Analyzing Stats to get More Money and Traffic

magnifying_glass_01.pngMy last bout of traffic analysis resulted in two posts here (long tail searches and one on optimising Adsense positioning) and a bit of extra cash (which is always nice). It was also successful in two other ways, one of which should bring me a bit more traffic and the other a bit of extra income.

Remonetize Popular Content
Using Google Analytics it’s easy to see which of your pages are the most popular. I find you never really know which pages are going to become popular in the search engines but statistical analysis does sort of give you the benefit of hind sight. Once I see a page is bringing in a bit of traffic I’ll revisit it and see if there are any suitable affiliate programs I could promote. You know what people are searching for to find the page so if you can find them a suitable product everybody benefits.

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The Power of Check Lists

checklist.jpgWhen launching new sites, contacting potential advertisers, starting new businesses you’ll find your self repeating the same actions over and over again. One thing I find really useful is to create a check list of all the things I need to do, that way next time I do a similar job I have a blue print to work from and add to. For launching a new site this is my current check list:

1. To WWW or not WWW
It doesn’t really matter whether you include www in your address or not but you want to be consistent. To a search engine www.selfmademinds.com and selfmademinds.com are two different pages and will be ranked independently (or supplementally). The best way to avoid this is to have a 301 redirect to the URL that you’ve chosen, Google as always is a great resource for how to do it.
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Encouraging Visitor Interaction – #1 Contests

trophy.gifThis post is the first in a series about how you can encourage your visitors to interact more with each other and the site. User interaction will give you more loyal and repeat visitors as well as new content. User written content is great, as it’s very relevant to your visitors (they wrote it after all) and it’s free 🙂

The first sort visitor interaction I’m going to cover is contests, people love a fun contest especially when there are prizes at stake.
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The power of Email: Friend or Foe

Power of emailI remember in the late 90’s sending an email and being literally amazed that within a second it had travelled the length of the country and arrived in some one’s computer screen/mail box, quite remarkable, as with many recent inventions we will be in the historical position to be able to recite tales to our grandchildren of the old day’s when we used parts of tree’s and vans to spread messages and contact other humans 😉

Email has generated a love/hate relationship with many of us, purely down to it’s amazing qualities of lending itself to extremely cheap and wide reaching advertising campaigns.. or spam as we now call it but don’t be too critical, email still has the power to yield huge change in our lives and is an immeasurably valuable tool in the webmasters artillery.

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Delegation, a key to riches

staff.jpgOne of the great things about making a living online is the fact that you can do so much your self, there’s no need for expensive offices, payroll departments or boring board meetings. However the fact that you can run so much of your business yourself doesn’t mean that you actually should, if you want to your business to really grow then delegation is key.

Scott did a great post about seeking help and the various skills you need to run a successful site and the fact that you’ll need some help along the way. At times we all need a bit of help but if you want to be making serious money you also need to learn how to delegate, even the jobs you’re good at.
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Well it works on my machine

I’ve just spent the last couple of hours fixing a very annoying CSS problem that was only effecting readers who used IE6, it came to light thanks to a comment by Jacob and Chris Walker (I would of linked to you there Jacob but you didn’t provide a URL):

Just thought I’d let you guys know your site layout is seriously broken in IE 6 (Win XP SP2). I don’t know if this is a new development or not since I usually view it in Firefox.

Followed by:

Content cut off on the left side, even if I enlarge the window (seems to have been offset to the left). Comments are floating over a scrollbar (not a huge deal, but distracting). And the plus/minus images on comments are a replaced by a blue box.

I can email you screenshots if you’d like. Also, I’ve found VMWare (or similar) works great for maintaining multiple machine configurations to test on, and VMWare Server is even free.

And BTW, awesome site you guys have. There’s a lot of really great content here.

After a fair bit of hair pulling, code juggling, rain dancing and dead chicken waving I found that the bug was caused by the way IE6 handles certain elements in CSS and by fixing changing the way we display blockquotes was able to err erradicate it.

This post isn’t going to be about how crap IE6 is handling CSS but how to avoid saying that classic line:

Well it works on my machine!

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How to value a site

cg-value.jpgThe other day I received an email from David of WW Success, saying that he had added me to the Millionaire Bloggers Hall of Fame, although very flattering it was pretty surprising on two counts. One, I ain’t a millionaire (yet) and two he’d valued my main blog at $2,308,000 😮 .

I was somewhat intrigued to know how they came to such a high value and it was all down to the PE:

To calculate the value of a blog, we assumed a price multiple similar to the way stocks are valued. The average price multiple of the S&P 500 stocks (also known as the Price / Earnings or PE ratio) is currently about 15. We will use this same PE ratio to valuate these blogs. You could argue that this value should be higher or lower. Some people might say that a blog should be valued at a higher PE because of its growth potential. Others may argue that it should be lower because a blog is not as liquid as an S&P 500 stock. We feel that for the purposes of this exercise a PE of 15 is a reasonable value.

I find it a bit crazy basing a sites value on revenue (not even profit), I’ve bought a few sites in my time and these are the criteria I use at deciding the value. Continue Reading

Payment services providers

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I got a fair bit absolutely loads of help with this article from my mate Andy, which likely explains the decrease in frequency of typos, thanks Andy.

While there has been a paradigm shift in recent years towards generating revenue online via Pay Per Click advertising programs such as Google AdSense and the Yahoo Publisher Network, selling products online has taken a back seat for many newcomers to the internet. It may well be easier to setup a new blog and start writing about your hobby, but how many blogs are actually making a profit? Making a living from blogging is an attractive lifestyle, but for the vast majority of webmasters it is an unobtainable object of affection.

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Test your audience in the flesh

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Working the web all day makes you exceedingly web savvy to the various different advertising systems, affiliate links and technologies used. The majority of webmasters are ad blind to varying extents and many have conditioned their way of browsing to never click an advert intentionally (I must admit if an ad interests me on any site I’ll key the URL into the address bar, which probably makes me the webmasters visitor from hell).

So say you’re designing a site to be used by general Joe Public (the largest sector of people that use the Internet by far), who do you reckon the best person is to advice on the design, Mr Web “I know it all” Master or your cousin that knows how to use the Internet but has no idea how it works but does have a keen interest in what your new site is all about. From a usability point of view I know who I’d ask first, Mr Webmaster might be able to advice on the layout and look but if you want to make the site useful by the actual users then asking them is the way to go.
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Don’t forget how we used to do it

tv1.jpgToday when most young entrepreneurs start a new website, blog or online business they can tend to get tunnel vision in relation to generating traffic and advertising, the internet is still very young, many of us have been lucky enough to see it grow from nothing and many are now earning good money form various ideas with others just itching to jump on the train.

I am sure in the coming 5-10 years many people reading this post just now will have made huge sums of money online, the opportunities are still opening up and evolving with many new ways of making money always just around the corner. In the mid 90’s if only we were all buying up domain names and sitting on them, it’s not too late.

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