Traffic And Buyers

Our friend Sire and I have had some interesting conversations lately on two topics. One is the concept of trying to drive more traffic to one’s blog. The other was how to turn people into buyers, especially if they’re actually clicking on your links.

Traffic Jam
Marcelo Campi via Compfight

Let’s address the first topic of traffic first. I’ve actually broached this subject many times, in different ways. I asked what people would do to get more traffic. In that post I talked about those websites that you can pay that supposedly will send you lots of traffic. It’s not targeted, and you’re not sure any of those people actually clicked and read your stuff, but you’re somehow getting traffic.

I mentioned free traffic exchanges. I mentioned the concept of better SEO and organically driving traffic to you and your site. And I mentioned myself the idea of blog commenting to drive traffic as well. I like the last two the best, although SEO can take awhile and blog commenting is a lot of work.

Of course, there was my rant against those folks who write all these posts about driving massive traffic to one’s blog but copy what everyone else has been writing; I hate that kind of thing. I also have shared something where Alvin Phang talks about how he drives traffic to his blog. And I also have asked people how far they’re willing to go for promotion, although that wasn’t specifically for traffic, but if you promote yourself well you’re probably going to get better traffic.

The reality is that it’s hard getting traffic to come to your site unless you can figure out a way to stand apart. It certainly doesn’t have anything to do with content anymore; sure, content adds value, but I’ve been to some blogs where the entire post is two paragraphs, or is a lot of nothing, and that post will generate 50 comments.

It might have something to do with blog commenting, because people see what you have to say and if they like it they’ll visit you. I think this thing Kristi does every Friday called Fetching Fridays is a wonderful concept, but wow, what a lot of work!

It generates lots of visits because the people she highlights love it, and people who drop by get to see lots of topics and visit blogs they may never have heard of that have articles they want to see. No, I won’t be doing anything like that on a regular basis, so you’ll just have to deal with my occasional highlight of websites you might not know about.

One other thing. This concept of niche blogging is a good one, but just selecting a niche isn’t going to get it done as far as driving lots of traffic, or even making a lot of money. Today I posted my 201st post on my finance blog, Top Finance Blog, as today is the blog’s anniversary (200 posts a year there, 300 here… man, I’m tired!). The niche is finance, which one would have thought was a big issue in this past year with the terrible economy, but it’s generated very little income, few visitors by comparison, and not all that many comments. So, it really depends on picking a niche that you know everyone else is really interested in, then being able to consistently write on that niche without being boring or stealing from others for inspiration.

In other words, other than blog commenting and figuring out how to promote yourself better, I have nothing to add on how to drive traffic to a blog or website; at least not fast.

Now, on to the topic of turning people into buyers. Sire stated on his blog that he believes it could be tied into getting more traffic. I disagreed with that assertion. We both put up our monthly income stats. I made nothing for Commission Junction in November, but I had 283 people actually click on the links, which means they checked out products or the websites. But no buyers. Sire had around 170 or so, and the same thing. Most sales professionals will tell you that you should average at least 1% sales; we both missed that.

One of my friends, Monique, wrote to say that she felt if one actually talked about the product then marketed it that it would generate sales. I didn’t totally dismiss it, because that does sound like a great strategy, but I’ve done that. I talked about my Casio watch and even put the watch I bought at the bottom; no clicks. I’ve written on other products, and I’ll be writing on another product soon; nothing. I’ve actually written 2 posts on the ebook 20 Ways To Make $100 a Day, and never gotten a click, even though I bought the book and it’s what’s led me to my latest career in writing and blog writing for others.

Is it a matter of trust? Well, this guy named Todd asked if people like and trust you, and I commented that I hoped so, but I wasn’t really sure. I get visitors, have subscribers, but no buyers. So, does that mean people don’t trust me, or just that I’m not offering anything that they need?

Then I said to Sire that we had to look at each other to see what makes us respond to buying things. And we really don’t have an answer for that; I think that’s interesting, and something worth exploring. Actually, I asked people before what makes them buy stuff, and got at least a few comments on it. I’m asking again, because I’d love to hear from more people on the subject. And of course the question comes up as to the types of ads people respond to better, banner ads, product ads, or text ads. I’ve tried them all; still no idea.

