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Blog Case Study – Is it time to Quit?

I just stumbled upon an interesting post by Jack Krupansky who will celebrate his first six months of blogging by quitting his blogging activities (on 18 August). Jack writes:

‘I’ve put a huge amount of work into my FIVE blogs and gotten next to nothing in return. Sure, I’ve made a few good contacts, but I was doing that with email and my five web sites before I even started blogging.

In fact, since I could have been doing things that might have been more productive during the past six months, my lost opportunity cost is quite high.’

Jack will also stop commenting on others blogs and will kill off his blog aggregator and stop monitoring other’s blogs – again because of the unproductiveness of these endeavors.

Since I saw Jack’s post earlier today after a link from Business Week’s blog I’ve been pondering why it is that some blogs do well and others don’t. I’ve got nothing really profound to say and don’t want to come across as knowing anything much about Jack’s blogging (although I’ve followed a couple of them via RSS this past two months). I will make the following observations though about his approach that perhaps might shed a little light on the unproductiveness of his six months.

I want to do so not to attack Jack but in the hope that perhaps it helps us all learn something about blogging on a professional level. I do so respecting his decision to pull out of blogging – I’m never going to argue that people should blog on at all costs – as I’ll say later – there is a time and a place to stop blogging and perhaps for Jack that time has come. However here are a few things I notice about his blogs.

Posting-Rate

1. Posting Levels - the first thing I was curious about was how many posts Jack had done in his six months of blogging. I took a quick look through his blogs and found that since February across his five blogs he’s posted 407 times at an average of 2.43 posts per day for the 167 days that he’s been blogging so far. These posts have been distributed over the months as is shown in the above chart. Obviously things started well (he started half way through Feb) and have tapered off in the past three months.

407 posts means his blog’s have 407 pages on them (plus a handful of category pages/front pages etc. Although this sounds a lot its actually a reasonably small website in comparison to many that are out there. While his posts are of a good quality I would suggest that 2.43 posts per day means the blogs will only ever grow by 870 or so pages each year – this sounds a lot but again if you compare it with many successful commercial sites I’m not sure it could compete.

As I’ve written before – if you expect to earn a good income from your blogging (or anything else) you need to put a significant amount of time into it – 2-3 posts per day is probably not going to cut it.

2. Endurance – We all know of websites that shoot to fame and popularity just weeks or months after launching – but the fact is that the majority of sites (blogs or not) take time to develop, mature and find a readership. As a result profits are often low (if existent at all) in the first months.

Jack comments in his post that he’s only earning enough from Adsense on his blogs to buy a coffee once or twice per month. It’s a disheartening thing – I know I’ve been there.

I looked back over my Adsense figures yesterday and went right back to the beginning of my relationship with the contextual ad system. I added Adsense to my blogs (I had two at the time) in October of 2003. At the time I’d been blogging for just under 12 months and had written around 600 posts on a personal blog and a fledgling digital camera blog.

Even though I already had 600 posts and was getting 1500 or so visitors per day my first month or two of earnings averaged at about $1 per day.

My advice to Jack (and other bloggers) is that it takes time to build a blog up in terms of both traffic and earnings. My earnings have of course exponentially increased since that time as I’ve added more content, started new blogs, grown my blog’s rankings in search engines and learned about how to use Adsense more effectively on my blogs.

3. Use of Adsense – the first thing I noticed when I looked at Jack’s five blogs is that the placement of his Adsense ads is perhaps not very well optimized. Jack’s chosen to use the default color scheme running across the top of his blog as a banner ad. It’s great that Jack’s got his ads above the fold in the top half of the screen, however I’d suggest that both the positioning and colors are letting him down.

I’d recommend blending the ads more into content and positioning the ads inside or closer to the content itself. I guarantee this would increase the rate of click through that the ads get considerably.

