Tumbling with Tumblr

Tumblr is a fabulous social media platform, it is far less complicated than many systems out there and provides a serious alternative to the bigger platforms. I started using it to try it out and see what all the fuss was about. So the decision is to start Tumbling with Tumblr!

tumbling-with-tumblr

Key Facts

  • Tumblr is now owned by Yahoo
  • It was developed in New York and has a strong NY following
  • Tumblr has been steadily growing amidst the rise in social media outlets

Tumblr is:

  • A very quick way of getting information out
  • A great way of sharing
  • A good way to make something go viral
  • A good way to introduce content from outside the hum drum staples of the big three (Facebook, Twitter and Google+) to a different audience.

Tumblr is not:

  • Friendly to a lot of text, it suits short bursts of information, images, sound and video.
  • A great place to make comment on people’s work.
  • As established as the big three, results may vary.

 

Why have I been using Tumblr?

I’ve noticed that whilst I’ve tried fairly hard with Google+, I’m still not generating much buzz. You sometimes need an interconnected social media nexus to get a foothold, such is the spread of your potential audience in the environment.

The beauty of Tumblr is that it is easy to look after, quick to add things to and under the hood can be quite powerful.

I hooked Tumblr up to this blog through the “Publicize” options in WordPress.

Resources I dug up

General Guides

I’ve picked out two guides here that are of use and you should find useful. Wiki How often produce very helpful guides

Wiki How’s Guide Here

A guide from MakeUseOf Here

It is not as if you need a guide for Tumblr because it is so simple. There is the option to get a bit more advanced but the simple options are self-sustaining and whilst there are paid options to improve the look of the blog you can get by with most of the free options which come with ample customisations. There are further options under the hood for the more advanced user with a code view.

Analytics

Depending on whether you want to also track you activity on Tumblr there is option to do this by adding Google Analytics tracking code. I am aware that there are those who are apprehensive about doing so and this is not something for everybody. I’ve opted not to track because I wanted Tumblr to be a low upkeep location. That is a particular strength of Tumblr, low maintenance.

Google Analytics in Tumblr

A guide from HowToGeek Here

 

What is Social Wrestle’s purpose?

I created it as an informal traffic stream to both experiment and try to tap an alternative market of bloggers. Tumblr is very image based so the unique content I am looking to post there is going to be image based. Keeping things short and sweet is the name of the game.

SocialWrestle

An example of a shared post via the publicize option in WordPress

Tumblr is a lot quicker to get to grips with than WordPress. It has just a series of different post types and generally you’ll only use 2 or 3 of them on a regular basis. Tumblr is also a lot friendlier on tablets and smartphones so it has some clear advantages.

Any problems with Tumblr?

There are some quirks with the system. No system is perfect after all.

I’ve listed a few issues I’ve run into:

  • Images have a preference to be saved on Tumblr’s servers. They can sometimes appear as gray boxes in the stream but will appear with the correct images on the actual blog. You can get around this by creating a post and taking the html to the existing post or by ditching the automatic sharing from WordPress and manually pitching your content (this somewhat beats the objective of it being fast and low maintenance).
  • Image sizes can be restrictive to some.
  • The lack of commenting is also apparent. You can integrate Disqus with some of the themes that can be bought from Tumblr but there is no comment system integral to the Tumblr design. If you aren’t a fan of Disqus, like me, then this is not going to be a great option if you want comments.
  • I have found that some users of Tumblr can absolutely bombard your stream. A lot of content can be queued on Tumblr and the floodgates can be opened at certain pre-defined periods. I don’t want to see 100 pictures of Justin Bieber and this is poor discipline from other Tumblrs.
  • You may get approached by low quality followers, those that bombard you with nonsense as above. Obviously you should only have followers you like to view content from and that occasionally like your work. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Final Word

I’ve been using Tumblr for a number of months now, I’ve yet to see a good trade off of people coming back to my site over putting the information there but as it is so easy to update I shall persevere to try and drive up the number of followers. I’m impressed with the simplicity and the sleak design of the dashboard area. I’m sure that Tumblr will improve over time.

I would say if you were sitting on the fence, give it a try. You will be surprised just how easy it is.

If you are evaluating Tumblr, have major success with it or are skeptical of it then I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

How to make Google plus work for you

For a blogger especially, social media is a necessary evil. How else are you quickly going to connect with like minds and share your content goodies? The question: how to make google plus work for you, springs from whether you are using your time effectively on the platform or not.

