How I Doubled RSS Subscribers In 8 Days

This post is a follow-up to the one I originally posted yesterday on Top Secret Blogger titled "How I Increased RSS Subscribers By 72% in 1 Week". You may want to read it first if you haven’t already.

I was amazed today when I checked the FeedBurner stats and found another significant jump in subscribers.

This amounts to an increase of 107% in 8 days. That, my friends, is staggering.

I don’t want to undercut or duplicate my other post, so if you want to read the specifics of how we have accomplished this, you’ll have to go read it there.

I want to take this chance to welcome all of our new readers and say don’t hesitate to click on over and leave a comment if the mood strikes.

If you enjoyed your read, grab my feed!

Week 8 Stats

What a strange, strange week it's been! The last 24 hours alone have been nuts but tons of fun.

What Happened This Week?

The blog underwent a small face lift this week with some surprising results. My decision to replace the "AdSense For Content" ads with "AdSense Referral" ads in the top spot was vindicated.

Yesterday evening I was invited to be a contributing blogger at (I'm kinda jazzed about that!)

We passed a few milestones this week. Our MyBlogLog community topped 100 members, we hit 50 subscribers and we won our bet! (More on this later.)

The Numbers

As always, expressed as Hits / Subscribers / Revenue

This Week - 222 / 46 / $12.61
Last Week - 233 / 29 / $0.23

So Far - 2165 / 46 / $19.18


Are those some crazy numbers or what? If you look at the hit count we seem to be in a death spiral, while the subscribers and revenue look like we're riding a rocket. Crazy!

My first post at TopSecretBlogger discusses the subscriber jump and what caused it. (Hint - It has to do with convenience.) I want to take this opportunity to thank Patric and the gang for giving me a chance, I hope they'll let me do it again.

Be sure to go over and check out their place, it's got lots of good info and tips. It wouldn't hurt if you left an encouraging comment on my article either (or stumbled it) and, hey!, if you want to, you can apply to be a writer too! Be sure to check out their blogging contest while you're there.

The Bet

For those that may not remember, this blog was started to settle a bet. The bet was that I could start and run a profitable website before next Spring. My total investment in this project has been $15.54. Our revenue total as of this week is $19.18. This is officially a profitable site!

Now What?

The original plan was to drop this project as soon as I won the bet but there is no way can walk away. I'm having way too much fun to stop now! I do, however, have a couple of other projects in development that I'll be talking about more in the future. I'm afraid I'm hooked.

I'm Still In A Stumbling Mood!

If you haven't gotten in on the Stumble Love going on in the last post yet, get down there and make a comment! I'll keep stumbling until we get 20 commentors. (not comments)

Lets Make A Deal

OK gang, raise your hand if you would like some extra traffic to your blog.

No, seriously, raise your hand.

If you'll just play along it will be worth your while. I promise.

OK, I see you now. Good.

If you will follow the simple formula I'm about to share, I can guarantee you a traffic increase.

No joke. For real.

Do I have your attention?

Here's the secret formula:

Leave a comment on this post with some sort of direction to your blog.

That's it. If you leave a comment on this post (Keep them clean, please!) I will visit your blog and stumble your latest post or any post you prefer. (If you have a specific post you would like stumbled, direct me to it. If not I'll just pick one, probably the latest one.) If I really like it I will Digg it and Reddit it too.

That's it. I will do this for up to 20 commenters.

Is that easy enough?

Leave a comment and you will get, at the very least, one extra visitor but in all likely hood many, many more.

I have only one request and it is not a requirement.

I want to see if it is possible for this site to actually get any SU traffic. Next week I will be posting a Stumble Bait article to find out. The article will be titled something like "Why SU Is Better Than Digg or Reddit". When you see this post I would greatly appreciate it if you would stumble it for me. But, like I say, you are under no obligation whatsoever. There are no strings attached to this deal.

Don't know what to comment about?

How about what keywords the search engines find you with and how useful they are? Of course, you can just write "comment" with directions to your blog just as easily.


I don't want to take a chance on getting banned or screwing up the experiment for next week.

Now get to commenting.

If you enjoyed your read, grab my feed!

Free Advertising That Did Not Work

Bloggers are always extolling the virtues of “Free Advertising” schemes that sound wonderful to a new or inexperienced blogger. The reality is most bloggers are just trying to put together a post for the day and simply introduce their readers to something they might not have seen before. They have had neither the time nor the inclination to actually experiment with the sites they are introducing.

The following are four ad schemes I have tried and feel they fell short of expectations.

The scheme of Ad Grid Work is you design a text ad for yourself that will display on their network. You then place an ad box, similar to the one on the left, on your site. This puts you in the network. You are started off with 1000 free impressions, or displays of your ad, then you go to a one for one display ratio (For every ad impression you show your ad gates shown once.) and when an ad on your site gets clicked you get 1000 more impressions.

Here are the problems

  1. In the world of Pay Per Click text ads, 1000 impressions is nothing.
  2. I received blocks of 1000 impressions 3 times and on every occasion they had all been run before I got the email, every time in the middle of the night.
  3. While I did lose a few readers that clicked on the ads here, to my knowledge, I did not receive a single visitor from my ad on the network.

The idea of free exposure sounded good to me when I didn’t know any better. The fact is the ad block takes up too much of your precious real estate for almost no return.

Review Back is run by the same guys who run Ad Grid Work. The concept of Review Back is bloggers list their blog by category and then contact one another and arrange reciprocal reviews.

In all fairness I must say, all I did was list my blog. I did not actively pursue requests for reviews but I also did not receive any inquiries.

Interestingly, I tried to find my blog in their directory but could not locate it until I logged in to my dashboard.

It seems like a good idea that just doesn’t work that well. Besides, why would anyone want to do that when they can take part in “I Review” and “Fair Review” and receive better exposure.

