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Anything That Can Be Measured, Can Be Improved

by SMD · 10 Comments 

One of the things I love about a business on the web is the stats! In my last business, making picture frames, you had to actually ask people questions – very inefficient, to find out what was really going on in your business, but on the web, virtually everything is measured! So as part of [...]

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AdSense Webinar Tip

I just finished listening to the Google AdSense team’s latest webinar. While most of the tips were the standard fair that can be found on the AdSense website however there was one tip that I thought was worthy of passing on. A question was raised about how to know where the high priced keywords will [...]

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Smart Money Daily – Site Recap & Stats Galore

by SMD · 1 Comment 

Happy Canada Day! A few things happened in the past day or two that got me thinking that it was time for a recap post. The idea for this site began exactly 6 months ago when I picked up a copy of Fortune magazine and read the story of how people were making money online [...]

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Adsense Anonymous – 12 Step Program for Webmasters

Help! I’m Addicted To Website Statistics Ever since I started this site I’ve been fascinated with the big question: Is anyone using it? Luckily there is an easy answer. I can log on and look at the site stats. Since I have my own server the stats are real-time. It has become an obsession; I’m [...]

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Next it’s Adsense. This is the one that I mainline. Same stats as above basically except you never know how much each click is going to be worth. AdSense is probably the highest traffic site on the internet, and what’s amazing is that Google doesn’t have ads on the pages. Amazing! I picture thousands of other rookie bloggers all signing in every five minutes to see if they’ve earned another ten cents. I guess that’s the measure of a professional versus an amateur – how often they check their Adsense account.
Adsense really accommodates us addicts too. They allow you to have various “Channels” so you can put different channelled ads on different content and see which topics produce the highest click-rate or which channel’s ads pay the most per click.
The latest one is the RSS feed’s stats. Feedburner gives pretty good stats about who is reading your feed and what they are using to do it. Feedburner informed me that my first completely anonymous reader came from an RSS search engine and use an RSS reader called Sage. Cool!
Now I can go to the forums that I post in regularly and see how many page views my posts (website bait – since my signature contains a link to the site) have generated.
At this point I many indulge in a little math. Something like “if 1000 times this many people came to my site each day I’d be making $??? a month…” And then, you guessed it, now it’s been five minutes so I can go back and check the server stats again.
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SMD Site Recap and Goals

by SMD · 2 Comments 

Where SMD is at and Where We’re Going (I hope). – This post is to pause and reflect and take a look around. It’s easy to get swept up in the endless number of things to do on the site (I am creating the application and structure as I go), the endless number of stories [...]

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- Since I’m getting almost zero traffic from search engines (more on that below) the only way people have found me is from my posts to various forums and comments on other finance and personal commentary sites.
- It is my goal with this site to replace a good chunk of my current income by the time my contract expires in September 2006. Therefore if I add 10 visitors average a week for 75 weeks, I will have 820 visitors a day. Calculate ~2 page views per visitor average (I’m optimistic that when the site is more complete they will click around a little more), so that will be 1620 pages a day. Multiply by 30 and I’ll be at ~50,000 page views a month. At a 2% click-through (not my current rate but a reasonable target from what I have read) with .25 cents per click I will be earning $250 per month.
- These numbers are well below my goals. One thing I haven’t factored in is the exponential nature of the web. It goes something like this: the more people that know about something the more people who are likely to hear about it. The more links there are to a site the higher it goes in the search engines, then searchers are more likely to find it. So the flaw (hopefully) in my prediction is that growth will not be in a straight line but more parabolic.
- Other factors include my ability to synergize my efforts. This can be done by adding more related sites. Increasing the number of sites, including some that are much narrower in scope to better optimize for keywords and payouts. This should prove to be a good strategy. I call it webbing the web. I am hoping to have my sites set up so that I can post one article to multiple sites simultaneously if it’s content is appropriate.
- Other possibilities: sponsorships and other financial spin-offs; online or offline consulting, selling the site that I am building as a template or releasing it as open source. Becoming a hosting reseller and business blog consultant.
Stats and Considerations
- No search engine traffic (3 hits so far in total). There are two reasons for this. One is that the keywords that I compete against are highly competitive so until my site is much more complete and has a lot more content it will not get any notice and rankings and two is that Google hasn’t indexed my pages yet.

