Close
Close

Trent from The Simple Dollar’s Tipping Point

Today Trent Hamm from The Simple Dollar shares his blog’s tipping point.

For me, the tipping point of The Simple Dollar was the removal of a mental block. Prior to starting The Simple Dollar, I’d had limited success with blogging and I’d chosen to convince myself that the reason for that relative failure is that others had access to some “secret” that I didn’t have – it was a buddy’s club that I was excluded from for some reason. I was bitter about it, to say the least.

With that philosophy, I started The Simple Dollar not believing it was going to be successful at all. I started it intending solely to write about the stuff I was learning about money management – mostly, to work through my own personal finance goals and such. It really was all about the content – I hacked together my own template and did only the minimal SEO stuff.

That’s why I think that it took off. I didn’t spend my time focusing on SEO optimization or grumbling about how other blogs got all the breaks or judging my own success based on the subscribers and hits that other blogs got. I basically decided that it didn’t matter and really only thought about the content.

That made all the difference in the world, and in my eyes, it is THE reason my blog became successful.

Don’t worry about what others are doing. Don’t sweat the “perfection” of your layout. Focusing in on that stuff just gets in the way of succeeding. Instead, focus on stuff other people want to read. That’s it, seriously – figuring that out and really applying it was my tipping point.

More Blogger Tipping Points

Blogging and Insecurity: Conquering the Fear of Presenting Your Big Ideas

In this post Chris Guillebeau from The Art of Nonconformity examines the topic of blogger insecurity.

Here’s a confession: every time I post a new essay on my site, I experience a brief moment of panic. At first, the panic is the same feeling I get when sending an email or turning in an important memo.

“Did I just commit a horrible grammar crime?” I wonder. “Did I misspell something obvious?”

But even after the momentary panic passes as I proofread the post yet again, a deeper, more serious feeling sets in. The questions I ask myself shift from grammar concerns to fears about what I’ve actually written.

“What if the readers don’t like it… or worse, what if they just don’t care?”

That’s my confession—I am a highly insecure blogger. I worry a lot about what people think, even though I fully realize that this fear is not always rational and certainly not optimal for good writing.

In talking with other bloggers recently, I’ve begun to suspect that I’m not alone in my insecurity. Many of us struggle with the same emotional issue of learning to overcome fear and insecurity in presenting ideas to the blogosphere.

At least for me, the fear of presenting free ideas for the world’s benefit is much greater than the fear of presenting commercial projects for personal profit.

I’ve produced about 20 commercial websites and consulted on a lot more. But none of them have caused me as much anxiety—or as much fulfillment—as my new personal site. I’m not entirely sure why this is true, but I do know that I feel much more personally invested in my writing project than in any for-profit venture I’ve been involved in.

When I write, I think about the fact that these ideas are originally my own, but my greatest hope is that they will go out into the world and help others. Throughout the writing and publishing process, I experience these fears:

  • The world is so crowded… how will I break through all the noise?
  • What if I can’t stick to my publication schedule?
  • What if no one notices?
  • What if people notice and they don’t like it?

Countering these fears, the medium of blogging presents a number of opportunities that will help you overcome the insecurity and get your ideas to the people who need to hear.

4 Great Things about Presenting Your Ideas through Blogging

1. The gatekeepers aren’t in charge anymore. Perhaps the greatest thing about the blogging revolution is the increased democratization of information. People can decide not to pay attention to your ideas, but no one can hinder your ability to put them on the table.

2. You’ll receive instant feedback that is usually positive. Eventually, all bloggers who gain a significant audience of fans will also attract their share of critics. You need a strategy to deal with the critics, but in most cases, the fans will greatly outnumber the critics. While you probably shouldn’t present big ideas in anticipation of being praised, the positive feedback will help you break through the moments of insecurity.

3. Thanks to archives, your ideas will always be available. With traditional forms of communicating big ideas, such as public speaking, your ideas are more limited in distribution. Contrast this to blog posts and other online content, where a good idea can last a long time after you first publish it.