Blogger Swap is another free advertising scheme, only this time you use a 120x120 image instead of a text ad. You start off with a whopping 100 free impressions and then go to a 1:1 display ratio.

I removed Blogger Swap because;

a) I thought it looked ugly and out of place.

b) The whole time I ran it I only received one visitor from it but lost 11.

I don’t know how successful Blogger Swap is. It seemed like the only ad I ever saw being displayed was Google’s Blogspot Blog. is unique in that it is a directory that uses business card images instead of plain old text descriptions. You can get a listing for free but I decided to pay a few dollars for a higher placement.

Membership also allows you to display a widget with small card displays on it as well as a link to The idea being when you refer someone like me through your widget and they buy a better placement you get 50% of the money. (The blogger who referred me to Blast should have received $2.70 commission on the sale.)

Here’s the problem; very few people actually pay for better placement so you end up giving up a lot of real estate to advertise for other blogs while losing a few readers and gaining almost nothing.

If I had it to do over again I would probably take advantage of a free ad on Blast and use the money to sponsor a category on Blog Catalog.

The reason I listed last in this post is because I feel like as a free directory it works well. I don’t feel I have received enough traffic to justify the expense of the better placement and I don’t think the display of their widget is beneficial. I also have to note, of the four is the only one who’s links to this blog show up in Yahoo.

These are my experiences. Yours may be different. If you have had better results with one or all of these please leave a comment and if I feel the difference is significant enough I’ll edit the post to reflect it.

If you’ve enjoyed your read, grab my feed!

Development Tools

I'm sorry to be posting so late, I've been very sick all day today. I don't know what it is but I've been super dizzy most of the day. I couldn't even look at the computer screen.

I'm feeling better now so I'm going to share some of the web design and development resources I've collected.

Here's a site with about 150 logos free to download.

TechRoam put together a list of 250 generators.

250 C00l Generators

How about some free CSS templates?


Did you say you wanted to learn HTML, XHTML, CSS, Javascript or PHP? Here you go.

Here's another extensive toolbox.

You could just do it the easy way and buy an establiahed site.

Thes should keep you busy for a while. Have fun!

If you enjoyed your read, grab my feed!

What's In A Name?

A famous guy named Bill once wrote, “That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” True, but if it were called the “Thorny Stink Bush” do you think guys would line up to buy them by the dozen?

“I’m sorry sweetheart; here are a dozen thorny stink bush flowers.”

I don’t think so either.

How much attention do you pay to a blogger’s name or the title of their blog when deciding to visit or not?

I remember some bloggers by their name, like Chris Bloczynski, Dean Hunt, Darren Rouse, Rhys Wynn and Sapheyerblu. Everyone knows Darren and Dean’s blogs but I honestly have to really try to remember the names of the other blogs if I can at all.

I know other by the titles of their blog, like MeAndMyDrum, Enkay Blog, ArsenalMarketing and DoshDosh. With these guys, I have trouble remembering their names.

The third type are the bloggers who are known by the name of their blog. These would include John Chow, John Cow, Susan Suarez, and BlogGrrl. (Isn’t it interesting that even though she posts under her real name, everyone knows her as BlogGrrl?)

I know some of you guys are screaming at the computer, “It’s called BRANDING, stupid!” Just calm down, I realize this and I’m getting to my point.

What do you do when your branding is all wrong?

The theme of this blog was originally based on, what I thought at the time, to be a novel idea. The concept was to provide a test bed where bloggers could make suggestions for changes and find out the results without having to experiment on their own blog because I would freely share the trial and error results.

Unbeknown to me, half the bloggers out there were already freely sharing most of this information. They just weren’t making it the primary focus of their blogs.

This flood of entrepreneurial genius has left me with a blog that has come to have very little to do with its branding. Would you believe this blog ranks in the top 20 on Google for the searches “ad tracker” and “adsense tracking”, #6 for ”adsense tracker” and #1 for “adsense track”? I put the ad for AdSense Gold in my sidebar simply because of the search traffic for “adsense tracker”.

The problem is, I almost never discuss these topics and don’t have a great desire to.

The Google search rank stuff is just an interesting fact. The real problem I’m having is with the negative reaction to my name (Ad Tracker) and the blog title (AdSense Tracker Blog).

While I initially thought those names would be appealing to bloggers, I have come to understand they cause most bloggers to turn and run like customers from a greasy used car salesman.

Case In Point – I have been experimenting over the past ten days with StumbleUpon. During this time I have voted on over 180 pages and made a comment about most. While my SU page has been viewed by almost 200 Stumblers, very few have actually come to this blog. In fact, while I was typing this article, my latest post was Stumbled by a reader and I received only 2 hits over the next hour.

According to the accounts of similar StumbleUpon experiments by Average Joe Blogger and others, these results are unusually dismal. I can’t help but think my blog title and personal moniker are an extreme turn off to the social bookmark crowd. In a Web 2.0 world this is a BIG problem.

I don’t know if I should just start another blog and turn this one into an affiliate site to capitalize on the high keyword rank or try to re-brand this one.

I don’t think you guys would tolerate the concentration on affiliate sales. Besides, where would I put great posts like this?

What Do You Think?

I would really appreciate any ideas or input you guys would be willing to take the time give. I know some of you are professionals in this stuff.

If you’ve enjoyed your read, grab my feed!

LinkBait Reviews

I don't remember how or why but I ended up on VoteForBacn last night and found some interesting linkbait projects and a contest all of which I'm passing on to you today. I posted the contest earlier and for the sake of my subscribers I'll combine the linkbaits into one post.

Spicy Blogcurry

The linkbait strategy James at Blogcurry is using is a review exchange. The hook is his site has a Google Page Rank of 4. Sounds great right? It may be, I'm just confused.

While he has some really well written how-to's for new bloggers, from the obligatory Making Money Posts to Mobile Blogging and Video Blogging and everything in between, there are a couple of things about this site that I don't understand.