4. Use of Blogger - I’m a blogger snob – I’ll admit it. Although I know some blogs that do pretty well on Blogger’s free blogging service I rarely recommend to new bloggers that they use it. When I started my first blog I did so on Blogger and within a month knew that I’d soon have to move to my own domain with a proper design and a better blogging platform.

My choice was Movable Type at the time and I noticed a marked difference in the performance of my blog within days of making the switch. Not only was the system more reliable (blogger can be slow or even out of order at times) my site’s got indexed much better in search engines and readers seemed to respect me more because I looked like I knew what I was doing due to having a unique design (I got it done by a blog designer).

I don’t want to knock Jack’s design – but I do find his blogs rather template like and without character. They have no branding or visually pleasing elements.

5. Blogspot Domain – Jack observes in his post that his five blogs are not as productive as his five websites. I don’t know how long his sites have been going in comparison to his blogs or what his stats are like but I do notice one thing about his sites – they all have their own unique .com URL.

I’m no search engine optimization expert – but I do know that search engines seem to like real domain names.

Each of Jack’s blogs is hosted on a free .blogspot.com domain – I suspect this has some consequences for his SEO.

Now by this point of the post I’m starting to wonder if I should hit ‘publish’ on this post. I’ve never taken the liberty to critique another person’s blog before – but I do so in the hope that it will help Jack and other bloggers in the same sort of position.

I will say that Jack has a few things going for him (to balance my critique above). For one he can write clear and helpful posts, secondly he’s a prolific commenter on other people’s blogs and seems to work on getting himself out there and getting to know other bloggers (an important part of being a good blogger) and thirdly he seems to have a good handle on researching his posts and using technology like RSS to find content. Lastly he seems to have a good handle on some worthwhile topics – topics which can be quite valuable in Adsense, but topics that also can be incredibly competitive to become established in (perhaps another thing going against Jack).

The last thing that I’ll say is that there ARE times to quit a blog or even blogging altogether. I’d suggest that 6 months is too soon and not long enough to give a new blog – but that really the length that you give it is not just about giving it time – it’s about your own situation and the other opportunities that you have. Like Jack has said in his post, the opportunity cost of blogging is too big for him to continue to ignore it – if there are things that he could do with a better long term return then he’d be silly not to do them.

On the surface I’d advise taking a little more time to implement some of the changes above to see what impact they might have. Of course I say this with no knowledge of Jack’s situation and don’t know if he has the luxury to be able to do this. I guess it’s really something for a blogger to decided for themselves.

Update: Jack’s posted another post with some Additional points (warning – there’s 27 of them) regarding his pulling the plug. I have to say that much of what he says is incredibly depressing and I kind of want to run over the pull the plug now myself.

Maybe I’m in a more cynical mood than when I first started writing this post now – but reading Jack’s 27 points actually makes me feel a bit peeved off. Maybe I’m reading it wrong but there is a sense of ‘whoa is me about it all’ – and a something about the way he writes that makes me wonder if Jack thinks he deserves to be raking in the cash.

He indicates he’s moving on to the next thing – but I wonder when he gets to it if he’s going to pull the plug again in another 6 months if it doesn’t suddenly go brilliantly. I know lots of people like this that run from one thing to the other looking for the next big thing, looking for the quick dollar that will solve all their problems – I just hope that they stick at something long enough to enjoy the rewards.

Although I hate to think what rewards Jack wants – he says he’d yawn if Jason Calacanis sent him a $20,000 cheque to be one of his bloggers – he wonders if a 10,000 fold increase in traffic would really achieve anything.

He then posted a post saying he’s grateful that no one has left any encouraging words to keep blogging – he writes:

‘The only way that I would continue is if somebody can show me how with half the effort I can get twice as much done and have 200x the results. ‘

I’ve got news for Jack – actually its news for all of us – making money from blogging is not fast money, its not easy money and its not quick money. Yep there are a handful of people out there saying that it is (they usually want you to buy their book) – but there is no escaping the fact that blogging for a living is hard work and can take a long time to build. If you’re not willing to wait and put in the hard yards you’re probably in the wrong business (although I strongly doubt that there are any businesses that you can double your work load and see 200 times the reward).