4. You can change your mind. If the passing of time or the availability of new information causes you to change your mind about the original position you took, that’s OK. You can either write a new post explaining the change, or simply modify the original article. Some people will object to this, but remember—it’s your blog. You are ultimately responsible for the ideas you present, so you also have the freedom to change your mind.

My Own Story

In my own quest to visit every country in the world and lead the crusade against conventional thinking, I spent nearly a full year outlining and writing initial content before I started the Art of Nonconformity site.

I devoted hours to learning from the masters here at Problogger and other authority sites. I actively followed other bloggers I admired, especially those who were able to quickly establish a following. I solicited—and paid attention to—good advice from those who have gone before.

But finally, I could wait no longer. With the help of a great designer, I set up my site and started publishing on a regular schedule.

The time to start presenting your big ideas is when you can no longer keep them to yourself in good conscience.

When you reach that same point, and when you’re willing to sacrifice for it, nothing can stop you. Some of the best advice I heard came from John Wesley at PicktheBrain.com. John told me that the turning point for his site was when it went from being about what he wanted to what the readers wanted.

I really liked that perspective, and we’ve been doing some redesigning over the past couple of weeks to focus more on what our own readers have shared through site comments and email messages.

Do you have big ideas of your own to share with the world? In the end, you may find that any insecurity you experience will be worth it. Despite the challenges, there is a great deal of freedom in knowing that you have the courage to come out of hiding and share your ideas with anyone who cares to listen.

Chris Guillebeau is a social entrepreneur who writes at The Art of Nonconformity. Over the next five years he will be traveling to every country in the world.

Apologies to Newsletter Subscribers [and What to Do When You Stuff Up On Your Blog]

I Stuffed up!

Earlier today I sent out my weekly Digital Photography newsletter to not only the 40,000 subscribers who asked to receive it but also to several thousand ProBlogger readers who had subscribed to an old ProBlogger newsletter that I used to run (and which I’m about to start back up).

Here’s what happened:

I previously ran a weekly ProBlogger newsletter using the Zookoda service. However late last year I had so many problems with Zookoda not delivering emails and being unreliable that I ceased using it as a service. I switched my photography newsletter over to Aweber but decided to pause the ProBlogger newsletter.

Over the last week or two I’ve decided to start up the ProBlogger newsletter again and have begun to import all the old contacts that were in my Zookoda list into the new Aweber one. So far I’ve got 4000 subscribers across (Aweber only allow you to do 2000 a day to stop spammers importing massive lists).

The problem came today when I went to send my photography newsletter out and without thinking I marked it to go to ALL of my lists (forgetting my new ProBlogger one).

As a result – 4000 of you got a photography related newsletter. I feel like a complete goose and want to express my apologies. I just sent a newsletter to those who got the newsletter by mistake to explain but wanted to do it again here.

I also thought it was a good opportunity to post about managing problems like this on your blog.

What to do when you stuff up on your blog

1. Admit your mistake – as soon as I found out what I’d done (when a couple of people emailed to let me know) I immediately started working on an apology email. The temptation when this kind of thing happens is to either put your head in the sand and hope it’ll go away or to make excuses. Both are mistakes. Admit your mistake quickly – apologize and do what you can to respond to any complaints.

2. Respond personally to complaints – a few people have emailed complaints about the newsletter – a couple were angry. I sent personal emails to these people to talk them through my mistake and to give a second apology. In most cases they responded to this very positively. A little personal attention counts for a lot.

3. Look for the positives – I had ten people email me to let me know about my mistake. Four of these surprisingly thanked me for the mistakenly sent email and asked where they could subscribe to it because it was on a topic that they had some interest in. Another two emailed to thank me for it because it gave them ideas for their own newsletters and thought it was a good example of how to use a newsletter to promote a blog. These emails gave me a bit of a giggle but then I realized that perhaps there was an opportunity. I added a ‘PS’ to the apology email that I sent out saying:

“PS: ironically some of you liked the newsletter and want to subscribe.

