Big Wig Bloggers

What Is A Big Wig Blogger?

It should be fairly obvious what a Big Wig Blogger is but if you were under any illusion then I would explain that essentially a big wig blogger is a guy or gal who made it. I would go a bit further in that definition to say that a person who both made it and flaunts it.

The definition is quite important as Big Wigs, by nature, are quite vocal about their accomplishments.

This is not a post I’m trying to rank for, its more an explanation for readers who see me incessantly clarify a phrase that I use quite a lot in some of my deeper looks at blogging and those who blog. Now I actually have some point of reference which I can link to.

Big Wig Bloggers Guess Who

6 individuals you might recognise even though I’ve distorted them.

Top Left: Pat Flynn of SmartPassiveIncome.com

Top Middle: Seth Godin of SethGodin.com

Top Right: John Chow of JohnChow.com

Bottom Left: Gary Vaynerchuk of GaryVaynerchuk.com

Bottom Middle: Neil Patel of QuickSprout.com

Bottom Left: Tim Ferriss of FourHourWorkWeek.com

What classifies as making it?

  • Sustaining a decent turn of profit
  • Being a respected authority
  • Being a niche leader

I’m sure you can think of some more titles to throw into that mix but I’ll explain those in more detail.

Sustaining a decent turn of profit

It is rather a sad thing to say that money and profit must always feature at the top of the list but it is the reality we are faced with.

Due to the changing nature of the Internet turning a good profit can be unpredictable and can decline. The aspect of a master is being able to maintain such profits over the long haul by moving with the environment and the customer.

Often the individual will branch as they find areas that they can exploit and talk ad nausea about further entrenching them in a unique corner.

Profit is a sizable motivator for anybody with a business brain.

Being a respected authority

You become the man or woman that forms a “go to” for many items in a subject. This means that you can own a series of loyal fans. Fans can sustain you even if the search engines don’t. Fans are repeat customers. Fans help you. It is beneficial being the first person someone turns to when they have a problem. This means they’ve memorised your website address and can look you up, bypassing the search engine route.

Being a niche leader

This means that not only are you proven as an authority, and can turn a decent profit, but you have a certain amount of control on the direction in which the niche as a whole, turns. You are ahead of the curve because you in part decide the direction of the curve.

Flaunting it?

Big Wigs are very vocal about their achievements because blogging by nature is a sharing place which fosters the notion of sharing positives (and sometimes negatives) with others. Flaunting is an important concept, a privilege of making it.

  • Reputation
  • Using Numbers
  • Dropping Names
Big Wig Flaunting It

A selection of flaunts from the 6 big wigs mentioned above.

Analysing this from left to right we can see the following:-

Gary Vaynerchuk using 30,000 subscribers he terms as “insiders” to tempt you into the mailing list.

Whilst a more modest boast than the others, Seth refers to himself as “best selling author”.

John Chow’s media bar boasts not only 301,273 followers (at time of writing) but 301,273 “active daily readers & followers”.

Pat Flynn’s looming monthly earnings is always a blow away statement. $119,023.72 is an astounding sum.

Tim Ferriss and his rather showy top 10 most highlighted book of all time.

Finally how Neil Patel managed to elevate a site’s traffic to 500 million page views a month.

Reputation

You can hang a lot of business on reputation and reputation management is a key element of a Big Wig Blogger. Reputation can mean repeat or new business guaranteed.

“I know a guy/gal.”

Using Numbers

The psychology of numbers is something that Big Wig Bloggers can use to their advantage; 500,000 followers, 100,000 subscribers, 50,000 members, 10,000 sales. That’s something you have to exploit when you get to be a Big Wig. Big numbers attract and even if you are cynical about using that number advantage, it wins through in copy.

It all sniffs like money doesn’t it!

Dropping Names

Schmoozing your pants off is a blogging staple. Networking is a basic requirement for a Big Wig. When you get to be a Big Wig, you start to get these other famous Big Wigs that lend their support because when Big Wigs collaborate, big things happen.

With all names dropped the Big Wig blogger has some form of relationship through meeting them at an event, having casual conversation and otherwise being completely recognised and sanctioned. You can’t buy early access to being made popular.

Where else can Big Wigs win Big?

Being an Intermediary / Brokerage

Some big deals can happen in cyberspace and some of those big deals can be handled through networking. Big Wigs can exploit their knowledge of the market to complete deals between 2 or more external parties. They can acquire a fee just by setting up the players.

Affiliation and affiliate sales work very well for Big Wigs. Big Wigs with large audiences can negotiate higher returns.

Launching Products

Big Wigs can launch their own products that ultimately reward with much greater profits than third party offerings. They can use their existing marketing platform and are able to capture greater take up from tried and tested methods and loyal fans.

