Category Archives: Data Tracking

Using Digg and building readers

Day 4:

I have been posting some more comments around the blog world in related fields. I will be posting the analytics on that process later this week. Today, however I wanted to look at some of the data and see if we can begin to capitalize on it immediately. Specifically, the digg effects.

One of the things that I have seen already is the use of digg. While the traffic to this blog is still a joke, it has started to grow without any offline or friends etc learning about it. I submit my posts to digg immediately after posting to the site. This provides a couple nice advantages for me. First I am in the search engines surprisingly fast. Google has been showing up in a manner of hours after a post. This gives me quick access to new organic readership. But the shocking thing to me was the fact that I actually received diggs on articles, and a small influx of traffic and even a comment.

As I started to research this, it seems there are really two camps about digg and blogs. The first camp is pessimistic and really quick to discard a socially powerful tool. They basically harp on the fact that digg traffic is really fleeting and that it is nearly a complete waste of resources since they never come back to the site.

The other camp brings up the fact that these users tend to be RSS and tech active, tend to be active in digg and its “blog it” area, and tend to be looking at material in a specific area of interest

Personally, I love digg. I think it is a great way to see new features and sites online while it has been vetted through a community. I am always interested in new widgets, new coding developments, and news on the current crisis facing the world. I have created a nice clean account for this site on digg so that I wouldn’t accidentally effect my traffic stats from my friends.

Basically anyone who diggs me will get a friend request. The reason is simple, I want to build up my diggs coming from the site and try to use my updates to digg as a simple way of maintaining existing traffic. They will receive a simple notification, if they are my friend, and it will notify them of my new posts. With any luck, a percentage come back to the site on a regular basis and as my articles appeal to them, they should digg it and my presence on the site should grow and continue.

There is an annoying fact about digg. If you write for digg, you do very well. So the fact that this post is related to digg and finding stable traffic through it, means that there is a good chance I will actually get some greater traction. The danger is writing for the quick buzz over writing for the actual audience. My audience is clearly other bloggers looking to build up the traffic. So I have to make sure my posts are geared towards satisfying that need.

Specific stats from digg so far are small. 8 page views, 3 diggs and 1 comment. But given that from comments I have only seen 3 page views and 1 comment (though very involved in the discussion), it seems it may be a good way to build starter traffic. It also gives me some motivation to start adding reddit and some of the digg clones to the site to see if the same principle can be scaled across the genre of sites and made into a solid traffic building process.

A word of caution about digg. First there are very non-specific categories within digg. So it may be a good idea to actually go through and see what categories work for your individual audience. Also see what categories lead to long term readership over short term traffic spurts.

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Analyzing the Competition and Setting up for Socialization

Day 2:

Well obviously there still isn’t any traffic. That is ok. I have spent 2 hours total on the site so there is no real return yet. Besides there is only one post and content is king.

I have spent the time today looking up competitive blogs. Specifically where they talk about building traffic. I am looking for a series of different size bloggers. I want to see the return on traffic for comments depending on the different size blogs over time. The obvious advantage to large blogs is that they have a massive amount traffic. The problem I believe will be the speed in which my comments become droned out by the others doing the same thing as I am. For small blogs the potential return per day is lower because they just don’t have the traffic, but they should be a place where a couple of additional things can occur. First my comments should last quite a while. Second it may be a situation where our blogs become complimentary and we share readership. You can check out the list of sites I commented on below. Remember I will be building this list continually in order to drive up the reach. But when I start to see a pattern of success or failure in the different groups, I will be re-adjusting in order to try and maximize traffic.

Socialization is the second part of my efforts today. There is a connection with the commenting strategy as well, and I will delve a little deeper into that. Socialization is what I call the use of the systems such as digg, and the social networks. I haven’t come up with an idea on how to use the social networks such as facebook properly, but I will figure some stuff out there. For digg there is an obvious utility in having the ability to have posts dugg. Great, welcome to nothing new. But there is another thing I want to try. I am going to add to my list of sites I comment on, a couple of new posts on digg related to blogs and traffic building. I have a feeling if I can get in within the first few hours of a fair number of these posts hitting digg, I can then ride the success that they may have.

The List below is a simple first day of comments. I will report on the results tomorrow etc. With any luck some visits occur because of this action. I am using the alexa rankings (available at http://www.alexa.com) just to have a standard means of ranking the sites.
So without further ado (sites on which I am commenting):

Larger Blogs:

Blog Name Alexa Ranking Comment Location
http://www.problogger.net 3,040 site
http://www.bloggingtips.com 31,489 site
http://www.freetraffictip.com 122,958 site

Smaller Blogs:

Blog Name Alexa Ranking Comment Location
pmmoney.blogspot.com 483,224 site

Digg (riding the coattails…. maybe)

Blog Name Alexa Ranking Comment Location Digg
http://www.seotrader.com 5,878,601 site digg
http://www.printnpost.com 244,477 site digg

Setting up for systematic analysis.

Day 1:
Simply said there is no traffic. I am spending the hour today setting up the tools I will use for my information and building baseline templates.

The process is pretty simple I suppose. I have chosen a theme from wordpress that is fairly minimalistic and looks clean. I am filling in some basic pages to help with content since I have none yet. I am also exploring the different widgets and features available so that I can make some intelligent decisions. I am activating the display of “digg it”, “redd it” etc on the blog posts. Primarily because it can only create traffic. In addition I am adding Feedburner for the RSS. Now I specifically did not select that they track the clicks on the RSS syndication. The reason is that they then act as a middle man in the traffic flow and there is already analytics involved on this site. (I will get into that more a little bit later).

I have created a template spreadsheet for helping me track the effectiveness of different strategies and keep a list of potential strategies so that it can be properly documented. The basics of it are pretty simple. First it has an initiative name, then the start date, then the columns after that are simple Day Activities, and Results seen. These repeat. You can find an example of this on the standards page.

I am also writing out a series of potential failures etc that could drag down the traffic and should be avoided. For example, dull posts just stating the facts and repeating “I posted 10 links… here here and here”. So I am writing out a series of theories etc for what could work on building traffic.

I am finally putting together a list of golden rules that will dictate what are fair and not fair practices.

  1. I will not tell anyone I know about this content. Any readership must come from the campaigns and efforts made online in order to provide the data needed to be analyzed.
  2. I will monetize the site with simple advertising. Most of the content and blogs seem to be monetized and so doing a blog without that is a separate breed. I will use the money to grow the site 1st and foremost.
  3. I will regulate comments and communications. I feel that the ease of spam makes it a requirement and since it is an ability for everyone, just know I will delete any unrelated comments, or any comments I just don’t care to have on the site. But I will try and be as flexible as possible where I see a remote connection. Emails etc that may be exchanged WILL be posted publicly. Your email address and personal information will be removed, and links will be broken at my discretion. Sorry.