Monday, June 11, 2007

The StumnleUpon effect

Still I think StumbleUpon is an amazing tool worth investing into.

I don't get that many visitors on my blogs. I haven't got much time to blog and even less to market them, so the number of visitors are quite low.

Buy after reading several threads in BlogCatalog about StumbleUp, I decided to test it. I create a little post and went on asking my buddies at BlogCatalog to stumble it. The result was instant:

The big spike in my Analytics is from stumbling Breaking New: Whole Foods Market launched in London on Business Matters. You can see the effect: big rush of visitors (about 200 compared to a normal 4-5!). Sadly they don't stay very long (about 1-2 minutes) and don't stick either. Still I think StumbleUpon is an amazing tool worth investing into.

You must design ways to get them to come back: email/RSS subscription sounds like good idea, you could bribe them with freebies as well. Another option if you are into making money is to ask your buddies continuously to stumble your post (although they could get bored of it) as you will get spikes and spikes of visitors. If you have ads for instance that pay per view it is not a bad thing at all!

If you actually wanted to use it for yourself as opposed to just increate your traffic; basically you need create an account, then you should really install the FireFox toolbar for StumbleUpon and then you get lots of new buttons; 3-5 of them really matter.

One is called "Stumble", when you click this, you get instantly a new page loaded. The pages I believe is selected from the the interests you listed on StumbleUpon while creating your account and from the people stumbling pages. The 2 next important ones are "Thumbs up/down" which tell StumbleUpon if you liked what it showed you. I supposed the software behind must refine the selections based on your input. Finally, if you are nice guy or gal, you want to review some sites using the "Review" button which will give them more exposure because the reviews will appear in StumbleUpon are visible to all users.

All in all, StumbleUpon despite looking a little bit nerdy, is a great tool to give a boost to your Analytics ratings and also a cool way of visiting sites you will not normally look at.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Improve Your Technorati Rank

RTCunningham has started a new experiment to see how to increase your Technorati ranking. I am definitely up for it. As you can see from my previous post blogging and money, I am always keen to increase my ranking. Like everybody else, this is like an obsession.

I found that these little scheme works quite well. I believe my blogs ProLight and Master the Web ranking on Technorati went up for similar reasons (linking scheme). By the way you are wellcome to fav them (fav Master the Web, fav ProLight). This experience could help understanding the mechanics behind the Technorati beast even further.

So here is the deal, create a post on this experiment and link back to my little post. You can for instance use the text below (sadly Blogger insists in converting the code back to a link so use View/Source to get the code):

I am always keen to increase my ranking. Like everybody else, this is like an obsession.
Have fun.

Are we loosing the blogging fiber?

How much time do you spend actually writing new contents?

I have been trying to boost the ranking of my blogs in many different ways for a long time. It came to the point where I would literally spend all my time available on the computer finding ways to increase my ranking rather writing actual contents (not that I have much time).

That is really odd as the point of blogging is to write contents (which is actually what I like to do). What happened there? Why are we all become obsessed with making money through our blogs? Is it that we are all obsessed about money that we could not resist the lure of making money while blogging? Possible.

Actually that does not make much financial sense. I believe very few people make money out of it. Imaging you spend about 5 hours per week writing, monetizing and researching. The average wage in United Kingdom is about 5 pounds per hour. That means per week you need to make more than 25 pounds per week or 100 pounds per month.: below that you are making a loss. Looking at the How much have you earned from Adsense? thread in BlogCatalog very few people can make that much money per month.

It does not make much sense. Something else should explain that behavior. I don't think this is really about make money then. I think it is more about popularity than money. How much money you make is a good way of representing the popularity and success of your blog. If not why spending so much time to make so little money?

How much time do you spend fishing for links ?

How much time to spend researching ways to make (more) money?

How much time do you actually spend writing new contents?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Digg Reality



I thought that if you read my post An analysis of Digg numbers against visitors, you deserved a rest and a little laugh. Have fun!

An analysis of Digg numbers against visitors

Is there a relationship between number of diggs and visitors?

I recently created two posts that I pushed onto Digg. The two posts are in many ways quite different. One was written over several days and required quite a bit of research and the other was written in about 10 minutes or less while watching TV.

