One of the first things I did when I started my blog was write “foundation posts.” These posts—on basic concepts, terms, and processes in your field—are really important to build on as you continue to develop content for your blog.
Along with the posts on book design and book construction, I wrote an article about what should be on your copyright page. It’s a simple topic but necessary for self-publishers to get right, and over the years I’ve linked back to that post on many occasions.
That’s one of the great things about foundation posts—they allow you to treat your own blog archives as an article vault to link to. Eventually you build up this rich network of subject-oriented links that can really help your ranking in search engines.
As a new blogger, I had also installed Google Analytics to measure… whatever it is that it measures. To be honest, I really didn’t know.
What I did know was that measuring is important.
A Little History
You may not know this, but I spent some time in the direct marketing business in New York. My design studio acted as the creative department for a direct-response advertising agency, so we developed all sorts of mailings over the years.
In the direct mail industry, you measure everything. Direct mailers invented a lot of the metrics and ideas internet marketers use today, like a/b split tests, conversion ratios, “funnel” marketing, and so on.
Testing is continuous, and you are always looking for little changes that make a difference. If you’re mailing 100,000 messages and you can increase your conversion ratio—the number of people who act on your offer—even a small improvement can mean a huge difference in your results.
So I was naturally very curious about what kind of measurements Google Analytics could provide.
What I Didn’t Know I Was Going to Find
After poking around in the most obvious categories, I found, to my surprise, that the article on copyright was the most popular page on my blog. After all the articles I had slaved over, written and re-written, researched and reported, I thought that was pretty ironic.
This was a real lesson for me as a new blogger: I might think I know what readers will need, but in reality you readers are the ones who tell me what’s important.
Like any good direct response marketer, I sat down and started writing a lot more articles about copyright. Eventually I gathered them together into a PDF ebook that I sell here on my site for $10.00.
That copyright PDF is the most popular item on my site and it always has been. Over the past few months I’ve been selling at least one copy a day.
Do you know that if you can sell 1 PDF a day, you can add $3,650 to your bottom line every year in completely passive income?
But suppose I could improve my conversion? Suppose I could sell 2 or 3 a day? That doesn’t seem like a big leap, does it? And what if I had a few other ebooks?
I think you can see where this is going.
The Secret Buried Deep Inside Your Blog
Creating a sustainable business from blogging and writing is quite a challenge, yet it can be done. That leads me right to Arizona.
Over the years, I’ve continued to poke around in Google Analytics. But there’s a problem with the program: it has way too much information!
Google Analytics seems to measure everything to such a degree it’s completely confusing. Every time I looked at it to check my visitors, or pageviews, simple stuff like that, it just looked like it would take a long time to learn how to really use this tool.
So when I was standing in line at a marketing conference last year in Scottsdale, Arizona, and heard somebody mention “Google Analytics,” I immediately invited the fellow to lunch.
His name is George Gill, and I’m going to be introducing him to you next week. This is really exciting for me, and here’s why:
I keep thinking about that $10.00 PDF. If I hadn’t found that one piece of information in my analytics, I never would have produced the content for that book. Now it’s producing income from the work I put into this blog.
I know that there’s gold in those analytics charts and graphs that are “greek to me” at the moment.
That’s where George comes in.
George says his idea is to help people work less and get more results, and that sounds pretty good to me. On Monday I’ll post an interview I did with him in which he explains some of his approach to this stuff.
If you’re working at running a blog, using your expertise, or creative writing, and you’re starting to build a community, I think you’ll get a lot out of this.
It will be Memorial Day here in the U.S. on Monday, so have a great holiday. And if you’ve gone off to the beach for the day, don’t worry. I’ll leave the interview up on Tuesday as well just so you don’t miss it.