Update on 2009 Objectives and more

Exactly three months ago I put together some ambitious blogging objectives for 2009. I thought it would be a good idea to take a look at those objectives and analyze them as the first quarter of 2009 is ending today. Moreover the context has changed a lot in the recent past whereby my time and energy had to be diverted towards highest priority activities in real life.

Summary of Objectives for 2009

The following were the main measurable objectives that I had set for my blog(s).

  • Post frequency of 16 posts per month
  • Provide unique blogging tips that you won’t find elsewhere
  • Apply advanced SEO techniques to get 80% search traffic
  • 2000 page views (~1200 unique and quality visits) per day
  • Bounce rate of < 60% and average time per visit > 1 minute
  • Convert 1 reader per day into 2 dollars per month consistently
  • Technorati Top 10000, $25,000 in brand value in case of a take over bid

(There were some other objectives as well which were not necessarily measurable)

Status as on March 31, 2009

The post frequency came down to a three month average of 13 mainly due to the long hibernation period in the last two weeks. As for the unique content and blogging tips, I thought I was able to write a handful of good posts in the past three months (I leave that to you to decide).

When it comes to the goal on SEO techniques, there was a 8 post series on SEO that I kicked off in February which provided some tips that I practiced myself as well. The measurable part of the same (search engine traffic) was standing at 41.41%. When I dug into the details of my Google analytics data, I found out that this low search traffic percentage is due to the increased number of visits from the social media (2000+ visitors) in the past three months. Hence the search traffic is not necessarily bad but again far from my goals.

As for the daily visitors, I had a pretty ambitious goal until the end of 2009. Though there’s still 9 months left to achieve this goal, I am not completely confident of putting the required effort to achieve that kind of numbers. In the past three months the number of daily unique visitors (not visits) varied from 49 to 594 (49 was during my inactive period last week). The page views per day varied from 72 to 780. So the average daily numbers for Q1 is something like 140 daily unique visitors and 275 page views!. These are inferior numbers compared to December 2008.

The bounce rate was at 66.18% (as against the target of 60%) and the average time on site is pretty good at 2.31 minutes. I thought these are really good numbers and it essentially means that this blog has some quality readers.

The blog income during this quarter was standing at USD 410.62 – the main sources of income being Google AdSense, referral income and private ad sales. The average income reduced by about 30% compared to the last two months in 2008 and I think the following are some of the reasons for the same.

  • Google AdSense eCPM rates have come down due to recession
  • AdSense for feeds were not incorporated and some ad blocks were taken out
  • I have not written a single paid review in the past three months
  • Private ad sales rates and number of slots are very low though fill rate is good
  • Have not proactively worked towards improving referral and affiliate links

In principle, 1 unique visitor per day has not been converted to $2 per month, but it’s at around $1.

As for the technorati rank, it is standing at 60,854 now and the brand value is not near my expectations of $25K :)

Overall, it has been a relatively quiet period in terms of conversions. But I think that the number of regular and quality readers has improved on an average, if not for the last two weeks.

What’s the future looking like?

As I mentioned in the beginning, the life has changed big time and hence I will not be able to maintain the same post frequency. However, I do not intend to stop blogging or sell this blog. I would probably go slow on the online money making ambitions but try to write some good content without worrying too much about the frequency.

I would like to thank you all who have been regularly visiting this blog and providing valuable comments. And I request your continous support to keep this little place alive!

Comments

  1. Raju :

    I must thank you for what you did with my life as a blogger. My life completely changed during the time I took part in your SEO contest. I am 100% sure it wouldn’t have been the same if I decided to succumb to my laziness and let go the opportunity. I am completely stunned by the stats of this amazing blog. It surely deserves much more recognition and traffic (and income ofcourse). But I am sure you know your priorities in life much better and I wish all the luck you rightfully deserve :)
    At the end of the day, numbers are just numbers :) Keep rocking!

    Raju’s last blog post… Ultimate Resources for April Fools Day Pranks

  2. Chetan :

    My current Techorati rank is below 10K !! πŸ˜€ (Around 97xx)
    Adsense eCMP rates are really down due to recession but have you seen the $:Rs rate ?
    Its good for us… :)
    BEST LUCK , for these objectives :)

    Chetan’s last blog post… New Apple iPod Shuffle 2009 – Problems

  3. Chetan :

    Hey NO Objective for ALEXA RANK !! ??

    Chetan’s last blog post… New Apple iPod Shuffle 2009 – Problems

  4. George :

    Dear Ajit, It is sad to see you couldn’t achieve some blogging targets which you set for this year. But if you set some easy targets and achieve them within first quarter itself doesn’t make any sense.Also it is a well known fact that there is personal priorities above the blogging and money making.So now you are focusing more on family/personal life.I count that is your success:-)

    George’s last blog post… Tata Nano Merchandize Is Up For Sale!

  5. Hey Ajith,

    You’re on the right way man. You remembered me about my goals. I need to write an article explaining my achievements :)

    $410– Your blog income is good dude. I’m on the way to reach you soon :) eCMP is very very less now. My clicks per day increased by 3 times now..but not the income :(

    Ajith,

    You should explain some SEO standard tips in your coming posts. Not bunch of articles :) Single one covering the overview.

  6. $410.62 for quarter or per month??