The first one BlogCatalog social networking strategy so far has received 11 diggs (the most I ever had) and attracted so far 16 unique page views. The other one was Amazing Flickrvision 2D/3D Flickr mashup so far has received only 2 diggs but attracted 41 unique page views.

Bizarrely the BlogCatalog post didn't receive a single visitor from Digg at all while the Flickrvision post received 19 unique page views from Digg. Clearly there is something rather odd in this.

The average time on page is very revealing. On BlogCatalog social networking strategy visitors stayed an average of 3 minutes while on Amazing Flickrvision 2D/3D Flickr mashup the visitors stayed a mere 1 minute and an half. The bounce rate is also very revealing. The BlogCatalog post bounce rate a little below 20% while the Flickvision bounce rate is over 70%.

There is about 15 news in Digg that include the term "Flickrvision". They have between 1 to 8 diggs. There is about 20 news in Digg that include the term BlogCatalog (a few of them relate to a newer press release from BlogCatalog). They have between 1 to 35 diggs.

Is there a relationship between number of diggs and visitors? I am not too sure this is an easy conclusion to make. I feel that the front page effect must be the main factor responsible for the rush of visitors from Digg to my Flickrvision post. That would explain why the BlogCatalog post didn't received visitors from Digg. It must have failed to make the Digg front page. But then what about the Digg upcoming page?

Finally using my little SEO plugin (see Great SEO FireFox plug-in by Aaron Wall), I can see that the Flickvision homepage as about 50,000 links (Yahoo search) while BlogCatalog homepage attracted more than 1,200,000 links (Yahoo search). Clearly there is today far more people interested into BlogCatalog than Flickrvision.

In conclusion, I believe timing is key in Digg. Being the first to digg on a new upcoming topic and making the front page must be of upmost importance to drive some of that Digg power juice. Also, writing real contents increase vastly your chances to retain some of the visitors you worked so hard to attract to your posts.

Blog activity report: Sunday 27th of May 2007

Past:

  • On the 26th of April, I decided to push one of my post "Are venture capitalists all sharks?" to social networks, it didn't work, only 3 visitors,
  • On the 14th of May, I have posted a piece about BlogCatalog social networking strategy which has attracted quite a few diggs (11 so far), it attracted no visitors from Digg but quite a few people from the BlogCatalog crowd read it,
  • On the 20th of May, I posted a little post on a new Flickr mash-up which actually attracted quite a few visitors from Digg (about 50) despite having just 2 diggs,
  • On the 28th I setup my Google Analytics so that it gathers all the data from my sub-domains separately as well as together in one profile: not a complete success (see).

Future:
  • I need to investigate a spike in my ProLight blog. It has reached 29 links in Technorati and attracted temporally quite a few visitors: 6o visitors on Sunday the 22nd which is quite a lot more than usual,
  • I need to analyse the 2 posts that I recently dugg to understand why some brought so many visitors and the other none while the numbers of diggs went the opposite,
  • I need to investigate my Google Analytics settings, the weiersmuller.org profile, it does not show the pages from all the sub-domains as I wanted.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

How to add a Digg button to a Blogger post

I was struggling this afternoon attempting to integrate the Digg button in one of my post. Eventually I got sick of it and posted on BlogCatalog my dispair. Very quickly borzack put me on the right track:

Blogger doesn't allow the script tag if i'm not mistaken. Here are a few help:
I used the first link as I don't digg all my stories and don't want to cluter them to much. I think it worked see BlogCatalog Social Networking Strategy.

If anybody feels generous enough to click and digg my story I would really appreciate. I would of course return the favor as soon as you've got your button working ;-)

Thanks a lot to borzack and Diggbutton,

Kind regards,
Marc.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Great SEO FireFox plug-in by Aaron Wall


Aaron Wall from SEOBook has written a great little plug-in for Firefox that pulls together lots of SEO data and display in the Yahoo and Google search page results. You can basically check out your competitors ranking on various search engines and social networking or bookmarking tools very quickly: really cool!

Check out his great selection of free SEO tools don't forget to read Aaron SEO Book to learn the best SEO technics.

Thanks a lot Aaron.

