things in general. I’ve written about social media, especially Twitter. I’ve written a lot about blogging. And I’ve written about writing, both books and articles. Every once in awhile, I’ve written about my businesses, diabetes, and of course my monthly income.

What I haven’t done is written much about personal types of things. Out of the first 499 posts, I’ve only written 16 personal posts. I think I got caught up in the money thing early on, the niche thing most of us like to talk about. I think I had high hopes that if I concentrated on more internet, computer, web stuff that it would give me the best opportunity to make money on this blog.

After awhile, I realized I wasn’t going to make any money off this blog. It its way, it’s considered a “make money online” blog. Nothing really wrong with that, except this isn’t the market that normally buys anything from anyone else, because we’re too busy trying to make money ourselves. In a year and 9 months, do you know how much money this blog has made? It’s made less than $5. Not only that, but in checking my stats, the products I’ve created, over there to the top left, have generated almost no clicks, and I get almost no clicks on the affiliate ads either. As far as making money, the blog is a dud.

Then there was the kind of pitiful attempt at trying to get more RSS subscribers by holding a contest. Well hey, we all try a contest at some point, right? I was trying to go from 54 subscribers to 250 subscribers in that contest, although I really was hoping to just reach triple figures. Instead, it “jumped” to 65 by the time I ended the contest. Pitiful indeed.

Even now, though I posted that article the other day showing that I’d actually hit 100 subscribers, finally, as I write this I’m back down to 90. And, according to Analytics, I’m averaging less than 30% on visitor loyalty, as in repeats visitors; it seems the days, at least for me, when CommentLuv, commenting on blogs where people wrote on mine, being a dofollow blog and basically trying to please everyone but myself, aren’t bringing folks back.

Where am I going with this? It’s a good time for a bit of reflection, and a minor change of direction. In the past week I turned 50 and I’ve now hit 500 posts on this blog; I’ve crushed the average. I’m close to milestones on my business blog also, almost 600 posts there. But the business blog must stay the business blog.

It’s time to get more personal. It’s time to talk about issues and things I want to talk about more often, such as the rant I had earlier this year. It’s time just to write, to not always have to research. I may get a bit more political or philosophical. I might rant a bit more often, or tell more funny stories. Heck, I think I’m going to turn into our friend Sire a bit more, only I won’t be writing poetry. I may share some old song lyrics, though; a couple of them I thought were pretty good.

I’m going to talk feelings. I’m going to talk society. I’m hoping I won’t start talking religion, because I don’t have one, and trust me, anyone who does really doesn’t want to get into it with me because I go for the jugular. Let’s just leave religion alone.

I’m not going to go for controversy; I don’t want to become that type of blog because, frankly, I can be thin-skinned. I will express my opinions, though, and allow others to express their opinions, as long as we keep a sense of decorum here. I won’t call any commenters names, and I won’t allow any commenters to call anyone else names. Those posts will be gone in a heartbeat; call it censorship if you will, but I’m paying for this blog, so it’s my prerogative. And it’ll all be clean; I don’t curse, never have, and I’m not going to allow anyone else to curse either.

Of course, this doesn’t mean I’m going to negate some of the other things I’ve written about all this time. After all, those things affect me as well, to a degree. It’s just not going to be my focus so much. I’m still going to market my affiliate programs, and any links you see attached to a word that’s not linked to a source or internally is probably linked to some product; hey, you did know it’s football season, right? 😉

So, here we go. The next 100 posts should be interesting, just to see what I come up with. Oh yeah, that next one will be the recap, so that’s something that won’t change. After that,… the skies the limit. I hope you stick around, and I also hope more new visitors come and subscribe. We all want to be famous, right? Okay, maybe not John. 😀

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No, Reading And Creativity Are Obsolete

A couple of days ago, Sonia Simone of Copyblogger wrote an interesting post called Is Writing Obsolete?. She answered “no” in her own way; I want to answer the question in another way.

You see it in my title here; no, reading and creativity are obsolete, or are moving in that direction. It’s getting to the point these days where it seems there’s no original thought almost anywhere, and people aren’t reading as much as they’re copying and trying to find ways to put it in their own words, but failing. It’s also harder to keep someone’s attention in an MTV world where reality TV becomes the norm because it’s harder for people to stick with true, episodic programs where we get to know who the characters are week to week and year to year.