A tool is only as good as the person that wields it.

Social media sites can be viewed as an essential PR (public relations) machine. Blogging and Social media have a synchronicity. Where social proof (a form of collective recognition) is important, social media provides social signs. A social sign is exactly what it says on the tin; an outward view that what you are writing strikes a chord with interested parties, and generates healthy debate. You are scored better on organic search results when social signs are more evident.

It is not only pageviews and visitors that make prizes. Reader interaction through social media is called social engagement. Being engaged is the important emphasis. This is partly effected by the quality of the writing, the timeliness of the topic, the urgency of the content (something happening right now “In Trend”) or something that has an enduring appeal and always causes debate.

On the other side it is down to the type of reader you might attract, those who naturally are pre-disposed to engage via interaction, those who have learnt that interaction helps publicise them in a better light, and those who (on that rare occasion) are brought out of the darkness to act.

 

What does this have to do with how to make google plus work for you?

It is quite easy to fall into a trap with social media. You, as a social media participator, may become side tracked in your goal, swallowed up in the vertical and horizontal ways in which you can interact. It happens to the best of us which is why many of the big guns use virtual assistants to manage their social media accounts. Whilst Social Media has many benefits to continuing debate and winning people to a cause or sell, ultimately it takes time to produce and time to perfect.

I blame the kittens!

Three Jolly Kittens

Image Credit – Commons

Time as a resource is perishable, finite, capable of running out. You can be very strict with your use of it and accomplish much but there are some times when you need to give over hours of your life to experimenting, to making those connections. Sometimes you are caught idly, looking at tight buns, kitten pictures, interesting Gifs and other oddments that invade your screen. My particular favourite smelling salt to the senses when I’m bored is the Heelsday community (because women in heels okay).

The Heelsday community of Google+, created by Gorka Ortiz.

Heelsday – Google+ – Recommended smelling salts for any writing crisis.

Google Plus is a time sink as much as it is a platform for success. How much time will you pour down that sink?

  • You need to consider what you are there to do and what you are trying to accomplish!

 

Do you shape your content to the market or try to make the market fit you?

I would say that from experience you should aim to do a little of both where it suits. You can’t always please. You should take some pride in making thoughts contrary to opinion because often such theories are inappropriate to some models. Your voice should be unique, you shouldn’t always follow what everyone else is doing but try to beat your own path.

  • Standing by your principles will always lead to those who share some of your thoughts. Don’t be liberal.

 

Identification of the potential user community.

This useful graph has followed me through 3 of my development journals thus far. It normally goes at the forefront of my journal because it is important as a concept. I discovered this segmented chart whilst reading a book from the library from a strategist who works for Richard Branson’s Virgin group.

Learning Teaching Scale

As you can see in the diagram there are 4 typical types of interactor for your blog. Snow White is the optimum and most valued individual whilst Mr Busy and Mr Noisy are both useful in their own ways. It is however, Mr Grumpy that you are going to come in contact with most regularly. It is how you deal with Mr Grumpy that is important. Often it is how you deal with Snow White, Mr Busy and Mr Noisy that provides the catalyst to change Mr Grumpy.

Snow White is your helpful audience, one that both interacts and brings a lot to the table. Snow white generally makes up roughly 1% of your readership. 1 in 100. You should treat her with respect because she will repay you 10x over. Snow White is in the market to learn a lot. A Snow White audience member is capable of commenting, sharing insight, making debate and sharing your work.

Mr Noisy is that self opinionated commentator who you would have difficulty swaying, the one likely to strongly agree or disagree with your content. Mr noisy accounts for 5% of your audience. 5 in 100. This type of user is likely to either be your best ally or your worst nightmare. They are most definitely excellent at debating your content but they are not likely to take much away from it. You shine by how you interact with them in a constructive way.

Mr Busy is the audience who will benefit well from your content but will be passive of voice. Mr Busy accounts for 10% of your audience. 10 in 100. They are likely to return, extracting what they can every time. They are the syphon. They are not likely to have the time to engage with you hand to hand. They are the kind of person who will find you through a search engine, by a specific keyword.

