Blog Stats April 2009

This is a post I’ve brought out of my archives. I used to measure my blogs’ success or lack of progress in a monthly stats post where I used the acronym “CAN” for myself as well as interested readers. Should I bring it back? Maybe, it really did work to keep me focused. Some of the links are dead, so I just put it up for fun and posterity. How do you measure your blog stats?

This post reports my blog stats for the month of April 2009. The purpose is to provide advertisers with 100% transparency for my blogs. The criteria is represented by the acronym CAN:

Circulation (or backlinks)
Analytics -and-
Net (or dollars earned)

Then I list some notes about my stats.
An archive of past blog stats can be found an the CAN Blog Stats archives.

Circulation (# of Google backlinks)
Postcards from the Funny Farm: was 218 is 178  (2)
Damien at the Speed of Life: was 21 is 54 (1)
Dynamite Lesson Plan: was 14 is 8 (1)
The Damien Riley Podcast: was 0 is 5 (1)

Analytics (# of visits last 30 days)
Postcards from the Funny Farm: was 6,074 is 8,919 (1)
Damien at the Speed of Life: was 606 is 508 (1)
Dynamite Lesson Plan: was 903 is 1,119 (1)
The Damien Riley Podcast: was 368 is 132 (0)

Net: was $235.38 is $386.43 (3)
Blog income sources I used.

CAN Blog Rank for April 2009:
Postcards from the Funny Farm:  6/15= 40%
Damien at the Speed of Life:  5/15= 33%
Dynamite Lesson Plan:  5/15= 33%
The Damien Riley Podcast:  4/15= 27%

Notes: Quick data analysis:
Positives
Damien at the Speed of Life and the Damien Riley Podcast increased their Circulation, and Postcards and Dynamite Lesson Plan both had a significant increase in Analytics. All blogs combined earned an almost record high Net of  $386.43.

Opportunities
Postcards and Dynamite Lesson Plan dropped in circulation. Damien at the Speed of Life and the Damien Riley Podcast dropped in Analytics.

Goals
Circulation is increasing when I have quality, relevant content people will link to. I will be writing on more topical, pillar post type issues rather than personal diary stuff.  Then I will try network with people who enjoy my stuf and asking them to submit it to social media.  My hope is that it will get linked to.  I will also be submitting some of my best articles to Article Avenue.
Analytics are decreasing when I am not posting as much.  I will make an effort to post updates every day and to comment on other sites as well as “drop” my Entrecard as much as possible.  After all, if you write something relevant and interesting, it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans if no one visits you site.
Net was huge last month.  I turned away about 50% of the sponsored post offers I received.  Unfortunately Google reduced my Postcards PR to a zero again so I am not optimistic about getting the same amount of offers.  I will continue to provide quality content whether paid or not and as always provide my readers and advertisers with 100% transparency in these monthly updates.  I see nothing wrong with doing sponsored posts when they are written well and I am recommending to you a product I believe in.  Therefore, as long as advertisers will continue to hire me, I will continue to do it.

Whats This About Getting Rich Through Blogging?

When I tell people I “blog” part time they immediately blurt out one of three responses: They, 1) seem confused and ask what blogging is, 2) want to know how much money I make -or- 3) ask if I can get them making money immediately.? For this reason, I usually don’t get into the topic of what has become my part-time job.? On the other hand, I use my PayPal card often (a card bloggers get paid through) to buy my wife, kids, and friends stuff like pizza and Baja Fresh (Baja tacos in the photo were paid for through blog money)? .. that’s enough for me to feel successful!? In fact, it’s amazing to me that I get paid for writing and tweaking code!? That, to me, is blogging.? This is probably due to the fact that 1) I don’t do it primarily for money, 2) I love to communicate and broadcast ideas, and 3) I prune my blogging to fit into no more than 15 hours a week (strict personal guideline).? I read an article tonight a Stumbleupon friend sent me that decries blogging as a “get-rich-quick” method.? I’d have to agree with that.? You won’t get rich quick doing it.? Having said that, you can make “fun money” through writing and tinkering with code and graphics.? I couldn’t ask for more in a part time job.

I did my time in college earning a BA, MA, and a teaching credential in California, one of the most rigorous states for credentialing.? I have a great job as a teacher and I work 185 days a year developing young minds.? What more could I ask for?? Well, there is something and I am doing it: blogging.? I have developed, after over 2 years, a method of setting blog goals and strictly organizing my time to create income as I go.? When I did my 2008 taxes I saw that I made nearly $3,000 blogging … it adds up!? Who would have thought you can make that kind of money writing about things like: appetite suppressants? If I was seeking a full time income, this would be disappointing but I am not.? Without my job, what would I write about?? Beyond that, I feel my blog helps my career.? Reflective journaling has been proven study after study to be an ideal habit for leaders in their fields.? I don’t blog to escape my life, my blog is integrated with my life.? Reading my blog you get life as I see it and I wouldn’t want to sit around in pajamas raking in millions through my blog.? Furthermore, I get comments and emails all the time from readers who tell me my “journal” has helped them in some way.

