Traffic From My Campaign

As you know, last week I decided to take a shot at writing two posts a day, with the second daily post highlighting a product of mine. I thought that waiting a couple of days and then looking back at how it all went as far as traffic and analytics went would be an interesting thing to see.

I have to say that “interesting” really is the correct word for it; “well” definitely is not. Whenever you try something new, you need to have at least a couple of things you want to track as far as seeing what happened. In my case I wanted to see three things: one, would anyone actually read the product posts; two, would my traffic go up because I had two posts a day for a week (okay, six days); three, would I send any traffic to my other sites, where all my products ultimately reside.

Let me start with this; I never expected to sell a single product. If I’d gotten lucky maybe one or two sales might happen, but I wasn’t expecting it. That’s because this blog really isn’t for that type of thing. What I expect I’ll do is run the same exact series on my business blog, almost word for word, and see if it generates anything there, though that blog isn’t nearly as popular at this one.

Now, a quick look at my three things. The first was whether anyone would actually read any of the posts. Well, I think I knew someone would read them, but how many folks. It turns out not all that many. None of those posts made the top 10 visited articles for the week, though 5 of them made the top 20. That’s not so bad until you see the numbers overall.

That’s because now we have to look at the second thing, overall traffic. And my overall traffic was down for the week, even with two posts a day. It dropped precipitously after Monday, and by Saturday, I was showing visit numbers lower than normal. Okay, it was a holiday week in the U.S., so I’ll try to take that into consideration to a small degree, since most people still have internet access during holidays, but even I wasn’t as active online as I normally might be. I will say this, however; those folks that did read the product posts spent more time reading them than my normal average except for one post, so that’s a bright spot.

That brings me to the third thing, which is if I drove any traffic to my other sites. On this one I’d have to say that the word “drive” is ambitious. A couple of people came over and looked at a product, but left almost immediately; average page view time was 16 seconds. That’s on the business blog. On my SEO website, only 3 people clicked on the product, and it averaged 0 seconds; how does an analytic show 3 visitors and no time on a site? Well, it did; freaky.

What can I take away from this? Actually, I’m not sure. Do I go with my entry premise that almost no one would really care about my particular type of products on this site? Actually, I think I can say “yes” to that one. Is this an indictment against 2 posts on one day as being too much? I’m not as sure on that one, but it’s possible that it could have felt like overwhelm. Some folks might have seen two posts, been unsure which one to click, and just avoided both of them. Maybe Chris Brogan’s thought on multiple posts a day doesn’t work, but I can’t be sure about it. Will this type of thing work better on my other blog, where that’s really the audience I want to reach for at least some of these things? I’m not sure about that one either.

Hmmm, maybe this one wasn’t as scientific as I had hoped it might be in the long run. Too many extenuating circumstances to get a clear thought on it all. Then again, it gave me something to write about, and once again proves that one can find inspiration anywhere. You have any thoughts on it?

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Don’t “Stink”; Not Quite A Rebuttal

Last week, Mitch Joel wrote a post on his blog titled Don’t Suck. It’s a tongue in cheek yet kind of harsh statement on what you shouldn’t do if you don’t want certain negative things happening to you online or with your products.

Whereas I kind of like it, and I understand its purpose, I have to kind of counter it in saying that I don’t believe that it necessarily means you or me, well, stink (yeah, I changed up the word; so sue me, but I just don’t like that term) just because you have difficulties doing certain things or achieving certain results. True, there might be something lacking here and there, but that doesn’t mean you stink.

For instance, this missive: “If no one “like”s you on Facebook…” I’m not sure one thing has to do with the other. I see lots of things I like and comment on that I forget to “like”. I have many posts on this blog that people don’t end up “liking” for whatever reason. I see many things on Twitter that other people write that are very good with very few “likes”. I’m just not sure that a Facebook “like” is the end all – be all of one’s popularity or competence.

Another one is “If no one is leaving comments on your Blog…” I’ve talked about it often, as has Sire, in determining that some of the best writing we’ve seen will show up on blogs where almost no one comments, mainly because bloggers haven’t quite figured out the community part of it all. True, there are some folks that have no real sense of community that will do very well, but I tend to think that’s more of a fluke than the norm.