Mr Grumpy is your core audience. The person most likely to view your site. The grumps account for 84% of your viewing public. 84 in 100. They suit teaching rather than learning, are unlikely ever to comment and are somewhat ambivalent to your content. They are the kind of person who never adds much to the conversation but might nod their head if they like what they read. You won’t know if you’ve been succesful with what you did and so their footprints are a mystery lost in time. How you interact with the other 3 audience member types might sway Mr Grumpy if you try hard enough.

 

Avoid the number farm:

It is easy with Google+ to get carried away with taking up the offer of shared circles. Many boast the inclusion of those who engage with content but there is no guarantee that this same group of engagers will merrily take on your content in the same way.

Avoiding the number farm is about not considering every person following you as a number but more as an individual. Some of those individuals will love you, some will soon learn to dislike you and some will drift away or remain entirely passive. It is the ones that engage with you regularly that are worth the effort. Those individuals are the important ones. You’ll gain far better followers by picking them up slowly with time. The opposite is absorbing many shared circles akin to throwing mud at the wall and seeing what sticks, that is to say it will be a messy process.

I’ve noticed from my own journey with Google+ that some plussers test their audience by contacting them directly from time to time. Those who respond stay followed, those who don’t respond in a timely fashion get the “Spanish Archers” (the elbow).

I push out my shared content to my general populace after I’ve published my post but the general populace rarely come back….

Which leads me to:

 

Community Spirit:

The strongest element of Google Plus is the communities you can join. It is where the majority of my site views have come from on the Google Plus platform and where my PR battle is fought in the trenches. The communities you can join are an excellent testbed for your work because they give some idea as to what the general trend is. Writing to trend can often be far more rewarding in terms of view. Just don’t forget to stay true to your own ideals.

As Will.I.Am might say if he were a blogger: “Communities are the bomb dot com!”

Communities I have used for blogging:

There are three particular communities I’ve used on Google+ with varying results.

Blog Engagement

I actively decided to leave this community. It worked well for a time when there were rules but I had to part ways after it took a turn for the worse. People stopped sharing and just started flooding the decks which is no good. When you flood and don’t share the love there is no real point. Firing and forgetting just doesn’t work. I know this from Twitter. People don’t just view stuff that is spewed out with no control.

  • You have to make an effort to elicit a conversational tone. You have to have some real conversations. You can’t always rely on praise alone. You may be required to defend or surrender your position on something.

Flooding is a case of irritable bowel syndrome for the internet. It is where bloggers are under the jaded view that by writing a lot of offal, people will be worn down to read it. It’s not true.

  • Write things that other people find useful. Always drive your work towards providing a solution, even if only theoretical. Don’t over expose yourself!

I have found that people who do over expose, normally have to work this way by design. They are the kind of people who have an imperative to do so because they are hooked up with a dodgy pyramid network and are working ultra hard to make their target. Don’t follow their lead because you essential cheapen your work by scrubbing it out. You don’t have to post daily to do well, it’s where, how and who your post are seen by that is important.

Blogging

This is my current preferred destination. I’ve attributed quite a lot of views to this area and find that when new bloggers introduce themselves I have a great chance at making some connections. There is a bit more order to this community and it seems to be going well. Whilst it does have impressive numbers, many are passive or have simply left the community to show that dreaded 99+. At time of writing this community has just over 14,000 followers.

Blogging for Beginners

I rarely use this community, I used to use it more but I began losing out to the big fish in the pond. There are a number of people who’ve got caught up with some dodgy blogging pyramid networks and they are honour bound to flood. I contact one such individual to no response. At the time of writing this community has 1,825 members.

  • Just because a community has fewer members doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t as productive. It’s down to the engaged members. If 80% of 200 members are making an effort in one community but only 1% of 10,000 are making the effort in another, it is clear to see which one is better overall.

 

The best of the rest:

Google Analytics

This is a very successful community but I’ve not been able to interact as much as I’d like. For the few posts I have written specifically for this large audience, I have outperformed all of my other posts in terms of initial viewing numbers.

My pitfalls are that I’m still a novice with GA and in order to succeed on this community you have to really know your onions or be using GA on a regular basis with a view to monetization and campaign management. The people who get the most out of the community are semi-proffessionals who are a bit lost with a problem faced in the analytics. This is by far one of the best communities on providing help. It get’s four thumbs up from me. It has just over 39,000 followers so even small percentages of people viewing your content can add up. It is best to be talking about analytics on this community and specifically about the Google Analytics tool.

