This post was guest blogged by Jimson Lee of Speed Endurance, a blog about running and being the best that you can be.
I went live with Speed Endurance on May 21, 2007. The Blog was originally inspired by Steve Pavlina’s Blog as a way to write the book I never wrote.
From there, I came across John Chow’s site from his targeted ad “I love Steve Pavlina… Your blog that is. Keep up the good work” campaign. Little did I realize that John lives in the same city as me!
After 7 months of blogging, here are the 2 most valuable lessons for 2007… the year of my blog:
1) You Can’t Predict the Future from Traffic Sources
I didn’t expect the power of a global audience. Where I thought I’d get the most traffic, I didn’t. Where I didn’t expect to get the most traffic, I got hammered. My site is primarily a running blog, and I was expecting most of my referrals from USA or Canada. However, traffic from South Africa and the UK are increasing weekly.
A lot of my traffic came from articles not written by me. For example, a guest post was Stumbled upon, which spiked the traffic on my server. This shows the importance of having a solid reliable web hosting company.
A lot of my traffic came from articles not about my niche, but it was “speed endurance” related. I had a personal story of a friend attempting a world record in pull-ups, and I kept a journal his last 8 weeks of training. I also included a video of the record attempt. Hence, a personal voice and video certainly draws readers.
2) Monetization Methods Changes Like the Weather
Who would expect Google to change their ad format to prevent accidental clicks? Only the URLs are clickable; white space around the ads can no longer produce a clickthru. This happened on Nov 14, and it certainly hurt a lot of Google Adsense publishers with a drop in Page CTR and Page eCPM.
Then there was the controversy over the sponsored links debate and Text Link Ads. Once upon a time it looked like a sure money winner with consistent monthly payouts and residual income, but now they are losing customers faster than Ben Johnson because they are afraid of Google and a drop in PageRank! Bloggers who relied on Google SERPS for their traffic quickly removed TLA. Other sites, like John Chow or Tyler Cruz, still maintains their TLA.
Thus, like the old cliche, never put all your eggs in one basket!
2008 and Beyond
I wonder what 2008 will bring us? Will we see the end of blogging? Will cell phones and text messaging become the new medium? Will PC sales drop in favor for hand held devices?
I was also surprised when checking my server logs, Internet Explorer and Firefox were the top 2 browsers (no surprise there). But I noticed an influx of the “Playstation 3” browsers recently. With a lot of my readers being athletes, video games are their next best friend!
One thing is certain: death and taxes, but that’s another story. Which reminds me, you do have to declare ALL of your income from your ad networks!
Happy New Year!