Prestige and “Goodwill”

Big Wigs can expect to access greater rates of saving, greater rates of affiliation and can sell their property for more. “Goodwill” in a business context is the measurement of the brand and how that can be used to leverage custom. It can be used when selling a business and Big Wigs can sell their properties for more than those who have not attained the same numbers. Goodwill can be used when negotiating rates and when buying products.

When creating associated offshoots from their main business, a Big Wig can attach the branding which generates a certain level of shared and complimentary prestige.

Celebrity Status

Just by being a Big Wig, certain individuals can profit from endorsements, paid interviews and paid testimonials. Big Wigs as celebrities get invited to lucrative meetings, exclusive conferences and rub shoulders with other celebrities.

The Big Wig Curve

Big Wigs don’t last forever like all things in life.

Big Wig Curve

Inception

This is the tipping point where a blogger on the quest of making it crosses the goal line.

Being considered a Big Wig is an intangible measure. Mostly you would know when other people are singing your praises. Many individuals don’t realise they’ve made it until something prompts them to this observation.

Growth

The stage in which a successful blogger begins to grow into their Big Wig celebrity status.

At this juncture you know you are famous and are building on that reputation. Growth at this stage will skyrocket as you’ve already attained backing and credence by the right people in the right places.

Maturity

The point at which a Big Wig blogger has reached the zenith of their reach.

There is always a peak but you never know you’ve reached it until you start tumbling down the other side. Certain niches and areas of topic can only reach so far but there is no precise measuring stick to say how far that is. Big Wig Bloggers normally span a number of topics with more than one business.

Retirement

The winding down of the empire through sale, handing over or eventual decay.

Some Big Wig Bloggers do choose to retire. Shock horror. It is a hard job keeping at this all the time even with assistants and once a Big Wig wins Big they may wish to spend the fruits of their labour.

Sometimes the site might be made obsolete through changes in technology and audiences moving away from certain niches altogether.

Very rarely, the blogger might die or otherwise be unable to continue.

Pressures on a Big Wig Blogger

Success has some drawbacks because in a Newtonian sense everything you do has an equal and opposite reaction.

Apologies

When you are a little guy or gal and you get it wrong there is no urgent sense that you have to say sorry. If you mess something up as an amateur you can put it down to the learning curve and move on. Most people who have scruples do apologise but when you are small, the amount of people you have to apologise to is tiny.

As an established Big Wig, you don’t have the same option because people look at your achievements more critically. You have to be on the ball and honourable in defeat because you are scrutinised all the time. You may at times need to make a statement to define the issue and you may have had to pass it by your legal bod first before publishing it.

Trolls

Trolls are an unpleasant dimension to the Internet as a whole. The more success you gain, the more envy you are likely to attract. Because I mentioned that Big Wig bloggers are likely to flaunt their success they are going to attract the envy of some. Because a Big Wig is a big target they are also likely to attract more. No matter how you deal with trolls, they are time consuming and can take wind out of a Big Wig sail. Some Big Wig bloggers resort to blanket punishment by removing all commentary from their creations at the cost to dutiful followers.

Casual Brainless Trolls

These guys and dolls are the classic no brained individuals who just do it for a laugh. They don’t keep it up for long.

Pre-Meditated Trolls

These individuals are considerably more dangerous. Mostly the jealous individuals who feel slighted, a devious competitor, or another person who has a personal issue with you or someone else on your comment roll. These types can be in it for the long haul.

Overload

It becomes much more difficult to micro-manage when the size of your intake magnifies to unmanageable sizes. Inboxes can overflow, comment moderation can grind to a halt and much can go unchecked.

The only way to get around this is to involve lower order management and leave it in the hand of paid professionals because there is a limit to what you can automate.

Response Rates

When you reach overload like above, getting back to people in a timely manner can prove taxing. Big Wigs will prioritise on what can make them the most in the smallest amount of time expended which may mean they no longer make the same efforts they did for the individual in the audience.

Comfortable with Formulas

All big corporations face this issue. They become less flexible to new risks and get caught up with trying to perfect functioning models. The eventual demise of a Big Wig can be traced to this one incumbent’s trait as can all Corporations.

IBM and Xerox are both good examples of organisations who had once been trend setters but became bogged down with maintaining the status quo. They had golden opportunities to dominate even more avenues but failed to push the big red button. IBM dominated PCs for years but lost their grip and whilst they are on a resurgence recently as a solutions company, they’ve had some dark periods and some major loss. Xerox could have emerged in many great directions from just printers and high grade photocopiers but they decided not to and have limited their growth as a result.

Formulas avoid risk and risk aversion can eventually be costly.

Even if organisations do supposedly “innovate” it is as a response to the changes that a similar rival made with the benefit of hindsight. With that approach, you’ll never win as much as being the first. Essentially you are perpetually behind the curve.

