April 2006 – first Digg front page

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After a pretty slow start to 2006, April was the month were Coolest Gadgets really started to take off. With the slowness of the previous months we were down to one paid writer, though my friend Keith also freely wrote about a fair few gadgets. Between us we were averaging about 5 posts per day (many of which I think I did in my “lunch hour” at work 🙂 ).

Whilst doing my daily gadget hunt I came across this really cool GPS tracker on Think Geek. It’s the sort of gadget that’s easy to write about and the fact it was also an affiliate product was an added bonus though I would of reported on it anyway. I never realised it at the time but that post was the turning point of the site.

April 2006 Analytics

Traffic
Traffic continued to grow throughout the month. Google was sending us ~500 visitors a day (it seemed a colossal amount back then) and was our best referrer. We didn’t have any big single keywords for traffic but did rank well for thousands of long tailed searches. We now also ranked #1 for our chosen keywords “coolest gadgets” which as I discussed in this post was a totally anti-climax, even though it was our best keyword traffic wise, it still only brought a total of 310 visitors that month.

The big peak on the above graph was due to that post we did about the GPS tracker and the fact that one of our readers thought it was also pretty cool and submitted it to that little user driven news site known as Digg. The story hit the front page and brought us something like 25,000 extra pairs of eyeballs to the site. Along with the extra traffic the site got a fair few new inbound links and regular readers both of which were great for future growth.

Revenue
It’s often said that Digg traffic isn’t valuable, for me I found that to be absolute tosh. Due to the product being so techie in nature it was of interest to a fair few Digg referred visitors. In the last 6 days of April we sold (well referred) 15 GPS tracker units bringing us in commissions of ~$300, most if not all sales would of been to visitors from Digg, thank you Digg.

Other revenue sources were also on the up, mainly due to the consistent increased traffic rather than the big Digg peak.

April 2006
Google Adsense 757.67 (419.68)
Chitika 171.44 (113.43)
Commision Junction 348.40 (40.55)
Total 1,277.51 (573.66)

The figures in brackets are for the previous month, March 2006.

Conclusion
Overall it was a great month for CG. Traffic continued to grow and the Digg front page was the icing on the cake. Revenue had increased by over 100% on the previous month and that was just the start of what was to follow 🙂 .

About Al Carlton

Al quit the 9 to 5 rat race in January of 2007, before then he was a software engineer and systems architect of financial system. Nowadays Al spends the days running his various businesses and experimenting with different ideas and opportunities.
Al can be found on twitter at AlCarlton.

Comments

  1. thats very impressive – doubling your adsense commissions in 1 month is no easy feat

    did you spend a lot more on advertising as well? ie. whats the difference in your net profit?

    • Thanks for the comment Kevin. No extra money was spent on promotion it was just natural growth of organic traffic. The digg did generate a bit more in Adssense but not much considering the amount of extra traffic.

      The biggest Adsense income increase came in June and was about 150%, so it will be a couple of weeks before I document that post.

      Nice looking site you have with Blogging Tips, love the mascot.

  2. Thanks for the story, it is great motivation for us little guys just getting started.

  3. Looking through the comments on the GPS post that got dugg it seems to indicate your site managed to survive the digg effect! Nice post and well done!

    • Back then the site was on a shared account with A Small Orange. I had to contact them on the day to upgrade the package as the bandwidth was running out but they are a a very professional host who haven’t let me down yet. I did have to move to a dedicated server a couple of months later though.

  4. thanks al 🙂
    thats great you achieved the traffic jump opganically and im sure if you keep writing good posts it will keep increasing 🙂

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