Here is yet another installation of my monthly statistics reporting. I started doing this last June 1, 2007, and I always make it clear that my only goal is to increase my traffic every month – I don’t have any specifics as to how much I want my traffic to increase, I just want it to increase every month. So far I have been successful at increasing my statistics monthly since October 2006, with the exception of the May–June turnaround. In August, my blog experienced yet again another record setting month (statistics-wise).
I had a total of 19,813 unique visitors in August, a 37% increase from July’s 14,444. I received 27,863 visits and served 56,335 page views at 4.34 GB of bandwidth. I also experienced the most visits in a day since my blog was born – 1,042 visits on August 28. The most page views in August was on August 3 at 3,308 but my lifetime record still stands at 4,620 which happened on July 29. Thoughts In Binary received 11,112 referrals from Google and 913 from Yahoo!
I also started monetizing from this blog last August. I have always said that I will only place ads in this blog when I hit the 1,000 daily visits mark and that’s exactly what happened on August 9. Tomorrow I’ll post a short report on my blog’s income for August; there’s really nothing exciting about it, I am still trying to figure out what will work with this blog. I’ll also add that I have the same monetization goals as with my traffic goals – increase income every month with no specifics to how much. I really did not do much to increase my August traffic. In fact, I might have posted the least number of posts per month in August. I also stopped worrying too much about my search engine rankings. I used to check my rankings daily and take notes on the changes – it’s mind boggling. Now I worry less and yet I still experienced an increase. Might be my blog’s age catching up.
One thing I experience on a regular basis is to run out of blog topics. Professional bloggers, with my amazement, blog everyday. Sometimes, they post more than once in a day. If only I could, but in all honesty, I constantly find myself at a loss for topics. And to think this blog is not even concentrated on a niche. I hate it when I can’t blog about anything interesting but I do something, to compensate for potential traffic loss. I post blog fillers.
What are blog fillers?
A blog filler is something I might have completely made up. It can also be called a ghost post. What I do is I blog about something in the past or something not really worthy of the front page. Why? Because blogs are online archives. They layout a history (related or otherwise) of the blogger. Sometimes I write a reminder on my phone to write about an event, but due to some circumstances, I completely forget about the post or sometimes even I might have no access to a computer for a couple of days (yes, it happens). I just go ahead and post about something that is already done, of course with a hint of past tense, and pray that the search engines might still pick them up. Or, I post about something out of the ordinary, about anything I feel someone might be searching for.
This is the opposite of forecasting an event – posting about an event in the future hoping that an early post will yield a top position in search engines. My blog is not really a regularly-read blog. I realized that through my statistics direct visits and repeat visits. Although I’m still hoping this blog becomes a household name someday, at least now I have multiple traffic sources which in turn might convert a stumbler into a loyal reader.
I just checked my statistics, 1,016 visits today for Thoughts In Binary. If you’ve been following my monthly statistics posts (I doubt that), I always mentioned I’ll only place ads in this blog after I break the 1,000 visits per day mark. I had a previous record of 962 visits in July, that was not even good enough (for me) to place ads. I know it sounds weird and it really does not make such a big difference (962 visits as to 1,016) but a promise (to myself) is a promise. And, it works well for my traffic-building discipline.
A small confession first, I’ve been running AdSense in my gallery since April. It was only an experiment, I haven’t really optimized it and I’m just earning close to nothing. Today I added link ad units in the sidebar and banners in single post views. I’m still running the default WordPress theme, I’m not sure how ads will perform under this theme so I might again eat my words and finally change themes – one that is more optimized for displaying ads.
I will give a detailed report on my blog’s monthly earnings, like my monthly statistics. Watch out for my first post on blog earnings on September 2. Blog statistics are reserved for 1st of the month posts and earning on 2nd day of every month.
Here goes my first of the month statistics reporting. I started this in June where I gave a detailed report of my blog’s May traffic. July’s traffic was very good, it was my best so far. So up to now the only month where I experienced a decline in traffic is in June; it’s because I got a very high spike in May and it mellowed down after some posts that were about events expired. Other than that, my blog has experienced traffic growth every month since it’s conception in October 2006. It may be a slow climb, but my goal is simple – increase traffic every month, no matter how small.
I had a total of 14,444 unique visitors in July, surpassing my 12,852 in May. 20,085 visits, 52,341 page views at 2.74 GB bandwidth. I averaged 640.97 visits per day with a record of 962 visits (best ever) on July 25. I had a total of 6,180 referrals from Google, 5,634 from Google Images and 725 from Yahoo!