Perhaps one of you guys can explain to me how a blog with a Technorati authority of 17 and rank of 383,299 achieve a PR4 especially when most of those links come from the current backlink project?

How does a blog get a PR4 when the oldest post I can find is the "about" page and it's dated July 13, 2007? That would make the blog about 6 weeks old. Has there even been a PR update since this blog was created?

I checked at Popuri and Iwebtool both of which show it to be a PR4, I just don't understand how.

You can take part in this and get a review and link too. Visit this link for all of the rules. Of course, you could also take part in the I Review movement or the Fair Review Project or all three!

Is there a way for this to be legit or have I been scammed? This blog is a PR0 so a link is a link as far as I'm concerned. I would just like to know.


This is getting silly. is giving links for reviews. It sounds like a great deal since they claim to be a PR5 and Technorati Top 100. There just seem to be a couple of problems with these claims.

First, someone should explaine to these guys a Technorati Authority of 27 does not put you in the Top 100.

Second, does everyone assume no one will check when they make a claim? According to Popuri EzineBlog is a PR0 / Alexa Rank - 1,277,833.

That means the little blog you are reading is ranked better across the board than the one claiming to be a PR5! LOL!!!

I'm sorry, I got distracted by the tears in my eyes from laughing.

EzineBlog had one post in the month of March and nothing for April with 10 posts in May. It looks like the posts started coming a bit more frequently toward the end of May or early June and cover topics from Politics to Entertainment.

You too can get a big PR0 link by writing a review of EzineBlog. The rules are here.

When I do these type of posts I usually try to come back fairly quick with something serious to get them off the top of the page. I think I'm going to leave these at the top for a while so they can receive some good exposure.

Once again, if you would like to participate in a legitimate review and link exchange I encourage you to check out the I Review Movement and the Fair Review Project. I'm a lot nicer when I review people who don't try to con me.

If you've enjoyed your read, grab my feed!

Wanna Break The Geke-O-Meter?

I can't think of a better way to announce your geekieness to the world than to whip out your 2 Gig Darth Vader flash drive at the office.

Can you think of a more geeky way of aquiring this badge of honor than to win it in a blogging contest? Me neither.

Here's all you need to do to enter.

Write a post like this and link to the main page of Enwikopedia with any anchor text then let the webmaster know at this blog post.

That's it. You're done. The drawing will be on September 8th. May the force be with you!

Choking On My Feeds

One thing I’ve noticed during the chaos of the past several days is a feeling of disconnect from the blogosphere.

I do the majority of my blog reading through feeds, however, it seems every time I open my feed reader lately I have 100+ posts to read. Usually I scream through the posts as quickly as possible but more than once I have simply closed it out again rather than spend the time to deal with it.

This is not good at all. I find myself blogging in a vacuum. I don’t know what’s going on in the blog world, I’m not making comments on the blogs I used to regularly visit and I haven’t been participating in any social networking activities at all.

I think the recent decline in traffic is a direct result of this.

I’ve got to get this turned around and the first thing I’m going to do is thin out the feed reader. I have entirely too many blogs on there that I really don’t read. I’m going to institute a new guideline for myself. I will limit my feed reading to one hour. When my subscriptions reach that level I will drop an old feed before adding a new one.

With my feed reading limited to one hour will have time to enjoy the content and participate in the conversations thereby releasing the vacuum and letting the blogosphere to come rushing back in.

If you find yourself overwhelmed by your feed reader I suggest you consider imposing some limits as well, if for no other reason than to maintain your sanity.

If you enjoyed your read, drop one of your old feeds and grab this one!

Week 7 Stats

What Happened This Week?

This has been an extremely difficult blog week. I've spent several days traveling including sixteen hours on the road yesterday as well as just a whole lot going on.

This week I paused all of my Pay Per Click campaigns but those were only contributing 20 - 40 hits per week. I also reintegrated some regular AdSense ads into the blog and was rewarded with a little revenue.

I think the biggest mistake I made was discussing the fact that I was travelling. There was an immediate and drastic decline in traffic after I mentioned that I would be posting erratically.

The Numbers

Expressed in - Hits / Subscribers / Revenue

This Week - 233 / 29 / $0.23
Last Week - 473 / 27 / $0.00

So Far - 1943 / 29 / $6.57


While I'm very disappointed with the traffic numbers, I find it interesting the subscribers increased. A far as visitors go, I got quality over quantity, I guess. Thank you all.

I finally did some overdue housekeeping here at the blog. I think it looks cleaner. What do you think?

As always, thank you for your loyal readership!

If you're new here and don't want to miss anything, subscribe to my RSS feed here.

Blogging Dedication

Probably the worst thing that could happen to a blogger would be your computer going down.

What would you do?

How would you post?

Well, if you are the crazy Welshman Rhys Wynn you drag out the Wii and make your post about your computer issues on it.

I wish I had a badge to give Rhys a "Dedicated Blogger Award" but I don't, so I can only say, "I salute you Mr. Wynn!"

Google Referrals 2.0

Are you tired of throwing those same old tired AdSense “contextually relevant” ads at your readers? I know I am, and from the looks of my ad revenue, my readers are tired of seeing them.

There is an alternative.

Google has released a new catalog of referral opportunities spanning a full range of interests. We now have the opportunity to choose ads we would like to display and offer our readers.

Other than your ability to pick and choose the ads you run on your blog, there are three big differences between referral ads and regular AdSense ads.

  1. You are allowed to endorse the product or service and encourage people to click the ads.
  2. You only make money on referrals if the reader takes the required action. (Usually signing up for something like a website membership or newsletter, or making a purchase.)
  3. Referrals almost always pay significantly more than standard Pay Per Click ads.

The most difficult part about putting the referral ads on your site is choosing which ads to run because the selection is so large. To get started just follow these simple directions.