If you don’t believe me, let’s look at movies. How many original movies came out this year? Not all that many; at least not the big name movies. Most have been sequels or remakes of past movies. Many are based on books, but aren’t anywhere near the book. I’m not commenting on whether they’re entertaining or not; I’m commenting on whether they’re original or creative.

On the radio this afternoon, I heard a remake of “Mickey,” the song Toni Basil turned into a dance classic in the 80’s. The only thing different than the original song was the singer and the bass line wasn’t as prominent. Can you say “dull?” Then I heard some other songs and realized they were taken from the past also. How many rappers are stealing from rap songs of the past nowadays? Sure, the original rappers sampled other people’s music, but they at least created something out of it that was original.

When I wrote my post on Blog Day a couple of weeks ago, I highlighted some folks who actually create some new stuff (though I did pick on Sire for writing something new about Blogger that I actually wrote on last year). However, all these folks write original content, even if it’s on a topic that others have covered.

I love reading original content; then again, I love reading. I can’t tell you how many times it seems like people have commented on something I’ve written and shown that they didn’t read the entire thing. Even on short posts, people miss what I’ve written. Is it a quest to try to read as many blogs as possible just to put a comment on it, or is it possible that, sometimes, if there’s too many words, they just can’t be processed by many people’s minds?

Grizzly of How to Make Money Online for Beginners wrote a post asking people to Write Something I can Send Traffic To, saying he loves sending traffic to other places, but can’t find enough to warrant the justification, though he highlights some people in the post. I’m thinking that’s going to be a goal as I near my 500th post on this blog for my next 100 posts. I want to share some love, and, who knows, maybe I’ll get some love back.

100 readers

Or maybe I’m already getting some. On the 4th of September, one day after my 50th birthday, I woke to seeing myself as finally hitting 100 readers through my RSS feed. It fluctuates all the time, so it might not be 100 when you see this. But 100 readers is a nice touch; I like being in triple digits, even as my Technorati ranking seems to be tanking these days. No matter; I’m happy for those of you who visit, whether you read every word I write or not.

Please, though, if you’re going to keep writing your blogs, be creative, and maybe I’ll spotlight you one of these days.

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August Income Report – Two Steps Backward

I hate when I’m right. After my best month ever, I mentioned last month that I didn’t think I would sustain it into this month. Well, I was right, but I hadn’t expected it to drop like this. First, here’s the figures:

Adsense – $61.86
Text ads – $19.83
Commission Junction – 70 cents
Chitika – 23 cents
Infolinks – 3 cents

Grand Total – $82.65

Yup, that’s it. Now, I expected most of those to go down, except for the Adsense. It was weird because after a couple of really high months, the first week of August showed me not making a single cent. That didn’t make any sense at all, but other people were saying that August was starting out badly for them also. I think Google did something to take away our revenue, especially since the rest of the month was something spectacular. Oh well, it is what it is.

So, am I expecting anything better for September? Nope, nada, zip. I think Adsense will recover, but otherwise, I just don’t see it. Sure, I’m running that new Commission Junction rotating thing on the side, but I think I need to move that to another site to see if it will do anything there, since two of my other sites are more geared towards sales and such.

Oh yeah, the text ads. I get those from a company that I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned, but ever since this blog lost its PR the number of ads has been going down. If it stays at this level or goes down again, I’ll be dropping this company from this blog and working on a better way to get paid ads of some kind, the kind where I can throw on the nofollow so that the almighty Google will accept me back into their good graces once more. As I’ve said often, I don’t really care all that much about PR, but this was a PR 4 blog before they took it away, and if that will get some other advertisers, who aren’t as savvy on nofollow and dofollow, to think about advertising here, then so be it.

And let me add this; my visitors have increased again. I went up a little more than 16% this month from the previous month, 23% from June. I think it’s because of posting frequency, as I wrote almost every day last month, and I expect to continue that this month, where, in three posts, I’ll write my 500th post on this blog; wow!

So, there you are. Maybe I need to take Mirjam up on the Keyword Academy thing, eh? 🙂

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My Top 10 Favorite TV Shows

At this point, we all know that we love list posts, and this was confirmed by my top 16 sci-fi movies of all time post.

Now it’s time for a new list, and the idea for this one comes from Extreme John, who wrote this post about his top 10 favorite TV shows, and asked people to tell him what they were on his blog. I decided to do it here instead and link back to him, giving him credit for the idea, mainly because it allows me to talk about why I liked these shows, as he did, possibly add a short video, and of course add an affiliate link to each of them, just in case you loved the shows also and I spark enough nostalgia in you that you just have to go and buy it. No, it didn’t work for the movies, but one never stops trying, right?