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. David says:

    Great post, and hopefully it will help me in what I am doing. :) Keep up the great content. I love problogger.net.

  2. Blaine Moore says:

    Thanks for the post, Darren; despite being fairly critical of Jack I think that it will be very useful for others, especially new bloggers who are just starting to get a handle on things. It will help let them know what they are getting themselves in for.

  3. Devin says:

    I, too, found this to be pretty helpful. Thanks, Darren.

  4. Lindsay says:

    I also think 6 months is too soon to tell. (And launching a website these days with Google’s sandbox won’t get you anywhere in six months either.) I launched my biggest and most recent blog (not the one in my link) in January, and it was right about at 6 months when I started getting noticed and getting links from big blogs like luxist.com and engadget. Almost immediately, I saw my traffic going up. At 500ish uniques a day, I don’t get tons yet, but it’s only been since the beginning of summer that I started adding 2-3 posts every day (something I plan to keep doing). I am in the process of redesigning it and adding Adsense, so I’ll see how well it converts for me (given the topic, I’m sure it will be decent).

    I do think it’s important to have a coolness factor in the things you look at and talk about on your blogs, moreso than with websites. That was something I missed in my first couple blogs (which usually make a couple dollars a day via Adsense but don’t pull in a lot of repeat readers). If people find something cool (or that can in some way help them, as with this blog), they’ll put it on their my.yahoo and bloglines and whatnot. With informative but dryer material, I think you’re more dependent on search engine traffic instead of a nice combination of both. (I say this based only on my experience–I haven’t looked at the blogs you’re talking about up there.)

  5. Pat says:

    This is very helpful to me. I just started my blog, and it’s nice to know what mistakes to avoid.

    I bet you could do this kind of review as one of your services. People could pay you to review their blogs in this way. I know it would help me, and maybe in a few months when my blog gets going, I could use this service?

    Thanks for all the help; your blog has been a real inspiration to me in getting my blog going.

  6. David says:

    Sorry, a bit of a tangent: what software did you use to create such a nice, clean, readable graph?

  7. David says:

    Ha…I was thinking that too…Do tell Darren…please :)

  8. Yzabel says:

    Well, this post has been indeed very informative for me to read. While I don’t especially expect my blogs to bring me any money at the moment (I’m still learning the ropes of AdSense on one of them and of the Amazon Associates system on the other, but slowly, because it’s not a priority–yet), I’ll also agree that 6 months may be just… not enough to make one’s clear idea of what can and cannot work. Which is somewhat weird, because on the web, 6 months can be both a very long period (so many things can happen!) and a very short one (as in this case–a website/blog can take more than that to become really profitable).

  9. Netwalker says:

    Darren

    Great post. With this one and the ongoing series of “31 days to building a better blog” it’s a great help for us that are beginning some blogs.

    Also the comment made by Lindsay is encouraging.

    My blogs are young (4 and 2 months) but I expect to keep them for at least 1 year, so I read problogger.net every day to build better blogs, and hopefully some day start some blog devoted to specific themes that can generate some revenue.

  10. Mac says:

    Fantastic case study. I think many new bloggers underestimate the time it takes to grow an audience. To me, six months seems far too short a trial period. One of my sites took four years to gain traction!

  11. Darren, that is a classic post and should be printed out and pinned on every problogger’s wall. I too read Jack’s case via BusinessWeek this morning. In many ways it fits my own situation, so I’m particularly grateful for your views. The number of posts caught my eye, especially. Thank you.

  12. Stuart says:

    Darren

    That was certainly an interesting read and you definitely handled it with sensitivity.

    I think what you said about the need to be in this for the long term needs to be repeated over and over again and not just for bloggers.

