Don't use this search engine!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Make money online with Blogspot - Day 3: Build your Blog traffic, part 1

Ah I long for the days when the only place to put your website for traffic was Yahoo, Webcrawler, and Alta Vista (I know, I know, most of you will only know the first one).  Listing your blog is a whole different beast.  I thought that this would be the easy part.  I would list my site in a couple of search engines and then sit back and watch.  Now, I'm not naive and I know that even that little bit will still take forever.  However, what I found out was at first confusing.  I'll try to reconstruct my research.

First, Blogger has a built in listing system.  At least that is the way that it appears.  On the Basic tab of the admin screen there is a couple of options that should help build traffic.  The first is "Add your blog to our listings".  The description is a bit vague and states that it will allow Blogger related services to add your site to their listings.  But there isn't anyway to actually control this and you are completely at the mercy of the Blogger gods.  Good luck with that.  The second setting is "Let search engines find your blog?"  Although this seems fairly straight forward, it didn't appear to do anything.  I searched Google for some very specific topics that I discussed over 30 days ago and nothing returned, not even 30 pages deep (once I started looking I was bound and determined to find it).  On closer reading the description of the feature says that "we will include your blog in Google Blog Search and ping"  I can't claim to knowing all of the things that Google has, but I had no idea that they don't include Blogger blogs into their normal search and that they have their own Blog Search Engine.  Searching for the same term listed about brings it up 4th on the list.  Ok, so that is a start.  But my concern is that if I didn't know this existed, its a good bet that a lot of people didn't know it was their either.  I still need to figure out exactly what can do for me, but I just ran out of time today.  I'll look into that one tomorrow.

I took a look around the web and a couple of extremely helpful blogs pointed me in the right direction (at least I assume so at this point).  I found that both ProBlogger and Dumb Little Man had some great information for the beginner blogger.  They also have a lot of information that is overkill at this point, but at least I now have a reference site to go forward.  Their primary advice, get your blog "pinged" by as many sites as you can.  First of all, I'm a computer systems admin at heart and the term "ping" to me means a command that is used to determine if a computer is present.  This comes from the Navy who uses just such a technology (albeit sound wave based) to determine where ships are. I can only assume that this means something similar.  In this case, "Pinging" your blog means that a service hits the blog (typically the RSS feed) and then reports updates to the myriad of blog search engines.  At this point I don't know how many truly exist, but if you go to Ping-O-Matic they list some 28 sites to send your updates to.  A good many of these sites require more than just getting your article posted in order to get any real traffic, but I'll wait and discuss that later.  I think it would be a good experience to discuss each one of these services separately to ascertain each one's merits and help you (and I) understand it better.  I ran a couple of my entries through the engine and will have to determine if it makes a change at all.

That's enough for today.  I originally thought that I could have this research done in one night, but it proved to be too much.  That and our local neighborhood men play adult league flag football and we had our first game last night.  Tigers 29 - Mayhem 6.  Not bad for a bunch of 40 something men.  I must be doing something right because I'm not in any pain this morning :)  Anyway, I digress. 

Here is the current state of my blogs:
Site                                   Hits This Months                  Hits All Time
As a Fine Wine                            83                                    459      
Fantasitc Reading                        93                                    148
Run Amok                                  35                                      69

Total Adsense Revenue all time:  $3.58
Total Amazon Revenue all time:  $0.00

Although my traffic is slightly up, no change in my revenue.  Hopefully some of the things I'm doing now will change that.

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