This year I hope to make more than last year but it still won’t be enough to pay my student loan each month.? One of my blog tenets is “100% transparency” and I publish my blog stats every month.? I’m not seeking to get rich blogging but I am seeking to get rich-er.? My college degrees, my teaching career, my 3 children and lovely wife make me rich in ways far beyond money.? I am comfortably writing about that every day and broadcasting a weekly podcast every weekend.? One part of my individual earning method is having 4 blogs instead of just one and scheduling post deadlines for myself throughout the week.? This allows me to have more variety in advertising pull and all I am doing is journaling, in essence.? I have been a mentor to a total of 11 people formally since I started this.? I tell them all I don’t know how to get rich at this, I only know how to manage time and tasks to write good content and and make some side money.? No one has backed out of being my mentee after hearing that.

In conclusion, If you read blogs to learn how to get rich, don’t waste your time on mine.? On the other hand, if you want to compare notes on how to get tacos and pizza and take your wife out on a fancy date once in a while, you would definitely profit from reading and listening to my stuff:

http://www.rileycentral.net/ – My thoughts on psychology and inspiration
http://www.rileycentral.net/ – My personal blog
http://www.rileycentral.net/ – My teaching reflections blog

What’s your take on blogging?

My Blogging Tricks to Keep Things Simple

There’s definitely a time to rest in life. If you play your cards right, you can rest a lot and still be efficient. A blogging friend of mine Vinnie wrote today that he was going to be taking things slower, I like that.

view on tumblr

I’ve been building a better mousetrap with blogging since I started doing it way back when. I started using WordPress software in 2005 but my blogging roots go way back to around 1995 when I used to make Geocities pages about my life and random topics. Those resembled blog posts. In fact I remember after I got married living in Apple Valley publishing photos I took walking around the trailer park. I called it a “treasure walk.”

I thought I’d share a little of what I do now since after all these years I may have something to add that will make things simpler.  Sometimes I have to take breaks from this schedule because of my real job’s demands as a teacher but mostly, my wife is kind enough to let me explore my “treasure walk” even now in 2016. Usually however through tricks of the blogging trade I have found, I make it happen. Maybe my routine will give you some ideas or inspiration even.

Blog Film Critic hat:
Watch and review movies and TV around 3-7 shows a week at my blog http://rileyfilm.reviews I use a template with a plugin to extract sundry meta info from IMDB. This makes the process easier, more fun, and it looks very beautiful in the final product I think. Plugin and template below:


Sample of how it looks:


I use Buffer to post to Twitter and IFTTT to auto post to my Facebook page. I am part of a large group of Blog Film Critics called The LAMB and that also helps me network. I have a dedicated Twitter account just for movie stuff @rileyonfilm

Blogger hat:
Everything I do online is set to cross-post as a “draft” to my blog http://rileycentral.blog I go through every day or so and reblog these. I find there are a lot of people who see them there who wouldn’t otherwise at the movie or teaching sites. This is also the place where I get to “stretch out” and write about any topic I choose in my column or just personal blogging. For years it was rileycentral.net and I recently added the url rileycentral.blog so either will get you there. So much fun!

Edublogger hat:
From 2008 to 2015 I wrote often at my teaching blog: http://www.dynamitelessonplan.com
I write there occasionally still when inspiration strikes. The blog is still very active with lots of visitors however because I recycle one of my old posts every 3 days. This is done through an automated plugin.

Photoblogger and Photo enthusiast hat:
I auto post all the photos I take to a private flickr folder, This is done through the iphone flickr APP. I also go through groups on Flickr and read my tumblr subscriptions to get cool new pictures to share. I have a system set up on IFTTT where if I favorite a photo on Flickr, it goes to Riley Central as a draft. If I reblog something in tumblr the same happens. When I go to make a post, I have these photos ready to go with the proper attribution already coded.

To close, these are just the coolest things I do currently. I have others. I am always looking to get the “blogging moment” out to the public with the least drag possible. I’m closer than ever. If you have a trick to share, please do in the comments! I love to read what people do to create and innovate the blogging experience.

2016 Year End Blog Stats – rileycentral.blog

Hi readers. This year I saw a lot of changes on my blog. First I give the the data, then I talk a little:

By happenstance, WordPress.com’s Daily Post could NOT receive pings from damienriley.com so I switched to rileycentral.net which had been dormant for a few years. It worked to ping WordPress and thereby get the word out more about my blog. I will be letting damienriley.com go I think when it expires, it does nothing for me. Until then, it forwards to rileycentral.blog

I got really gung ho about Riley Central again. I used it as a place “where all my online stuff comes together.” In other words, it was, and still is, a syndication spot for all my blogs and online stuff like Tumblr and Flickr. I write original material there as well. I crossposted everything to that blog and learned a lot about crossposting (syndication) along the way. I recommend a syndication place for everyone. If for nothing else, it becomes a backup of all your work elsewhere.

