Friday, September 28, 2012

A Cure for Entrecard Withdrawl

Who said: "There ain't no cure for the Entrecard Blues"?

Two days ago, I was visiting a few of my favorite blogs and catching up with the authors. As I read Some Assembly Required's Day 1015 post, I was surprised to learn that Entrecard has decided to call it quits. The site is gone. 

Wanting to learn more, I did a quick Google seach and found 4 posts confirming this:
I was surprised that there were not more posts.

My Entrecard Experience
Like other neophyte bloggers, I was trying to attract traffic. I discovered Entrecard and joined the network around the summer of 2008. For nearly two years, I tried to remain active. I dropped on many blogs, trying to hit the 300 a day level. I posted articles about my top droppers and worte posts about Entrecard. I participated in the Entrecard Market and sold "Blog Roll entries" for EC credits.

However, my tenure with Entrecard was shortlived. When I learned that Entrecard began promoting EC currency Online Blackjack, I realized that remaining part of the network could jeopordize my struggling blogging career. Fearing that Google would remove my Blogger blogs and ban me from Adsense, I quickly removed all Entrecard widgets and ceased being a member. That was in March 2010.

At the time, I was lucky because other networks were available. I quickly became more involved in Adgitize and CMF Ads and enjoyed the interaction with the site owners and many of the fellow blogging members there.

Unfortunately, both of those networks closed by the end of 2011.

Growing My Blogs
Since I was not going back to Entrecard, I decided to devote my efforts to the growth of my website and my blogs. Now after 9 months, I believe that I have acheived some modest success.

Site Daily Visitors
(last month)
Highest Daily
Visitor Count
Repeat Visitors
Ask the Blogster7-16 209 10.2%
Lottery Power Picks News 23-728 728 7.78%
John Lottery's Bimonthly22-47 2,470 12.37%
The Traveling Fundraiser0-62 62 25.75%
Lottery Power Picks Website 1,601-2,101 8,137 93.0%

What I learned is that timely content drives the visitors. For example,
  • although my lottery blogs and website do not generate large numbers of daily visitors, when the Mega Millions jackpot reached the $600 million level, everyone was interested in searching for information about Mega Millions. Having previously written a variety of blog posts and creating analytic tools, my sites provided the people with the information they were looking for.
  • The Traveling Fundraiser provides a summary of President Obama's weekly schedule. Since this information is available on most of the large blogs, few people visit my site. But, when I wrote about the Jay-Z champagne tower last week, I was only one of the few with pictures of this. My traffic shot up to 209 visitors in one day.
  • Similarily, certain Ask the Blogster posts increased bursts of short term traffic (Steve Jobs, the Government shutdown for two).
While much of my visitor count is relatively low, I am thrilled with their performances because all traffic is organic, and none of it is derived from paid search or clicking networks.

My Advice - Stay Focused and Timely
Regardless of the type of blog you write, my advice for maintaining and growing your visitor base is to write posts that deal with current topics. For example, popular posts on Dave Lucas blog include: Kate Middleton Topless, Beyonce, Wang Jiayun, etc.  These receive a large number of pageviews. 

Many of you write personal diary type blogs. On the surface, these may not attract a broad range of visitors. However, if you can tie in current topics (sports, spring flowers, politics) that are in top searchs, you will occasionally receive a boost in traffic. When that happens, your exposure will be broadened and your visitor base will expand.

Don't Give Up
Although not having consistant daily visitor counts, do not give up. Writing on a regular schedule without a large visitor base can be frustrating, but you will eventually succeed. It takes time to find the right formula that works for your blog, but when a post attracts a large number of readers, you will feel overjoyed and your enthusium will be envigorated.

Keep visiting the blogs that you have enjoyed.  Although I do not visit on a daily basis, I love to read:
Unfortunately, I rarely leave comments, so the authors do not know that I visit. And likewise, I do not know if those authors visit any of my sites. However, I visit because I enjoy their articles and not because I expect their return traffic.  As I become more comfortable in the blogging world, I realize that daily traffic is not as important as having valuable content.


JL .............

Friday, September 7, 2012

Aldon Hynes is running for the 114th Assembly District of the Connecticut General Assembly

I was thrilled to read that our friend and blogging associate, Aldon Hynes, has decided to seek public office and has accepted the Democratic nomination to run for the 114th District seat of the Connecticut General Assembly.

Most of us know Aldon through our blogging networks as the author of the Orient Lodge, a blog about politics, technology, social issues, and family.  During the past 3 or more years, I have enjoyed visiting his site and reading of his life experiences and beliefs.

While I do not always agree with his political viewpoint, I respect Aldon's thoughts and truthfulness. I know his opinions are honorable and well meaning. He is compassionate and is a dedicated family man. Plus, Aldon is a long time Connecticut resident who cares about his community.

Aldon is an intelligent individual with a broad range of skills and experiences. He has worked on Wall Street and is very analytical. He has also worked as a professional blogger covering important stories in Connecticut.  During the past year or two, he has been the Social Media Manager of the Community Health Center in Woodbridge CT.  He is one of the few people who possess both the literary and quantitative skills that would be important in performing the duties of a Connecticut Legislator.

For these reasons, I strongly endorse Aldon Hynes's candidacy and would recommend that he receives your vote.

Although Aldon is a Democrat, I would cross party lines and and cast my vote for him in this coming election.  Unfortunately, I do not live in his state or district, but I am wishing him well. If you watch the his nomination in the video below, you will understand why Aldon is running and why he would be perfect for the job.

Aldon believes that:

 "If you don’t like something,
don’t just try to block everyone else,
come up with better ideas".

Becoming a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives is not easy. The candidates must campaign endlessly throughout their district, meeting the voters and listening to their opinions.  Since I know that Aldon is sincere in representing his community and dedicated to the improvement of his State's government, he will campaign tirelessly.

Aldon Hynes is challenging a seven-term Republican incumbent. Since the State leans toward the Democratic side, and because the House is composed of 99 Democrats and 52 Republicans, Aldon may have a good chance of winning this November. But, he needs your vote.

Once elected, the members of the House of Representatives do not receive much compensation. However, they must work tirelessly, meeting amongst themselves and their constituency. They must give thought to proposed legislation and cast their votes in an unbiased manner.

I believe that Aldon would be a superb addition to the political landscape. He would make a terrific legislator and he will not let you down.

So, if you live in his Connecticut district, I would urge you to vote for Aldon Hynes and give him a chance. He will proudly represent you.

You can learn more about Aldon Hynes and the Connecticut Legislature by reading:

Good Luck my Friend - I Hope You Win!
Note: This is not a political ad, just an endorsement of a friend.

JL ............

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