Either way, it’s probably the question of the ages for anyone trying to market themselves online. I have a lot of questions, but not all that many answers. Anyone figured out the full formula yet? Let us know.
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012-2017 Mitch Mitchell

What’s Up With Broken Link Checker?

Okay, what’s up with the plugin broken link checker?

First, the updates. Over the last couple of weeks, there have been 6 updates to the program. I remember when I complained about all the WordPress updates back in August, and those things finally slowed down, and maybe it’ll happen with broken link checker also. I’m not sure, but one can hope.

Then, if you remember, I mentioned in September that I was having all sorts of problems with my dashboard and some other issues with the blog, and it turned out that broken link checker and some other plugins were messing things up. So I discontinued it and the others, deleted all the rest of them, but kept broken link checker so I could, every once in awhile, check my links to see if something suddenly wasn’t working well.

Now here’s issue #3. Seems that, at least on this blog, broken link checker isn’t working properly. A week ago I activated it, with the express purpose of checking for broken links. It told me I had 63 broken links. However, when I looked at some of the pages where it said I had issues, I started seeing pages that I had already corrected before. There wasn’t anything wrong with many of the links. And a few others where there might have been a problem with a link, I corrected it, only to have the program continuing to tell me that the links were still broken.

That’s just not going to get it done. As I’ve read through some of the fixes for the program, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I’m disappointed that none of the updates seem to address any of the issues I’ve been having with it. I can’t be the only one who’s having this problem, can I?

Luckily, on my other two blogs, the plugin is telling me that there are no broken links on those pages. Is that true, or is it that the program isn’t telling me the truth? How odd that I touted this program so much previously, and now I’m not really sure whether I trust it or not. Such is life; how’s the plugin working for everyone else?

3 Labs in Creel Cookie Jar

Price – $40.00






Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell

Is Instant Messaging Dying Out?

I remember when I first got into instant messaging. It was 1997, and I had just learned about ICQ, which is still around. There was AIM, and I don’t remember if Yahoo Messenger was around at that time. But ICQ offered just what I and my family members needed.

Through ICQ, I was able to connect my dad to all of his brothers and sisters, a couple of my cousins, and some friends I’d met through newsgroups. Later on, I had some friends I would talk to. We’d talk often, pretty much every night, and it was fun. Of course, ICQ tanked in a big way, but still, there are other instant messaging systems; even Facebook has one.

These days, I can’t find almost anyone who’s using instant messaging. It’s pretty much been replaced by Twitter and Facebook, and even a little bit by email. Sure, email was around back in ’97, but many friends wouldn’t use it for whatever reason.

Is instant messaging dying out, or am I just too old to have many friends who want to use it anymore? I ask that because it seems the people who say they still love instant messaging are all younger than 30. Obviously most of my friends are older. I only have one family member who still has an instant messaging account, and he’s rarely on. The friends I have accounts for almost never show up. There’s a couple of people I talk to sometimes during the day while they’re at work, and when I’m out of town my wife and I will try to have conversations through Yahoo (though I use Trillian), but that’s about it. I don’t even know anyone who uses Facebook’s instant messaging, though I’m sure there are people who do.

I also wonder if it’s why having Meebo on my business sites doesn’t seem to bring me much communications during the day when I hold office hours, which I announce on Twitter every once in awhile. I mean, one would think someone would take me up on the chance to speak to me live, but nope, doesn’t happen.

What are y’all thinking about this? Anyone else lamenting the demise of instant messaging, did you care, or have I just passed by the age where it makes sense for my friends and my business?

November Income Report – Going Backwards

When I posted my October income report, I really thought that was about as far back as I could possibly go. Well, I was wrong. This month’s income is even worse, and I have to admit that I don’t have high hopes for December at this juncture.

First, the numbers; short indeed:

Adsense – $50.62
Google Affiliate Network – $3.07
Infolinks – $7.90

If there’s any bonus for the month, it’s the strong jump in income from Infolinks. What I decided to do early in November is add it to my Medical Billing Answers site on a trial basis. Seems it’s working, and I’m going to leave it there for now. I also decided to add it to my Smoke Not So Much site as well, but that site generated almost nothing. However, that site did generate its first Adsense money in November, so maybe it’s close to being ready to start generating something positive.

I guess the good news is that I’ll be getting an Adsense check at the end of the month; who-hoo! I probably need to figure out a better way to drive people to my sales page, which is highlighted by me holding that parrot on the right, as well as figure out how to drive more people to my other sales pages, if I’m going to continue doing this stuff. At least this blog sent 6 people there in November, Commission Junction should be bringing in nice money; I know I’m doing it all wrong, though.

