Category Archives: Research

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. šŸ˜‰

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. šŸ™‚

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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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?

Casio Desktop Printing Calculator






September Income Report – A Fluke!

Back in January when I wrote my last income report, I said I wouldn’t be writing another one of these until I made $500 through online stuff in one month.


Piles of Money
by Thomas Hawk

Well, September turns out to be my first month, although not quite how I ever thought it would pan out. It was my best month ever with Adsense, made a couple of sales I hadn’t expected, and I find that I like seeing the money coming in like this; I want more!

So, without further ado, how did I make my money in September online?


Flipped Website – $300.00
Adsense – $197.47
Infolinks – $24.70
Commission Junction – $20.00
Product Sales – $15.95
Google Affiliate Network (Barnes & Noble) – $3.24
Kontera – $0.47
Bidvertiser – $0.48

Total – $562.31!

Just to get it out of the way, for those of you who saw my post on Google picking on me, I made 14 cents on this blog from them in September; not a big loss.

The selling of one of my websites was interesting, I must say. It came out of the blue (not saying which one it was for now) and I almost just deleted the email. Then I thought about it and realized I just wasn’t going to ever have the time to do it justice, so I let it go. It took about 2 weeks to finally get the transaction done, mainly because he needed someone to help him with setting up the new site, and of course we didn’t know each other so the level of trust had to be overcome. But we got it done. Website flipping won’t be something I do on a regular basis, but I have one more site that I might try to build up some and eventually sell it; we’ll see.

Most of that Adsense money and all of the Infolinks money came from one site in particular, which has turned out to be a gold mine for me. It does prove in a way that you can make some pretty good money on niche sites. The GAN sale came from one of my newsletters. The other two… actually, one came from my finance blog that I forgot I even had one of their ads on, and I have no idea where the other one came from. And the CJ payment came from someone buying a year of hosting from 1&1 through me; neat!

And that’s that. Now to go back into the cave on this type of reporting until it happens again; I hope it’s not another 2 1/2 years before it happens. šŸ™‚
 

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Post #802; An Interesting Period

Well, talk about a strange period. I wrote 102 posts actually in just over 3 months, to the point that I’ve gone a post over and this one is actually #803. It’s a far cry from how I got to post #701.

Over the past month, what I’ve done is written a bunch of posts in advance because of the social media workshop I had coming, and then when I had a couple other things that hit my mind, including that post last week on the process for updating Twitter Tools (discontinued 10/12), I inadvertently went past the number without realizing it. No matter; I actually do these particular posts more for myself than anyone else so I can chronicle where I’ve been and where I’m going.

First, let’s stick with my norm, which is to indicate what my top 5 categories were for the month:

Blogging – 17

Sunday Question – 14

Social Media – 13

Personal – 11

Marketing – 8

“Sunday Question” was a new category for this period, as I realized that calling it “personal” just didn’t quite work. On it’s own, it should probably always make the top list since it inherently has at least 12 posts for its category for now. I’m thinking of running it until the end of the year, then evaluating it to see if it’s worth continuing. Sometimes it garners pretty good conversation, while other times people are somewhat reluctant to state their opinion on my questions. Hey, onward and upward.

One interesting thing I recognized for the first time while checking the stats for this post is that when I go into Google Analytics and pull up the individual posts that had the most activity during the period, it automatically resets itself back to a one month review, and I’d never noticed that before. Therefore, some of the numbers I’m going to post here are going to look skewed against past figures, but that’s okay. Actually, the funny thing is that when I changed the dates, only one article changed from what was in the original list. Three of the articles on this list were on the last list, and the one before it as well. And this time, as opposed to the last 100, there is one article written during the period that’s on the list, tied for 5th. Here’s the list:

Cleavage ā€“ Yeah, Iā€™m Going There ā€“ 4,691

Webshots – 377

Getting Google Desktop To Index Thunderbird – 309

Top 100 Singers Of All Time – 151

Should Sexting Be Illegal? – 151

I’m still amazed that article on “cleavage” is still going that strong; how amazing is that? The “sexting” article is the newest one, written in June, and the one on Google Desktop, written in November 2008, continues to be a big draw, even though I’ve written a newer one since then.

As for the posts with the most comments on them, I had one that really kind of took off, but otherwise comments were actually down this period, strange compared to activity. So be it; I’ll need to continue to work on things that people can comment on I suppose. Here are the top 5, though it’s going to be 6:

When Things Get Personal On Blogs ā€“ 58

Are Americans Stupid, Or Do We Just Not Care? – 46

My Hot Tub Adventure – 33

Sunday Question ā€“ How Much Do You Like Yourself? – 32

Anniversary #13; Hanging In There So Far – 30

Formatting Your Images On Your WordPress Blog – 30

During this period, I started talking more about the concept of influence, as I realized that to realize a lot of my goals I’m going to have to increase my influence both online and locally. I also learned how to add feeds to this blog, my other blogs, and some of my websites, that show the most recent posts from my other blogs. That’s my attempt to increase the visibility of everything I have across the board.

So I’m on my way, and I hope that over the next 100 posts, actually 97 posts I guess, I get into more topics that y’all will enjoy and learn from and share your thoughts on. I want to be as big as one of my favorite new blogs to visit, Twist Image by Mitch Joel. Check it out at your leisure.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled program.

Total Micro Auto/Airline Adapter for Notebooks






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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.

LG 50PS11 50″ Plasma TV

Price – $989.99








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