Sunday, September 10, 2006

Weekly report: 28th to 10th September

Dear Reader,


I am afraid I have renamed again my photography blog. The old name was far too long. I read that long name where not good long term as regular readers could not remember them and would failed to retype it when they want to go back. Therefore this time I picked a very short name: ProLight. Hopefully this will be the last time.

I submitted to Google sitemaps for all my blogs following the instructions from this great post on Blogger Tips and Tricks. Straight and simple. I would therefore expect more direct hit from Google search in the next couple of weeks.

I implemented FeedBurner for all my feeds, it is simple and gives me a way to track my subscribers (no very high yet but growing!). I implemented the mailing list system as well using Squeet as I can manager the list with this tool. Nobody bit on this one at all. I also turned on their FeedBurner Blogbuzz feature which allows you to display a list of posts from one blog onto another website. I thereafter amended the sidebars of my blogs to include post from the other (relevant) blogs. Doing so I hope to cross-fertilize or at least keep the readers hooked longer by offering slightly different but related information.

I started looking at ways to gather feedback in order to define better the subject matter of my blogs. I looked at JotForm and Wufoo. Both are free online forms with some limitations. Although Wufoo appears to be better finished, I decided to use JotForm as there is no limits on the number of forms (Wufoo is limited to 3 free forms). I haven't worked out how to link that nicely to a specific post in the RSS feed yet. But I have nicely formatted a feedback form in the sidebar of "Master the Web".

I created another new blog called "Tricks for Geeks" where I intend to list all sort of simple Howto's to help guys like us that use computers on a daily basis. It should be easy for me to write posts as I do my normal day to day job recording helpful Howto's while I discover them. This could build up quite quickly and hopefully drag people in my "net" of blogs.

I added the Delicious tags cloud and link list on my blogs. It feels up the sidebar nicely looking quite cool and pretty. The link list is dynamic (from Delicious favorites) therefore it will show my latest "finds". I will have a different set of link lists per blog to match the subject matter.

Being busy with life and fiddling with blogs layout, I didn't really blog a lot lately except on "Trick for Geeks". I think I still have at least a couple of months before the structure of my blogs, the target audience, subject matter are defined in stone. In the meantime I shall start drafting my action plans for developing and marketing them. So far it has been very much had-hoc. That cannot continue if I want to have some success.

Analysis of the last 2 weeks traffic:

Since I haven't posted any large or significant piece on any of the blogs, traffic across all blogs went done strongly. I did however post a few comments on a few SEO related blogs which actually in one case brought an extraordinary amount of traffic considering the effort taken. It came from a blog called where I believe I announced my plans to look at different advertising schemes. Sadly the blog appears to have some technical problems. 80 visitors for a 2 line comment, not bad. It is worth noting that the author of that blog is a big digger. I suspect that is out he gets his traffic from.

Master the web:

Reddit is still kicking very well for "Master the Web", it brought me 170 visitors in the last 2 weeks. Way above Digg which brought me a mere 28 visitors. The other social networks did not respond at all to my 2 baits. Clearly, there is something different about Reddit. I think it might be a more technical audience more likely to appreciate my technical level analysis (from "Master the Web). I shall therefore invest more into Reddit for that specific blog as it pays back. Digg as you may have read was rumored to be rigged by a bunch of power users which support each other. If you haven't read it check out this post. I am quite disappointed by this crowd.

I still got a majority of new visitors (86%) compared to returning which I think is indicative of a problem. I would want to have more people returning as I see this as an indication of quality contents. Not surprisingly the majority of the returning visitors come from Reddit and =Blogger (none from yet?). Top contents is still Must have resources for wannabe webmaster amazingly bringing more than the root page (because it was one of the social network post baits).

"Depth of Visit" is still very low. Most people check only one page out. Since my blogs are still very new the depth of the blog is not important therefore this metric is not yet significant but I hope that over time this should give a good indication of how curious visitors are. The "Length of visit" is showing some positive signs. About 50 people stayed more than a minute on the site; clearly they read some of the article: positive feedback.


The number of visitors are still really small on this one (17 over the 2 weeks). I don't think the actual visitor number is any meaningful by itself. Still it is worth noting that 35% comes from Google. Since I changed its name just last week and posted the sitemap a few days later, it is quite impressive. Normally it takes far longer to get Google kicking in. The top keywords where: "Smugsmug", "Lightroom", "Zenfolio" and "Flickr" which match accurately my contents. Technorati is also kicking in.

"Top content" is not really meaningful as the number of hit is so low. "Length of visit" shows some interesting signs here: 5 people stayed more than a minute.

Tricks for Geeks:

This new blog is starting to get some visitors: Blogger is the main source and surprisingly I got a visitor from Delicious (did he get lost?).

Conclusions and Actions:

  • get back to posting, this is really key to get traffic in (no surprise here),
  • need to investigate Reddit more as it looks like a good winner for my "Master the Web",
  • Analytics goals not working, need to be fixed,
  • build a list of high traffic blog posts to plug my blogs,
  • Implement feedback form for other blog and for RSS feeds,
  • draft the blog plans of actions.

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