Greed

Whilst optimising is no sin getting greedy is. I have mentioned the “smell of sell” before and often it has an off putting ambience. The level to which you exploit your audience is a personal choice but Big Wigs use every tool and every avenue to milk you as the “leads” that you are. You become less a fan and more a number.

Marketing is somewhat of a plague. We all know examples of bad marketing. Going to sites that claw at you and having adverts that follow you often feels like an invasion. I can think of many times when I’ve been to America and been weighed down by the horrifying amount of adverts that make many popular shows unwatchable. Could you be making your site unreadable with your “grab marketing”?

Weight of Expectation

The weight of expectation on a Big Wig is immense. Unlike an amateur, they are required to perform consistently, any bum notes are scrutinised and they can’t rely on too many off days when they have other Big Wigs chasing their heels. Big Wigs start developing taxing calendars and over commit themselves.

Time

Time is simply the enemy to a Big Wig. They only have time to manage their sheep and become far less capable of jumping on new things in time.

  • They have less time to spend with their ever growing fans.
  • They have less time to explore before they must comply with their next item on the calendar.
  • They have less time to fight growing competitors.

How can I best win against a Big Wig?

So you are grinding your gears trying to become a Big Wig all by yourself. There are some gaps in the armour that you can exploit.

Being Personal

Because Big Wigs have less time to reach people on a personal level, you have a golden opportunity. Being on the ground level to help someone creates a much stronger relationship.

Being Flexible

Many big companies have sprung up by being quick to market on an idea. It was a big risk but because you got their early, it worked out. Big companies weigh pros and cons up longer and can be slower to market. Sometimes just a matter of timing is more important. If you are flexible with enough small items, you begin to carve out a destiny. When you become big you are less likely to take risks in order to protect the status quo.

Boundless Enthusiasm

Being enthusiastic about your destination means you’ve got motivation and with motivation you can accomplish far more than a person who has reached their personal plateaux. Many ideas often copy old ideas but with the right dose of enthusiasm and a fresh presentation you can storm in from nowhere. Google did it to the search engine world as they weren’t original but they did it simpler. Dyson did it in the vacuum cleaner world with a bagless cyclone design.

Sincerity and Empathy

As Big Wigs grow into their dominance they eventually start losing touch with the Average Joe. Their language changes and no matter how hard they try to register with the common individual, they are streets apart. You, as the little guy or gal, can still see the same dirt on the street as your audience and can use that to your advantage.

 

In conclusion

Big starts come from small beginnings so the saying goes. Everyone knows that blogging isn’t an exact science and that you can’t always apply logic to your audience. It takes time to bed in and be spotted and for a period of time you are going to be producing content that doesn’t live up to its full potential.

 

Over to you

Why don’t you follow me on Twitter 🙂 click on the birdy or punch in @blogprefect

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How Epic Keywords Kept The Fire Burning Whilst I Was Away

Keywords, keywords, keywords. If you want people to find you through searching these are important. Epic Keywords are even more important because you can have fairly good keywords that don’t do anything for you if only tiny numbers are viewing. When you start talking about a popular subject things change but only if the search engine thinks you are providing the goods.

How Epic Keywords Kept The Fire Burning Whilst I Was Away

BlogPrefect.com has been in hibernation because of one major obstacle. The final march to my Honours Degree in Business Studies. It’s been a long road, starting in 2008, finishing this year, and I’ve been struggling with the last module; Economics. My final 5000 words are in by special delivery. But that’s a long and boring story and one I might spare you in hopes that you take on the important lesson; Epic Keywords.

I started an honours degree in Business Studies with the Open University in 2008. I am now finished in 2015. It's a good feeling! :)

I started an honours degree in Business Studies with the Open University in 2008. I am now finished in 2015. It’s a good feeling! 🙂 Above is my final project for the DD309 Economics Module which was quite a grind.

There is something about writing what people want to read

Without a shadow of a lie supplying people with what they need is a good way to go. Common sense dictates that on a search engine people wish to quickly fulfil their information craving. You’ve read all the high level hacks to ranking mojo but at the end of the day success comes down to popularity.

There is something about being at the right place at the right time

Back in the old days they used to call it a “scoop”. In later times “exclusive” was a coined term but in the modern era it is “breaking news”. Regardless of the label, if you are slightly ahead of the curve on rising interest, you are likely to get some warmth. In a pool with few competitors you will stand a chance, in a tin of sardines, you stand none.

Good ideas reward

You might have questionable content in your past but sometimes just through trying things out you break down barriers towards awesome. Every great artist, man or woman, has had to build up their repertoire in some way. They never mention the crazy doodles Picasso or Van Gogh threw away before they started cranking out masterpieces. The point is that it wasn’t a first try to victory. It takes a while to get on point but eventually those good ideas will reward you.