I have to admit that this one is tougher than the movies were. The rules have to change somewhat, since, as you’ll see, some of these kind of have the same title. But they were different shows, so it doesn’t count. Here we go.

10. Family Guy – The first time I saw this show, I laughed like there was no tomorrow. When they took it off, I thought someone was the biggest moron I’d never heard of. When they brought it back, it told me that someone was paying attention to the fact that they had an irreverent hit on their hands, not typical fare, and people liked it. How many other shows went off the air for 3 years, then came back as a hit; oh yeah, none!

9. Flip Wilson – This was the first black hosted variety show that lasted for longer than 15 minutes, which is about how long Nat King Cole’s show lasted back in the 50’s. Flip Wilson’s show was something much different, and for four seasons, he ruled Thursday nights. Something about NBC and great Thursday night shows over history.

8. Bugs Bunny Show – This one might not count, but I’m putting it here because I just couldn’t wait for Saturday mornings so I could watch this baby. For those of you much younger, we used to only have 3 channels in the days before PBS, and, for me, CBS ruled because they had Bugs Bunny. Man, when I finally got to see them in my own home in color,… I almost burst! They shut down the embed for this one, but you can check it out here.

7. Simpsons – We owe a lot to Tracy Ullman for having these short cartoons throughout her weekly TV show. This show is now in it’s, what, 12th year, and every show is still something totally brand new and offbeat. How many Simpson characters can you name in one sitting? Can you think of any other cartoon that has so many characters in an episodic setting that you know how each one is supposed to act, let alone sound?

6. Law and Order – I was late to this show, but once I started watching it, I was hooked. I love the formula, where we establish the crime, solve the crime, then try to prosecute the crime because sometimes we didn’t quite solve the right crime and the right criminal. It’s formulaic, but it’s comfortable, and you never quite know the outcome.

5. Sanford and Son – You couldn’t get away with this type of show in today’s world, but the world was ready for a break down and laugh out loud show starring a black actor. In this case it was Redd Foxx, who had previously been known for what were then known as “party records,” or raunchy comedy records. Bill Cosby and Diahann Carroll may have come first, but those two shows were muted by comparison. White folks at the time weren’t ready for this show, but black people were; especially this clip, which they won’t show on TV anymore.

4. Star Trek – This was the show that started it all for me. This was the more serious show, at least most of the time, to its outer space counterpart at the time, Lost In Space. I have to tell you folks that I kind of owe my life to the concepts of logic and Mr. Spock, but Captain Kirk has given my the most endearing line of my entire life, something I will always live by and, I believe, others need to live by also: “I don’t believe in the no-win scenario.” Okay, that’s from the second movie, but still,… Take that, Kobiyashi Maru! What Star Trek fan hasn’t at some time found themselves humming this tune?

3. X-Files – If you can imagine a single guy looking to go out on Friday nights but having to stay in and watch a TV show first, that’s what X-Files did to me. For eight seasons this was the show that I just couldn’t miss, and man, I really wanted Scully to finally see those aliens. The science on the show was just plausible enough to pass the muster, and as a thriller it was unsurpassed as far as TV fare went, and that was good enough for me.

2. Star Trek – Next Generation – Okay, you’re probably wondering why this show ranks higher than the original Star Trek. It’s mainly because I felt like this cast was a part of my family, whereas I felt like the original Star Trek cast were people I needed to look up to and respect, more like, well, parents. Most of this cast was close to my age except Captain Picard, and tell me has there ever been a cooler short, bald man? Except for Data, and possibly the captain, these people were folks I could have hung out with, even if I didn’t understand every word they were saying. I almost cried on the last episode; now that’s dedication.

1. Muppet Show – Okay, like y’all didn’t know this one was coming, with all the Muppet clips I post on this blog. Oddly enough, not counting sports, this was the only TV show I watched while I was in college. There was just something about Kermit and his goofy friends that resonated with me, and of course the guest stars were something else. My favorite episode ever was the one with Harry Belafonte, but since I’ve already posted that video, here’s another classic that I’ve always liked, that I’ve never shared before.

And there you are, my top 10 TV shows. Go ahead, comment, share yours if you wish, and have fun with it.

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