You can do this at www.digital-photography-school.com/blog in the sidebar.

Otherwise – take this as an example of how NOT to use newsletters to build community and promote your blog!”

Perhaps this is a bit of a risky and slightly cheeky thing to do but since sending out the apology email I’ve had 25 emails from readers. Each one has been positive and quite a few have said that they enjoyed the newsletter and have subscribed to get it again. I wouldn’t recommend this type of mistake as a promotional tactic – but sometimes there are hidden positives in the mistakes.

PS: if you’d like to subscribe to the ProBlogger newsletter that I’m going to restart – stay tuned because I’ll be posting about it next week.

David Peralty Shares His Blog’s Tipping Point

Today David Peralty from xfep.com shares the Tipping Point of His Blog.

For me, the biggest tipping point on my blog wasn’t actually anything I did, but instead what others were doing. During the first few months of my latest endeavor, Xfep.com, I wasn’t linked often, I worked hard to create amazing content, and the growth was nothing but tiny baby steps. I had a few people who were basically my friends and family reading the site, but it wasn’t anything major.

After a while, certain posts started being noticed, and when they were, they were linked to, and for me that was the tipping point. My blog was no longer being promoted just by me and my friends, but instead by people that actually found value in my content. That changed the community, and the power of the site, and because of others extending the reach of my content, it grew it beyond just a one way conversation with a few interactions via a comment form into a vibrant, helpful and fun community.

Without those people taking the time to link to me, to give me kudos on my articles, expand on a thought I had, or write a rebuttal, my blog would not be half as successful as it is today. This is even more apparent to me recently, with the current hardships my wife and I are dealing with. So many people have chimed in wishing us well, and reminding me that they will support me and my site as I sit back, take a small break and contemplate my life and future.

More Blogger Tipping Points

StrongLifts.com 0 – 13,000+ Subscribers in 12 months [INTERVIEW]

StrongliftsToday I want to feature an interview with Mehdi from Strong Lifts – a good example of a blog that is focusing upon a niche topic and growing a readership quickly over the last 12 months.

Tell us about your blog – what’s it about, why and when did you start it, who reads it?

StrongLifts.com is a blog about how to build muscle & lose fat through strength training. Topics include how to go from chubby to muscular, how to go from skinny to muscular, how to get stronger, how to perform exercises correctly, how to avoid injuries, how to improve your posture, how to eat healthier, etc

There are articles about body-weight exercises too, but the blog is mainly about weight lifting. It’s not bodybuilding: it’s not about working out for aesthetic purposes only. It’s about training to get stronger. This increases muscle mass, testosterone levels, cardiovascular fitness, strengthens bones & joints, lowers body fat, increases self-confidence, and much more.

I started StrongLifts.com for 2 reasons:

1) I was doing a job that wasn’t me for 5 years and had been looking for a way out. Summer 2006 someone sent me Steve Pavlina’s post how to make money blogging. I had never heard about blogs before, but this got me interested.

I looked for more info on blogging. Came across John Chow who got serious about blogging around the same time. I followed how his blog got big in a few months. This stuff seemed so easy, I decided to start a blog too.

Through John Chow I found Problogger. I printed the “blogging for beginners” series and studied everything (Darren is not paying me to say this. I don’t read Problogger anymore, but this really happened).

So my 1st reason was to start a blog that makes enough money to leave my day job. I wanted to be self-employed, and set the rules for myself. I knew I liked to teach people things, so blogging would fit. But I needed a topic.

2) I’ve been training for 10 years and often get questions about it. Friends, family, co-workers see how I look. They want the same thing. They’re often surprised I can eat so much without gaining fat by training 3-4x/week for 1 hour.

There’s a strong bias against weight lifting: unsafe, unhealthy, gets you bulky, etc. So you do other things like running, because “you have to exercise”. But you hate running. And that makes it very hard to do it consistently.