  1. Log into to your Google AdSense dashboard. (Where you got your original ad code.)
  2. Click the AdSense Setup tab.
  3. Click “Referrals”
  4. Select a category from the menu.
  5. Browse the available referral opportunities and select the ones you would like to display.
  6. Choose the type (Banner, Button, Text, etc.) and format of ad you want.
  7. Copy the code to your site.

While choosing your ads and getting the code for them you have to make some critical decisions that can be confusing.

  1. If you leave the “Pick Best Performing Ads” box checked the ad you have chosen will seldom actually appear. This option basically allows Google to show the ads they feel perform best. (These are almost always ads I don’t want.)
  2. You have the opportunity to rotate ads in the same ad unit. To accomplish this just click “Choose More Products” and continue adding ads until you have all the ads you want displayed, then get your code as described above.

I have to tell you I have had some difficulties with the implementation of some of the referral ads on this blog. The biggest issue I have dealt with is getting only the ads I want showing in the ad block. I seem to have solved this issue but to be perfectly honest I’m exactly certain how I did it.

Another thing to keep in mind if you are picking and choosing specific ads for your site is companies only run their referral campaigns until they achieve their target numbers. The referral campaigns may be paused, changed or eliminated with no notice to you. This can leave you with no ads in the block or ads you don’t want being displayed instead.

To use the Google Referral ads on your site requires you to be more proactive than “context” ads and are probably best used as a compliment to the standard AdSense units but, if you are willing to put in the effort, you can present you readers more appealing ads that you have prescreened and none of the ridiculous “Get Rich Quick” ads AdSense seems to love.

Prejudices and Preconceptions

You don’t have to admit you have them but don’t deny them either.

This is the first in a series of posts about nationality, race, sexual orientation and gender. The following articles in the series will be posted every few days.

Today we’ll be discussing nationality.

Most have had the experience of the commenter who has difficulty with English. You know, I’m talking about the ones where you have to read the comment three times to decide if it’s OK to publish it.

Are you more or less likely to visit that commenter’s blog than a commenter with good English?

We are all familiar with the notable blogs coming out of Canada, Australia, Ireland and the U.K. but what about the blog you started reading regularly before you realized it originated in Singapore, Malaysia or Turkey?

What was your first thought when you found out?

How did it change your perception of the blog? What about the author?

Did you, perhaps, think something along the lines of, “Wow, they really write well for a ________ !” “How did they develop such strong English skills?” “I wonder if they are an ex-patriot American.”

As usual this blog has lots of questions and no answers. These questions are tough and require careful introspection and I don’t expect anyone to answer them here but you should answer them, if only in your heart.

If you've enjoyed your read, grab my feed!

Link Trains Are Technorati Crack

Participation in two link trains pushed my Technorati authority from 22 to 128 in four weeks.

You may be thinking, "Yeah, Let me get some of that!" but there is more to it than you are told in the beginning.

The concept of a link train is simple enough. A blogger simply copy and pastes the list of links to other blogs into a post on his/her own blog and ads a link to themselves onto the bottom of the train. As other bloggers copy the link train from them and post it to their own blog they begin to gain back links and their Technorati authority rises accordingly.

In theory, everyone who participates in the train updates their link list regularly to include all of the new addition so everyone gets the same number of links. In reality this almost never happens and that is why a link train is akin to pyramid marketing. The folks who truly benefit are the ones that get in early. If you come along late you'll be fortunate to receive a handful of links for your effort.

I was fortunate enough to join two trains at their very early stages and that is why my authority was affected so dramatically.

The biggest problem comes from the fact Technorati only looks at the last six months of activity when assigning scores. This means the only way to avoid a sudden drop in rank is to continue the same things that got you where you are. It's like telling a lie. You have to continue telling more and more lies to keep things from collapsing around you.

This artificial inflation is little more than a feel good sham to give yourself bragging rights about something everyone knows is bull.

The final consideration has to do with your purpose for blogging. Are you here for yourself or your readers? I try to blog for my readers and have caught myself rationalizing link trains as something that improved the blog and thereby was beneficial to my readers. I have felt guilty every time I participated in link trains but took part anyway. For this I apologize to you.

I really feel like link trains are an abuse of your patience and loyalty. If you are going to take the time to come to my blog or read my feed I am going to at least try to reward your effort with worthwhile content.

Link trains are an addiction as real as crack cocaine or cigarettes and that is why I will no longer participate in them.

I'm not condemning other bloggers for participating in link trains. I'm simply explaining why I will no longer participate in them.

If you've enjoyed your read, grab my feed!

Stats Addiction

How did you do? I didn't do well at all :(

If you recall we were supposed to restrict our access to the statistical reports to once each morning. I made it until Sunday afternoon.

I'm doing better now than I was. I don't actually check every single visitor's info. Now I only look at the ones who view more than one page. I have only opened StatCounter a few times this week and I haven't been just living on MyBlogLog. I have also started checking my email 2 or 3 times a day instead of keeping it open all of the time.

Overall I think it has been a relatively successful experiment and has shown me I don't have to be so obsessive.

Week 6 Stats

This was supposed to be posted yesterday but it seems there are only 24 hours in a day. Who knew?

What Happened This Week?

The blog was a bit neglected this week as I have been traveling. Traveling gives me time to think but does not allow much time for the development of thoughtful articles. As a result I have had to post more tips and tools type posts than I like. This has resulted in a dramatic falloff in comments which I hate. To me the interaction is half the fun. Things should settle down some next week.

One positive note is this blog's Technrati authority has reached 125 with a score of 40,624!

This week I also completely removed the AdSense for Content ads from the site and went with AdSense for Referral ads. This proved to be a bad choice which I'll go into later.

Here Are The Numbers

Expressed in Hits / Subscribers / Revenue

This Week - 473 / 27 / $0.00
Last Week - 408 / 26 / $0.05

So Far - 1710 / 27 / $6.34


My experiment with the referral ads last week was a dismal failure. They received a little activity but no completed processes. I have to admit this was a surprise to me since I had presented ads for products or services I found personally attractive and useful.

