Tag Archives: rankings

Results Of My Mobile Speed/12 Posts In September Test

I took last week off from writing a new blog post because I wanted to give my epic post on blogging mistakes a chance to gain some traction. I also figured it would be a good time to see how some of my efforts worked out as I worked on increasing my web presence after all that work I did on my mobile speed.

mobile speed
This is speedy!

First, let’s talk about the goals I set out to accomplish when I announced at the beginning of September that I was going to write 12 posts in the month:
Continue reading Results Of My Mobile Speed/12 Posts In September Test

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What Passes For Good Information Might Not Be

By now those of you who are using WordPress as your blogging platform of choice know that there’s an update, 3.9. It’s definitely changed some things, including overriding some of my settings for how I have my admin area colorized, but I’m going to let that go… for now…

panel01

Instead, I want to key on something you might not have noticed yet. If you look at the comment section of your admin area, underneath the names of people who comment on your blog you’ll now see this number. It shows how many times someone has commented on your blog; cool eh?

I thought that this would be cool to use because maybe I’d want to write a post showing how many people have commented often and how often they’ve done so. Then I looked deeper at it.

As an example I’m showing a strip of my admin panel (so, my colors are funky lol) highlighting our friend Peter Pellicia when he was calling himself Sire. You’ll notice that had made 3 separate comments; you’ll also notice that the number of approved comments WordPress is showing aren’t the same. Heck, they’re all drastically different.

I looked at a bunch of comments from Pete just to see if I could find a pattern. Turns out that answer is no. It’s not based on link, topic, email address, name… You can look at it yourself; there’s nothing defining what it’s looking at.

Thus, I’m forced to conclude that, even though it initially seemed cool, it’s really worthless information. There’s nothing legitimate I can do with it, and if you look at your information, at some point you might realize the same thing.

Sometimes that’s just how it goes. Some of us hold onto certain numbers as if they’re the Holy Grail while others look at those numbers and scoff. Let’s see… Klout score, page rank, Alexa rank, Compete rank, number of followers on Twitter, number of friends on Facebook… over and over we see numbers that are supposed to mean something that probably mean less than what we think. Some are good as a visceral reference (for instance, I tend to use Alexa as a broad based number to determine how well a website’s traffic might be, realizing that a site in the 100,000’s is working better than a site in the 3 millions while recognizing that a site in the 3 millions might be making more money if it’s targeted to its audience properly), but not much else.

For that matter, even the number of blog comments might not tell you what’s going on with your blog. The difference between a blog post with 300 comments and a blog post with 2 might be the popularity of the writer and not the content. If Sergey Brin writes a blog post and takes comments, how many people do you think will comment hoping that either he’ll see it and want to hire them to work for Google (ain’t happening kids lol) as opposed to commenting on this blog hoping I can help make them famous (that’s not happening either… for now…)?

Even Google Analytics, for all the press and publicity we’ve all given it, can’t really help us out. Most of the data about keywords is hidden in a collective area, so we don’t even know why or how people are finding us via search engines. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what the data they’re giving us really means in the long run; that’s not helpful is it?

Bummer right? If there are so many reports and such that we can’t trust, what can we trust to help us figure things out?

First, you know what your engagement is like, so trust your instincts. I love using Adrienne Smith as an example of someone who truly gets the engagement piece. Her blog posts always get a lot of comments, and not nickel and dime stuff. She puts things on Facebook and Google Plus and you see a lot of people responding to it, even if it’s just questions like what color is your dog (I don’t think that’s specifically one she’s asked but… lol).

Me? Most of the things I put on Google Plus are ignored, and sometimes I wish more of the stuff I share on Facebook was. lol Still, I know where I stand and have an opportunity to figure out what I need to do to improve. I don’t need any of the rankings to tell me what’s going on; I can see which posts people are commenting on and I know which of my tweets get shared on Twitter.

If you didn’t sit back and look at the numbers, are you comfortable trusting your own instincts to know where you stand on social media? For that matter, do you trust your instincts to help you get through life? Let me know; I’m interested in this topic and hope you are also.
 

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Blog Posts, Comments, Business, Rankings…

I found this quite intriguing, enough for me to decide to write on the topic. I got inspiration for this post from not one, but two blog posts. The first one was from Marcus Sheridan on a post titled 10,862 Comments Later, I Realize Blog Comments are NOT a Business Model. This post led me to the second post by John Falchetto, titled The Right Traffic And What The 4hour Workweek Post Taught Me About Blogging.

John started with the premise that out of all the blog posts he’d been writing, he was getting lots of comments but none of it turned into business. At the same time, he felt that people reading some of his posts were missing some of the points he was trying to make, and of course that took away from the effectiveness of them, in his mind, and thus the possibility of getting the kind of traffic he was hoping for.