Be open minded, forget what you think you know about weight lifting and give it a try. You’ll never go back. Because once you try it, you’ll realize this stuff is so easy, it’s laughable. Whatever your age or gender.

Weight lifting & strength training made me who I am today. I believe everybody would be better off if they did it. That’s why I started StrongLifts.com: to give more people information on how they can easily build muscle & lose fat: like I do.

The guy with whom I started training 10y ago gave me idea to make a website about all of this in February 2007. StrongLifts.com went online May 1st 2007.

The majority of the 200k monthly visitors are males between 20 & 35y old. But there are females, teens and 55y old readers too. I remember getting an email from a 72y old guy who did Squats & Deadlifts and felt great.

Most readers are from the US, but there are readers from all over the world. What they all share is a willingness to change. To change their lifestyle, to live healthier, to be more active. It’s definitely not easy when you have a business, career, family, social life, … But where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Where does most of your traffic come from?

60% from search. I get a lot of traffic from Google. 10% is direct traffic. 13k RSS readers means a lot of readers will click back to the site to check comments, click link inside the articles, etc

The rest comes from social media & referrals. Digg doesn’t work well with my content, although I hit Digg front page once. Stumbleupon does better, I’ve had spikes of 3-4k visitors/day in the past.

I get daily inbound links from forums. Several articles are “flagship content” (I got that one from chrisg). Readers link to these articles to answer questions on relevant forums. This is targeted traffic.

Note that relying on Google for traffic is a bad business model. That’s why I focused on converting traffic to RSS from the start.

You’ve managed to build up your RSS readership to 13,000 in 12 months (it’s now 14,000) – that’s 1000 a month and a good strong rate – how did you do it?

Well it didn’t really went like that. StrongLifts.com went online May 1st 2007. It reached 1k RSS in November 2007. 5k in January 2008. 10k start of May 2008, ending the month at 14k. Check the graph below.

Feedburner-13K

A lot of bloggers only care about generating traffic. Any business is about generating AND converting leads. I decided to convert traffic not to money, but to RSS. So I read & tried everything about how to increase RSS.

Most of the stuff I tried didn’t work for StrongLifts.com. Example: most traffic comes from google/forums. Often these readers don’t know what RSS is, they don’t know what the ticker stands for, neither what a blog is. They don’t know, because I didn’t know before I started a blog.

So these tips “put RSS high on your blog, put a big button, ask them to subscribe”, only works if your traffic consists of readers familiar with RSS (traffic from social media or blogs). I know this, because I tracked everything with google analytics.

But I still wanted to increase StrongLifts.com’s readership. So I thought about other ways for many weeks. Thinking outside the box, checking what other sites, non-blogs, did. Then the solution came pretty easy.

Check back the graph above. RSS started to increased mid-December 2007. That’s when I started to offer a 52 pages free ebook to anyone who subscribes. Since then I’ve optimized the sales letter, link placement, etc (use google analytics). It’s far from perfect, but RSS now increases by 3k/month. Which means I’ll reach 40k RSS by the end of the year. And that’s assuming the traffic doesn’t increase.

How do you make money from your blog? Is it your full time job? If not, is that a goal?

StrongLifts.com isn’t generating a full time income yet. I never, and still don’t, focus my efforts on making money. Building experience, building a reputation and building a readership is more important in the long-term. It’s easier to monetize a blog once you’ve built a foundation.

StrongLifts.com generates money through:

  • Amazon & Affiliates. Products I own and recommend my readers get. Good things aren’t free. You learn faster reading books than reading blogs.
  • Google Adsense. I have one block above the comments. Don’t want ads inside the content. It doesn’t make much money that way, but it also sends less traffic away from the blog. I’ll remove this in the future.
  • Personal Training. Whatever business you’re in, you’re always selling something. Selling your own product is smarter than selling someone else’s. I started with personal training recently, not only for the money but because I enjoy it more than writing.