    Marketers come and go on the Net at an incredible rate, many put a site up today and expect it to produce revenue tomorrow. When it doesn’t they throw their hands in the air and go off to look for the next get-rich-quick scheme.

    I think it’s something that has become a fundamental part of modern society. Even shareholders want immediate returns on their investments and aren’t interesting in long term planning.

    And thanks for Problogger. I found it yesterday and even got up at 3.30 this morning so I could get some work done and then come back to read some more :)

  13. Mitrax says:

    I really hope you’re wrong about Blogger being a bad choice for bloggers.

    I’ve been thinking I have to switch from Blogger because of all the disadvantages, but the thought of starting over is just too overwhelming.

    Since then, I’ve become optimistic about why I think people on Google’s Blogger should hang on and not switch. It would make sense for Google to introduce improved choices (even as far as helping Bloggers get independent domain names).

    After all, there must be almost a million of us on Blogger. It would be a good business move for them.

    I’ve written about this in more detail at my site.

  14. eckes says:

    I suggest to do a graph by week, that better shows half month and trends.

    Thanks for your comments on those topics, I find it helpfull to read your ratings on rates, warmup time and income. And I totally agree is everything but optimal to attrack clicks.

    I wonder however what Jacks intention was? With 2 Blogs a day you cant be a pro blogger. Of course you cant make a living from it. However since two posts a day are not much work, it is really no loss. If you use a blog as an diary or notebook it pays itself (not as Pro Blogger of course) even without contacts or revenue.

    He also talks about keeping up his column, thats a blog, too.

    Gruss
    Bernd

  15. markus says:

    6 months are not enough. I have two goals:
    - post at least 2 posts a day
    - post all the days during the soccer season here in germany.

    since my blog is about the “bundesliga” this should be the time to check if it is working. After the season we will have the world championship in germany. If it works for the soccer league, I will expand the blog for the championship.

    Success or not, I will blog about it in a year.

    And of course: this one is a very good post.

  16. Darren, you mentioned that you ‘were starting to wonder if you should hit publish’. I’m so glad you did. This ranks as one of the most useful posts I have read.

    Maybe you will even encourage Jack to rework his blog and blogging methods.

    I think Jack is lucky. I wish I could get a useful critique of my blogging like this.

    All the best
    Dominic.

  17. Darren Rowse says:

    wow – didn’t expect so many comments on this one. I hope people are taking it in the positive way it was intended and there is no offence caused.

    David: I used ‘keynote’ to make the graph – its a Mac presentation software (similar to Powerpoint).

  18. Robert Basic says:

    if Jack would have targeted a good AdSense income stream than this would have been very good advices, Darren.

    But as Jacks said: “My original “plan” was focused less on imediate revenue, and more on trying to build a network of contacts and interest.”

    As is understand it, its not about AdSense, its about networking. I dont know Jack and i dont know his five blogs, but as i just took a short look at his blog “Jack Krupansky on Blogging”, i discovered just some repeated postings about “googleclouds” (how many links from…). The second look i took at his http://basetechnology.blogspot.com/ Blog. Same result: Not a given focus i could discover. Than i took a look at his resume: http://basetechnology.com/resume.htm

    Jack is a C/C++ developer!!! So i do not wonder that much any more regarding his blog “success”. Im very sure about it: Focusing one blog – not 5 blogs!!!! – precisely on his profession as a developer. Diving into that Blog-Cosmos surrounded by many othe C/C++ Pros is one way to build a network. I am talking from my own experience, since i did the same by my first blog – that was about Lotus Notes (~2002). And in less than three months i build a worldwide network with many Notes-Professionals (maybe 50, not sure), even with the first IBM Blogger Ed Brill, once in a managing position there. We shared our knowledge, helped each other, presented our projetcs, solutions, code snippets, services and products. This network build OpenNTF.com – the first open source solutions with Lotus Notes – which developed very fine (a Notes guy from Sharp was one of the founders). Still today – looking back – i feel as a part of a big family, so strong the relationships among us were have been.