Google Plus Newbie

A cheerful if sleepy community where you can be a good citizen and be philanthropic. I’ve also learnt a lot of features here that aren’t obvious. Sometimes it is worth looking at the world in a newbie’s eyes once in a while.

 

Community Pros and Cons

Pros

Communities are excellent for honing your skill. They are an excellent barometer of what titles work and what don’t. You get to interact with real people and carry a conversation, they provide great spawning grounds for unique content and normally community members are of similar opinion and can help where random visitors might not be so helpful.

Cons

There are some drawbacks to focused communities and whilst benefits potentially outweigh these shortcomings they are worth while taking under advisement.

  • You are pitching versus competition thus response may be muted.
  • Your competition may poach your unique ideas.
  • Some of the communities are captive audiences, often there are a number of snake oil and pyramid sellers operating on them.
  • There are often a number of “big fish” in the “small pond” stealing the limelight. The attractiveness of your post will mean nothing when compared to a “big fish”.

 

Hangouts & Events

Hangouts is something I’m not an expert in but I know that hangouts provide an excellent way to gather like-minded individuals in a bunch. Events are based around a similar principle except they are in a calendar and are scheduled for a set time with a set agenda, you can also get some idea of how many people are turning out to view.

I’ve attended two of Mia Voss’ power chats in recent times. Normally the Friday is a bit of a tough one for me because I’m only just about ready when I get home from work to attend. However, they do serve a purpose. A live conversation is quite powerful, in the now. You can say a lot more in a video, and communicate it better than you can just as text.

Events can be used to publicise a wide number of things, such as your website and other business assets that you use. Hangouts are an awesome verbal platform and have a great deal of power if presented effectively.

On the flip side, hangouts & events can be another time sink if they are not well produced, if they don’t serve the audience. I have had the unfortunate pleasure of watching a few that were of low quality. Those are minutes that I can’t get back.

  • Enter this with some experience of video production under your belt. Don’t go in cold. Write an agenda or loose script, have a purpose. Freeform is fine but it is good to direct the sum of its parts somewhere. Make it with purpose, not just for the sell.

I would like to mention one of my favourite blogger visionaries just because he’s kinda awesome. Patt Flynn. Mr Flynn puts together podcasts and also runs a new audio campaign answering questions from real life bloggers. His shows have meaning, they are produced with thought. In order to compete with people like Pat, you’ve got to know your audience better! You’ve got to be polished, know what you are doing, know what you are saying and most of all, feel passionately about how you can help provide a solution.

Pages

Beware Time Sink

Google Pages are much like Facebook Pages. They are the same in that if you don’t know how to get the best out of them, they are pretty useless, and…. a time sink.

I find that I am invited to follow increasingly more Google Plus Business Pages of stuff I really don’t want to follow! That may sound harsh but several months ago I stopped following pages on Google Plus, instead consigning them to the flames.

It’s the whole time sink issue again, pouring my valuable time down the plughole. Being a page follower doesn’t give you a big sense of reward like following an individual does.

I stopped servicing my business page for Blog Prefect and have noticed no discernible difference.

There are some savvy Page implementors who can milk more out of the audience. Ideally you should already have an established audience which you can press onto this page  system, they in turn help lure more audience. Starting a Page in a vacuum is much harder.

  • Try not to start in a vacuum. Have some innate competency that you can capitalise on. A skill that can be built upon and scaled upwards.

 

Making headway with Google Plus

I wanted to draw to the sharp end of the tool chest in conclusion of this piece.

Have you ever been told that if you keep something up regularly (e.g. servicing your car) that it will run smoother and that the grind will be reduced?

Have you also been told that leaving something to fester through neglect will make it a hard task to restore later on?

The best path with any activity you intend to follow on a social media site is to perform often and in a disciplined manner.

  • You should create a process, a battle plan, a list, and a method to everything you do.

 

  • Commit to a scope that you can cope with. Don’t feel bad about scaling back if it is necessary. If you can’t cover the base well enough it is as good as useless anyway. Spend more time on what you can control. Build up the stack as you get more comfortable.

 

  • Some elements of Google+ like pages work better once you’ve got numbers. Spend time building up your presence before you start building the infrastructure. Lay the foundations before you start building the staircase.

 

  • Try new things. Be prepared to fail. Learn from your mistakes! Common sense but be brave.