Monday, May 14, 2007

How to post video on your blog

Just go on YouTube copy and paste the embed URL in a new blog post, press publish and your are done. For instance see the embedded music clip below:



(PV) YUI - CHE.R.RY - Karaoke playing for us

Big thanks to Moe

BlogCatalog social networking strategy

I took part into a Technorati experiment a little while ago (see Do you want to take part in a Technorati experiment). It is now time to take part in a BlogCatalog experiment.

Don't wait any more time go through the list and start lobbying the people you like.


As a new blogger in a very crowded blogsphere, I struggle to push my voice out there and fail to grab some of these juicy Internet links. As such BlogCatalog is an easy way to increase your traffic from fellow bloggers. All you need is to have a few posts and a bit of history then you can register your blog.

When you have done so, you will see some curious BlogCatalog users popping in. Then you can start networking with your fellow BlogCataloguers and market your blog(s) to them. Don't forget that when you visit a blog, you then become visitor of that blog and will be listed on the BlogCatalog recent viewers widget possibly exposing your blog(s) to ever more people. Also don't forget to be polite and thank your visitors to entice them to come back.


However you must have a good strategy. Don't just go random that is time wasting: think ... then think again. Basically you need to scan through BlogCatalog users to find people:
  • with same tastes as you so that they and their readers read your blog(s),
  • with lots of inbound links (or contacts) so that you get some of that juicy traffic,
  • and finally friendly enough to reply or link back to you (or add you as a contact) so that you increase you ranking.
Ranking is visible in BlogCatalog on the users profile (see mine not so good). That is all nice and good but surely you don't want to scan the 1000's of users to find out the right people. Well, that is where you need to be clever. Just ask Google magic search engine, basically type this in Google (if you are down right lazy just click the link below):
"site:http://www.blogcatalog.com/user/"

What you get is the list of BlogCatalog profile ordered by ranking thanks to the Google magic. That means very likely the profiles with the highest number of inbound links (not quite sure as the Google magic is kept secret and we can only speculate about the recipe). You can also add specific search keyword(s) like photography to find like minded people. Although this does not mean number of contacts that should list the profiles with the most external visitors. Anyhow that's the job done.

This strategy will maximize your return on investment and make you more visible in the Internet space (more specifically in the BlogCatalog sphere). Of course it is a little hard work and to make sure it is worth your while, why not calculating your return on investment and let me know how you are doing:
"ROI = number of inbound link(s) gained / hours spent networking"
Notes: number of visitors is less relevant as they tend to vanish quickly, inbound links get you new visitors for ever. I thought I would use minutes but I think we need to be reasonable here one new inbound link per hour is pretty good.

Don't wait any more time go through the list and start lobbying the people you like. Don't forget to tell me how it goes by posting a little comment about this strategy!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Activities up to 22 of April 2007

Sadly, I had to stop posting for a long while due to personal matters. However I am now back with my experimentations and stronger than before!

These last weeks have been very busy period for me. I have done a lot see below:

  1. I have rebuild all my blogs using the new Blogger beta and a new black template so that all my blogs look and feel more or less match.
  2. I have moved most of my blogs under sub domains of my main domain name weiersmuller.org except for ProLight which I may eventually move to marcweiersmuller.com.
  3. I claimed "again" my reborn blogs in Technorati (you cannot change the url of your blogs) and removed the old ones.
  4. I bought marcweiersmuller.com and put it on Sedo just in case I make a few pennies (I do not say pounds ;-)).
  5. I created a front page on www.weiersmuller.org to point to the other blogs.

Weiersmuller.org got a face lift

This is has been messy, it is not finished but I am getting there.


I am nearly finished redoing all the Weiersmuller domain.

I have broken it down in sub domains: one per blog (using Blogger). Then I have copied the same template across all my blogs (sadly manually) and finally adapted the template for my main page on the www site.

This is has been messy, it is not finished but I am getting there. Hopefully eventually it will work together and look ok (feedback welcome). I have still some work to do on the www page as I want to display the latest post for Marc Weiersmuller and Hazel Tan blogs possibly in two parallel columns so that the www page becomes our front page for family and friends.

Other things to do are: contact page, about us page, nice photo gallery or slideshow, .... Eventually I might move back to a proper CMS (I started from PHP Nuke but my dear wife didn't like the look of it). I am now looking at Joomla.