    Why i am talking about that networking factor so much?
    Networking means possibilities = that mean chances = chances mean – if its that what you are looking for – a growing business. I am fascinated how well Blogs can help you build huge networks in a very short time. But, you have to focus, find the right place, help and get help and you have to be good enough in your business to be respected by the other Pros. If you do it well you can profit by Blogs perfectly and with much less time invest than Jack did, because he did not focus (if i am right with his plan to network, im not judging him. And since i saw just this 2 blogs, maybe im wrong). I say it to myself and i hear it from many other Bloggers how excellent Blogs are if they are regarded as networking tools (services like LinkedIn are much worse in that). Build your digitial reputation and build your network, but focus!!!

  19. duncan says:

    I like Stuarts comments “That was certainly an interesting read and you definitely handled it with sensitivity.” because it was sensitive, a character trait I sometimes lack. Whilst I think Jack’s been struck by a case of blogging black dog, you’ve really got to ask how seriously he undertook his blogging endevours in the first place, because why would you seriously use blogspot domains for so many blogs? Seriously, if you’re going to dedicate yourself to writing 5 blogs and are wanting to maximise your possible returns, buy some domain names! Its not like its 97 again and they cost $150 each (unless of course your stupid enough to by a domain from an Australian company). $7-9 US per year, a couple of dollars a month for hosting. You want returns, you’ve got to be prepared to spend some money to make some money. Don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to spend a lot of money, but I think most people could afford a couple of dollars a month for a host and a domain. Blogspot domains are great when you get started, and for non-profit blogging, but it doesn’t really cut in when it comes to the big league, particularly if you looking to set up multiple blogs.

  20. duncan says:

    I’ve just been reading some more of his blog and I’m now convinced this guy is a loser. Sorry to be so harsh, but look at the post where he complains that no ones commented to say he should keep blogging: 2 things, firstly he restrcits the comments on the site to Blogger: way to build up a community, block the majority from commenting, and secondly, the secret to blogging isn’t handed to your on a platter: you’ve got to go looking for it (and Problogger is a good place to start!)

    In the post prior he complains about blandness!!! check out his sites, they are all identitical in design and somewhat boorish in content. want bland, he’s practicing it. This guy needs to start taking responsibility for his sites, work out what works, or simply F* off back to the rock he crawled out from.

  21. Lei says:

    It always blows me over when you say 2-3 posts a day aren’t enough (and I know you’re right). I blog 5 posts a day on average over 3 blogs (2 professional, 1 personal) and it’s killin’ me already. I either need to make my posts shorter or learn to write faster.

  22. Dave says:

    Good post, good comments.

    I don’t think I’ve got much more to add to what people have already said, other than to re-iterate that the length of time given to make the blogs a success seems very short. I’d be looking at 12 to 18 months before a site becomes reasonably well established.

    I’ve seen it time and time again – people have this burst of anticipation and excitement at getting a site up and running, and getting those first few visitors through the door. Then they realise that to actually keep the momentum going, they need to increase the post count / number of site updates, not decrease it.

    I think you need to be strong and willing to put your self and your time into a site to get the best out of it. Darren’s chart indicates an initial rush of excitement at the new venture, swiftly followed by an apathy and a complete lack of interest in not only the subject matter, but the people who visited and started a relationship with the site.

  23. Duncan, great sensitivity. Love it. :-) In this business we need good cops and bad cops. Keep shakin’ the tree.

  24. This was an excellent post filled with great information. Not once did I feel like you attacked Jack or said anything too harshly. Great job.

    I, too, am going to have to get my post count up. Think I will start with a brainstorming session on post ideas so when I sit down to write I have a jumping off point.

    Gotta run, I have to do more posts =:)

  25. Gone Away says:

    Brilliant post. Makes me glad that I stumbled into blogging at the suggestion of my son – his site hosts my blog and he designed everything from the ground up (he’s a web developer). You can’t get more distinctive than that!