StrongLifts.com is my full time job. I worked 5 years in an IT helpdesk. Quit the job 12 days after the blog went online because:

  • 5 years doing the same job was the limit.
  • I couldn’t combine blogging with my day job.
  • I wanted to burn my bridges.

Even though I lost a good income, I never regretted resigning. Regaining freedom and doing something I like mattered more than a paycheck. I couldn’t do what I to do today if I hadn’t done that job. But it was “time to move on”.

What’s the biggest blogging mistake you’ve made in the last 12 months and what did you learn from it?

Underestimating blogging. Although I got somewhere during the last 12 months, I thought it would be easier. Blogging is harder than it looks: copywriting, marketing, customer service, … You have to learn a lot of things.

I made a lot of other “mistakes”, but don’t really see them as such. Failure is part of the learning process. You have to make mistakes to get somewhere in life. “Failure is life’s best teacher” - Napoleon Hill.

What 3 things have contributed the most to the success you’ve had so far?

  • Determination. I wasn’t going to “try”. I DECIDED I would become a blogger. Quitting my day job guaranteed I had no way back. When you REALLY want something, everything you need to get it comes your way. Including the answers to how to get there.
  • Walking The Talk. I’ve been lifting weights since 10 years and still do. I’ve trained in commercial gyms and now own a home gym. I’ve combined lifting weights with working 2 jobs and night shifts. I’ve combined it with relationships and social life. I’ve been able to eat healthy on a tight budget. I’ve injured myself dozens of times. I’ve trained when ill and injured. I’ve trained after a night drinking alcohol or a 4 hour night sleep. You get the point. Readers sense I’m not bullshitting them. And they understand that a) it’s not meant to be easy b) you’ll never achieve perfection c) if I can do it, you can definitely do it too.
  • Giving. Free articles, free ebook, free coaching, … Some people don’t like working for free. Truth is that you always get something back. Yes I’ve helped people who didn’t even say thank you. But I also had readers who optimized the blog and proofread the ebook for free because they felt they had to return the favor. But here’s what I always got back but what most people fail to realize: EXPERIENCE. You can lose your whole blog, you can lose all your money on your back account, but one thing no-one can ever take away from you: the knowledge & experience you’ve built by helping people. That is priceless.

Can you give ProBlogger readers 3 practical tips of what to do to grow their readership

  • Write Good Content. Find out what people’s problems are. Give them the solution to their problems. How do you find this? 1) by walking the talk so you experience the same problems b) by interacting with your (potential) readers: friends, familiy, co-workers, forums, emails, comments, … Ideas are everywhere, you just have to pick them up.
  • Guest Posts. Make a list of blogs with a high amount of readers and who often get on digg/del.icio.us/stumbleupon front page. If it’s a blog in the same niche, easy. If it’s a blog in a different niche: think outside the box (Example). Write a how-to post, your best one. Include relevant, non spammy back links to your own site, with anchor text optimized for search engine. Send the post to the blogger. Be blunt, don’t ask for permission “will you let me guest post”, just send the whole post, tell him to read it and publish it if he likes it with the only condition that he must keep the non-spammy relevant back links with anchor text. If you wrote a good post, every bloggers will say yes, because it’s like a day off. Hope it gets dugg, will get you back links (anchor text) from the blog and other blogs that copy-paste posts increasing long-term google ranking while creating short term traffic. If the blogger says no to the back links or to your post, send it to the next blogger on your list. Don’t give up, keep trying. If 5 bloggers say no, question your article.
  • eBook. Write an eBook that has the solution to your readers problems. Give it away for free, but only after they subscribe by RSS (download link available through feedburner only). Mention you give away an ebook at the bottom of each post. Make a salesletter for the eBook. Track conversions using google analytics. Tweak it constantly.

What tips do you have for people who want to start a blog?