 

  • Be conscious of how other people do things well. Adopt those strategies if they work for you but be prepared for some things not to work at all.

 

  • Don’t see Google Plus as a static canvas. It is ever-changing, some communities get better over time, some worse. It is a measure of those involved in the community that is more important than how you expect your content to perform.

 

  • Treat your engagers well, make sure you keep in check with them as often as you can.

 

  • Work smarter rather than harder. Sometimes beating down on people’s doors is not enough. You’ve just go to concentrate more intently on those who perform the best for you.

 

Question: What tips might you have?

 

How to Remove the default image link when inserting images in WordPress

How to Remove the default image link when inserting images in WordPress!

Attachment Display Settings

You normally will come across this defaulted option when adding media to your post.

This will help you change the default for images so that when inserting an image into a post, you don’t have to de-select the media link option. This will save you a bit of time if you don’t often use images to make additional internal or external links.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any changes you make to your system, please proceed only after backing up the relevant files. If you are unsure of your capability, please consult an expert before making changes.

Please also note that not all code works for all themes due to the way they are implemented. If the code doesn’t work for you, you might be able to try the no image link plugin as an alternative.

I have gleaned this information from a tutorial at WPBeginner.com but have included one important addition to their data at the bottom of this tutorial.

 

Why is it useful?

Normally it drives me nuts to have to change it. It is only useful as a chosen option, not a default. You can save valuable time changing the default option, your images then become fire and forget. Predominantly you don’t want to link to an URL as it will hurt image searching from places like Google Image Search and Bing Image Search.

 

What should I do first?

Backup, backup and backup. As a rule of thumb I would always recommend a backup. In this case you only need to backup one file. If the changes fail, simply overwrite this file with the old version. This change is going to occur to the WordPress front end that you are managing your site from, so you won’t see the changes on your site, just when you go to insert a new image in a post.

Functions.php is the file you will be changing.

In the Bloggy theme this file was called Theme Functions.php.  The clue to this being the right file was that the editor placed functions.php in a bracket under it (functions.php)

 

How do I make the changes?

You need to go to the editor under appearance  in the WordPress side bar, locate functions.php and paste in a function. You then update the .php file.

Code for functions

Where do I put the code?

In the bloggy theme the functions.php is separated by some nice commented out lines to provide the boundaries for your functions, you can see these in the image above. You should position the code between functions. It doesn’t really matter if you place it at the start or the end of the .php file as long as you put it neatly between a function and use the same syntax.

Please Sir can I have the code so I can cut and paste it?

Of course you can, and in time honoured tradition it is in this wonderful pink colour that follows:

function wpb_imagelink_setup() {

              $image_set = get_option( ‘image_default_link_type’ );

 

                          if ($image_set !== ‘none’) {

                                       update_option(‘image_default_link_type’, ‘none’);

                                       }

                            }

add_action(‘admin_init’, ‘wpb_imagelink_setup’, 10);

 

As a bit of geekberry info you can see above that if the $image_set variable is not equal to “None” a loop will perpetuate until it does equal “None” with the update_option pushing the variable to “None”.

 

What should I do after?

Test the code and make sure it is performing as expected.

I recommend logging out of your admin zone and logging back in again for it to take full effect. I’ve noticed that if you test it on the fly, it will work if you modify an image once it has been inserted into your document but it will still default to a media link when you upload a fresh image. Once you have logged back in again the code will take full effect and the images will not default to a media link after upload. WPBeginner.com didn’t explain this step in their tutorial but as many coders know, often a system will continue to work how it has before until it is reset.

If all is working as expected have  a biscuit in celebration. I would recommend either a chocolate Hobnob or a Garibaldi but if you are a commoner I suppose a Rich Tea would do….

 

Question:

  • Can this Tutorial be optimized? Let me know in the comments below.

 

End of Month Traffic Report – March 2014

Traffic March 2014Its that happy time of the month again where I bring you the previous months ups and downs and compare them to the month before.

However, the observant of you may have noticed that February was an unusual month. Why? Because I had purchased a traffic injection to test out the effectiveness of my welcome page. The influx of clicks led to a massive upsurge in people on site but unfortunately this upset some of my key factors in the process and in hindsight it was a painful experience to Alexa rankings which plummeted like a stone.

After a month of normal activity everything has returned to normal but it leaves me with a problem. I’ll go into more detail later on. As such this traffic report will be a bit longer than the previous reports but keep reading, you might learn something!