    He also told me before we began that we were unlikely to see results before a year had passed. I’ve been blogging now for ten months and, although we’ve done far better than expected, there’s still a long way to go. It’s all about stamina…

  26. Josh says:

    ‘The only way that I would continue is if somebody can show me how with half the effort I can get twice as much done and have 200x the results. ‘

    Um, is this guy on something? There’s nothing in the world that works like that. To achieve anything of ANY worth, you have to put in the time, the work, and the passion.

    There aren’t any quickfixes, nor quick successes (barring a few fluke things, which most of us can’t rely on).

    With an attitude like that, I don’t think Jack will ever be happy with anything.

  27. Very good post, and some of the information in it has been very useful to me. Some of those lessons I have already learned, and some I have begun to implement on my blogs. Definately put the time into it and be patient, those lessons are those I tell my friends I got into the blogging game. Thanks!

  28. Randy says:

    I very much hope you’re going to do more of these posts. In fact I bet people would pay money for you to do similar posts on their blog privately or even publicly.

    Unfortunately I think its a waste of time having done it on Jack’s blogs because he seems convinced that blogging is the anti-christ looking at his last few posts.

  29. Wow, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen this many comments here!

    I appreciate your post tremendously. I am not really a “professional” blogger, but I learned how to put AdSense on my blog from reading here, and a lot of the discussions are valid towards ANY blog…pro or not.

    I’m on Blogger right now and I do so wish they had options to upgrade, as I understand that search engines are less friendly to blogs that don’t carry their own domain, but as other’s said, after all the effort that goes into building a blog, the challenge of starting over is daunting.

    Thanks again for the wondful information!

  30. awww phooey, I misspelled wonderful LOL

  31. Lots of interesting commentary here. Good, bad, ugly, it’s all welcome, and encouraged. It’s unfortunate that I probably won’t get around to implementing the better suggestions. I’m getting ready to post my next batch of “celebration” reflections, so stay tuned.

    Am I a loser? Definitely, in this blogging business. That’s why it’s time for me to get out. 14 more days.

    – Jack Krupansky

  32. The “links” section on Base Technology has links to Jack’s other weblogs. It’s worth checking them out before you draw your own conclusions about this whole thing.

    Darren, great post and much to think about.

  33. BAMBY says:

    problems with his blogging:

    1. never blog on blogger.com, never…..

    2. blogs are simply a content management web builder

    3. after saying, that, blogs/websites must be seo’d – darren talks about this all the time in his blog, um, website

    4. if you trying to make money with adsense, learn to integrate them into your site design/template/colors, etc.

    Advice: buy a domain name, get hosting, use wordpress, etc, etc.

  34. Great Post Darren.

    I have been listening to a great audio book called the e-myth revisited. It talks about the three personalities that any successful business owner must have. You need to be a technician, a manager and an entrepeneur. The entrepeneur is the visionary who will set those long term goals. I can say from listening to the book that any sustainable business will take much longer than six months to build. My blog has been very interesting so far. It has a nice growth curve and the tips you have on your site have really been helpful. I appreciate your realistic approach in helping people improve their blogs. There is so much hype out there that your site is a breath of fresh air.

    Thanks for all of your help!

    John

  35. gman says:

    “I’m no search engine optimization expert – but I do know that search engines seem to like real domain names. ”

    Do you have any real data to back that claim up or are you just repeating an commonly believed myth?

  36. Wonderful case study – and a real insight into why so many blogs are starting to look like ghost towns. I think many expected it to be soooo easy to make a quick buck with blogging and when they realised that gosh, damn it, there’s actually work to be done … bitterness usually creeps in.

    Darren, stop apologising or always trying to be the nice guy – that’s what we want form you here – warts and all. I’d definately pay for a review service from you as some comments have suggested. Actually review my site, please!!!!!