  • Read. Knowledge is power. Throw your TV out and read everything you come across: copywriting, direct advertising, marketing, business, self-improvement, … Read 1 book per week and you’ll get ahead of 80% of the population.
  • Believe. Watch out for The Crabs. Some people will tell you that you can’t do it, that you will never make money blogging, that you do not have the skills/knowledge to get there. Ignore them. Several people make money blogging, you could be the next one. No-one can tell you if you’ll succeed or not. It all depends on you. So want this and go for it.
  • Don’t Do It for The Money. Blogging looks fun: waking up when you want, writing some blog posts, answering emails, making money online, … That’s indeed how it will look if you stick with it. But not during your first months. i’ve worked 70h on average during the past 12 months, and I’m not “there” yet. So if you’re looking for an easy way out of your day job or if you’re looking for easy money: don’t do it, because you have the wrong mindset and will fail. Blog about something you like, add value to the world, pay your dues. And yes one day you’ll get there.

Trackur – Online Reputation Monitoring Tool

Today I’ve been checking out Andy Beal’s latest venture – Trackur.

Trackur is an online reputation monitoring tool that has been developed for companies and individuals wanting to take a serious look at what is being said about them in the blogosphere. I can also see the possibilities for using this tool for higher end bloggers who want to track what’s being written about them and/or their niche topic.

The best way to get a handle on Trackur and what it does is to signup for the free 14 day trial. The second best way to understand it is to watch Andy Demo Trackur in the following video.

There are of course free tools that you to monitor the blogosphere (including Google’s News Alerts and Technorati’s Watch Lists) but Trackur is a much more integrated package that is sure to appeal to a higher end user. You can see how it compares to Google News Alerts here:

home_facts.jpg

The importance of such tools to bloggers is significant. Not only do they allow you to monitor what is being said about you and your company in the blogosphere – but to be able to set up tools to monitor when keywords in your niche are being mentioned is very important – particularly if you have a blog with a news focus.

Starting at $18 a month and ranging up to $188 a month I suspect that a lot of ProBlogger readers will stick with the free tools – however for those looking for a more feature rich package Trackur will be a real option.

PS: Speaking of Google News Alerts….

Just as I was writing this post an email hit my inbox with one of my News Alerts. I set up one for “Darren Rowse” and here’s what it sent me today (click to enlarge):

Picture 1.jpg

It’s great to get news results and blog results like this each day – however….

1. The first result (highlighted in green) is actually for a post written in May 2007
2. The second result (highlighted in red) is actually for a scraper site that picked up one of my own posts. What I find interesting is that Google News found the scraper site and ranked it and it didn’t find my own site’s version of that post. This is something I see every day in News Alerts – they attempt to cut out the duplicate content but in doing so seem to be promoting scraper versions instead of the original content.
3. Lastly I’m a little confused as to why they sent me an email with 5 search results for my name when their Blog Search Results for my name show 20 or so results in the last 24 hours.

Don’t get me wrong – Google News Alerts rock and are an important part of my own monitoring of keywords that are relevant to me – however they’re not perfect and I know they miss a lot and put up flunky results from time to time – I guess you get what you pay for.

Using Google Analytics to Compare Search Engine Traffic Over Time

What statistics do you monitor in Google Analytics?

I’ve written before on some of the statistics that I monitor on my blogs but one that I didn’t include is to look at the traffic coming in from Search Engines over time.

Here’s one of my favorite ways to get a quick overview of whether my blog is on the rise or not with regards to traffic from Search Engines.

search-traffic.png

The above graph (click to enlarge) is generated in Google Analytics and compares traffic from search engines to Digital Photography School (just the blog, not the forum) over the last two months.

The last 30 day period is the blue line and the month before that is the green line.

This graph immediately tells me that traffic is up from search engines over the last month.

search-traffic-changes.png

The screen shot above (click to enlarge) shows that Search Engine traffic is up by 12.85% and also highlights where the rises in traffic have come from over the two periods (as well as other information between the two periods like the bounce rate, average time on site, pages visited per visitor etc).

How do you get this graph and information?

Here’s a quick step by step process (to do this you need to have run Google Analytics for at least two months).