Epic Keywords

The right set of words might be all you need to succeed. It often starts entirely with your title and whether that has the charming words that will conjure forth those hairy backed visitors that read your words and smile.

Because titles are the very focus that someone is going to decide a split second decision on, they are more vital than any other element of your article. Some clever word play or an enticing gambit will sway that would be reader into your camp.

Jeff Goins, a blogging/writing champ, does a whole better job of taking you through the basics here:

5 Easy Tricks to Help You Write Catchy Headlines

This article rests at the top on my Google Search but not all google searches are crafted equally for everyone. I’ve included it because Jeff is popular and normally popular people know what they are talking about. So much so that Google rewards them with that top spot. How often would you go to the 20th results page of Google for the answer?…. Exactly.

Natural versus Over-Optimised

Nature is the ultimate force. The wind carves the mountains, the sea erodes the coast, fires claim the forests, nature always wins in the end. Too many tools can make you look artificial. Search algorithms hate that with a passion. Google in particular, has gone to a lot of effort to ensure that those rancid low quality articles don’t surface to the top in a search. Even to be an advertised search result means that you as the author have to be very conscious of how epic that content is.

Stuffing your articles with keywords is not a great way to go. Most of you should already know that. Anything you do that goes beyond making something a good read and more towards an advertisement puts you in the danger zone.

Time served is still a valid notion

Time is a Motivator

It is true that for 99% of those people who create their first blog, your first year is going to suck. The reason is that you don’t have much to rank you, you don’t have much experience and not many people know you. Once your body of work starts to equal more, your authority grows and authority wins prizes. You are rewarded with a slightly larger trickle through the gate because people have come to you for information and you delivered. Those articles that didn’t work in the early part of your blog writing can now be rewritten to service that audience you now have. Importantly you now know how to do it right.

It is important to respect the journey as slow as it may be

Blogging with all of its social media curiosity and methods to generate success takes time. One of my colleagues recently embarked on learning how to play the guitar and mentioned the idea of 1000 hours. What did he mean?

1000 hours to be truly good at something. If you invest that much time you are bound to be awesome. Could you say that bigwig bloggers like Pat Flynn, Neil Patel, Ana Hoffman have spent 1000 hours on their blogging?…. You betcha!

So what kept me going?

I have been out for over two months with my study. It’s a long time to be away from writing and a long time to be away from other people and their blogs when building some interest.

I’ve been away for mild length periods before but none as long as this. Each time I’ve noticed a vast drop off but this time it has been different. There was one post I wrote at the start of the year which kept my numbers ticking over.

Can you remember as far back as January?

The start of the year is normally the time I seem to come out with something great, I’m not sure why other than the fact that it is a period of time when work is quieter and when more is going on to conjure your thoughts. It’s a happier time and a time of reflection but the start of the year always feels fresh.

Fresh thoughts are great ones. When you start your blog, you are more than likely going to have a few articles that are incredibly insightful and out of the box in terms of what you thought about. The problem is that when you get into the routine of blogging, that freshness drains away to a degree and your offerings become more processed.

The End of Year information ingestion

Taking breaks is a good way to recharge the batteries and regain those fresh ideas. Around the holiday period at the end of the year we get a good opportunity not only to kick back but also to go and read about other people’s stuff and whatever fires our imagination.

My November and December were quite remarkable in terms of traffic to the site. I saw huge amounts of people in those two months but I was only producing a modest amount of articles. The truth is that once you get fairly deep into the blogging process, movement and activity become more pronounced. I find that the types of people who drop messages in my inbox are the door to door sales people trying to co-opt or coerce me into a product or service. The amount of emails that drop through the contact box inquiring as to whether I am taking on clients is frequent.

That sort of activity tells the monitoring areas that this guy or gal is writing some fairly good content so give him or her a break and pull up the portcullis a bit to let a few peasants under the gap.

That being said, I started writing an outside the box article because I’d noticed a bit of a trend recently.

Google (UK) Trends: JackSepticEye Versus Markiplier & PewDiePie

Google (UK) Trends: JackSepticEye Versus Markiplier & PewDiePie

What’s the trend?

It’s not exactly a new trend but there has been a lot of interest around YouTubers recently. I put a lot of this down to the fact that the 10th Anniversary of YouTube has been announced and thus there is a lot more focus on this type of viewing but there is something else too. With the advent of Netflix and Amazon Prime (amongst others) there has been a big move away from watching television in the prescribed manners for many people who now have suitable broadband ability. This new-found change from terrestrial and non terrestrial viewing to on demand has adjusted the way we go in search of entertainment. My viewing habits have changed and I confess to watching a fair bit on YouTube now. I haven’t yet made the transition to Netflix or Amazon Prime but that may be in the cards in future.

