Another week in the books for Better Parenting. Lots of stuff went well this week, and a few things didn’t hit quite like I had hoped.
One of the big goals was to try to make the site more “sticky,” so I featured the RSS feed and setup an email newsletter opt-in. I continued to focus on publishing good content with good images, which I think goes a long way with readers. The site already had related posts and popular posts running, which also helps to keep readers on board and looking at more pages. I may change the formatting of that to make it less cumbersome, however.
Anyway, here’s a quick overview of the week’s highlights (and lowlights):
- Continued publishing at least 1 article per day. I think overall the article quality is good. I’m still aiming for continued improvement.
- Search traffic continued to trickle in. Still under 20 search visitors per day, so it’s a small portion of traffic, but it’s better than nothing.
- Commented on a few blogs with the Top Commentators plugin instaled, which added a bunch of links. I try to add value with my comments but still feel a little shady about this approach. As a result, I’ve been less aggressive with this tactic than originally planned. It’s created a trickle of traffic, but the value here is clearly more for the link (and catching the attention of the blog owner), not for an average visitor of the site clicking through.
- Yahoo is now showing over 1,200 new links. Not bad for 2 weeks.
- AdSense continued to provide a little income. CTR is much too low. The new 336 x 280 ad block at the bottom of the post is performing the best.
- I started serving CPA ads via OpenX, but no conversions yet. I’m running Hooked on Phonics and TheCuteKid offers so far. CTR has been better than adsense. Conversions obviously haven’t.
- I was late in getting my newsletter subscription box in place, and that probably cost me a few subscribers. I’m trying to make up for lost opportunity by driving additional traffic to the site now that it’s live (and promoting it with a giveaway).
- Giveaway went live today. Later than it was supposed to, but I’m already getting a good response from it. RSS subscribers and list submissions are growing nicely today… hopefully they stick around and don’t bail once the contest ends.
- I’ll be posting some pointers for running a giveaway in another post.
- Traffic was down. Under 3,000 pageviews this week. I expected some dropoff from people coming to the site to apply for the writing job I posted on March 1. Still, decent traffic for week 2.
The Big Failure of the Week
Not everything goes according to plans. I put $25 towards StumbleUpon Ads to send 500 visitors to my site. I was hoping to make an article go viral… didn’t happen. And the Stumblers didn’t do a lot of cruising through the site. Still, I did get a few email subscribers from the traffic, so not all was lost. It did affirm for me that I need to build the site the right way though — I don’t want flash-in-the-pan traffic. I want to build community. I want to give value. People will keep coming back, promote the site for me, and contribute more if I give them a reason to.
I’m still happy with where things are going, even though this week wasn’t a huge success.
Week 3 Plans
This coming week I’m looking for increased search traffic, increased list signups, and a lot of content being published. As I fill up more categories, I think I’ll be better positioned to pitch a blog network I admire for membership. Leveraging the loyal readers of another blog may help increase loyalty (and community) on my own site.
I’m also going to get my “ground game” going this week. I’m going to pitch the site to a bunch of ladies from church, and try to get them to be active readers (and hopefully contributors). Loyalty begins this week!