Well, as you might expect, I’ve been trawling around the Internet over the Christmas holiday, to see what I can do to improve these figures:
- One problem that clearly arises is that I just don’t have the time to post every day, which is what most money-making gurus recommend. I have a full-time job and get home late, and tired, most days. I’ll do what I can, but daily posts are out of the question. I can, however, probably commit to posting about once a week and sometimes twice… The key to achieving this is to find things to post about. For that, I think, Twitter is my friend. I subscribe to services I’m interested in (like science news, for example) and I’ll be sent news stories constantly.
- Monetize your blog with other services and don’t just rely on Adsense. Amazon is clearly not working for me, either. I had better start searching for other ad suppliers. Also, I may need to rearrange the blog a bit to make the ads more prominent – as long as they don’t interfere with reading the blog itself of course. I hate intrusive ads. Advertising may be necessary but I don’t think it is very clever to annoy your readers or customers. So: no animated ads! Anyway, the key point of this tip is to actually focus on the monetization for a while: be a marketer, not a blogger first (at least to get things happening). That’s one project for me to look at, right there. I’ll also be looking at this article on Making Money Blogging from ProBlogger.com, and at JohnChow.com, who makes money blogging about how much money he makes blogging… and who bombards you with e-mail and affiliate linked ideas for you to spend all that money you haven’t earned yet. Still he has interesting ideas and some free e-books on the subject. I have yet to take action based on what I’ve read there – although this article is one step, I suppose!
- The content of the blog has to be informative and useful. Hmm… OK, well, I tend to voice my opinion, which may be informative, but is it useful? Better think of some useful things to write about too. I had thought the film reviews would be useful, but Google seems to have suddenly stopped sending visitors to those articles – over the last week or so the visitor numbers have dropped by a massive 80%. Other articles have remained much as usual, strangely enough. Has my ranking for those articles dropped for some reason? I see in Google’s Webmaster Tools that the “not selected” pages in the Index Status (Advanced) graph dropped at the same time from 1,888 pages not indexed, to 878 pages not indexed (1,010 down). Not sure why, but I suppose something must be going on. And yet… when I go to Traffic > Search Queries, I see that many of my pages are on the first page of Google’s results – including for some of the film reviews. So where are all the visitors??? Baffled. If you have any ideas, do let me know (click the Comments link at the bottom of this article)! Anyway, before I monetize the blog much, I must get more visitors to it, otherwise there’s little point. Apparently the level at which it can start to pay off is about 1,000 visitors a day – so that has to be my current first target.
- Content has to be unique: well, it is on this site – I write it all myself. Scraping content from elsewhere and simply reproducing it is obviously not on. Certainly I can get ideas from elsewhere – almost all creativity is derivative to a large degree – but I will always put my own slant on it: people read blogs, after all, for the opinions and points of view expressed, as much as for the actual information.
- It can obviously help a lot if the site is focussed on just one subject, but for a general blog like this one, it isn’t going to happen. Instead, I should, in theory, focus on the content that people who like to share stuff will like… Darned if I know who they may be. I don’t really have any idea of what sorts of people are reading this blog, nor how to find out – it would be useful to know, of course, but in the meantime, just share it, guys and gals! Click those Facebook, Twitter, Redditt, Digg and StumbleUpon, etc., links! I should also use these methods, although submitting my own stuff to Redditt, I would imagine, would get me banned eventually. Anyway, social networking is supposed to be really good for getting traffic. Possibly, with my marketing hat on, I should be actively searching these sites for people interested in my sort of stuff and ‘Friending’ them, or adding them to my Following circles or something. Now there’s another project right there…
- One is also supposed to participate in online communities where one’s readership already gathers – but since I don’t know who they are, and don’t have the time anyway, that’s a bit difficult. I suppose I should go to online forums that discuss subjects I myself am interested in. When I have a load of time to spare. The last time I was able to spend any time doing this was when I was unemployed.
So… what do you think? I’ve very interested in any constructive comments you may have, so do click on the Comments link below and let me know!