1. Log into your Google Analytics account

2. In the left hand menu click ‘Traffic Sources’

traffic sources.png

3. Then select ‘Search Engines’ in the sub menu that opens up

search engines.png

4. This will open up the last month of your Search Engine traffic with a graph.

5. On the right hand side of your screen and towards the top you’ll see the date range of the last month. Click this open to get to this screen.

dates.png

6. In that box you’ll see a ‘Comparison’ drop down menu. Click on the ‘Date Range’ option.

date range.png

7. You can leave the blue date range as is – but with the 2nd date range (green) select the dates you want to compare. Then click ‘Apply’.

Note: I always choose dates that correspond to the days of the week chosen in the 1st (blue) date range. If the blue date range starts on a Sunday and ends on a Monday make the green range start on Sunday and end on Monday too.

While this leaves a few days not charted in between the date ranges it means that you’re comparing days of the week with the same days of the week in the two months. This makes it easier to see the comparison as the graph will usually rise and fall in the same pattern.

2nd date range.png

You now can see how the two month’s compare. This is where my analysis often stops as it gives me a snapshot view of how things are going. But from this point there are any number of ways to drill down further including:

Drilling Down Further

You can drill down further to see a graph for each search engine by scrolling down the page a little and clicking on one of the links of the search engine you want to compare over the two months.

google.png

This will take you to a page where you can see just the comparison in what traffic Google, or Yahoo might have brought. For example clicking on the Google stats takes me to a graph like this (similar to the above one as Google is my major source of SE traffic):

google-traffic.png

Once on this page there’s more interesting insights to be had as they allow you to see your top keywords. For example I can see the comparison for the search term ‘DSLR’ for the two months which has seen a 17.03% increase in traffic as a result of people searching for that term.

DSLR.png

If I click on the ‘dslr’ link I can even see a graph of the two months again and the traffic for each day of the week for that particular keyword.

dslr comparison.png

This is useful if you’ve been optimizing a particular word or just simply to analyze one search result might have been having a significant shift. I now have some hints on a keyword that I might want to optimize a little better now.

There are literally hundreds of threads of statistics that Google Analytics can provide you with. This is just one of my favorites. How do you use it to provide you with interesting and more importantly useful information on your blog and how it’s going?

PS: Here’s another fun comparison for those of you who have been using Google Analytics for a longer period of time. Use the same process outlined above to compare longer periods of traffic. For example – here’s my overall traffic at DPS from the first five months of this year as compared to the first five months of last year:

all-traffic-jan-may.png

There might not be a lot to glean from this graph – but it sure is motivating to look where you’ve come from – it’s a 94% increase. Something to motivate me for the next 12 months!

2 Things that Are NOT Changing about the Web and How People Are Using It [VIDEO]

In last week’s video I examined 5 Emerging Trends in blogging. A few readers emailed to say that while they agreed with the trends I had identified that they felt a little overwhelmed by them and not equipped to embrace the trends on their own blogs. They were concerned that they were too far behind the big blogs and said that they felt like giving up.

The emails reminded me of some of my own feelings when I started blogging. While I started out five years ago – at the time I remember feeling like I was too late to the medium. Other bloggers seemed like they were so much more advanced and in my lower moments I wondered if there was any point in blogging on.

In this video I want to balance the 5 emerging trends in blogging with 2 things that haven’t really changed in blogging – things that I don’t seem going away any time soon. While the trends are worth keeping an eye on don’t lose sight of the basics – the things that don’t change!

See the full sized video on YouTube, MySpace, Revver, Blip.tv and Viddler

Jeremy Schoemaker Shares His Blog’s Tipping Point

Today Jeremy Schoemaker from ShoeMoney shares the Tipping Point for his blog.

When I decided to start quantifying what I was talking about by posting some of our earnings it was a HUGE influx of users. Especially the adsense check and Azoogleads check (which was for a magazine not a real check).

Many blogs talk in theories but very few are willing to, or have the ability to quantify their theories.