How Research can Pay Dividends for Your Blog

Okay, you may forgive me for coming across in a completely obvious way, research is important, of course you know that.

But are you putting enough time into that pursuit? How often do you research? Do you get side-tracked by the cat pictures and the boob pictures (substitute for pectoral muscles if you are a female)?

How Research can Pay Dividends for Your Blog

How research can pay dividends for your blog

Image source: Pixabay by PublicDomainPictures

Often the best posts are those that solve a rather urgent problem. You might not get much in the way of a “thank you” but at least you are getting people in front of your words consistently which is all part of the battle. If you help someone enough, they may seek to reward you. It is the rule of reciprocity, the reciprocal return of reward in exchange for help. Being helpful is a virtue, helping someone is a good thing, so you should help.


So Jackson, give me an example.

A quick fix for the dreaded semalt crawler

I wrote an article on Semalt because it had been plaguing me for weeks. Semalt latch onto your website and invade your stats. They are a Ukrainian organisation that are trying to borrow on the idea of popular analytic/marketing aid providers such as Optimizely and Kissmetrics (these are the bigger names, there are more). They do so in a way that annoys, and so, some people have taken it upon their big shoulders to tackle this problem. I too, created a guide, adapted from a number of guides to aid in this problem and have been surprised at the large amount of views this article has produced in 2 months.


I entitled this article:

A quick fix for the dreaded Semalt Crawler

Once you have followed the instructions, this problem dries up instantly. It is exactly what it says on the tin.

Not long after I posted the article, I received a Semalt employee on my Twitter feed informing me that all I had to do was remove myself with the “seed removal tool”. I also almost instantly received someone else laying in some anger aimed directly at Semalt. At least with my fix I could ensure that Semalt didn’t try a fast one again so I let it to stand.

The article itself has been a very positive addition to my traffic line up, outperforming many of my other posts, and being one of the highest successes from search engine results.


What you can take away

Finding an urgent need is important. I stumbled upon this scenario because it was a problem for me and I needed a good result. I found out, through the research conducted, that it was a problem for many people. There were a number of sites who’d beaten me to this answer but there was still life in this issue.

You don’t always have to be first to an answer, it’s just the way you go about presenting a solution that’s important. If you do it in an accessible way, in your own unique style, and with enough quality, it’s going to work.


Where to look?

Obviously places to look for the best information are through your search engine. You want to take the most relevant (top 5) results and pick the best bits from those top 5. If you take more than 10% of the content and spin it from any given place, you should pass back some love.

I have created a number of WordPress related guides for PHP and CSS where I’ve had to thank Often times, the core of what that site provided was the catalyst of my success, I just improved upon what they presented and positioned my article to a specific use.

Often, you’ll find that some topics you are looking for information on, come under some form of Wiki or Codex. Forums can also provide excellent hints at very useful information. With all of these, pinches of salt must be taken as you have to make sure that your solution works before you throw it out to the audience.


Set yourself a time limit

Give yourself 50 minutes. 50 minutes is a good time because that is the rough time that you can spend concentrating on something before you start to get weary. This is why classes at school last approximately 50 minutes (5 minutes each end to get to class).

When you have a time limit, you also are likely to look more efficiently because you know you are against the clock. You will be less likely to wander off.

If you are seeing this badge, this post was created specially in 60 minutes

End of Month Traffic Report August 2014

Traffic August 2014Greetings all and sundry. It is that time of the month again when I recall the spoils of war this month and see how I did on the merry dance to the 31st August.

August has been a slightly topsy-turvy month owing to how busy I’ve been, actually, I’ve been unbelievably busy this month and am shocked at how much content I managed to get out despite a lot of Degree studies, dates out with my girlfriend and general stuff. I’ve crammed a lot in.

However, this has had an effect on quality and number and as you will soon see, I’ve taken a dip from my purple months. It’s not a calamitous slide into disaster but it is a dip. Based on August 2013 numbers, I have totally smashed where I was last year and that is truly awesome.


Posts this month and how they did

Aug 2014 post summary

Clearly there was more warmth in the start of the month but I did have issues with time at the end of this month as I am nearing the end of my current module of study and my time has been leached. I had two strikeouts in terms of posts with no views.


The Dashboard

Dashboard Aug14 vs Jul14

As I mentioned earlier, I was unlikely to be setting purples this month with a slight downturn against previous months, however, it wasn’t all bad despite the reds you might see. It was a solid performing month and a darn sight better than all of the months last year taken individually. In truth I expected August to be a difficult month because my data from last year indicated quite a squeeze. This year I have benefited from more content to draw people in and as a blogger you will discover that the longer you are in the game of posting and the more posts you get, the more people will siphon into your blog.

It is clear though that with 5 reds that I suffered a slow down this month. In looking at August in 2013, I suffered a similar fate with a similar slow down. I wouldn’t class August as a Bogey month but because of how Open University structure their courses, my time availability took a hammering and will do so again in September.


Alexa Stats

Aug 2014 alexa summary

I’ve checked these stats a few times this month and surprisingly this is the best they’ve been (right at the end of the month). Definitely an improvement on last month and 820% looks pretty awesome!


End of Month Traffic Report August 2014 – Core Statistics


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

5 minutes 4 seconds or 304 seconds, adverse -36.67%

A rather large kick to the groin this month.

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

87.29% adverse -11.25%

The bounce rate took at a look at my threshold and drove a bus deep into enemy territory. This is the largest increase in bounce this year.

Page Views – Provided by GAF and WordPress stats

WordPress: 220 adverse -7.17%

GAF: 59 adverse -59.31%

A sharp turn in the wrong direction this month, particularly in my focus of those viewing over 30 seconds. Big hairy balls.

Visits (Now known as sessions) – Provided by GAF and WordPress Stats

WordPress: 177 inverse 12.74%

GAF: 19 adverse -44.12%

The GAF figures continue to be horrendous and they are of more interest to me than the base level. It seems that I have some work to attend to.

Visits per Visitor

The visits per visitor figure which is a ratio that is entirely uncontrollable settled on 1.2% this month, a overall drop of .27 from last month.

Referrals – Provided by WordPress

Aug 2014 referral summary

Something to be cheerful about. A good smattering of sites and search engines occurred this month. My highest referral target yet and thus a purple!

So what!

I had pre-written something for this which I had to simply delete because it was far more optimistic than I’d prepared for and after reviewing the data the only positive that truly came out of August was the fact that referral traffic has once again waded in with a record-breaking result.

September is going to be a real tough nut. I’m going to be one busy body and my time is really going to drain. The reason is that my Open University study reaches its zenith with an end of module Exam. I’m going to be revising like a maniac and it is no coincidence that this may end up flavouring the articles (of which I guarantee there will be less of) I output.

We’ll see how it turns out next month!!


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