The increase in traffic is due to a couple of forecast-posts – posts that are about events that will happen in the future. Most of these posts are about the Philippines. I’m dying to monetize this blog, but like I promised to myself, I will not add ads until I reach 1,000 visits in a day. You might think it’s insane putting my traffic to waste but this way I am disciplining myself on traffic building alone. After all, traffic is still the biggest factor in monetization. A change that I did last month was to care less about Search Engine positions and optimizing individual posts. There came a time when I knew exactly what rank my posts were on a daily basis. It gave a headache especially when my rank dropped or my posts were missing. Now, I just decided to mind my own business and just post away. But, I make it a point to post smartly, e.g. I always include posts that have potential for landing searches.
Last Tuesday, I let my domain expire. I admit, it was really stupid. It was the first time I failed to renew an all-important domain. I usually let “2nd-thought” domains expire, but not the primary ones.
In my defense
It was just a sudden mental lapse, after all, I have around 30 domains to my name – an average of 3 domains to renew per month. Also, I recently changed the contact email in my registrar, I swear I did not receive a notice. Also, somehow I forgot to mark the date of expiration in my most-loved Treo. Also, my stupid, but loved, reseller-of-a-domain registrar does not have auto renew. Also, I suck. What kind of aspiring-internet-guru let’s his main blog’s domain expire? Never, ever let this happen. I can’t even figure out how to start enumerating the consequences.
A review of sorts
One of my most-used ad networks is AdBrite. AdBrite offers text-link ad solutions for any kind of website, like Google Adsense, like Text-Link-Ads. However, it does not come close to Google Adsense’s rates and general state-of-the-artness. For one, Google Adsense is contextual – it automatically places ads that are relevant to your site’s content. Adbrite, on the other hand, is just a medium for the publisher to sell text ads (Like TLA), and they also have network ads to fill ad space while no ads are bought from your site.
The only reason I like and use AdBrite is because not all of my sites are Adsense-friendly. AdBrite accepts all kinds of sites. They even have an adult version of it over at AVN ads.
For AdBrite members, you might already be familiar with pricing your own ads from AdBrite’s publisher panel. Basically, you can offer three kinds of text ads – daily, weekly and monthly. The key to maximizing AdBrite is to know how to price your own ads.
To maximize AdBrite revenue, it is important to first know how much potential earnings you’ll get from network ads. This will be the basis of your pricing. Say you earn an average of $5 per day on network ads, I usually get 80% of that and use it to price my daily rate. My daily rate now becomes $4, then I give bulk discounts on weekly and monthly rates. For weekly, I might price it at: $4 x 7 days = $28 – (a little discount) = $24 (depends). And so forth for monthly.
The key for this pricing is to always use your potential network ads earnings as the basis for your daily minimum earnings. In effect, we are avoiding pricing our own ads (sold ads) so cheap (a common error for new publishers to get more advertisers) that we do not maximize our daily earnings.
As promised, on the first of every month, I will give a detailed report of my blog’s traffic figures. We are now only on the second month. Last month’s traffic was very good. This month, I experienced a decrease; this was mainly due to the very confusing Supplemental Results of Google, less updates on this blog because of my new blog, there were less event forecasts last month, and, I haven’t really been blogging for Google that much – secret entries that are only aimed at getting traffic from search engines.
I had a total of 11, 422 unique visitors for June (12,852 for May). 16, 280 visits, 37,631 pageviews – at 1.84 GB monthly bandwidth. I averaged 542.67 visits per day (almost 100 down from May), with a record of 745 visits on June 5. I had a total of 4,562 referrals from Google, 1,011 from Google Images and 588 from Yahoo! This is the only month that my blog experienced a decrease in visitors. Hopefully I’ll be able to make up for it this month.
I still blog daily. Except now, I spread my blogging time on a number of blogs. I’ll still trying to update this blog daily but I guess I was overwhelmed at first when I launced other blogs. Now my pace is catching up and I may still be able to continue blogging here daily. I’m trying to redefine Thoughts In Binary as well. Soon I’ll make a post that will clear what this blog is all about. There’s still no money being made from this blog, that’s not really the priority. I was successful at getting visitors for the oddest SEO-made entries but I am not getting loyal readers. For now, I’d rather have regular readers that people who only pass by because of the search. Well, that’s the goal at least. We’ll see.
Miyabi is the Japanese name of Maria Ozawa; this post has nothing to do with her. The mystery is behind my Maria Ozawa post that never in my four years of learning the ways of search engines has bedazzled me as much. I wrote the entry last April 30, 2007. Below you will see the trend of it’s ranking in Google for the keyword “Maria Ozawa,” as I have pretty much looked after it daily.
