W2BZ january

W2BZ Blog Update – January

I’m just barely going to sneak this update in before February is over…

January did not start off very strongly. Work proved more demanding than anticipated and really drained my enthusiasm. My goal for the blog is to publish two new posts every week, which was seriously derailed during a 6 week hiatus (Dec 9th – Jan 23) with zero posts. Ack!

For awhile this was feeling like one of those things started in a flourish of optimism only to die on the rocks of tedium. Fortunately, I found some semblance of resolve and have stayed steady on 2 posts per week since picking things back up in late January. Yes, that’s 10 whole posts, I’m such a marvel.

Goals

I’m trying to keep expectations nonexistent for Waiting To Be Zapped, you know, other than wanting it to completely transform my life and identity.

Two concrete goals I have are the biweekly posting schedule and getting to 70 total posts. I read this article that anecdotally determined 70 blog posts is an important tipping point (for their specific blog in 2011) in terms of generating traffic. I’ve really taken it to heart, all in, so I’m going to wait until 70 posts before really worrying about how no one is reading this stuff.

In more subjective goals, I do think my writing is improving. Improving my skills was something of the genesis goal when I started W2BZ and earlier this month I got my first real indication it was happening. In February I published a 3 post series on Social Security that was largely pillaged from previous articles I’d written. Yes, I wrote articles about Social Security for fun.  When I opened them for touch ups I realized they were kind of awful; super hard to read and very sporadic. While I still think I’m not so great, at least I’m better than I was. Progress!

Traffic

W2BZ had 211 visitors and 238 views in January.

January traffic

january traffic by post

The most popular post was Discretionary Dollars Per Hour. I continued my unhealthy love for this post, running a short Twitter ad campaign promoting it (more on that later). I also briefly promoted Discretionary Dollars Per Hour on Facebook in a very well thought out plan to determine the better advertising platform.

W2BZ Blog Update – 2017, December Financial Update, and 2017 Detailed Spending were my only new posts in January. Two people navigated to the About Me page, which is cool in a narcissistic kind of way.

Revenue

Let the good times roll! W2BZ continued its money printing ways and brought in 75 cents in January. My total balance in AdSense is now $4, only $96 more and I’ll get an actual payout!

january blog update

Expenses

I went easy on the ad spending again in January. I’m going to continue focusing on content and getting to the mythical 70 post milestone.

I did try $10 worth of Twitter advertising to very mixed results.

Twitter

january twitter ads

On the surface this looks great! I spent $10 and got 556 link clicks! The 2 cents per link click obliterates the best campaign I’ve ever run on Facebook (8 cents per click). But a major discrepancy should immediately jump out at you… How is it Twitter reports 556 link clicks when WordPress says I had 238 total page views? Adding to the confusion, AdSense reports 335 page views for the same period. Hrm…

january by country Further evidence the Twitter results weren’t so desirable is the breakout by country provided on WordPress. Sixty views from Mexico, 10 from Nigeria, and 9 in Indonesia. I’m also building a nice audience in India and Kuwait. And no offense to the definitely legitimate 5 Guatemalans who read about credit card signup bonuses, but this is not my target audience.

Not only are the Twitter ad results obviously overstated, but the traffic they did manage to drive wasn’t exactly quality, again, no offense intended to the non-English speakers wanting to learn how tough life is in America for a middle-class, educated white male.

I tried another $10 ad campaign in February with some targeting parameters in place, but I’ll save the spicy details for next month’s update.

Facebook

My plan was to also spend $10 on Facebook ads for the same post I was running on Twitter. Some very solid comparison marketing. However, the dismal results caused me to abandon it early.

january facebook

Audience

I’ll close out the “analytical” portion with a brief look at who W2BZ’s fanatical readers were in January.

The largest number of page views came from people who directly navigated to the site. This still completely befuddles me. Maybe I’m overly skeptical, but no one knows about this blog and that 194 number is basically unbelievably false. I mean, 102 of those are probably from me, but who are the other 92 people? Fake news.

Social accounted for 86 page views, a far cry from the 556 claimed by Twitter.

Organic Search blew up in January! Six people found W2BZ through the googs. Whoop! Ok I’m being a little sarcastic, but for real, that’s cool. No one tell me if this number is also a lie, I want to live in ignorance. Actually, considering the average session duration is 49 seconds, no one is going to read far enough down to burst my bubble. Silver lining.

Conclusion

The wind definitely let out of my sails for a while there. Maintaining an after-work dream is more challenging than anticipated. There’s the obvious time and social constraints, but beyond that work absolutely steals my creativity. Not because I’m forced to be creative at work, quite the opposite, work is so tediously stupefying that I’m left with nothing in the tank by quitting time.

Perhaps to truly chase this dream I need to let some people in on it. Like maybe tell friends and family that I’m trying something here. Seems too scary though. I think I’ll keep one foot out the door and save my precious pride. It’s important to play things safe and not let people know you’re putting yourself out there. Right?

Anyway – seriousness. I’m definitely going to keep the ads to a minimum and focus on reliably publishing content. Twice per week, 70 total. That’s my mantra. If I reach those goals and still nobody comes here – well then I’ll start taking it personally.

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