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Saturday, February 02, 2008

February Update for SomeLife

In my year end post I committed to writing more frequent updates about this blog and the happenings around it – other than just new content. It is hard to believe January is already over (where did it go?) and we are already in the midst of February. Given that February is 29 days this year – I am sure it will seem much longer. :-)

Moving on to the summary and details.

Despite a decline in the daily traffic the second half of the month from the record holiday traffic, the site passed.200,000 page views for the month – weighing in at 202,022 to be exact according to Google Analytics. This was a 10% increase over December 2007, and my goal still remains to pass 500,000 page views monthly by the end of 2008.

January saw a total of 25 posts for the month – down from the last couple of mainly due a very busy month at work and lots of extra circular activities. I have been slowly building up a backlog of draft posts – not as bad as the 219 that Matt Cutts has – still a number of them I just need to buckle down and finish. The top 5 most popular posts from the month of January were:

- Nintendo Wii Fix, Repair, and Troubleshooting Guide
- List of New Laws for California in 2008
- iPhone 1.1.3 Update Requires Restore to Factory Default
- My Blockbuster Total Access is still at $17.99
- Hard Drive in Your Freezer to Recover Data

Revenues for the month were down over December. I am told by several people that is fairly common behavior for January since many advertisers slow down their spending after a busy holiday season. So the eCPM for the site in total dropped for the month.

Kontera’s in-text-link advertising continues to lead the way in terms of total contribution to the site’s revenue stream. I introduced the in-text-relevance advertising to my site back in September and the results have been stunning. Kontera consistently produces two to three times the advertising revenue of the next closest revenue stream.

Google’s AdSense is second to Kontera and before January was the only other Advertising stream I offered on my site – with very little revenue coming from the search at the top of my page, and most of it coming from the skyscraper ads on the side of the blog. AdSense has always performed “ok” for me. However, it has yet to knock my socks off.

After doing some reading over the holidays, I was motivated to do some tinkering in this space to see if anything else that was interesting could add value and revenue to the site. In January, I started to test drive “Text Link Ads”, “AdBrite”, and “TTZ Media” as additional revenue and link partners for the site.

With “Text Link Ads”, I found yet again that being on the Blogger platform seriously limits me. Based on the functionality offered by Text Link Ads, through blogger I could only offer run-of-site ads – what you now see in the upper right hand corner of this page. Apparently this is not the preferred method for most advertisers and thus I only landed one ad for the month – for Tax Preparation – for a total of $4.67. Yee-haw!

“AdBrite” was the most disappointing from my perspective. Offering both in-line text link ads (like Kontera) as well as ads between pages, I received no ads through their network and no revenue for the month of January. It appears that I am starting to receive some for February – we will have to see how that goes. These types of ads can be very annoying – however, I believe I have implemented the best of both worlds. Readers will not see more than 1 full page ad per day, and the reality is that the majority of the visitors to my blog today are not deeply engaged. They are usually here to solve a problem that I have solved well.

“TTZ Media” is a provider of shopping and comparison, similar to what you might see with The main difference is that they pay on a PPC (pay-per-click) basis -- $0.15 per click to be exact. TTZ represents that large banner at the top of every page. I am actually considering taking it down (will probably do so this weekend) as it really makes the site look “ad heavy” and lacking the balance I am looking for. In addition, very little revenue came from the 200,000 page views this month -- $2.55 from 17 clicks.

In January, I received the most requests for individual links on pages from independent sites and advertisers. In many cases, the advertisers were not willing to follow the Google standard of “no follow” on paid advertising links. Given that my site receives ~75% of its traffic from Google, a loss in PageRank would likely have an adverse impact to other revenue streams that outweighed the income. However, if you ARE interested in advertising on this site – I recommend looking up Text-Link-Ads (TLA) or AdBrite – you can purchase advertising on this site through those mediums for reasonable rates.

I will most likely continue to experiment on an ongoing basis and post on what does and does not work for me. There is one thing for sure; Kontera has really been a big plus on the surprise side for me.

Site Updates:
I am sick and tired of the layout, look & feel of the site – it is really awful. I need to change it up – but last time it was such a pain to get a decent 3-column layout working ok It literally took me 40 hours of effort to get it into an acceptable state and I just do not want to spend the time on it. Perhaps I will work on it slowly over the next two months and reveal something in the March timeframe.

I almost switched to WordPress from Blogger this month. I came really close. I created a WordPress account, tried out the migration wizard, and took a look at the new site. The main problem? All the URLs were incorrect meaning that all the old links that people have for my site would no longer be valid. Bad news. Of course this was on the free service. I could rent from a hosted service or run my own server. However, I do those things for a living – and this is just fun – I do not want the additional stress of development and wondering if it is up.

I also added some translation buttons to the top of the page, so now you can easily read in languages other than English.

What to look for in March:
- Site information, About pages, etc. I really need to put some basic content up other than the simple privacy page at the bottom. Just time to dedicate the time to it.
- RAZR and Wii fix updates. I have 4-5 draft posts and I know several folks are waiting for me to post based on the emails I have. I promise I will get those done before the middle of the month. :-)
- Rebel XTi. Looks for a lot of photos from my new Rebel XTi. There will be a good amount of comparisons between that and the PowerShot G7. Even though they are both 10 megapixel cameras, I am counting on the Rebel XTi to have better detail.
- London & Paris. We’re off for a one-week vacation to Europe towards the end of this month, definitely some updates from there.

Next update to come in March!


ContentLink said...

Hi Ken,
My name is Vered and I'm from Kontera.

It's great reading that you're pleased with our ContentLink Ads :).

Please contact me if you have any Kontera related question or need any assistance.

Publisher Services Manager