Of particular interest to me is Gaming Channels. There are some popular names right now. Many of you may know of PewDiePie even if you’ve never watched the channel. I targeted a slightly less well-known gamer and focused an article entirely on how he formed a gathering and some key points. I was surprised at the level of interest.

I wrote the following article to try to tap into some of those good video vibes and I was surprised with the results:-

The Rise of JackSepticEye: Like a Boss!

Sean aka Jack

Sean aka JackSepticEye

The stacking effect

The post I wrote in January has displayed an interesting phenomenon as each month has increased cumulatively. This is how you might expect your viewing numbers to increase over time, as more people benefit, more people find your content.

Views Per Month

Views Per Month

This chart shows how the numbers have been climbing month on month but not completely exponentially. May sees a slight dip on overall numbers but June is quite a different story (I’ve left it off here as the month isn’t complete).

Average Views Per Day

Average Views Per Day

This sample was taken at 5 days in, as can be seen, this is definitely indication that the average per day is increasing steadily every month. By the end of June I project the total views to be between 600 and 864 for that month but we’ll see how accurate that figure is.

I believe there is a ceiling to this searching but it still seems to be climbing. Of note is the fact that Jack’s subscribers are also climbing at a steady rate and at time of writing he is close to 5 million subscribers.

How can this help you?

Just being there to write and having the potential to be found is important

I have in the past written an article about sticking with blogging:

BLOGGING AND STICKING WITH IT

It takes a while to dial in the right topic, getting into bed with a comfortable writing style that both suits you and your audience, and moving with the times. Whilst pages are static, articles have limited life, so you have to submit them with the eventual potential that they will be lost in oblivion at some point.

It is important to monitor your analytics

Whatever niche you have chosen to write about, it is not possible to be in the warm topic zone all the time, you have to monitor what is working for you and think about scrapping those components that don’t.

You can’t rely completely on one form of analytics to do that. It’s best to use a number of different analytics to dial in on what is working for you because they all monitor in slightly different ways (or more specifically leave in and leave out certain events).

If your niche is already full, try dipping your toes in another niche pond

Seems obvious maybe? Many experts say not to try to dilute your niche too much with non-cooperative keywords and terms but sometimes that is just the push a passer-by might need to get interested in what else you are writing about. How you impress that visitor may decide how they interact with the rest of your content.

And Finally

Leave me a comment or sign up to the newsletter. You’ll get my free ton of awesome (that’s a metric ton not Imperial).

For Twitter fanatics, you can find me here: @blogprefect

Related Blog Prefect Articles:

THE RISE OF JACKSEPTICEYE: LIKE A BOSS! (this article was deleted)

BLOGGING AND STICKING WITH IT

Useful Reading:

RELIGHTING THE BLOGGING FIRE AFTER SUBSTANTIAL TIME AWAY

 

Blog Prefect Goals for 2015

I was reading an article by Mi Muba from BeAMoneyBlogger.com on 11 guilt-free tips for writing a business plan for your blog and had a thought about whether I set decent goals for my blog. The easiest goal to set is just to outperform the quantity performed last time. But is that a sensible goal? I then got to thinking about my statistics that I perform regularly for my monthly traffic report.

I’ve been working on my KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for Blog Prefect as I have more data to fully benchmark success and failure criteria in my monthly output. With this in mind I’ve gone back over 2014 to produce some key sets of data to monitor my future end of month reports in 2015.

Blog Prefect Goals for 2015

  • So where does my data come from?

WordPress stats form a small part of the data. I can only trust certain information.

Google Analytics provides a fair proportion of this information but is further filtered to my key dynamic filter which I refer to as GAF. The GAF filter is termed “ActualTraffic” in my saved filters, its purpose is to strain out Crawley, West Sussex, England and only count those who stay longer than 30 seconds. I count 30 seconds or more as a good sign that there is some interest even if it is only a very quick scan of the page.

Bounce Rate is unfiltered Google Analytics. The percentage figure gives me an overall depiction of gross follow through. That sounds horrible. Check your underpants people. Keep this clean, it’s a family show.

Starting with the Average:

Dashboard 2014 AVG

  • My average highest individual view for a post during a month rests at 16, that is shockingly low so I want to work on that. Bear in mind that the highest individual goes into that pot so to have an average of only 16 suggests that I have many posts that drag the outstanding numbers below the surface of the water.
  • Bounce rate has been below the danger zone of 80% but I want to work on trimming it down by at least 8%.
  • Page Views is also a low figure. I need to be hitting more per month than this consistently. If I were to go by Moore’s Law, I need to double that figure at least.
  • I would like to double Referrals at the very least but it is down to how well my social sharing is going, as ever that is why this falls in the uncontrollable bracket.
  • The visits vs visitors display is one of my newer adjustments to the KPIs but as you can see there is an error. A discrepancy exists between Visitors and Visits (visits in Google Analytics terminology is known as sessions). There is no way there can be 45 visitors and only 33 views so this data has been skewed somewhere.
  • ATOS (Average Time on Site) is okay at the moment but I’d like to get the numbers up to 10 minutes.

