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Increase Your Blog Revenue with Analytics :: Part II


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In my first post in this intro to analytics series, we talked about how to listen to your readers to give them the content that they want.

Today, we maximize and monetize it.

Compelling content speaks for itself, in that if you write great stuff, great people want to read it. But figuring out what content to develop for blog traffic is what we’re after.
Peek at your reader activity by analyzing the keywords people use to find you, as well as the local searches they do on your site. In fact, this is critical to growth - your regular readers will continue to come back as long as you write great content. But to find new readers, you must get at the people who are looking for the information you provide, but who don’t yet know you exist.

A quick example of SEO in action started when I wrote a post in response to a silly string of keywords a reader used to get to my site “Can I write off my dog as a home office expense?” (you can, by the way). God only knows how they got to me with these keywords, because I certainly hadn’t written about it, nor tried to optimize for it.

But after writing that post, I was amazed at the natural search traffic I was getting from people looking for home office tax information - my target market! I put up another strategically titled post and now I get free targeted daily traffic during tax season.

Thank you, IRS. :)Did I just say that?

[This is just the basics of SEO. I’ll send you to Matt for the advanced stuff.]

Traffic Generators

The more I listen to you, the more I can write for you. When I do this, you respond. My incoming links increase, I get more Digg, and StumbleUpon traffic, my page views increase and my feed subscribers increase. These things are critical to develop, no matter how big a blog is. If I’m blogging for dollars, all of these have to be big in order for revenue to come in.

There’s a fine line between writing for you and writing for me - thankfully, I really enjoy writing about the things you like, so the relationship works. :)

I’m not the only one who cares about this stuff

I’m finally to a point in which I feel comfortable selling advertising on this site without a broker, based on my traffic and page views. And over the last couple of months, I’ve been approached by a couple of advertisers. Their first question?

What are my demographics, page views, and daily unique visitors?

I’m diving back into my stats to give them answers!

I’m also working on a short survey in the hopes of giving them a better understanding of why they would want to advertise on this site. I want potential clients to get results if they advertise here - just like I want you to get results when you read my posts.

But even if you don’t have advertisers knocking on your door, your traffic and subscriber count will still have a direct effect on income. TextLinkAds and ReviewMe set your asking price based on Alexa and Technorati ranks - even if you got a Diggalanche with no AdSense clicks, it can still translate into dollars when these go up.

Get the most data

Most hosting companies offer some sort of minimal free tracking. Usually, I’ve found them to be lacking in the kinds of reports you can pull. I do recommend Google Analytics, which is free, but it doesn’t track outgoing clicks without some advanced tagging (which I’m not even sure would work on a blog, because it’s javascript based). MyBlogLog will do that, but I’m about to install OpenAds on my web server to track all advertising performance more accurately - and it also offers a login for clients so they can get their own stats as well.

I also mentioned in the first post that I use BAStats (download)- it’s a plugin for WordPress that I literally couldn’t live without. It’s super-simple to set up, and offers real-time tracking of page views and referrers, which clues me in right away as to which posts are hits and which are duds.
Sadly, all of this data crunching can lead to Stats Addiction.

This, my friend, I really cannot help you with.


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On February 16th, 2007 at 1:45 pm, katiebird said:

Hi Wendy,
I love statistics programs and plugins — and I’ve really enjoyed this series.

On February 16th, 2007 at 2:34 pm, Dan and Jennifer said:

Great news on OpenAds - we’re about to do the same thing to track our own text link ads that we have rotating throughout our posts site-wide… we have variations on each one and right now it’s hard to know what the results are on a per-ad-unit basis, only gross sales.

Have an awesome day!

On February 20th, 2007 at 10:57 am, Dan and Jennifer said:


I’m really curious to see how it works out for you.

Don’t know if you know this or not yet, but my big question is whether you can track text ads instead of banners with OpenAds. I assume/hope you can, but didn’t see anything about it in the docs.

Contextually relevant text ads convert so much better than banners.

Have an awesome day!

Mentions on other sites...

  1. eMoms at Home » Blog Archive » Increase Your Blog Revenue with Analytics :: Part I on February 21st, 2007 at 1:38 pm

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