Marcus took this a bit further, and added a conversation he got to have with John.

First, he owned up to how many comments his blog has gotten in a very short period of time; puts me to shame. Second, he owned up to the fact that he hasn’t sold a single product geared to his main business from this blog, even with all those comments.

Third, after his conversation with John, he started to wonder if maybe there were things he could do with his blog that John was starting to do, that being to make sure to write a post a day, sometimes more than one, and increase the prominence of the blog, at the possible exclusion of comments, to potentially generate more income. Of course I’ve kind of simplified the thoughts of both posts, so it’d be a good idea to go read each one of them.

I commented on Marcus’ post, but not on John’s, mainly because John asked a question I wasn’t sure I could answer in a short comment: ‘Which lessons has your blog taught you?‘.

Good question, eh? Well, let’s take a look at it if I may, based on not only the question, but their two posts and the title of this post as well. Numbers please!

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1. I used to have a pretty tight blogging schedule for this blog; I still do, but not necessarily by design. I had a yearly goal of 300 posts a year, plain and simple. That meant 25 posts a month on average, and I was able to do it. At some point, though, I decided that it shouldn’t only be about the numbers of posts; I wanted more comments.

So I slowed down the number of posts somewhat, and I started getting more comments. I still don’t come close to the number Marcus or many other people get, but it did increase.

Yet, do you know when the biggest period of growth this blog ever had was? That week last November when I had two blog posts a day, the first one being a regular post and the evening one advertising one of my products.

The overall traffic for this blog shot up drastically, even if comments dropped significantly. Both my Alexa rank and Google Analytics said my numbers increased. And do you know when I had the most traffic to my business site?

The week after when I did the same thing on my business blog that I did on this blog. Very few comments but a drastic rise in visits.

This does seem to prove one thing; the more posts one has, the more traffic one gets. I know someone is going to say “I don’t write that many posts and look at my numbers.” I’ll just point to my latest business blog as an example; I added it to my SEO site in August and without many comments traffic has risen 65% in less than 90 days; wow!

2. With traffic comes higher rankings… of sorts. My Alexa ranking for my SEO site has gone from 2.78 million the day I started the blog on that site to 483,000 and change on Thursday.

That’s not bad for less than 90 days, and that’s just with a post every 3 days. And without all that many comments; it does say something for having more activity. It doesn’t address where the blog would be if I were posting daily, but for now the traffic stats are undeniable.

3. Well, we do have to come down to business, don’t we? Comments don’t equal business; both Marcus and John are correct on that. We all still want comments, but John’s now increasing the number of posts regardless of the number of comments, and Marcus is thinking about it.

Me… I’m not sure. Well, I am sure, but I’m not sure what I can do about it. I’ve always said I didn’t expect this blog to make me a lot of money, but I did hope that it, in combination with other things I was doing, would at least generate more business interest than it has. However, my SEO blog has yet to generate any business interest either, but I figure it’s still kind of early.

I might be able to get a boost after a live presentation I’m a part of next week at a conference called the BizBuzz Social Media Conference here in the Syracuse area, where I’m talking about business blogging; at least it’s part of the overall strategy. But a stat I will report based on a little case study is that out of 36 keyword phrases I came up with before starting the blog I’ve increased in the number I’m found by from 13 to 23, and the rankings are higher as well for all but 2 of them. So, the potential for business there has increased, even if it hasn’t happened yet.

Anyway, those are the lessons blogging has taught me regarding these things. Now, I have my own questions. Do you believe writing more blog posts would help your blog improve its rankings? Do you believe you’d be capable of increasing the number of blog posts you write, even if it were just as an experiment? And finally, what do you want from your blog, or blogs?

Man, I love when people make me think! 🙂
 

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My Online Goals For 2010, And A Look Back At 2009

It’s been a year since I wrote about my online goals for 2009. Let’s take a look at those goals and see what happened.

1. Earn at least $2,500 online. Nope, I didn’t make it, but I did make a little bit more than half, coming in at $1,384.65. I had 7 months over $100, including one month where I was over $225. I think I’ll need another year to see if history has anything to do with sales, as the last two months and the first two months of this year period were the worst for me.

2. Revamp my Services and Stuff site. I looked at it all year and in the end, just didn’t have my heart into changing it around. I did make some minor updates here and there, but nothing dramatic in any way.