The next measuring jar for 2014 was the Minimum

Dashboard 2014 MIN

This is a highly useful weather vane for displaying the worst periods of the year. As you can tell from this information, February, March, April and August all suffered in 2014 to one degree or another. In particular April was a hard hit month. (Which I’ll explain in further detail in the environmental factors below)

If any of my stats for a month fall below this amount in 2015, I need a kick in the butt, literally.

What is particularly striking in these stats are ATOS and Referrals. These were particularly low in comparison to the rest of the year.

This tells me that I should be ready to brace myself in April to perform better or expect the same woeful results, but that I need to get my act together to follow through properly in February, March and April to avoid egg on my face. I know this is going to be hard as my Degree module will bite into this time as will the Holiday I have planned in March.

The final measuring jar is the inverse of this figure, the Maximum

Dashboard 2014 MAX

December was a particular key month in all of my meaningful stats rounding off the year. The bounce rate is almost as low as it was on the first month of the blog in 2013. I started out with 50% bounce rate in June 2013 which is the best the site has ever seen in GA stats (but Alexa has had me as low as 9%).

February was also a prominent month. September saw the peak of my referral traffic which had built steadily from May, increasing positively each month up to September before topping out.

My target in 2015 is to outperform all of these purple figures in at least 1 month.

Environmental factors to note:

February 2014 was an unusual “Experiment” month for Blog Prefect. It received some paid traffic that month which marred the figures considerably. This is why February shows in the purple months, yet would have been a pretty average month without this boost that occurred for 5 days.

In April I was reeling from a personal issue and so my site took a big hit in terms of quality during this period. This was one true month where I wasn’t performing at my optimum and the stats reflect that.

November saw some weird numbers, unusually high skew on WordPress stats which didn’t reflect in Google Analytics.

December, another feature to the purples, was an unusual month with some high sustained numbers of traffic acting like a targeted advert to the site. I had not triggered anything but I suspect that some link or inquiry inflated these figures unnaturally and I doubt that this same warmth will be seen in January 2015. (At time of editing, this appears true with lower numbers).

Goal setting

It is important to set yourself a goal and that is exactly what I’m going to do this year. I had some thoughts about this and first went with an incredibly heavy target. It was silly to do that because those targets would most definitely be unreachable.

Instead I would perform a 15% increase on the 2014 average. So what does that look like?

Dashboard 2015 GOAL 15 PERCENT

This is an achievable goal if I work hard each month to ensure that I don’t have any of the drought factors that will pull the average down.

  • Noting the blue triangle in the bottom right, this is to signify that the data has been altered to balance the stats. You cannot have less visits than you have visitors so there must be at least a ratio of 1:1.

Challenge

There is going to be a bit of challenge in this goal set. I don’t feel that I’ll be able to achieve the 15% on all areas. Some of the stats I know are difficult to put right quickly and will require attack. That’s all part of the fun though.

Bounce rate seems difficult. Sometimes I get the mix right, other times not so I feel this is the stat I’m most likely to fail on based on 2014’s ups and downs.

Over to you?

What kind of goals have you set yourself for 2015?

Just started out? If so, what do you envisage as a sensible number? You could strike it lucky and be popular off the bat. You might swing the other way and have a really limp reception to the world of blogging with small numbers. What are you prepared for?

Been going for a while? Prepared for great or a slip backwards? Is the post schedule you are working to really paying out? Is the place you pimp your links reaching enough clickers?

Been going for years? Got any spare gold? 🙂

And Finally….

I wanted to tie in this epic soundtrack from 1965 because I hope to have a year as funky as this. They don’t make TV series soundtracks quite as good as this any more.

Blog Prefect 2014 Wash Up

Blog Prefect 2014 Wash Up

The 2014 wash upI can never believe how quickly the year comes around and for Blog Prefect, this is its second Christmas / New Year period in operation. The stats are incredibly warm at the moment so I am very buoyant for the year end. There are many loose nuts that I need to tighten to make the vessel travel at light speed (metaphorically speaking) but I’m getting there.

So to kick off the washup we start with the positives:-

 

The Good

Some truly great things have happened this year and I am happy to announce an improved period on the launch year. In general, traffic has picked up considerably from where it was last year.

