First, let me make clear that despite the title, this post is not about making money from blogging.
It is a play on the recent movie and popular book: Moneyball.
If you aren’t familiar with it, it is the story of how Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane used the principals of Sabermetrics to pick overlooked and low cost players for his team. Using advanced statistics, he was able to cobble together a team that made the playoffs and put together a record 20 game winning streak at a fraction of the payroll the Yankees were paying.
Back in college in the 80’s, my roommate used to buy the Bill James annual baseball abstracts. Bill James was the first guy that used statistics to challenge conventional wisdom. He proved that batting average wasn’t that big of a deal, walks were really important and stolen bases were overrated.
Like baseball, there is a lot of conventional wisdom floating around about blogging. A lot of it is total bullshit. Just look at the stream of drivel which is pumped out from the guests posts on ProBlogger.net. Almost all of those articles share one thing in common: no data. It is all conjecture or anecdotal evidence. (I should say, the posts which are actually written by Darren on ProBlogger are usually pretty good because they usually use data he gathered from his Digital Photography School blog.)
Too many people try to get the secret from superstar bloggers. There is of course no secret. Everyone is going to find a different path, and what works for wont work for another in a totally different niche. I’ve noticed this more and more as I’ve been seeing how my posts have been performing on Facebook vs Twitter or LinkedIn. I’m crushing it on Facebook right now. I’m doing far better than many much larger technology or marketing blogs. However, I don’t get nearly as many tweets or LinkedIn shares. Why? Totally different audience.
Some blogging guru, however, isn’t going to know that. They only have their blog as a reference point and the advice they give is based on what they learn from that site. If you are reading these words, you are probably a content creator. The people who read this site are fundamentally different than the people who read my travel blog. I’m guessing you are more likely to share this post on Twitter than you would on Facebook and you are more likely to comment. I have found that the readers of my site are far more likely to share content via Facebook because most of them are not content creators.
Data is where it is at. You have to know your data. You have to experiment, not only to find out what works but also to find out what doesn’t.
Only you can know your data.
In the last few weeks Amy has been taking a bigger role in helping me select photos to display and helping to figure out optimal times for posting things.
If you can get an extra 100 visit per day from optimizing when you post things, that is 3,000 visits per month. If you can do that in several different aspects of your site and you could be talking a close to 10,000 visit per month boost. That isn’t chicken feed, especially since it doesn’t require doing any more work. It is just working smarter.