I did experience a few display problems with the ads in that sometimes the stupid things would show a different ad from the one selected no matter how you tried to restrict it. I want to continue to show the referral ads for the simple reason that I feel they offer useful products you guys could use. I think, however, I will probably have to use them as a compliment to the regular content ads.

This is not going to be my Friday post! Today's regular post will be made later on.

Once again, thank you for your patience and continued readership!

Avoid Spam

Don't you hate it when you have to give out your email address to join a forum, buy something online or download that cool software?

You know good and well you are adding to your unwanted emails.

What if you could set up a new email account to use that forwarded the emails to your regular account but then disappeared after a period of time?

Spambox allows you to do just that. Simply enter your email address (They promise not to spam you.) select how long you would like the new address to last, from 30 minutes to one year, and Spambox will generate an email address that will last as long as you decide.


Would you like to have one of those cool contact forms on your blog or website but don't really have the software or expertise to get one?

Contactify provides an alternative. Enter your email address and select a password and Contactify will generate a link for you to sue for your contact link on your site. The visitor contacting you will be shown a contact form they may use without learning your email address. You will receive the contact information in your regular email.

How cool is that?

If you enjoyed your read, grab my feed!

Wanna Save Money?

Well, duh! Of course you do. I ran across this site over at Texas-Sweetie's place and wanted to share it with you guys. Rather Be Shopping is and online coupon clearing house with discounts on merchandise and shipping from a ton of different stores from Best Buy to J C Penney.

With back-to-school time here I thought you might be able to use this.

No, this is not an affilliate deal.

P. S.

What does it say about you if you pull off into a truckstop to make a blog post?

I just wanted to let you guys know that my blogging might get a little erratic for a little while. It's that time of year.

**** ON EDIT ****

I'm so sorry! I forgot to put the link in when I posted. DOHHH!!!!

I got it now!

10 Great Reasons Not to Write

Are you sitting there stressing yourself out because you haven’t made your blog post today?

Well, sit back and relax, your troubles are over! Just browse the following list until you find the rationalization that most applies to you.

1. I just can’t think of anything to write. It’s not like I’m a professional.

2. I’m really not in the mood to deal with blogging today.

3. I don’t have time.

4. Nobody will miss it if I skip just one day.

5. It’s a blog. It’s supposed to be a bit erratic.

6. This blog is mine and if I don’t feel like posting I don’t have to.

7. My readers love me and will forgive me.

8. I’m all about quality. If I can’t deliver a quality article, I would rather not post anything.

9. There is just too much going on in my life right now to think about this. (This one is really great because it can be applied to almost any issue; family trouble, financial difficulties, even in-law problems.)

10. I really just need some “Me” time today.

And remember, for this to be most effective you should reword the chosen excuse to fit your particular circumstances. This will also avoid any duplicate content penalties.

Now that you have eased your mental burden, kick back, eat supper, watch some TV and go to bed with a clear conscience because you don’t owe any loyalty to your loyal readers.

Sleep well in the knowledge that you have made it through the hardest part. Skipping a post is only truly difficult the first time. It will get easier and easier from now on.

If you've enjoyed your read grab my feed!

Publish Yourself

What should you do with all of those great articles you wrote that are lost in the dungeon of your archives? What about those poems or short stories that are just laying around collecting dust instead of being enjoyed?

Why not publish them?

What if you could do it for free?

Lulu is an online self publishing house where you can build a book project in almost any format from ebook to brochure to paperback to hardcover while maintaining your intellectual property rights.

Simply compile your project in almost any popular word processing format, upload it into your book project and design your cover. Once your project is complete and ready to publish, set up your free storefront, set your price and start promoting your book.

If all of this sounds a little bit intimidating, don’t worry, Lulu offers easy to follow tutorials as well as assistance services at every step of the process from professional editing and proofreading to cover designs.

The feature I found most appealing is the ability to use Lulu’s tools to build an ebook and market it through the free store front. If you allow your ebook to be downloaded for free there is no charge from Lulu. If you choose to sell your ebook Lulu charges a mere 20% commission on the sale. Wouldn't it add a touch of class to offer your readers a free ebook of all your tips & tricks and do it for free?

You don't have to sell your book. Imagine how cool would it be to give your friends a hardcover copy of your own book this Christmas? How about if you were to present the aspiring author you know with a hardback edition of their own work?

What if you gave your child or grandchild a real children’s book that you had written? (What an heirloom that would be!)

You get the point. The possibilities are simply endless, check it out for yourself.


Are you tired of fighting to grab a decent oppertunity on PayPerPost? Here's an alternetive. Blogvertise.

Once your blog has been approved for Blogvertise you will receive emails with a website URL in them. Your task is to mention the site on your blog and link to it at least three times in the post. The post must be permanent and not be deleted in the future.

There is no requirement to like or endorse the site in any way, so you don't have to sell out.

Blogvertise seems like a straightforward and honest way to add a little income to your blogging career without having to compromise your principals.

Registration is simple, just fill out the standard form online and post about Blogvertise like this one and wait on the task emails to come pooring in.

I'm Rich!

I'm forever in the debt of Hin from Hin's Tech Corner since he just gave me $ 1 Million Dollars. Actually, now that I think of it, I'm not in debt at all anymore. Cool! The only thing is, to receive the money I have to say what I'd do with it and then pass it along to five other bloggers. Oh, wee it'll be fun to have for a second or two.

The first part is easy. If I were given a million dollars I would go straight over to sitepoint and buy myself a good blog. I would then de-monetize it and just have fun blogging!

Instructions: ***** Start Copy *****

Proposition - If you have $1 Million Dollars

Requirements - Continue above sentences.