60 minute challenge

I had a really good run during the summer lifted by increased posting, increased comments and a zest for getting the job done. I was able to decant and expose numerous topics, pioneering a new method of post creation where I wrote a post in 60 minutes so that it was ready to launch. Whilst I have veered away from this tactic recently to concentrate on fuller, fatter posts, I did find some good blog movement in changing up the frequency.

Twitter uplift

Twitter has seen uplift and whilst small I have seen improving signs that it can take me somewhere greater. If you wish to converse with me on twitter please follow this link. My thoughts on twitter have changed so much from where I started out with the service. I thought that it was going to be pants but was proved wrong. I like it when that happens. However, I’m still glad I removed Ricky Gervais from my twitter feed!

@blogprefect

I have made some good in roads towards building relationships. I have a group of writers who I enjoy engaging with and hope to be able to exploit more opportunities with them in future. Many of these individuals become semi regular commentators on my blog and I like to reward people.

Potential of Videos

I like the potential of videos within my material. I had some very positive reactions to posts that included video. Video itself is time consuming to produce, but if done right, can be epic. I can definitely see myself using more video in 2015.

Long articles shine through

In the majority of cases my long articles outperformed the short ones over much longer periods so if you are ever stuck between deciding over long less frequently or short more frequently, long is the way to go.

Awesome comments

The wonderful comments I’ve had and the warmth from others has been very rewarding, I hope to at least match that which I’ve been able to command this year.

 

The Bad

Some events have not been so good, notably my failed experiment at the start of the year which failed to yield the results I had hoped for and some months where traction has been poor. In addition, the bounce rate has been much higher (as monitored by Google Analytics) than previously.

Cited “bads” include the following:

The 2014 Gamble

I hadn’t thought this whole mission through and as a result, it really hurt my stats during February. The process was to look at gambling vs advertising to see which would be triumphant in terms of turning a profit. My issue was the platform on which I was to drive that income and the actual sell. It was just a bad idea from the start and it taught me some valuable lessons.

  1. If starting a big project ensure sure it stays both committed and that you drill down into the minutiae. The devil is in the detail.
  2. I had not been able to drive any big interest in this whole project before-hand so it met with very little interest. Some pre hype is a good thing and I needed to understand and develop a better way to involve the audience. Because it met with such mediocrity I didn’t press on to improve it, and it felt like a missed opportunity.
  3. The goal was flawed in many ways because it didn’t match with my ultimate forward direction with Blog Prefect.
  4. I didn’t report consistently and had not devised a reporting strategy in enough detail.
  5. I didn’t do enough research and consequently came off the worse for wear. The site needed a bit more prep for this experiment to work effectively.

Would I be tempted to perform a 2015 Gamble?

Quite possibly, although due to the failure last time, I might limit the scope to better control it. My plan was to have an experimental February where I would try all sorts of things. A month feels more containable and because I polluted the stats during February 2014 it won’t hurt to do so again in 2015 where I can make a feature out of it.

Bounce Rate Woes

Bounce rate, according to Google Analytics (GA), has been horrifically high but when compared to Alexa.com’s bounce rate information there have been some significant differences. Vilfredo Pareto (the Italian gent who gave birth to the idea of the 80 – 20 rule) would be puzzled by the difference. On many months my average on GA has ranged at around 80% whilst the most that Alexa.com has peaked to is in the mid 25% range.

Google Analytics is an Orange, Alexa.com is an Apple. They are thus very difficult to compare. Despite them being both round and a fruit, that is where the similarities end. GA measures traffic based on different measurements to Alexa. Alexa ranks sites more on their juicy freshness whilst GA ranks them on a proverbial bean count.

Flaky WordPress Stats

Speaking of flaky events, WordPress has shown some quirky periods this year. Spikes have occurred in WordPress for viewings and visitors where they are not reflected in GA. While all of these stats have been tweaked to screen out automated events and other non-representative activities (like crawling) occasionally some weirdness squeezes through the net. November saw some weird data in particular with some daily views in excess of a standard month. Whilst I would welcome this uplift, my stats supported from other locations, indicate this isn’t the dominant trend.

Google+ Low Engagement Per Head

I have under capitalised on my Google+ audience. I have quite a large one but I am not convinced that the engagement I generate from them is enough so I need to think about pruning tactics.

Keyword Tool Malaise

Once again, Market Samurai has sat unused and unloved. I’ve tried to make it work, tried to use it on many occasions but I just don’t get on with it very well. I never got around to watching the videos like I said I would. Naughty Jackson!

General Launchpad Disasters

I’ve had some total flops from the start, mostly through uninspiring titles and teaser images. I’m still somewhat of a noob on this front so I need to understand the finer points more. My 2015 research will involve more of this presentation correction.

 

The Ugly

I’m sad to say there has been a bit of the ugly.