May 1, 2007 # 34
May 4, 2007 # 0
May 5, 2007 # 0
May 6, 2007 # 0
May 7, 2007 # 0
May 11, 2007 # 0
May 12, 2007 # 15
May 14, 2007 # 12
May 17, 2007 # 0
May 18, 2007 # 0
May 20, 2007 # 0
May 22, 2007 # 0
May 26, 2007 # 0
June 2, 2007 # 0
June 7, 2007 # 12
June 9, 2007 # 11
June 11, 2007 # 0
June 12, 2007 # 0
# 0 indicates that the page is missing in Google’s index. As you can see, the ranking I get for “Maria Ozawa” is quite satisfactory. The problem is that it is indexed only at a maximum of three days at a time, then will be gone for at least a week before it goes back again. In effect, my traffic trend has been very erratic. What’s more surprising though, is that the page is always present if you switch www.google.com.ph in Tagalog mode (our local dialect).
I have added some backlinks as per the advise of Selaplana in my Supplemental Results post, it did work for a while but then I lost it again. I have also added links to that page from other legitimate sources but still to no avail. Maybe I’ll just let it go.
So after all your optimization efforts, you finally reach the Google front page for your chosen keyword. You reach the 9th or 10th position at first, you think life’s good but it can get better. Normally one would aim to reach the top position, but there are times that our chosen keywords are so saturated that the difference between the first, second and third positions are about a thousand inbound links each.
First thing’s first
Make your <title> as catchy as possible. Controversial if practicable. This would go well with the next steps. By the way, I’m assuming that by now you already know search engine optimization methods. After all, you’ve already reached the front page. After the <title> comes the very important first paragraph of your page. Good practice would be to include a short description of what people can expect if they click on your search result. Keep it short and simple. Good practice also tells us that our keywords come first. For example on the keywords Paris Hilton: “Paris Hilton goes to jail” is better than “Serving time: Paris Hilton.”
Aim for the top-fold
The top-fold of the search results (or any other site) is the part which is viewable after the page loads. It is the part where you need not use the scrollbar to see content. In Google, six search results show up on the top-fold. This would vary on different screen resolutions. Here is a screenshot of a Google search for Angelina Jolie thatÂ shows the first six results inthe top-fold.
Because you made a catchy <title>
Naturally, your page will standout among the search results. Take note that the <title> has the biggest font in the search results. Imagine you are at position # 6 with the title “Britney Spears in a gold bikini” and the # 1 spot says “Britney Spears filmography.” Even if I were really searching for Britney Spears’ filmography I would stillÂ go back and see that gold bikini page.
The first paragraph
Then we resort to the first paragraph if the title trick fails. Again we visit our Angelina Jolie screenshot. Look at search result # 6 (AskMen.com). Notice how simple and straightforward their description of what you can expect when you click on their page. This works well especially for searchers who avoid visiting useless pages like spam sites.
Always remember that there is someone out there trying to compete for your search ranking. Remember to always update your page because Google takes notice of this. By updating your page, you are telling Google that your information is still valid and not outdated.
Why not the first?
Strive for the best right? Try to make it to # 1. A number one search result will always have a higher click count. That’s just the way it is. Time is also factor before reaching the top result. Work it gradually and let it take it’s natural course. A sudden burst of incoming links might make it to # 1 overnight, but will not last.
Quite premature but I will be updating this post often. I have been desperate to find a solution for those of my sites thatÂ do not comply withÂ AdSense terms. My latest adventure is AzoogleAds.
AzoogleAds is a Cost Per Action based advertising company. This means that I, being the publisher, will only earn if a visitor to my site not only clicks on the ad, but does something more like fill up a survey, download a free screensaver, etc. They say that AzoogleAds has the best offers among the the CPA networks. They haveÂ Screensavers.com and most of the Smiley offers we see everywhere.
Applying for AzoogleAds
Since I am only new to the network, the only review I can give for now is the whole application process. Of course we have the usual filling out of forms and waiting for either a rejection or acceptance email. I received the email (acceptance) 5 days after applying. It says that I have to manually mail my W8 form before I can get the log-in details. With other networks, you can just email a scanned copy of your W8. Around a week after mailing my W8, I got my log-in details.
IÂ logged-in the publishers areaÂ to familiarize myselfÂ and look for some possible offers.Â The control area is very-well organized and easy to understand. IÂ have already seen someÂ good offersÂ which I’llÂ probably use in a couple of sites. What is interesting though, is that when you log-in, on the topmost part of the screen you can see a picture of your affiliate manager with some contact details.Â What’s evenÂ more interesting though isÂ I think my affiliate manager is Filipino. InÂ fact, he wrote myÂ personal welcome letterÂ starting with “Kamusta.” IÂ know thatÂ in AzoogleAds,Â eachÂ publisherÂ has an affiliate manager to helpÂ publishers toÂ earn more.Â
The links to AzoogleAds in this post contain my affiliate id. If you believe in good karma, it would be wise to click on them if you have found my articleÂ the least bit informative. If not, then go directly to AzoogleAds and I wish you all the luck especially when the time comes to promote your own affiliate id.