Tag Mode - 5 bloggers

Link - Add your anchor and post link below.

What They Would Do With Their 1 Million Dollars

SYH will Spend on Family
Miche will Give to Needy
Montessorimum will Keepsake
Lovely Mummy will Spend and Save
MummyInVain will Fully Utilize
Babyfiona will Buy House and Open Business
MonkeyWong will Go for a long vacation
EmilaYusof will Realize her Dream
Mariuca will Open a perfume gallery
Hin will Blog to Donate for Charity
Norski will Tithe to top off 10%
AdSense Tracker will Buy a Good Blog

Instructions - **** End Copy ****

I'm going to tag Bush, Enkay, Sapheyerblu, Joe and Chris

Breaking the Addiction

The first step to breaking an addiction is recognizing it exists.

The Problem

I am an information addict. There, I said it. When I say addict I mean ADDICT. I keep a minimum of 5 windows open and minimized on my screen at all times.

1. I have my Sitemeter detail page that gets refreshed at least 3 – 4 times per hour.

2. There’s my StatCounter home page. I refresh this one less frequently. I just like the look of the bar graph. (It really bothers me that StatCounter consistently shows more hits than SiteMeter.) (It bothers me a lot.) (No, Really, A Lot!)

3. I have my email page open so I know when someone leaves a comment or joins my Blog Catalog community.

4. I have my My Blog Log home page open so I can see who clicked on my avatar somewhere.

5. I have my My Blog Log community page open so I can see who actually came to the blog.

Of course, these are only the ones that are always there. They don’t include the 2 or 3 windows I use for surfing.

I hardly even use Google Analytics anymore, it just confuses things. I already know my traffic patterns and referral URLs.

In the early days this wasn’t a problem. I could check stats 4 or 5 times a day and stay on top of things but now it’s becoming a full time job. I find myself with less time to accomplish the things that are necessary to provide you with a reasonably decent reading experience. (Or try to.)

I know I can’t continue like this. This is simply consuming all of my available time, not to mention the inverse issue of the stress I feel when traffic falls off for a few hours. (I think I hit refresh more franticly then.)

The Solution

My initial thought was, “OK, no stats for 1 week.” Then reason took hold and reminded me that the entire premise of this blog revolves around its stats. Doh! So, I decided I should go 1 entire week only checking stats every morning.

I honestly don’t know if I will be able to give up the intimate, small picture, knowledge of the statistics I now experience. I do, however, realize that as traffic grows I simply won’t be able to keep up the way I have. It’s probably best to prepare myself for this transition now but, I’m really going to miss it.

I know I’m not the only one with this problem. You know who you are. It’s OK. No one is going to laugh at you. You’re in a safe place here. Join with me this week and together we’ll break this addiction.

Break free from the destructive hold of SiteMeter and StatCounter. For the next week just blog for the fun of it and let the stats fall where they may.

It isn’t necessary for participation but, if you leave a comment here letting the world know that you are trying, you will be more inclined to succeed. If you feel yourself getting weak, come back here and we’ll support one another.

I’m closing my statistics windows right now, you can too. Have a great Friday evening and we’ll talk again tomorrow.

Be Strong!

Friday Morning Link Love

I've been a bit delinquent in posting some of these and I appologize. But hey, here they are in no particular order.

Sean from Inconsequentials & Trivialities gave me a very
nice plug on his site.

Nick & Luana at Two Player Co-Op mentioned this blog in
their discussion of finding ways to monetize.

John from Disassociated got caught up in the J C / J C
conspiracy and took it in a whole new direction.

Sue at Sublimely Discovering Blogging found us while
researching her article on Fechr.

Brent from Lost in Technology was so inspired by my
latest rant that he started his own.

While we're on the topic of my latest rant I have to point you in the direction of this great article at Kellementology. She manages to get the whole blogoshere into one article. Well done!

The new list of blogs (including this one) has been added to the member list at Fair Review. To be included on this list just choose a member site, write and submit a review then wait for your site to be reviewed and start racking up the traffic and links.

Be sure and visit these great blogs. Show 'em some love and tell 'em the Tracker sent you.

Week 5 Stats

What Happened This Week?

This week saw continued PPC advertising with decent result. We also experimented with Reddit and Digg submissions and experienced limited short term success. The traffic numbers grew somewhat from last week but the revenue fell off dramatically. The blog passed 1200 total hits this week and now has a Technorati authority of 104 and ranking of 50,281 while subscribers increased to 26.

Here Are The Numbers

Expressed in - Hits / Subscribers / Revenue

This Week - 408 / 26 / $ 0.05
Last Week - 375 / 22 / $ 3.24

So Far - 1231 / 26 / $ 6.34


Primarily due to the dismal performance of the regular AdSense ads, I changed over to running a package of referral ads instead. The referral ad program allows me to investigate the advertisers and products they are offering and choose the ads that are shown on this blog. It also gives me the ability to endorse them and direct you to them as I did earlier this week and will do again.

We will probably settle on a mix of content related and referral ads but for now I would rather have a banner for that isn't earning money than an ad for some "Get Rich Quick" scheme that isn't earning anything. It just feels cleaner. Besides, it's shoes! Hello!?!?

Once again I thank you for coming back regularly or receiving my feed. It amazes me how tollerant and forgiving you are while I find my way in the blogosphere.


I honestly have checked out, personally signed up for and do endorse all of the referal ads you see at the top of the page. There were several that didn't make the cut because they were scams or they started sending loads of spam.

The Secret Shopper, Free mp3 and programs have not been that way at all. If you are so inclined, I encourage you to check them out and know that they were hand selected by me to present to you.

Am I Being Unrealistic?

Seriously, I want to know. I really want to know what you guys think about this.

Is it asking too much that someone actually VISIT a blog before they join the community or, for Pete’s sake, make you a contact?

Look, I’m not as stupid as I look. I know social networking is the single biggest reason for this blog’s success. No doubt about it, but come on.