    Duncun is correct in his blasting of the blogger in question. The first mistake he makes is his blog design – it’s a basic standard template from Blogger (An aside: WordPress is by far the better).

    Basically, blogs are very forumalitic: posts, sidebar links, categories etc., the thing we can do is create a unqiue design for our blogs. Be different!

    And your own domain name: Geez: it’s costs only $8 or so. If you don’t want to even spend that amount on your business/blog how can you expect (demand) to bring in the big bucks.

    And finally, not many people are going to get rich purely from blogging – add in additional streams: e-courses, eBooks (I hate the term eBooks … they have a bad perception), audio products whatever …. but use your blog as a platform to offering products/services.

  37. VoIP says:

    Blogging takes time. Complaining that no one is handing you a pile of cash on a silver platter isn’t going to get you anywhere.

  38. yunasville says:

    I started my blog 2 months ago and I already know what keeps the readership growing: contents, contents, and more contents.
    I also believe you can’t blog just cuz you want to make money. It’s hard work and you gotta have some love and passion to be able to keep blogging and create a quality site that people find it useful. If money is the sole objective, it’s very easy to get discouraged…

  39. Ken says:

    Darren, great job as usual. It’s hard to look in the mirror, especially when someone else is doing it for you, but rather than beat around the bush, you highlight areas that REALLY can improve his chances at succeeding at blogging if he didn’t have such a downer attitude.

    I wonder though if this is a publicity stunt, but in all honesty, it is tiring to read such a drab commentary from him when if he stuck it out longer, or asked someone for help, he could help himself infinitely more.

    Lastly, I think a positive tone does help when writing. The depressing style can hurt one’s reputation amongst others, especially if you keep beating it like a dead horse.

  40. Thanks for the the honest and direct insight. I appreciate that you were objective and called it like you saw it. With 900,000K new blog pages created every day – it goes back to a few basic points – have a vision, have a strategy and be both consistent and persistent.

    I just found your blog and look forward to coming back and learning more.

  41. Mr. Shiney says:

    I think it helps to be true to whatever your goal is for creating the blog in the first place, and helps even more if that goal is something other than profit. Personally, I started my blog as a kind of journal (like many people probably do) with a secondary goal of occasionally posting information people would find useful. It’s been more than a year and I’d say that while things haven’t taken off yet in terms of readership, judging by the search engine hits the secondary goal is getting fulfilled.

  42. joe f. says:

    Whilst I’m as impressed as the next guy by the over use of a vaguely archaic word, you back into your sentences with that word way too much. You may be the king of pro blogging, but that’s a bad habit you should drop. It sounds pretentious and forces your reader to do a mental back flip. If you need to set up the back end of that sentence, write two sentences. Pull out your Elements of Style.

  43. Dragan says:

    quote:
    “Even though I already had 600 posts and was getting 1500 or so visitors per day my first month or two of earnings averaged at about $1 per day”

    There is still one burning question. WIth this kind of traffic, you should have much more revenue than $1 dollar/day, no matter in what stage you blog is.

    Websites with CTR of 2% minimum, would earn much more on average. It depends again on many things, but it shoudn’t be so hard to beat that $1/day with the traffic of 1500 uniques.

    So, does this mean that blogs are not good for conversion? Does it mean, that basic HTML websites beat blogs conversion wise?

    What you think,

    Dragan

  44. wilson ng says:

    Just a quick rejoinder if any of you know:

    a.) I have a site that is about 2 months old. Google has listed my site, and is spidering it regularly. However, my pagerank is still 0. Does anybody know how long that takes?

    b.) You were talking about CTR of 2%. Is that a good one to target for? It seems elsewhere I always here that most sites have click throughs of 0.5 % or less.

    thanks.

  45. Daniel says:

    Whoa, this is my first comment on a blog ever. I am setting up a blog right now by a fictional german character called Florian, because i want to write! This is perhaps your most interesting and heartfelt post i have read yet!