 

March

March has been a difficult month in terms of providing content. I have had a huge dip in time available to work on my content offerings this month so at worst I’ve been posting once a week which is below my target of 2 posts per week. I’ve also had a general issue with expanding topics at the moment because lots of people are talking about exactly the same things. I have to work on value which is difficult on areas I have not talked about before.

 

Posts this month

 

How did these posts do?

The end of month traffic report for February did okay. It is not the highest performing of my reports but not the worst performing either. WordPress Stats indicate 6 views.

Content to those who want it was a post that did rather woefully although it is better than zero. Total views equals 4.

Those things we neglect performed with a pitiful solitary view.

Tackling Facebook got an average 8 wp stat views. I was quite impressed with this because Facebook is already a rather well covered area.

It’s follow up, part 2 didn’t perform as admirably with 0 views.

Overall post performance this month was:

JLP Facepalm

Now. Its not all bad news.

I received my first follower in StumbleUpon.

I have 4 followers in my Tumblr associated blog: Social Wrestle.

My One Month On: What’s happening post performed well once again with 13 views taking it to an all time record of 64 overall.

I got to peak under the hood of two of my blogging friend’s WordPress sites. WorkAfter60.com and Globalhurricaneblog.com.

  • WorkAfter60.com is a blogging site aimed at the maturer market for exactly what it says on the tin; working after 60. I like the site so far and I’ve provided Tony with some assistance.
  • Globalhurricanceblog.com is aimed squarely at Generation X (from post war 1960s – 1980s according to wikipedia). I was able to fix this issue.

 

The Stats

Okay, so I made you wade through a bit before you got this far. Its all part of my plan. (evil laugh shortcode goes here).

I have a new feature that I’ll rollback to February and January’s stats.

Introducing the Dashboard:

 

The Blog Prefect Dashboard

The Blog Prefect Dashboard

The Dashboard is a new visual metric for those who haven’t got the time to wade through. The dashboard is colour coded in a traffic light style system so green is good, amber is average and red is bad.

It does have one other colour. The colour purple.

Purple is associated with setting new records, so if I have a month that beats all historical records in one avenue, this indicates an exception beyond expectation! Those familiar with Formula 1 (a particular interest of mine) will know that purple is akin to setting new lap records. When someone “goes purple” they aren’t short of breath.

Why have I decided to instigate a dashboard? Other than just as a visual aid, dashboards play an important part of data aggregation (that is to say grouping data into useful statistical information). Commonly, big reports feature a dashboard metric. Often there are dashboards present in some of the big analytic providers (Alexa, Google Analytics, Clicky and more).

There are 7 elements to this feeling of wellbeing that I am measuring.

  • The left side of the graph (the meaningful side) is the data that represents how well the quality of my work is being received and what value it imparts to the reader. It comprises three elements; Average Time on Site, Bounce Rate and Post Performers.

Average time of site is measured in seconds. Bounce rate is measured as a percentage. Post Performers displays the highest performing viewing numbers for one article (this dimension I may adjust in future).

  • The centre element is set aside from the metrics, it is somewhat intangible in essence. Instinct is an important Human trait and one that can effect how we feel and react to situations occurring around us. When things go well, we feel brilliant. When things don’t go according to plan we take stock and might feel deflated for a time. The gut feel is a measure outside the numbers. This element can never be purple.

I hope never to be in the red on this measurement because that means all is wrong with the world. An amber score is also a troublesome area because ultimately I should be improving from month to month.

  • The right side of the graph is the chaotic side. It is uncontrollable in the sense that whilst I can have some very minor influence it is the audience that decides. This side has the classic three measures that the classic marketer used to hold up as important; Referrals, Page Views and Visits.

Referrals are entirely random, dependent on someone looking for what I’m hoping the search engine will present in front of them. I prefer the WordPress Stats slightly more than the Google Analytics views for this purpose as they provide more detailed information of the origin in a better visual way. Page Views

March’s Dashboard looks like so.

 Dashboard Mar14 vs Feb14

The issue with the dashboard is that February was hit by an unexpected circumstance. My boost from Karoshio pushed the figures up wildly. This has really messed up some of the results in February. The ATOS figure (average time on site) took a massive hit to the negative. As ATOS is one of my prime KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) comparing March to February is an issue. I have therefore decided to provide a second look at the figures as based on March 2014 vs January 2014.