When I first joined MyBlogLog I was flattered when someone made me a contact, what with the nice little announcement that I had a new fan. After a couple of weeks I realized that a number of these folks had never been on the blog. I decided to stop adding any new contacts that had not actually visited the site.

When we discussed this topic last week I had accumulated 28 fans that were apparently smitten with by avatar, although the infatuation wasn’t quite strong enough for them to click one more time. As I post this, the number is up to 42.

Am I missing something here? What’s the point? Is there some sort of prize for having the most contacts?

I would never dream of listing someone among my contacts without at least knowing what they have written on their blog. I mean, for all these people in the peanut gallery know, we’re in here discussing the meanest ways to kick puppies and shave house cats. How would they know any different? Obviously they don’t care.

Understand this. I’m not griping about any of you guys. I know how things work and I have no problem adding anyone who has taken the time to visit here, but rest assured, I will visit your site before I do. The only way I wouldn’t add you is if your content offends me and that’s not easy.

Back to my question. Am I being unrealistic? Do I expect too much? What do you do? Do you ignore them? Do you just add everyone that comes along? I’m seriously asking for input here.

Thanks for being patient during my rant (Yes Rhys, I know.) and thank you for taking the time to respond.

Thanks For Stopping By Mr. Chow

That's right boys and girls. The one and only Mr. John Chow spent a little over 2o minutes right here in our little playground this afternoon.

I'd just like to say on behalf of all of us; Welcome Mr. Chow, we hope you enjoyed your visit and decide to stop in from time to time.

If you call ahaid next time we'll roll out the red carpet or mow the pasture, which ever you prefer ;-)

Finding My Voice

Mi, mi, mi …

La La La La L a …

Do Re Mi Fa So La , what? Oh, my blog voice! Sorry…

When I started this project I would read the veteran bloggers talk about a blog needing to find its “voice.” I remember thinking, “yeah, yeah, whatever. I’m smart enough to write a blog post.”

Yesterday was the one month birthday of this blog and I’m starting to understand what they meant. It’s more than fair to say that we have been lacking in focus. We have chastised annoying Web2.0 prowlers, defended bloggers that didn’t need it, had some fun with celebrity bloggers, come up with a good idea or two, made some new friends and managed to develop a healthy gallery of regular readers. (That one still surprises me.)

I just can’t express how thankful I am to all of you guys for sticking around through all of the wandering posts. It’s very flattering and humbling at the same time. I can assure you this would never have worked if it weren’t for you guys. Thank You!

Things I’ve learned

I could never list everything I have learned over the last few weeks and will not try, but I will share what I feel are the most important guideline to a successful blog.

  1. Blog about things you are passionate about.
  2. Don’t try to blog about things you don’t know. It will show.
  3. Have a conversation with your readers.
  4. Post consistently.

I think anyone who follows these primary rules will eventually have a successful blog with a loyal following.

Where To Go From Here

I plan to continue sharing things I’ve found and learned if I think they might save you some time or enrich your life in some way, only with perhaps a bit more focus. I will continue to mix the serious and helpful with the satire and sarcasm, however, I may put a little more effort into the serious stuff. Maybe, if I can. We’ll see.

Here’s the really cool thing about a blog; it’s mine and I can do anything I want with it just like you choose to read it or not. I love our conversations and sharing and I want you to always feel free to give me feedback, positive or negative. This project is a two way street and I’m luvin’ the ride.

How do you feel about your blog?

How I Shut Down John Cow dot com

As with any poorly constructed barn, one bump from a rogue cow can bring the whole thing crashing down. That bump came last weekend when this blog asked the question, “John Chow / John Cow – Same Person?

While no accusations were made and most readers thought it was a joke, as you can see, it caught the attention of the key players. (Busted by an avatar!)

There were no moos of protest or defense offered at the time. I’m sure the herd hoped this would pass like a cloud over the pasture but the fact is, in less than a week the whole corral collapsed.

The attempts to avoid the slaughterhouse were valiant. The entire herd mooed in approval at the first month revenue figures but the questions still hung over the barnyard like the smell of fresh cow pies.

By day five the Big Beef dropped the hammer. Although an attempt was made to cover the hoof prints by posting a silly cease and desist letter addressed to a fictitious character. (Would Disney shut down production because some lawyer sent a nasty letter to Donald Duck?) The inconsistencies were obvious and within 24 hours anyone trying to enter the old pasture ended up on a car lot.

It wasn’t intentional. I was only questioning some things that seemed suspicious. Now I live in fear of a well armed militia of matronly milk producers. I don’t want to be the victim of a stampede or violent attack and although I have received promises of support and protection from both the United States Cattlemen’s Association and the Dallas Cowboys, I am still concerned for my safety.

If I do disappear in a cloud of dust and big bovine butts, all I ask of you my dearest readers is to remember me when I sat high in the saddle not when I was trampled under hoof.

I think I’ll go have a nice steak and a tall glass of milk.

You can assist in the protection of this author by helping to get the word out by linking back to this article and submitting it to Reddit, StumbleUpon and Digg. Thank You!

If you enjoyed your read, grab my feed!

*** On Edit ***

The Mad Cow Disease continues! As you can see here there has obviusly been some evil deal struck out behind the barn to bring the herd back together. How can anyone believe any of the explanations and patty flinging going on right now to explain all of this?


Almost everyone scoffed last Sunday when I posted this article.

Who's laughing now?

If you try to go to John Cow dot com you end up on John Chow dot com.

Did this little blogger pull back the curtain and expose an evil sceme?

You'll have to decide for yourself.

Just remember, you herd it here first!

Fair Review

If you don’t want to participate in a direct blog review exchange through the “I Review Movement” (I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t.) there is a new option available to you.

One of our frequent commentators here, Rhys from The Gospel According to Rhys, has launched The Fair Review Project.