    This is what i want to know about blogging.

    I was concerned you were immersed in your own successes to much (which is a GOOD thing, its how we learn!) but at the same time, your honest, emotive, critique of this website has been one of the most helpful posts yet!

    This blog has become all the more richer to me because you have engaged with the more “tragic” elements in blogging.

    I think finding the drama in what could be an essencially “text-book” topic could help you out alot!

  46. For some reason Blogspot is seen lowly by Google. One of my blogs appreaciable improved in terms of viewership & Google love after moving to its own domain. And it was just a sub-domain. Go figure!
    Also blogspot is very limiting as a platform.

  47. Hey Darren -

    Love the post. I’m sorry but 6 months is not a very long time to make a judgement on what works and what doesn’t work. Especially when it comes to blogging.

    When you look at his post frequency in that beautiful chart you provided, it seems that he really only had 2 months of solid blogging (Mar / Apr).

    Hopefully this will dispell a lot of the myths about ‘blogging == fast cash’.

    Best,
    Vernon

  48. Brad says:

    Darren,
    You post is excellent but depressing at the same time. While I try to post quality material, I don’t think I’d be able to maintain more than 1 or 2 posts per day without running out of material or watering down my posts. I guess there is such a thing as blogging for the fun of it!

  49. Jason says:

    How many post a day do you recomend? How long do they have to be? It takes me some time to write this let alone 500 words 6 times a day.
    Thanks
    Jason

  50. Carole Nickerson says:

    I think the first big problem Jack has can be summed up in his header, “Issues that Jack Krupansky has stumbled across as he journeys deeper into the blogging jungle”.

    To me, it sounds like “Random blog things I really have no interest in, but post here for something to do”

    That’s the first turn-off, followed by the design and that horrible Asense ad. These are the first 3 things that catch my eye, so that by the time I get to the actual content, I’m already left with a negative impression which of course is only worsened when I see the discouraging and self-destructive posts.

    Personally, I have no interest in someone else’s stumblings – I do enough of that on my own. I want to know about the latest tactics, fresh ideas, and hot tips. I want to know that someone has golden advice I can use.

    And what exactly *is* he writing about? Not blogging issues, but rather his own personal issues it would seem.

    Sorry Jack, but there is no hand-holding online, just business as usual.

Trackbacks

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  9. [...] However, the content in the posts I found is excellent. In what I think is the Day 2 post, (Day 1 was a bunch of vision and mission statement stuff that I know is valuable but skipped anyway), I found the following great tips that I plan to implement as time permits: Post often. This will be the biggest challenge for me, as I have very little discretionary time and a lot of things I want to do with it. But I’m going to try to squeeze out more, shorter posts, and not worry so much about polishing. Position Adsense Ads closer to content.This sounds like a great idea, and I noticed that I had a much greater tendency to actually look at his ads than I did others for the simple fact that it was right next to what I was reading. I’m not sure I understood the blogger template well enough to actually implement this concept until a little while ago, but I think I can do it by pasting the Adsense code inside the Post block of the template rather than at the beginning. I’m going to try it as soon as I finish this post. Employ a higher standard blogging service. I think it’s only natural to start out free and simple. It’s the AOL model, but you are soon frustrated by the limitations of free and easy. For instance, I’ve often envied other blogs that employ categorization of posts. How do they do that? I think I’m learning that they do it with better blogging interfaces. I looked at Movable Type once, but it looked too complicated. I’m going to take a hard look at WordPress as soon as I get the chance. Master your own domain.Again, free and easy is a good and natural place to start. But I do think that using the blogspot.com domain name brands you as a dabbling novice. Apparently search engines also prefer dedicated domains. I’ll look into that as well, but I know you get into cost issues like registration, storage, and band-width. That’s it for now. I’m going to look at this stuff closer and see what I can do with it. Hopefully, you’ll start to see improvements soon. [...]

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