For more information on this phenomenon, please follow this link back to February 2014’s End of Month Traffic Report.

The corrected Dashboard.

 Dashboard Mar14 vs Jan14

Continuing on that theme I have also compared the previous traffic to January as opposed to February for the very same reason. The results are quite different

 

The End of Month Traffic Report – March 2014

EoMTR GAF

 

ATOS – Average Time on Site, GAF – Provided by Google Analytics

9 minutes 16 seconds  Inverse 1163.64% on  February, adverse -38.36% on January.

Against an unusual month the data looks phenomenal but against a normal month it looks quite bad. December and January had very strong ATOS figures and there is still signs that this has buckled considerably.

 

Bounce Rate – Actual Traffic data, not filtered – Provided by Google Analytics

67.65% adverse -9.75% on February, adverse -9.14% on January.

This is the lowest recorded bounce rate since July 2013. Excellent! I need to keep pressure on making this number drop. This is the only measure where being adverse to previous figures is good because less is more!

 

Page Views – Provided by GAF and WordPress stats

GAF – 116 adverse -73.46% on February, inverse 50.65% on January.

WordPress – 158 adverse -92.54% on February, inverse 38.6% on January.

Going by the GAF figures when comparing to January, the uptake has been pretty awesome. It is interesting to show just how wild the difference is between filtered data and unfiltered data from WordPress.

 

Visits – Provided by GAF and WordPress Stats

GAF – 19 adverse -87.42% on February, inverse46.15% on January

WordPress – 57 adverse -95.31 on February, adverse – 24% on January

On first hand it might make a puzzling result but GAF figures win prizes and 19 is a new record. Hooray for the purple! To explain that a bit more fully WordPress statistics aren’t entirely reliable. They don’t take into account those who bounce. My filter is specifically set in Google Analytics to trap people over 30 seconds, hence no bounce. You should never take people seriously who quote numbers at face value. Quality is better than quantity, good is the enemy of best.

 

Referrals – Provided by WordPress

  • Google Search 29
  • Google Image Search 7
  • Bing 3
  • Google+ 6
  • WordPress Dashboard 4
  • AngryJoeShow.com 1
  • Miscellaneous Yahoo Search 1
  • FinancialSamurai.com 1
  • Geekfellows.com 1
  • Private Network 1
  • Ok.Hu 1

 

Conclusion (So What?)

Something I always mention with boring regularity is not resting on my laurels. It’s a Roman saying that Emperors passed around back in the day. It means, don’t sit on your butt staring at the ceiling. There’s lots of work to be done.

March was a crisis for original content. I had some real struggles trying to put together interesting articles (which is unlike me). February faired a lot better in many respects. I can’t attribute my dips this past month to my Study commitments alone. I’ve had a negative life event which has also caused me issue. I’d prefer not to elaborate on this but it has put my head in a different place and for blogging you need the head in the right place.

 The Welcome Page is on my slate. I had a deep look on the 2nd April at trying to remedy it but have a difficulty of where to start. I could perform a scorched Earth policy and go from scratch but am lost for a good way to drive people away from the welcome into better things. Keeping it simple has been mentioned. I recently downloaded the content of the welcome page into a word document and was shocked to see how long it was. No wonder it isn’t working! Also, due to this Bloggy theme, I’ve had to change the templates of some of the pages as sidebars were essential.

You may notice the so what? in brackets above. This has come about because in analysing data you end up with a bunch of numbers. The important part is knowing what to do with those numbers. Perhaps the happiest stat up there is the bounce rate drop. That puts a smile on my face. I have more optimisations I need to carry out to make the bounce rate a better picture in future.

In putting this End of Month Report together I realised how deficient the last one was for February in comparison to January. I have therefore had to go over what I’d left out in February in order to supply data here for March’s comparisons. The beauty of blogging is that articles can be corrected over time.

Two things I have definitely noticed are that comment rate has increased and that search engines are picking me up quicker and more than they did before. These are two criteria that come with age.

 

As a footnote

I greatly enjoy writing the End of Month Traffic Report, regardless of the results. My greatest hope is that it can bring you some divine help and inspiration if you are wondering how or why something is not working.

Observations

  • Rather than ask you questions on my results, do you have any observations you’d like to share? Any words of wisdom? Any of your own anecdotes?

 

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