  7. Archie :

    Ajith,

    • use a plugin that shows adsense only to search visitors, this will raise you ecpm and cpc since social traffic doesn’t click. This will remove smart pricing
    • Do follow your own links on the footer this will increase internal juice flow. Find more anchored links this will improve Google rankings
    • Replace the AdSense block with a large AdSense block, this will get you more clicks and since visitors from search are the ones that will see them. People from feeds will be ok
    • Bold important keywords
    • Try article marketing heavily
    • Make a series of posts to increase relevancy example: make money online now, make money online fast, make money online blogging, make money online. This will help you increase relevancy and rankings for make money online
    • Oh, no follow affiliate links, don’t forget that
    • If things are looking ugly fake alexa

    [From Ajith: I have edited this comment to highlight as bullet points. These are very important points and hence shouldn’t be missed out due to wrong formatting. Thanks Luis]

  8. Seems your financial year closed yesterday and new one is to begin !!

    Abhishek’s last blog post… Adsense users update your site privacy policy

  9. In case of a takeover bid? Does that really happen – larger sites buy smaller upcoming sites?

    Forgot it was the end of the month already – I have to compile my stats as well – of course revenue of $0 isn’t hard to calculate. :)

    Thanks for sharing your goals, I can use them as benchmarks for my own.

    Chuck

  10. Chetan :

    @Archie
    Thanks for these tips, i really appreciate them.Good work.

    Chetan’s last blog post… New Apple iPod Shuffle 2009 – Problems

  11. Harish :

    Hey I cannot see any adsense units on your blog? where is it? Anyway though you have decreased in most of those objectives your blog really rocks!

  12. Hi Ajith, As far as your posts are concerned, they are very unique and i enjoy reading all of them. I have learnt a lot about SEO after going through your Series. And yes, your blog deserves more visitors and pageviews and i am sure your will get them in the future. All the best :)

    Madhur Kapoor’s last blog post… Play Free Flash Games Online on DiggyGames

  13. Real life issues? hmm **What can Ajith be doing** Lol. Kidding.

    Well the stats are good. And infact I should thank you too as during the SEO series post I learn a lot of things which am using on my blog and yes they work WONDERS πŸ˜€

    As for adsense I think the recession stuff is really bad when it come to the amount of money we getting. But on the other hand, even in my country we use Rs (the Mauritian Rs) and yea a dollar value is paying well here too πŸ˜€

  14. venkat :

    Seems good to set blgogers themselves some targets to achieve like traffic and adsense revenue ,I am new to SEO hope I will gain soem knowledge from your blog

    venkat’s last blog post… 7 Ways to Fix ”Registry editing has been disabled by Your administrator β€œ

  15. Well, I think you’re doing great! And things in our life can always affect the goals we set for ourselves so we just have to readjust our goals. Like Madhur I have learned so much from your blog. Sometimes I even wished I used advertising on my site because it’s getting better traffic. I have to find the time to setup and work on my other websites.

    Thanks for everything you do!

    Kim Woodbridge’s last blog post… Smiley Bug: Comment Moderation Problem in WordPress 2.7

  16. @Raju, thank you very much for your kind words and I am glad to know that the SEO Challenge really helped your blog and yourself. As you rightly said, it’s a matter of priorities right now :)

    @Chetan, the dollar-INR exchange rate is definitely doing good for us though it’s offset by the low eCPM.

    @George, yes buddy :) success is what gives you satisfaction and hence personal life, career, blogging all of them matter. However, at some point we need to go slow on lower priorities.

    @Lax, πŸ˜› looks like you got confused :) The income has been very low of late and $410 was for three months…

    @Luis, amazing tips man. I am sure going to implement a few of them, especially those tips to increase eCPM. Thanks again…

    @Abhishek, πŸ˜† yes man.. However, the financial year was not considered for blogging objectives. For that part, it’s more the calendar year that I considered.

    @Click to Action, well… takeover or flipping :) In fact, takeover happens as well where there are people who maintain 30 or 40 blogs.

    @Harish, I do not keep big AdSense blocks on the homepage as well as new individual posts. I add them programatically to only those posts that are 7 days older so that my regular visitors (direct traffic) do not get to see these ads. This was implemented after I got some feedback from regulars.

    @Madhur, thanks man. I will try to write as many unique posts as possible in the future as well. As for the SEO series, I was trying to transpire the little I know and learn more by writing.

    @Kurt, there’re some issues man… Not everything is smooth all the time, you see. As for the SEO series, I am glad that some of my tips are fetching traffic for you. And yes, Rs-USD conversion rates are too good for us now :)

    @Venkat, yes. Setting objectives and taking one step a time to achieve them is always good. Doesn’t matter whether goals are related to personal life, job or blogging.

    @Kim, thanks for your nice words :) Yes, it’s all about readjusting priorities. I took a break and slowed down only when I was really out of time and energy. Glad to know that some of my tips were useful to you and thanks a lot for your support.

    Thank you all for your valuable feedback!

  17. Jacques :

    Hey Ajith! Thanks for being so frank and honest, I really find it quite refreshing! Good luck with your new priorities, and please don’t forget about your audience too much!

  18. Nihar :

    Ajith, You are doing a great job and hope that you get time to come up with more unique posts and posts on advanced SEO.

    I also would like to thank you. THe reason is bcause of your unique SEO contest. I was able to meet lot of ppl here.

  19. @Jacques, Thanks, I would not be forgetting the audience here as I am a blogger due to the readership. It’s just that there’ll be interruptions due to personal priorities :)

    @Nihar, thanks a lot and great to know that you are yet another SEO Challenge fan :) This puts pressure on me to bring in the second edition of the competition!

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  1. […] Updates From Us Earlier this year I had set some ambitious goals for 2009 and later came down on those expectations big time. As you may know, I am neither a natural blogger nor a fulltime professional blogger. I […]

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