Quaternity of Blogging

by derek on July 10, 2007 · 21 comments

This blog has been alive and growing for four months now and I have to be completely honest with you, I’m still having as much fun with this site as I was on the very first day.
After the first two months being focused on specific metrics and worrying about how much my Rank-O-Mania had increased, I decided to shake things up a little bit and just focus my efforts on meeting new people and trying to expand my social network.
You may recall that last month I successfully met all of my community focused goals and wanted to continue that into the 4th month.
As I wrapped up my third month of blogging, I had commented that I was going to give BlogCatalog a try and hopefully continue to build my community.
With my new registration, I took a moment to share my first impressions of their service and was looking forward to exploring the new service. With the excitement of using BlogCatalog, I had submitted my personal finance blog and had disappointing results – which prompted my comments about the link bait at BlogCatalog.
That post received a nice amount of traffic and even brought one of the BlogCatalog employees to my site. Daniel got off to a rocky start but I give him credit for staying in there and participating in the discussion.
Unfortunately there were some technical difficulties and BlogCatalog lost some data and had to revert to their backup from June 25th. This meant that I lost all of the friends that I had added and the neighborhoods that I had joined. Even my picture was gone.
Since the loss of this data, I haven’t really been doing much on BlogCatalog as I haven’t had the motivation to try and restore all of the data that I am now missing.
I’ve been running my Speedlinking posts for about two months now and I absolutely love these posts. Hopefully you guys have been enjoying them as much as I have!
It is always nice to share a little bit of the link love with those that have helped this blog grow and have the success that it has had. As I’ve said numerous times before, without the participation of the community this would not be nearly as fun and interesting.
Part of the fun that I have had with the Speedlinking is trying to change up my sources for the link love. I’ve used a handful of different ideas and right now I am accepting reader submissions so be sure to contact me if you have a post that deserves to be featured!
Statistics are a funny beast – the more you worry about them and check them the less they seem to increase. As I mentioned last month, I experienced some nice increases across the board once I stopped focusing on the various metrics. This past month has been no exception.
As I’ve been trying to stay focused on the social aspects of blogging, my statistics have been steadily improving:

  • RSS Subscribers :: Ever since the very first month of this blog I had a goal to reach 50 RSS subscribers but have fallen short each and every month – until now!. I’ve finally surpassed this goal and now have 66 RSS subscribers with a high for the month of 69 RSS subscribers. To each and every one of you – thank you!
  • Technorati :: Last month I had a Technorati ranking of 50,511 and I have since moved up to 32,871! There is still a long road ahead but my ranking has been slowly improving as each day goes by.
  • Alexa :: The Alexa ranking is something that I have never really tracked in any of my updates but I keep an eye on it with the Search Status extension for Firefox. My Alexa ranking is now right around 145,000 and has also been making steady improvements.
  • Traffic :: Another area that has seen a nice improvement is the traffic to this site. While I know it pales in comparison to many other blogs, I am quite proud of the increase in traffic. Last month my Analytics account indicated there were 939 unique visits and 1980 page-views. This month my report shows 1,444 unique visits and 2,799 page-views. That represents an increase of roughly 53% more unique visitors and 41% more page-views – much of which came as a result of having my post about being a better husband stumbled!

Monetization Update
After making my latest update on my blogging for money progress, I received my first donation via the If you liked this post, help me pay for Chopper College Tuition plugin that runs on every post.
I’d like to take a minute to pass along my thanks to Chris Gray from SEO Ladder for making the first contribution to my Chopper College tuition!
What The Future Holds
Given that I have been having so much fun focusing on the social aspects of blogging and meeting new people, I am going to continue that focus into next month.
I’d like to give BlogCatalog another try as I attempt to restore the friends and neighborhoods that I had added to my profile. I’ve had a good time using the discussions feature on BC so I will continue to try and be active there as well.
Other than that my goals are to add more of my favorite sites to my RSS reader and to also stay active with my comments and participation on other blogs.
Be sure to join the fun here with my other full-feed RSS subscribers or you can just keep checking the site (but that is not nearly as fun) . When you stop by, be sure to say hello as it’s always more fun to talk to someone other than myself. 😉

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Brown Baron July 11, 2007 at 1:05 am

This blog is getting better and better every time I come here. Nice job and congrats on all your milestones.


Damien Riley July 11, 2007 at 1:20 am

You rock dude! I have gone a “non-monetized” route, but I still enjoy your blog as a personal blog on some levels. You’re very gracious about what happened with BC. In my opinion, they are all flash and no substance. one of these days when I have time I’m gonna go pull my 3 blogs outa there. Congrats on all your progress, it’s quite impressive. Remember to keep it fun!


Tony Berkman July 11, 2007 at 7:02 pm

Based on reading your blog you have interesting and useful perspectives about blogging.
So I am really curious about your opinion on how you’d make blogcatalog more substance for you than flash?


Leo July 11, 2007 at 1:57 am

Glad to hear things are working well for your blog, Derek!
After your post on BC, Oscar from BC contacted me to let me know that he approved my account despite me not putting up their widget. A classy move on his part.
I have ventured on BC and tried to get involved with communities and forums but have had very little referrals as a result. So far I am not impressed but we’ll see as their community grows. The data loss did set them back as I too have lost all my contacts.


Chris Gray July 16, 2007 at 8:41 pm

I was pretty disappointed about the BC data loss. It seems that many others lost a decent amount of “community building” time and effort that took place after the restoration point. I personally am going to wait a while before I return to BC and start adding friends again.