Probably the most significant milestone of 2016 was my movie critic hat. I have reviewed movies on websites and blogs I’ve started since the late 1990’s. I hadn’t taken it very seriously until 2016. I joined the LAMB, the Large Ass Movie Database, and they required a film niche blog for acceptance (actually they are fairly allowing but I wanted a specific film reviewing blog). Darren Lucas referred me to the LAMB and it really got me serious about movie blogging. Thank you Darren (again). That blog is now “Riley Film Reviews” rileyfilm.reviews As you can see I have taken advantage of the new domain extensions now available!

A final note must include the podcast Darren and I started. I am nowhere near as cool as him in the niche. Still, I know a lot about the technical side of blogging and podcasting. Together and relying mostly on his coolness we have made gradual improvement and success in the number of visitors to our podcast. It’s a movie podcast he titled “Talking Stars.” That domain is talkingstarspodcast.com

In 2017, I plan to continue these projects. I feel as if I’m in a very good place right now. The biggest challenge to me and to any blogger seeking to succeed in 2017 for that matter, is: create great, fucking-amazing content first and effective social media second. Happy New Year!

Damien Riley
rileycentral.blog
rileyfilm.reviews
talkingstarspodcast.com

GoodBye dot com – I Bought a .blog Domain: rileycentral.blog

Watch Matt, founder of WordPress, talk about this new domain extension .blog Exciting stuff!

I’m feeling spiffy in my new duds! rileycentral.net now forwards to rileycentral.blog with the new domain extension created by WordPress. Read more about .blog extension for your blog here.

I have the option to renew rileycentral.net 11/03/17. It may not be accessible after that date. Please adjust your bookmarks.

Thanks! Looking forward to having yet more blogging fun at this new domain :) :)

If I Wrote Another Book on Blogging

mecolumn11152017-200pxMy wife asked me recently if I had a copy of my first book I wrote on blogging. She has a friend who wants to get back into blogging in her niche, possibly for extra income. I think that is so exciting.

My book was so outdated I felt embarrassed to even offer it to her. I decided however to do a quick post with some of the chapters of a new book (If  were writing one.) The blogosphere has changed considerably since 2008 when I wrote my first blogging ebook.

tumblr_ns9437APZb1ttuaiuo1_1280.jpg

I. Intro – An overview of what it has become. How people are creating and innovating with blogs. How people enjoy them and how they make money.

II. The platform. WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com If you want to make money, .org “self-hosted” is the only way to go (in my opinion). .com is good for networking/social aspects. With .org you can have both. Have fun with plugins too on .org

wordpress-com-vs-org-infographic

III. The motivation. You should find the motivation to write regularly. The more you can “whip out a post” quickly that you are proud of, the more the advertisers are going to like you. And pay you. So … play with WordPress. Collect photos. Join Flickr. Let it all inspire you to write posts for your niche.

IV. The money. I make money with:

  • Adsense
  • LinkVehicle
  • LinkWorth
  • Private parties who contact me (an ad for your services in the side helps)
  • More

I won’t pretend to be a better source than Google for finding these.

header-bar-centeredpic-realfinal

V. Podcasting & Conclusion

More important to a blog than its money ledger is the amount of people it reaches. Blogs are for people who seek to have influence and readers, not necessarily those wanting to get rich. If you enjoy blogging, money can be made but don’t blog just to make money, you’ll be frustrated. Everything else comes after influence and you’ve got to earn it. The more influence you have, the easier it is to make money. That’s why most famous people have blogs and are successful with minimal knowledge of blogging or effort thereof.

A wing of blogging that is exploding is podcasting. Teach yourself how to do it and get some other people from your niche to do a weekly or monthly podcast. (That’s another book I suppose) You may see your numbers soar. Remember, no one knows you are there, you have to build an audience by commenting on other people’s blogs, advertising and sharing your posts on social media, and being regular and comfortably realistic about posting every day (some say you can do it less)

TDRPprofilesquare248

There you have it: the framework of my next blogging ebook!

Damien 12/5/2016

The Lovers, the Dreamers, and Me – #throwbackthursday

Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection,The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Source: The Lovers, the Dreamers, and Me | Riley Central

In the spirit of #throwbackthursday The above excerpt is from a post I wrote in 2009. I’ve always loved the song The Rainbow Connection and the post from 2009 explains a little about why. Thanksgiving is a perfect day to think about higher aspirations as a human.

