I’ve been updating this website for a bit over 15 months now. It doesn’t sound like a long time, but sometimes it feels like it when the gains are small and incremental. If you are a blogger, then you probably know the feeling, you start with such enthusiasm and energy, you fully expect to create something that people will flock to.
You tweak your site to look just right, spend countless late nights crafting the best and most detailed articles you can and do your best to add value and get yourself noticed online.
The pace is fast and furious, posting, commenting, tweaking, optimising and learning as much as you can in the small window of time you can spare once the rest of the house (and most other sane people) have gone to sleep. You pour blood sweat and tears into a post, but as soon as you hit publish you have to start all over again with the next one.
Then reality hits… blogging is bloody hard work, getting visitors can be tough and you second and third guess your intentions and ask yourself why you keep going?
Yep, blogging can be a demoralising past time.
The Yakezie support group
Being strong willed and, lets face it stupid, I thought that I could build my website simply by serving up the best that I could offer. I wrote my heart out for close to a year and had very little to show for it. Finally I decided to swallow my pride and reach out to a group of people that were doing the very same thing as me, only they weren’t trying to do it alone.
The Yakezie network is a haven for bloggers like me that write about personal finance. The group is steadily growing, but already comprises many of the very best personal finance blogger from around the world.
It turns out joining this group had nothing to do with swallowing pride, but just developing some smarts. The site is a wealth of information and the members are some of the nicest people I have ever met.
Luckily for me, I have been able to join the Yakezie Challenge (big shout out to my fellow challengers!). The goal is to lower your Alexa score below 200,000. If you don’t know what this is, it is a simple measure of your sites popularity, but only by people with the Alexa toolbar installed on their browser. If you don’t have this, consider installing it to help me out
Since starting the challenge and interacting more with members from the Yakezie Network, I’ve found a second wind. I’m pumped to continue on my blogging adventure and want to offer as much help and value as I can, this time with company.
What I really don’t want you to know
I have a lot of goals this year, one of them is to do everything I can to increase the popularity of this site and earn a side income, so with the Yakezie energy boost, I’ve decided to be completely open about where things stand.
When I started the Yakezie Challenge, my Alexa rank was over 1.2 million, not very pretty. In less than three months, my rank has dropped to 177K, all thanks to my great support group. For non-bloggers, this is a measure of the popularity of the blog. Although it is potentially skewed anything under 200K is quite good.
I’ve decided to set some number based goals for this site in 2012 and I want to share them here with you. I really didn’t want to share my current stats with the world as I feel they tell a rather sorry tale for the effort I have put in, but they are improving and I’m working on the assumption that sharing will make me more determined (and embarrass me into greater action).
My current Alexa rank is about 177K, this means I’ve been successful in the challenge, but I’d like to see if I can get below 100K by the end of the year. Please help by installing the toolbar and visiting often.
My current Google Page Rank is 2, while my Moz Rank 4.5. If you don’t know what this means, don’t worry too much, it’s more of a vanity thing (but also helps the site). I’d love to see my Goolge PR hit 4 and Moz Rank reach 5 by the end of the year. The best I can do to help is produce good content and hope people like and link to it. If you want to track this on your site or others you can install a toolbar for this as well, I use a Mozilla plugin.
This is the big one as far as I’m concerned and the area that needs the biggest amount of work (which is why I didn’t really want to show you).
According to Feedburner, I currently I have 72 RSS subscribers. I also have a mailing list (you can sign up in the sidebar and get my eBook free) with 48 subscribers, yep that is it. So the grand total is 120 subscribers and possibly less because of the combination.
If you are already a subscriber, thank you, I hope you got everything you wanted for Christmas! If you aren’t I’d love to encourage you to subscribe any way you like. I promise to make it worth your while – feel free to let me know what you want to see via email, twitter (1060 followers), Facebook (a very select group of 28!) or in the post comments as well.
In the month to Jan 3 I’ve had 1089 visitors and 2144 page views (not a lot, but I appreciate them all). This is the big area I want to pick up on and I’ll be trying every tactic I can to make it happen. I’d really like to have a minimum of 5,000 visitors a month by the end of the year and I think it is achievable.
Well I think that is about enough un-boasting for the moment, it is all out in the open now and you know where things stand. I won’t bother you with regular updates, I have better things planned, but I’ll let you know how things go through the year every so often.
If you are a blogger, feel free to share or link to your stats in the comments, unless you are wildly successful – in which case, don’t!
Image by MrBobDobolina