An Unsurprising Result

December 1st, 2008 · No Comments

It’s interesting that almost everyone you read about will advise you that the key to good blogging is simply to write content that people will want to read.  Everythign else is secondary.  While I would submit that there is almost certainly a tremendous amount of good writing out there going unnoticed, an empirical test here has turned out unsurprising results.

The post that we were the most excited about was <a href=””>Tim Ferriss’ P.O. Box Solution</a> where we actually empirically put his claims to test.  We’ve read in many places about what a great “hack” it is to get a PO Box and use it as a “Suite” to disguise your business address.  It’s a fantastic idea in theory, but certainly failed dismally in our tests.  I was simply thinking today that it’s really interesting that the post we put the most effort into and was the most original wound up being the most popular one as well.

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The World of Niche Sites

November 20th, 2008 · No Comments

Photo by: epicharmus

We decided a while back to enter the world of niche sites. We’re basically pursuing a three tiered strategy in the whole Internet Empire plan:

1.) Look for new small opportunities to try out different things.
2.) Continue to promote our existing sites to learn marketing techniques.
3.) Look for the big hit that will take us big time.

Obviously the niche site falls under area one. The theory is that if we can get a relatively successful niche site in various areas, that gives us a viable way to provide “link juice” for any other sites we want to start. There’s also always the chance that anything we discover in that area can be leveraged to apply to area three. So let’s say that we find a tactic that lets us crank out tons of small niche sites at fairly low cost, then that could actually be a valid overall approach. So the general idea is that the worst case scenario is we get another small property out there that doesn’t require any maintenance.

In order to make a quick test a picked a fairly pricey Adsense term, investing and wrote up a small niche site about it. I have some knowledge in the area so it didn’t take long. I also tried to stick to general education and timeless facts, so that the site wouldn’t have to be continually upgraded. The idea here is to stick this out here, promote it briefly and then let it go.

We did some long tail searches and managed to find a fair number of topics for which we could potentially rank and made these the internal pages. For example, “what is the first step to investing?” and “creative real estate investing.” These are hopefully “gettable” terms that will help create an overall investing site that will generate some Adsense revenue.


The only problem with the site itself is getting its Adsense running. Right now it is a big blank, which I”m hoping is just waiting for the site to be spidered. We’ve had bad luck with waiting around for things to improve when it comes to Google, but I can’t find any other approach other than “wait for it to show up” on the Adsense. The site isn’t in Google’s index yet, so I’m not overly worried. This of course leads to the second problem which is marketing. We’re going to use article marketing, but that comes with it’s own set of hassles, which I’ll discuss next time.

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The Mysteries Of Stumbleupon

November 19th, 2008 · No Comments

Photo Credit: Lall

We enjoy a good mystery as much as the next guy, but...

We enjoy a good mystery as much as the next guy, but…

Stumbleupon has always felt more like a feel-good solution than an actual marketing approach. That being said you always have to consider that possibility that if just one person writes a blog about one of your articles it was well worth stumbling it. We have had some interesting results with Stumbleupon so we thought we’d share them with you.

About a month ago we did our first test with Stumbleupon. We had a post in our Walt Disney World for Grownups forums about your most artistic Disney Photos. It has received by far our best results and is an entertaining thread. I stumbled it, Annie stumbled it and one other friend of mine stumbled it over the course of about 12 hours. As a result we got 220 visitors from stumbleupon that day.

Now 220 visitors is an exciting number for us. That far exceeds our usual daily volume by itself. The bounce rate on those visits was 52.27% which was actually much better than I expected. What was a downer was that as far as I was able to determine from the analytics, none of those users ever came back. This was roughly the end result I expected, but it was still somewhat disappointing. On the flip side at least a good influx of people had looked at the post and I thought it was worth trying again.

I didn’t want to annoy people by spamming with lots of posts so I waited until last night to try another attempt. This time we stumbled an article about working remotely from Disney World. I actually thought this article would have a better possibility of “catching on” since this is the kind of thing that sites like Digg go for. I was cautiously optimistic. Once again the three of us stumbled this article, this time within a few seconds of each other and so far, we’ve gotten exactly one visitor. I’m not even sure that visitor wasn’t me, although there seems to be evidence it wasn’t.


About the only explanations I can find for this disparity are:

  • This article was submitted to travel instead of photography.
  • The other post was submitted over a longer period of time. I find this somewhat unlikely however, because I got about 20 visits just from 1 stumble last time.

Overall I’d say I’m considerably less enthused about stumbling than I was before. I will certainly have to try a few more experiments before I decide for sure though.

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