3. Work my way up to 500 subscribers to my blog. In January I had 54 subscribers. My best day for subscribers was one day this month where the number showed I was up to 126 subscribers. That’s more than double of what I had, but far shorter than where I was. Oddly enough, things jumped drastically when I said I was going to start writing more personal posts than technical posts; I’ll take that to mean that folks were actually more engaged than they had been before, and I thank those of you who have subscribed to this blog.

4. Determine at least three series to write on this year. I ended up the year with only one new series, but I’m thinking about creating another one because I’ve talked about it enough, such that it’s probably going to be an upcoming post. The series I created was SEO, and the topic that might turn into one is Twitter. Twitter doesn’t quite fit as a series, yet I think by now I’ve written about it in some fashion at least 20 times.

5. Get into Technorati’s top 60,000. This one I didn’t even have a chance to do because at some point this year Technorati totally changed how the numbers worked and looked.

That was a look at where my mind was last year at this time and what I had hoped to accomplish. My mind is in a much different place this year, and yet there are still some major goals I want to reach. I have been reading many other blogs lately that have talked about their 2010 goals, as well as how they did last year. I’m on the failed end, as I didn’t achieve a single one of my goals. And with what I’m about to put up, I’m not sure I’ll hit any of these goals, as they’re going to be somewhat audacious. Sometimes, it’s not hitting the goal that’s as important as the process for improvement. Let’s take a look at my five goals for 2010.

1. Earn at least $15,000 online. Yeah, I know, I didn’t even hit $2,500 last year, so what makes me think I can do even better this year? One has to have a goal, and one has to make plans towards that goal. I’m going to be changing some things up on this blog, and probably my other blogs. I know of some changes I’m going to make on at least one of my sites. In essence, I figure it’s time to set myself up for the possibility of making more money. I need to start putting together more of these things that I’ve learned rather than waiting around for the big epiphany to hit me. I’m not about to change up the frequency of my blogging, but I hope to make some of it better.

2. Reach those 500 subscribers. I had a nice increase this year, but it wasn’t my goal. When I wrote about that fine line between blogging success and failure I recognized that making small changes can sometimes have drastic results. This will be year three of having this blog, and I’ve got a lot of content that I might think is pretty good, but it’s not reaching as much audience as I feel it needs to reach. The same goes for my other blogs and websites, but I’m concentrating on this one for new subscribers.

3. Increase real visitors to this site to 3,000 a month on average. Yeah, that “real” word is there for a reason. If I believed the numbers that my host is telling me, I’m getting more than 25,000 hits a month on this blog. Well, hits aren’t actual visitors, and we all know that. My real visitors has come back up from the hit it took after I left town last year for a consulting assignment, and I need it to keep increasing. I’ve noticed, as many others have noticed, that when I write more, I get more visitors. However, now that I’m making a part of my living doing writing, I’m not sure I can get to a point where I can write two posts a day for this blog. In this past year I only had one month where I wrote fewer than 20 posts for the month, but I didn’t hit 30 once either. I’m going to be doing more of that, and if one of those two posts a day is a sales post of some type, well, that counts as well. I’ve noticed that there are some internet marketers who make sure they mention things more than once that they’re marketing in their blogs; heck, you see how this campaign for the Beyond Blogging book has gone. If I made even 3 sales I’m going to consider that a success for me; if I make more than 5, I’m going to consider it a lesson learned.

4. Get even more publicity this year by guest posting. In 2009, I did a lot of interviews and ended up in both print and online radio. What I haven’t figured out is how to turn any of that into major benefits for myself. The one thing I didn’t do in 2009 was any guest posts; I did my guest posts in 2008. I wasn’t asked, but I also didn’t put myself out there in saying that I would write any guest posts. I’m doing that now; anyone who wants guest posts, write me at the email address on my About page and let me know what you’d like me to write about. Heck, for that matter, if you’d like to write a guest post for my blog on any appropriate topic, let me know that as well.

5. Get my Alexa rank for two of my blogs into the top 100,000. This one is going to be harder than I think it is, but it’s got to get done. This blog is right now sitting at 142,467, which isn’t all that bad, but back in March it was 127,242. My Top Finance Blog was only created last December, and it’s got an Alexa rank of 361,787. My business blog is tied into my entire business website, and I’m not sure if the blog can help the entire website move any higher, but if it can, it’s sitting at 382, 865 as of today. With the two blogs, getting ranked into the top 100,000 means asking for advertising is a legitimate prospect, even though this blog has a 0 page rank because of previously having those nofollow Text Link Ads. I’ve asked Google to evaluate me, but I guess they have better things on their mind so I’m not pushing the issue.

Anyway, those are my 2010 online goals. What do you think, and what are you hoping to achieve in 2010? By the way, if you’d like some help in setting goals, download this free gift from Paul Myers on goals.

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