Jason Neuman July 11, 2007 at 6:06 am

Good work on the stats and excellent work on the donation.


taylor July 11, 2007 at 6:57 am

The “summer slowdown” can be disheartening, especially when those smaller checks start rolling in – but it looks like all your important numbers are moving in the right direction.
If you’ve not heard, there’s a blogging conference coming up in Las Vegas in November called Postiecon, where all the “pro” bloggers are going to teach the rest of us how to best monetize our blogs. Certainly worth a look.
Also, best of luck on Chopper College! I have to pay off my own tuition before making donations though…


Erik Karey July 11, 2007 at 9:39 am

Congrats on reaching your RSS goals. What are your new goals for your blog? Good to see after four months you still have the same enthusiasm for blogging as day 1.


derek July 11, 2007 at 9:52 am

@Brown Baron :: Thank you! I love it when you stop by the site because I think your avatar is so cool.
@Damien :: Thanks, no doubt I am keeping it fun. I noticed you removed all monetization from your site and like what you are doing – if only I could keep up with all of your posts! 🙂
@Leo :: Funny that BC approved your blog after my post but they left my personal finance site in a declined status. I was trying to overlook that but the loss of data really killed my motivation.
@Jason :: Thanks!
@Taylor :: I’ve heard of PostieCon but since I will be in Vegas in early December, I don’t think I can swing that as well. I’m going to try and attend the BlogHer conference later this month to actually meet some of the people I’ve been chatting with online. Thanks for the comment and I understand the tuition thing all to well. 🙂
@Erik :: Thanks, I didn’t mention specific goals in this post as I am trying not to dwell on numbers. However, I am now setting my sites on 100 RSS subscribers, Technorati ranking under 25,000 and Alexa ranking under 100,000. But more importantly my goal is to do my best to provide useful content and help other bloggers out in any way that I can.


Taylor July 11, 2007 at 10:09 am

@Derek :: I understand, two trips to Vegas in two months is probably not good for your health or wallet, depending on your vice 😉


Increase WebSite Traffic July 11, 2007 at 1:31 pm

ive seen a lot of talk about blog catalog and I’ve just been really disappointed with it. MyBlogLog is a lot better for me… not sure what the craze is


derek July 11, 2007 at 2:30 pm

@Taylor :: It wouldn’t be good for my health only because my wife would likely kill me for making two trips. As it is, I’ve passed on a trip to Vegas with my buddies in the first week of November.
@IWT :: I’m much more comfortable with MBL as well partly because I’ve been using them longer. I think BC has some cool things but I feel they have a lot of catch-up to do because they got started later than MBL.


Increase WebSite Traffic July 11, 2007 at 7:41 pm

I agree definitely. We get anywhere from 100-200 hits per month with MyBlogLog, I’d much rather build on what’s already working


Chris Gray July 16, 2007 at 8:47 pm

Made a trip to Vegas back in January for my buddy’s bachelor party. That place is off the hook. If only I brought more money…I only planned to burn $300…so I spent most of the time watching my friends (but had a blast none the less). That place could definitely get a person in trouble!


Tony Berkman July 11, 2007 at 9:37 pm

Mybloglog is an excellent site and I have total respect and admiration of the guys behind it. The current reality though is that BlogCatalog has become much more responsive to our member’s needs.
Let us know what features you want and provided the features offer real value to BlogCatalog members as well as something that is feasible we will implement.


derek July 11, 2007 at 10:19 pm

Can you get all my friends and neighborhoods back that were lost? 😉
Sorry, I had to – you guys have actually done a pretty good job recovering from the data loss and it is an unfortunate thing that happened but you all seemed to handle it pretty well from what I can see.
I do give you guys credit in that you seem rather responsive to your user community. Something I would like to see is a more robust stat package than is offered by MyBlogLog. They have some nice stats available for free so I would like to see you guys offer something.
FYI, I was on my “Manage” page and clicked the link for the “donor features” under the “Try Our New Features” headline and it resulted in a 404 error.


Tony Berkman July 12, 2007 at 2:50 am

Derek …. ask GoodKnife to get you some Friends and Neighbors 🙂 The guy is a magician.
From a blogger’s perspective what ways we could make a stats package more robust and useful than MBL? Isnt that one area MBL is really strong as its where they came from?
We are currently focused on 2 areas/outcomes (i) how to substantially increase blogger traffic from BC and (ii) how we can create tools that dramatically enhance the ability of bloggers to connect, share ideas and learn from each other.
Im curious if you think these are the 2 core outcomes we should be focused on.


derek July 12, 2007 at 11:13 pm

Tony, you could make a stats package that offers more to the user than the free version currently available at MBL.
However, I do think the two areas you mention have the potential to be more rewarding to bloggers than another source of statistical analysis.
I’ll have to review your blog to see if you guys have disclosed any information on what you may have in store for these two areas. Sounds interesting.


Angie July 12, 2007 at 12:44 am

Do you think Alexa is a valid stat tool? I have read SO much about manipulation of the system, but I know advertisers still look at your Alexa numbers heavily when determining value. It seems a little arbitrary.


derek July 12, 2007 at 12:51 am

No, I don’t really think Alexa is an accurate measurement of your site stats. That is part of the reason that I really haven’t mentioned it until now, although I do still keep tabs on how I am doing.
As you mentioned, many of the various services use your Alexa ranking as a means of placing a value on your site so it can impact you and your efforts to build a successful site.


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