The Blogger’s Schedule

damien_johnnyGoals for 2017
Using IFTTT can be helpful to crosspost from social media to blog
This is my schedule cycle (doesn’t have to be in this order)
Cycle:
(crosspost to RC)

  1. Instagram (My photos)
  2. Flickr (Favorites I Follow)
  3. Tumblr (Reblogs)

  4. RC Original Blog Post

  5. ROF Original Post

IFTTT Notes
Going in:
Instagram:
Flickr to RC: Favorites from Flickr get posted in photoblog
Tumblr to RC: Any new post (reblog) on Tumblr gets posted in tumblr and reblogs
Use Flickr sharing to post to FB
Dead Destinations ar RC and FB.

To some people blogging is a mystery. How often do I do it? What and where do I blog? The parameters are so wide open, it can feel agoraphobic sometimes. While blogger schedules vary greatly, I have self-assigned blogging work I write every day. *Note: I try to, am not always up to date though. I thought I’d let you in on what my current schedule looks like. There aren’t many mysteries when you have a plan.

In blogging, there are many unknown variables but one thing I’ve learned is that if you have no goals or plan as a blogger, you’re dead in the water. My goals help me create a schedule. Inch by inch life’s a cince. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Every once in a while, like I assume most successful people do, I have to readjust my goals. I’ve been following and refining my goals for years now and this is my current list. I’d say I am a bit closer to where I want to be. It takes baby steps sometimes, that’s where typed-out goals and tasks come in handy. The key is knowing when your goals need to be adjusted.

One thing to note: Unlike most bloggers who have only one, I have 4 blogs. You will find their names below. This is helpful for building niche relationships (ie; Riley on Film) as well as giving advertisers broader options. First, some standard ideas for blog posts. Second, a daily list of suggestions.

Compile a list of jokes
Develop a quiz – Use a quiz-building application like Online Quiz Creator, and make your next post into a game for your readers.
Write an ultimate list
Make a handwritten post and publish it by taking a photo – Hand-written texts look amazing and shows your creativity as well as character.
Post “Types”
Aside
Image
Video
Quote
Link
Gallery
Status
Audio
Chat
Weekly Roundups
Yearly Roundups
Seasonal Roundups

Dailies:

  1. Tweet/like/retweet stuff.
  2. Read/engage w other people’s’ blogs.
  3. Try to do one of these each day or as close to that as is possible.
    https://dailypost.wordpress.com/

Weekly Schedule:

  1. Mon: publish weekly Column on Riley Central.
  2. Tue: Publish Online Diary post on Riley Central.
  3. Wed: commentary on a quote or photo. Tumblr reblog day.
  4. Thu: Write a Movie Review and/or Mama Kat’s Writing Workshop
  5. Fri: Publish Online Diary post on Riley Central.
  6. Sat: Write a Movie Review. Participate in some writing circles like #SoCS
  7. Sun:
    a. Do #WeeklyRoundup on blogs.

Last edited 11/16/2016

Intro to WordPress Optimization Self-Hosted and Free-Hosted

Self-Hosted Blogs (WordPress.org)
Great resource!
Before you take action to optimize and speed up your blog for your readers, you have to face the music. WordPress Inspector is an excellent starting point. You can find this is the sidebar of my blog. Click on it and see this blog’s performance score.Optimization and speed is important to me. SEO helps keep the readers coming in. (both self and free hosted can benefit by running WordPress inspector. Self-hosted will have more options to use to optimize.)

Google Webmasters Tools and Page Speed insights are also excellent free resources. Can for both host types.

Consider the load you are processing on your index. Each post page may be just fine but 10 posts per page may be too much, especially if your
posts are not optimized in areas like images. If your images are 100K or more, recognize that to make a decent performance score, you’ll have to reduce their size. One way easily do this with every post is: TinyPng

Plugins: WP Super Cache, Autoptimize speed up self-hosted blogs immensely.

Free Hosted Blogs (WordPress.com)
Good resource!
Without cache and SEO plugin ability, free host bloggers may have to use inventive and content based remedies. I recommend contacting WordPress.com support if your site is performing very slow.

May I suggest rethinking the size of photos you put in your posts? If you only need a width 150 px, don’t but a 600 px in and size it in WordPress. Change the size first.

Also, Rethink the server pull from your sidebar. Many people use their sidebar as a scrapbook. Think of it like a traveling King Tut exhibit that must pack up and go every day. If you leave a lot of server pull in you blog, you better hope you never get popular. This can wear on server very quickly. Remember. slowness of site loading will keep potential readers away.

Go through your Media Library once in a while. If huge photos can be shrunken, go for it. Do a search on WordPress free hosted optimization, it will yield some very helpful stuff as well!

Last, rethink how many posts you’re showing on your index. This can improve a score immediately and greatly by making it 5.

Best of luck! If you have questions, let me know.