And that’s that; let’s see what the final month of our first decade in the 21st century has in store for me.

Microsoft Store

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2010-2016 Mitch Mitchell

Deciding When To Go To A Paid Model

I’m not going to lie. I love finding free stuff on the internet. If it’s applications I can use that will handle little stuff for me, it’s all good. If it’s information that I’m looking for, even better. It’s not that I’ll never pay for anything, but I find most of the time that the free stuff addresses my specific need and nothing else. Most of the time that suits me just fine.

I also recognize when I have to be realistic and pay for something. Depending on what it is and how much it is, I will look around for a bargain. But sometimes there’s only one place, or one way, to get certain information. if I need it bad enough, I’ll pony up the cash and get it done.

Sometimes it’s us who are giving away a lot of free stuff. Nothing wrong with that, but every once in awhile we have to look at what it is we’re giving away, how much of it we’re giving away, and whether it’s time to start charging for at least a portion of it. That’s not easy to do, especially when you’ve started out establishing that you’re doing a lot of things for free.

Such is the case with my Medical Billing Answers site. Many of you know that I’m also a healthcare finance consultant, centering on revenue cycle issues. That’s charge capture and billing for most of you. Anyway, I set up that site to try to give information to people in terms that were fairly easy to understand. I add articles to that site from time to time also.

I actually created the site for people who wanted to learn some things about insurances and the like and to get some information on how medical billing works as far as getting their bills paid. I also said that I would answer medical billing questions, one per customer, for free.

What ended up happening is the people who were asking me questions were people in medical billing. And some of the questions they were asking was some pretty technical stuff. I had answers for everyone, but sometimes I had to do a bit of research. That didn’t trouble me all that much; however, when more of them wanted me to provide links to prove that my information was correct, I figured that was the last straw, so to speak.

About 8 days ago, I decided it was time to go for a paid model as far as answering questions. I set it up on my consulting services page that I would now answer medical billing questions for a fee, $4.50 per question. I would also entertain as many questions as people had, as long as they paid for it, which obviously was a change in the business model. And, while I was at it, I set up a monthly consulting fee that I don’t think is overly high and is a pretty good deal for smaller hospitals or physicians offices that don’t the money to bring in a high priced consultant to help them out.

Then, while I was at it, I figured it was a fairly good business model to add to my business website also. After all, if I can provide consulting services and stay home, all through email, and can get enough people to pay my monthly fee, why not take a shot, right?

So, how have things progressed thus far? First off, no one has paid for anything, but it’s still early, and we had the holiday. As a matter of fact, I figure that all the bad stuff I’m going to mention can be blamed on the holiday week, so I’ll probably have to check the stats after another week to see how things really are. Anyway, second, I haven’t made a penny since last Monday, and this is my biggest Adsense money making site. However, my consulting services page is also the 5th visited page over the course of the week, which means people are at least looking at it. And they’re reading it, as they’ve spent an average of a minute and 55 seconds on it.

How about on my business site? My new consulting services page was the 8th most visited page for the first week, and people stayed there an average of 7 minutes and 37 seconds. Now that’s a bit of overkill if you ask me, but in my mind it’s telling me that people were at least thinking about it, even if they didn’t pull the trigger. Maybe it was because of the holidays; I can only hope. Since I only have Adsense on a couple of pages on my business site, I didn’t expect it to bring in any money.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with trying to make money from your specialty. I can honestly say there are a few blogs I visit where I know they have some stuff that they should probably be charging for. Not everything, of course; I’d never charge anyone for reading my blog, like Garry Conn did at one point for certain posts (I’m not sure if he’s still doing it, but it looks like he’s started accepting comments again, and he has good stuff so give it a look). But I have been asked why I’m charging for my webinar when many people use theirs as freebies to help promote themselves. And I answer because I didn’t give a fluff presentation of nothing to entice people to pay big money for something later on, I gave real information that people could immediately use and thus I charged for it.

It can be a struggle in deciding what, and when, to start charging for certain things. If any of you have tried it, or have thoughts going to a paid business model of some sort, please share them, because I think it’s something valuable that many people should think about every once in awhile.
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2021 Mitch Mitchell