To participate in The Fair Review Project you choose a blog from the member list and post a review of it on your blog. After your review is judged to have met the requirements your blog will be added to the list of members giving you a good, solid, front page link with the possibility of being reviewed yourself and the traffic that will generate.

For my review I chose

The first thing I noticed when visiting Jemjabella is the design; unique, clean, business, not girly at all, very professional. Upon investigation I was surprised to learn it’s not a Wordpress template. She coded the whole thing by hand and no doubt deserves the title she has given herself of PHP Ninja.

Her writing is straightforward and no-nonsense. She gives advice to solve the most complicated coding issues as well as tutorials that a beginner can follow. Her reviews of how-to and tutorial sites are ruthless but if the sites she reviews, after licking their wounds and crawling out from under whatever shelter they felt it necessary to dive under, implement her suggestions they would find themselves improved.

One requirement for this review is that I choose a favorite post to link to. That task proved to be almost impossible and I strongly recommend just going to the articles page and settling in for a good read. As a new blogger I had to choose Jem’s Top Traffic Tips as my favorite post. By following just one of her tips yesterday afternoon I got 12 hits that I would not have gotten. (Tip – Submit your own article to Digg, StumbleUpon and Reddit.)

I haven’t even covered the free scripts she offers as well as resources from other sites she generously links to. I have purposely avoided reviewing her articles and comments about coding because they are completely over my head and I am in no way qualified to offer an opinion.

I was at first intimidated by this blog because of the ‘techyness’ but after reading for a few moments I was put at ease. While her criticisms are sharp and her posts sarcastic, I found her primary concern to be the communication of quality information to her readers and that is worth a lot.

I am now a subscriber to Jemjabella, you can subscribe too by clicking here.

Netiquette 2.0

While networking is essential to the success of most blogs, many authors do themselves more harm than good by forgetting some basic manners.

By remembering a few simple rules we will make good connections and benefit in the long run.

1. When entering a social network such as MySpace, BlogCatalog, SpicyPages or MyBlogLog, imagine entering a business party. We may know a few people and recognize several more but, for the most part, everyone is a stranger.

2. Keep in mind that it is a ‘networking’ party not a hook-up party. People come here to make a few friends and expand their network, not to get picked up.

3. Posting a comment on someone else’s blog with a link to your blog along with a description of the contest you are running complete with rules and prizes is the equivalent of interrupting a group of strangers at a party to hand out business cards and invite them to, “leave this lame party and come over to my place.”

4. No one would think it OK to go to a party and sneak around putting stickers on the backs of people you never met identifying them as your friend. Why then do so many folks feel it’s perfectly all right to label people as friends when the sum total of their familiarity is a glimpse of a 120 pixel square image of their homepage? We should take the time to actually make contact with someone before claiming them as a contact.

5. Along the same line as number four, we should take the time to actually visit a blog before we join its community. Being a member of a social networking site is not a game where we see who can collect the most contacts and join the most communities.

If we remember to apply the same rules of etiquette in the virtual world that we know to use in the real world we will achieve greater success and acceptance in both.

RIP John Cow, or not

It was fun while it lasted.

* On Edit*

It seems that a trip to the slaughter house may not actually be imminent for the cattle crew. This could possibly be a link bait scheme from the Mad Cows. A few things seem fishy.

Week 4 Stats

Has it been another week already? Time just screams by when you're having fun.

The statistics for this week only revealed one true surprise. As expected visitor traffic continues to increase as well as revenue but what caught me off guard was my Technorati rankings. Over the course of this week this blog went from an authority of 20 and rank of 318,000 to an authority of 81 and rank of 67,844!

What happened this week?

Over the past week I have continued my networking effort on My Blog Log and on Blog Catalog. This week I joined the "Say No To Page Rank" meme started by Dean Hunt over at Buzz Marketing, implemented a PPC campaign and held my first contest.

The networking is continuing to build traffic, the meme has had an astonishing effect on my Technorati rankings, the advertising campaign through Microsoft adCenter, Yahoo search advertising and Bidvertise have proven to be reasonably successful. The contest, however, experienced limited success.

Trying to hold a comment contest on the weekend of both BlogHer and Blogathon was not a very good idea but it was not a failure. If nothing else, I've been able to make a new blogger friend or two through the contest and Blogathon this past weekend and that's worth a lot. :-)

I also made a minor adjustment to the AdSense unit. I got rid of the link strip across the top and changed the ad link color to match the page. I don't know if those changes could explain the revenue increase but it is interesting.

The Stats

I know, I know, show the numbers! Here you go.

Hits / Subscribers / Revenue

This Week - 375 / 22 / $ 3.24
Last Week - 276 / 22 / $ 1.80

So Far - 823 / 22 / $ 6.29


While I feel like memes are abusive to you guys, a good one can have amazing results as shown by the numbers this week. Thank you for being tolerant of these. Although the AdSense revenue is coming up some I feel like it's time to explore other monetization strategies. Look for minor changes in the near future. I will probably begin to explore affiliate and referral programs this week. Any suggestions?

Nothing Lasts Forever

I was rushing this afternoon trying to get today’s post finished before I had to leave. I didn’t make it.

You see, one of the ladies from church called this morning to ask me if I could help out. There was a funeral this afternoon and people were needed for the choir. How could I refuse to help?

I didn’t know the lady whose funeral it was, but it was a sad story. She died after a short fight with cancer at 48 leaving a 25 year old daughter.

It was a beautiful service. My eyes are tearing up just thinking about the pain on the daughter’s face .It seems that she and her mom had only recently reconciled some issues that had kept them apart for a few years. It can all be over so fast.

After the service my mom and I sat down for a few minutes and drank a cup of coffee and talked. I’m very blessed.

I’m not trying to bring everybody down. Sorry if I have. I just can’t make a lighthearted post today.

If you love someone let them know.

-- Tracker