Stepping back from Fiverr

I had to abandon my Fiverr gig as it was proving to be non-productive. I had put in some effort both to create the gig and get ready to start receiving the buyers but it never came off as expected. I will be returning to Fiverr with a different strategy in future.

Facebook BellyFlop

Facebook has hit a huge roadblock and I am coming around to the fact that I just don’t enjoy working with the system. I cannot ever see myself looking forward to getting Facebook sorted. I tried to make an event where I improved my Facebook over a period of a month but just couldn’t stick with it. I might give it one more bash during 2015 but I believe after that point I might consider other options. These alternatives may include hiring someone to aid me.

Page Lazy

My pages have not been updated frequently enough. It has been difficult to schedule in time on a monthly basis to prune because I am normally hit with numerous other activities. I believe it is within me to make a better schedule to succeed so I need to follow through on that front especially considering I will have a second blog in the mix. Scheduling here is important.

I have had a number of false social media starts. I tried to get into StumbleUpon which failed miserably.

 

Other ugly events

End of a Relationship

I’ve had one particular unpleasant life event which has caused me particular issue throughout the year. My girlfriend and I had a mutual break up in March of this year but owing to some fiscal and legal ties with my current home, I have had to live with her for all of this year. It has caused some major friction, especially when we both started dating again and as such home life hasn’t been the best. On many occasions I’ve visited my parents or hung out at the Gatwick Hangar on the weekends just to bathe in the silence. It is my hope that my property will be sold in February/March of 2015, this of course will produce some upheaval to my schedule both in regards to my blog work but also the final year of my degree studies.

Don’t feed the Trolls

I received a troll on my site not long after the break up, operating from a mobile phone on the Orange network. I never approved any of the comments but they were particularly hateful and derogatory. Fortunately this stopped after 2 events and I wasn’t bothered by this individual again. Whether these events were connected or not, I don’t know, but what I do know is that trolls are unpleasant and the less time you spend dealing with them the better.

Captcha Issue

Ryan Biddulph confirmed a major flaw in one of my website elements. My previous Captcha programmed had stopped working properly and this was preventing comments by the dozen so I swiftly addressed this issue. However, I value comments highly and am aware that I could have lost some great interactions in the process. This issue had been previously highlighted by Grace Joliffe but I hadn’t looked into it deep enough at the time. This has been down to a lack of developmental testing on my part because I have not wanted to pollute data.

Low Subscription

My mailing list is looking pretty ugly. I am tempted to say how many subscribers I have but I have a post coming out soon that will highlight why revealing certain number can be a bad thing. To be truthful, my subscription and retention plan is weak, it needs some serious attention but I think that in some ways this is also indicative of Blog Prefect and the lack of guides and helpful content it has to offer at the moment. There is definite value in what I’ve written but it isn’t yet in an accessible package and that is something I am working on for 2015.

 

What do I hope for in 2015

2014 was a big up turn from 2013 but it still is not the monster spike that I’ve been hoping for. The numbers I expect to see need to be an improvement of a factor of 10 over what I am seeing at the moment. In order to achieve that lofty improvement I am going to have to work on the delivery because I believe that delivery and publicity are what is letting down my efforts at the moment.

I hope for many more comments and the ability to have inspired many more people in their blogging ventures. In order to continue performing this, I need to write the topics that people want to read. I have already started changing how I go in search of what people are interested in and will be bolstering part of my mission by starting a new blog to work alongside BlogPrefect.

I need to align my writing for more consistency but often become challenged in my writing periods by conflicting events. I believe it is these conflicting events that I need to eliminate for the future and I’m working on a plan to move towards that future.

I’ve also been working on aligning myself to earning. At present time I generate no income from BlogPrefect.com but am setting aside resources to allow myself to try and “go pro” for various services I believe I can offer that will assist many writers and bloggers out there. At present time I would admit that I have been playing with it rather than being a boss and that is something I need to rectify but understandably with my time restrictions that has not been possible. Come June 2015, more time will be available owing to the completion of my degree but I have to be like a surgeon with that time, precise and accurate, so as not to reduce the time available to other important facets of my life.

 

To conclude

I’d like to thank you if you have been a returning visitor for your support this year, if you are a newcomer and have some ideas to share, you know what to do (comments uh hum…).

For all my commentators, another big thanks to you. I have singled out individuals before for your meritorious commenting but in this case I believe that each and every one of you, whether just one time or multiple times, is valuable to me. I treat comments like gold dust.

In truth, after over 150 posts, I’m still loving it. There has been no dropoff in enthusiasm for what is happening at the moment. The amount of reading I’ve been doing from other bloggers is incredibly high at the moment and will continue that way.

I hope that you all have a wonderful 2015!