Pages Indexed Links
MSN 31 15
Yahoo 7 3
Google 3 1

- What it will take to replace my primary income of $4000/month by the time my job ends (Sept 2006). Assuming a 2% click through rate at $.25/click it will take 16,000 click throughs per month on 800,000 page views. Given that my current projects are for 50,000 page views by the target date I am going to have to grow at a much steeper rate than I am currently. I’ll get back to update when I figure out how this is going to happen…after all I’m still a rookie in this game.

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4 Functions of an Effective Headline

The 4 Functions of an Effective Headline [or AdWord Heading] To grab the readers attention. To pre-screen or select your readers. Deliver a complete message. Draw a reader into the story. A headline should grab the readers attention. As mentioned in yesterday’s article [ What's in it for me? ] a headline’s best tools for [...]

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Smart Money Notes – Farm Team Site

Why I Needed a Blog Farm Team I was sitting on the couch last night with my laptop trying to wade through the endless number of emails that I have in my various inboxes. Now, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea; I don’t have that many friends, most of these emails are [...]

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Then I headed over to Blogger and opened an account. Now when I’m surfing around and find something that I think I should write a story about or just triggers an idea I click on the little orange B and I can instantly post a story fragment with links to my Blogger blog.
Of course I’ve added AdSense to that Blog too (with its own tracking channel so I can see if there is anyone clicking on those links) and a link back to this site. Also when I complete a story on the Blogger site, I will post a link to the finished article back on this site, so interested readers can get the full version. Over the next few days I will migrate all the emails that I have out to that site, and then I will have access to them from anywhere.
I know what some people must be saying, “What if someone steals all your ideas?”. So be it, is my answer. It’s not really that I write anything earth shattering anyways and I’m not much of a news blogger (as you’ll see if you click the ‘News’ category to the left).
Actually I’ve very excited about this because the biggest problem I’m having since I started this site is to keep up with the huge number of topics that I’d like to write about. At least this way they will be out there in some form because it is probable that a lot of them I will just never get to. Just like in baseball, if the farm team makes a few bucks it’s a bonus. I’m sure it will be a place for stories to develop.
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Writing Headlines – “What’s In it for Me?”

Writing Headlines for Web Content & AdWords This is a continuation of the web writing series. See part 1 here: Keyword Placement. In this segment, I am sharing some of my research and ideas about writing headlines. As I went through this process I realized that the same ideas hold true for writing an AdWords [...]

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Keyword Placement and the Web Writing Process

by SMD · 1 Comment 

Keyword Placement and the web writing process. I’ve decided that it is time for a “back to basics” series. In the next couple months I’m going to tackle the basics of having a content rich website and hopefully in the process refine my skills. My ultimate goal with this series is to produce a how-to [...]

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RSS Revisited – Promotion and Distribution

RSS Feed Promotion and Distribution Using FeedBurner I mentioned earlier that I created a page that spits out my articles in RSS style xml. So that is the first requirement and most blogging websites have this functionality (sometimes you’ll need to enable it manually – look in the options or control panel). Once you have [...]

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They also offer all kinds of stats so you can see how many people are reading your feed and how (what with).
A side note about RSS feeds. It has happened to me that I have searched for my site on Google and have seen my feed being used in other websites (this is easy to do and provide automated content to a site). But to use an entire post is a violation of copyright. Also if someone can read the entire post in their reader, there is no incentive to visit your site (and click your ads!). It is because of these issues that I now provide only summaries of my stories in my RSS feed.
Feedburner also has a beta test going which offers context specific Amazon banner ads in your feeds. You must have an Amazon affiliate account and you can control the frequency of ads and where they appear in the feed. (Note: one of every 5 ads is a Feedburner ad). I chose not to use this since the spirit of RSS, so far at least, has been to be a way to read the internet without the noise.
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