Traffic stats – the red headed step child of statistics, damned lies cloaked inside a slathering of untruth and then wrapped in that un-Godliest of file formats, xls and used to bludgeon all that is sane and rational out of your web strategy. This is the stuff that reduces grown webmasters, those mastadonian throwbacks of an earlier tech era, to tears, and enables the airline magazine reading, conference attending execs to think they actually have a handle on what’s happening.
The truth is that the only true measure is cash. The cold, hard green stuff, the only thing that slays the monthly mortgage beast, or allows us to consume fossil fuels with reckless abandon.
Now the stats for this blog have got me completely befuddled. Yes, I can see what is happening, and I see that all too clearly. The problem is that I have little notion of how I should react.
From the top:
- I notice from from MyBlogLog Stats that I’m getting 300 or so readers a week, up from 50 or so a couple months ago. Google confirms this.
- The primary referer for those users is Google Images, specifically if you search for “sharks” which will show an image from one of my posts from June in the #2 spot.
- My “One and Done” rate is (the site bounce rate) is threw the roof. I have lots of traffic that simply isn’t engaged. They’re coming to the wrong site and leaving.
- That image is in danger of being hot linked all over the web. Google images is the place people generally go to find image for use on their blog, and frankly, it’s where I found the image in the first place. I am worried someone will live link, and I’ll end up getting a huge bill for bandwidth (this site is setup to withstand a visit to the Digg homepage or slashdotting).
Eugene and Tom, tell me I should be flattered. I’m not so sure. Perhaps it’s experience, perhaps its just my inbred belief that things tend to go from bad to worse, not good to better. So what are my options:
- Do nothing – my wife’s beliefs aside, this is not my strong point. I hate inaction…
- Throw in an htaccess rule protecting the images, then sending an adverisement for my site to anyone who links live. Nice idea, but frankly it’s hypocritical. I live link…a lot. I know it’s bad, but darn it, I like having images.
- Go with Tom’s suggestion: start doing more shark content. Darn it, if they’re coming for sharks, then sharks they’ll get. I guess this is a good one, except for the fact that I have little access to shark content. Even though I once was almost shark food…and wear a mako shark tooth around my neck, and have a set of mako jaws on my wall above this very computer, that was caught on my boat while I was captaining, by my father.
- Delete the image and wait for it to drop from Google.
Sadly, here is what I see:
- Writing about sharks = actually making something out of this blog.
- Writing about Social Media = sending lots of smoke up the chimney, and getting readers who’d never, in a million years, click on an advertisement
- Writing about the Death of Print Media = talking to myself – its a dead issue, and no one is reading my posts about it anymore.
I guess if I really thought I wanted to monetize this blog, I’d start writing posts like “Top Ten List of Apple IPhone Apps used by Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton while they were Eaten By Sharks.” Then wait for the diggs to roll in…
That, I think I might be able to do…and for the record, I miss the days when I used to get paid to write stuff like this (and paid well, I might add…)