Finally there’s this one: “If no one is clicking on your banner ads…” Almost no one clicks on any of my banner ads, and I think that pertains to lots of other people who blog. Does that mean we all stink, or does it mean that people just aren’t clicking on them because it’s not why they’re visiting your blog, or even website, if you have a sales website, so to speak? Even if I happen to write about a product and add the link to it at that point, and no one clicks on it, does that necessarily mean I stink, or anyone else stinks, because no one clicks on it? And, by extension, does it mean I stink if no one visits any of the products I posted last week on this blog, even if none of those products apply to the audience I’m writing to? Or do I stink because I know the folks visiting this blog aren’t the market for those products and I wrote it anyway?

As I said, I really do understand the premise behind the post, which is this; “be good!” Heck, it’s probably “be outstanding”. Those who exceed will achieve better than those who are just middlin’, who don’t give full effort, who leave the public wishing for more. If you can go over the top with what you do and people see it, they’ll flock to you and your products and you’ll do well. If you don’t give your all, or you present something lackluster that people feel they were cheated on, not only might they ask for a refund but they’re going to spread the word about you and, unless you’re really big already, you’re going to suffer. That’s never good.

I hope you read Mitch’s post (yeah, I like the name :-)) because overall it’s pretty good.

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Sunday Question – What Do You Really Think About Blogging?

Today’s question seems like an easy one, but it really isn’t. I’m of the opinion that most people blog because they feel they have to, rather than because they actually love it. Is that a bad thing? I don’t think so.

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I write 3 blogs. I absolutely love writing this blog. If I could generate enough income to live on for the rest of my life just by writing this blog I’d do it. Trust me, often I’m limiting myself to one blog post a day; I come up with enough ideas to write 4 or 5 times a day on this blog. But of course there’s that money thing getting in the way again.

My business blog I like writing, but it’s not as satisfying as this one. The topics I talk about on that blog can be tough for some people to deal with, and after aren’t for everyone. To me, that’s my “grown up” blog. I could actually write twice a day with that one, but it wouldn’t do me much good. I’ve spent most of my blog commenting time promoting this blog because it’s fairly universal; the other blog, well, when it fits I do it, but if not I’ll use this URL instead.

My finance blog… well, that one’s the wild card. It probably takes the most research because I need to feel a real opinion coming before I’ll write something for it, and I also need to make sure my opinion is backed up with something, either fact or news. The intention for that blog, I admit was only to make money. However, once again it’s kind of a hoidy-toidy blog, because finance topics are really a finite niche. I think only two people from this blog have ever commented on that one; it is what it is.

So there you go, a bit more honesty. How about you? Do you really love your blog and blogging, or do you sometimes find it to be a chore because of time, or ideas, or anything else that might make the process less than pleasurable?

Social Media, SEO And Your Business in 90 Minutes

I close this week of advertising my products with the one that probably ends up having the stupidest name of all, yet was probably the most fun.

The title of this one, Social Media, SEO And Your Business in 90 Minutes, was also the title of the webinar I did in June 2009 along with Renée Scherer of Presentations Plus! In case you’re wondering about the exclamation point, that’s part of her business name so it has to go there. She’s also going to hate that I used this picture of her. lol

It’s strange how I met Renée. I met her at a sales presentation that this other guy was giving, where I was actually asked to do a 15 minute presentation on leadership. In retrospect it was kind of goofy because it had nothing to do with anything that the guy giving his presentation was talking about, but I got free food and a chance to talk in front of people so I have nothing to complain about. A couple of months later Renée actually called me out of the blue, and for the life of me I can’t remember what we talked about at that time, but we decided to meet. During our conversation she happened to mention that she had paid for a program that allowed her to do webinars, but that she had yet to do one and want to know if I wanted to do one together.

I decided that talking about social media, which is a new direction I wanted to go in, would be somewhat interesting to do. In the course of my putting the outline together, something told me that I needed to talk about the SEO prospects of doing social media, and thus it became a big part of the presentation. If we had ended there, the title might have been kind of cool. But for some reason we added the “90 minutes” part to it, and in my mind that makes it sort of goofy. But the presentation went 84 minutes, including a few questions, and overall it was fun to do. We actually had people who signed up and showed up and participated, and as part of my 2011 goals I’m going to be planning more webinars because they are really neat to do.

At the end of the presentation, Renée indicated that she was going to have her friend put it together as a file so we could look at it to see what we thought. Once we had a chance to review it, after he cleaned it up, I thought it would be a great product for us to sell, and as you can see it’s up there in the second spot at the top left. We actually just made our first sale of that product at the end of October, and it’s pretty neat. We put a great price on that because if you ask me it’s worth a lot more.

Why would I say that? I actually showed a lot of things in that webinar, and I gave real information. The people who participated in the webinar said that they got a lot out of it, and that’s always important for me. I’ve written on this blog before about spending my time listening to things that never told me anything and basically started trying to pitch another product before it ended. Of course those things are always free, and you tend to get what you pay for.

This is it for all the products I have at the present time. Every single one of them has been created as a digital file, so if they’re purchased people just have to download them when they get sent to the URL attached to each product. My book is the only product that you have an option of getting a physical copy of at this point, and one of these years I’m either going to sit down and recorded myself so it can be an audio book or I’m going to pay someone to do it.

I thank all of you for indulging me this past week in promoting my products with a second daily post. These probably won’t get a lot of response, and I may not make any sales out of them, but at least no one can say I didn’t try and that they didn’t know I had products.

Blogging Step Seven – Staying Motivated

Seems it’s been a little while since I wrote my last “blogging step”. Of course, if you want to see the other steps you can click on the blogging tips at the top of this blog, one of the special pages I created to highlight when I write about blogging specifically.

In this case, it’s the topic of staying motivated. The one thing I hate seeing is a blog that was going along fine and suddenly there’s no more posts, or else a post once a week, once a month, etc. Actually, I don’t have a problem with those folks who only post once a week, but anything less frequent almost begs the question why you’re bothering.

There are usually 3 main reasons why people stop writing a blog:

1), they can’t think of what to say

2), they’re not getting much feedback and thus are discouraged

3), they’re tired

Let’s take this last one first. There are some people who have written for years, and they’re just plum tuckered out. I have that feeling every once in awhile. Maybe this blog is only about to celebrate its 3rd anniversary, but my other blog is more than 5 years old. I still have plenty to say, but you know, there are times when my mind just feels really tired. Some big time bloggers quit in 2010, though I can’t recall any names as I’m writing this. They announced it, then moved on. There’s really nothing to do with those folks except thank them for their service and try to move into their slot.

The next two are workable, though. Let’s start with not being able to think of what to say. To me, every day there’s a new topic of something to talk about. But this isn’t a niche blog. I’ve often cautioned people not to make their niche so finite that they have nothing to talk about anymore. Dead blogs are embarrassing, and blogs that only have a post every 3 to 6 months aren’t worth anyone’s time.

Almost any topic lends itself to something else one can write about. Almost, that is. Early this year I was writing a blog for a chiropractor in another state. I knew that if we stuck with just that I’d be out of topics within a week. That’s a topic where it probably takes a chiropractor to find new things to talk about that keeps it fresh. However, what I was allowed to do was write about controversial medical subjects as well as maladies people suffer that could be addressed by a chiropractor. This opened the world to many possibilities and I wrote about things that I’d heard about but never had a reason to research before. It was pretty fun, and it’s too bad it only lasted 3 months.

Also, there are no real rules in length of posts, and nothing saying you can’t divide a long post into two posts and link them to each other, which I’ve done with other blogs on occasion. No one is going to beat you up for that; it’s all about figuring out ways to be creative, both for yourself and for others. If you feel something, you’ll be able to express it and show it, and your readers will feel it as well.

Now, this brings us to the last point, which is getting feedback. You folks who visit here hear this over and over; blogging is a community. This isn’t Field of Dreams; if you build it, they’re not just going to come. We all need to show others that we care about them as much as we hope they care about us. Yes, blogging takes time, but it doesn’t necessarily take work.

It’s not work if you’re visiting blogs that offer something you’re interested in. There are wonderful writers out there writing on your topic, as well as off topics you might not have considered before. If you need to find blogs on your topic, go to Google, click on “more”, go down to blogs, type in your topic and you’re good to go.

Or join a blogging community of some sort to find blogs to read. I belong to both BloggerLuv and P50 Allied Bloggers. Not that I needed to join a community but it was both a fun thing to do and a way to expose my blog to some people I wouldn’t have met otherwise.

And, by the way, let me dispel this old saw you’ve probably heard. Just because a blog might not have any comments or no indication that it’s not well visited doesn’t mean it has no value to you. Every blog you want to comment on has value of some kind. One good comment can earn many more in return. You might even get someone to write a post thanking you for being one of their early commenters.

Remember, everything you see or do is a potential blog post, possibly on your main blog topic. Just be alert and willing to see things as a story unfolding before your eyes. And work on engaging with others; we all love that.

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