You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own.
And you know what you know.
You are the one who’ll decide where to go.
~ Dr. Seuss
As I sit down to write this post, I feel at a loss – for words, thoughts, focus.
Coming back to running Traffic Generation Cafe is proving to be a difficult task.
Almost feels like my first day of school…
Writing this particular post though is going to be even harder for one huge reason:
It’s time to face the music and see how Traffic Generation Cafe fared financially for the past three months, considering that my personal life required my full attention leaving very little time to run my business.
- Is there such a thing as passive online income?
- Is running your own online business everything it’s rumored to be?
- Do you really have the flexibility of putting your business on the back burner for a while like so many online troubadours would like us to believe?
You are the one who’ll decide where to go...
Let’s see if Dr. Seuss actually has a point here.
Allow me to give you a sneak peak into my life in the past three months first.
A few weeks ago, my husband and I watched Angelina Jolie in “Mr. & Mrs. Smith“.
Sure I had better things to do than watching it… again, but I’ll admit – there’s something very tempting about disappearing into someone’s seemingly perfect and exciting live.
In one of the scenes, Angelina Jolie awakens from her peaceful yet alert slumber looking picture perfect: with no dark circles around her eyes and hair and makeup perfectly done.
I am sure I wasn’t be the first woman to say
“I wish I woke up looking like this…“
And I am sure my husband wasn’t the first man to dreamily say
“So do I…“
Unfortunately, we live in the real world and life does take its toll.
Particularly, after many late nights and early mornings doing whatever life calls for us to do – kids, dead-end job, the constant carousel of cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, dry cleaning pick-up, keeping up with the Jones…
In my case, it was a very long journey to moving into our new old (circa 1923) house in San Francisco Bay area from Tucson, AZ.
Disclaimer: I would NEVER, ever, ever, ever allow my husband to take a picture of me first thing in the morning.
The only reason you are seeing these pictures is the fact that I decided it might be good for business.
Nothing like posting a embarrassing image in hopes to draw traffic to Traffic Generation Cafe.
I had no idea I had this in me…
Take a look at this image from one of my favorite movies – “The Wedding Singer“; you’ll see why in a minute:
Ana here are some vivid images of “BEFORE” and “AFTER” of me and my life in the past 3 months:
Little paint goes a long way, doesn’t it?
Let’s take a look at more BEFORE and AFTERs – this time of my blog.
My Traffic at a Glance
Since it’s been three months since my last income report for March, I am going to compare March traffic and other stats to those for April, May, and June separately.
Posts published in March: 11
Main traffic sources:
As you can see, the big chunk of my traffic came from Google – this was still pre-Penquin, mind you.
Also, this was the first time I noticed Bing in the top 10 referrals; Google, watch out?
Posts published in April: 6 (↓ 5)
Main traffic sources:
Even though my post count dwindled to 6, Google still brought in a healthy amount of search traffic – that’s the power of a leveraged traffic source.
AFTER THAT (May):
A WHOPPING 41% drop from March!
And how many posts did I publish in May?
3 ( ↓ 8 from March)
Sure that number stopped many of you from visiting Traffic Generation Cafe as regularly as you used to, and I don’t blame you.
However, let’s take a look at my post-Penguin organic traffic numbers:
HUGE surprise: Traffic Generation Cafe received quite a beating from Google.
Of course, not surprisingly, my Google traffic dropped significantly from that point on, bringing down my overall traffic drop to over 40%.
AFTER AFTER THAT (June):
And last but not least, my traffic numbers for June.
Even though my traffic in June was still 45% less than in March, at least it hasn’t dropped much from May.
Small consolation, but I’ll take it.
Posts published in June: 3.
I am mulling over these numbers right now trying to figure out where to go from here…
And yet again, Dr. Seuss’s wisdom pops into my mind:
You are the one who’ll decide where to go.
Let’s take a look at my numbers for the day I finally found the guts to face the music – coming back after missing in action for 3 months, and see what kind of traffic I brought in with my first after the break post:
874 visits in one day might not seem like much for a blog like mine, but considering it was double of what I’d been getting before, it was a huge victory.
Ahhh, the power of establishing online authority and building your own list!
Driving traffic that day felt like riding a bike…
Speaking of establishing authority: now that I’ve been around the blogging block once or twice, I can tell you with complete certainty -
Successfully establishing your online expert authority will make or break your business.
As a matter of fact, (somehow) becoming an expert on website traffic generation was the single most important factor that helped me to get back on my feet after a long break so quickly AND continue to bring in income while I was painting the walls, updating plumbing and electrical, putting in a new kitchen, etc.
Whether you are just starting online or still waiting for your business to take off, I’d like for you to stay tuned for the next post that will be published at Traffic Generation Cafe (on Thursday I believe) – an excellent guest post from Alan Chatfield of Life’s Too Good on the merits AND practical ways to establish YOUR online authority.
Thumbs Up to These Blogs
Google does what it does.
Always did and always will.
Heavily relying on any one traffic source (especially as unstable as Google) to bring in the bacon is a HUGE mistake.
That’s why you HAVE TO:
- Work on becoming a recognized authority in your niche.
- Build your own list (START NOW, if you haven’t already!)
- Build relationships with your readers and competitors.
- Recognize those who helped you along the way.
I really appreciate everyone who mentioned Traffic Generation Cafe in any shape or form in the past three months.
My special “Thank You” goes out to these blogs who were my top blogging referral traffic sources during my absence:
Nick continues to be one of my top referral sources – thank you, Nick!
Jon Cooper drew my attention a while ago when he published 50 Pages & People Every SEO Should Have In Their Circles, including TGC in that list.
He enticed me to check him out with flattery; he made me keep reading his blog because it was one of the freshest takes on the latest and greatest in link building.
Whatever you did to bring in traffic to Traffic Generation Cafe, Jon (it would help to have a search box on your blog ), it’s much appreciated, Jon!
WPSubscribers is a list building plugin designed by Jenni R; something I’ve been using to build a list on my blog for a while now.
Jenni was kind enough to add my impressions of the plugin to her sales page and it’s been bringing me steady traffic ever since.
Even though I haven’t written for Yaro’s blog in several months now (I need to change that), his blog still sends me a great deal of referral traffic each month.
To say that I like Danny Iny is an understatement.
What’s not to like about a guy who showed us all how to take blogosphere by storm through the power of guest posting, right?
Glad to see that Danny likes me back – thanks for the traffic, my friend!
Show Me the Money
If you really want to see what I actually made in the past 3 months of passively and helplessly watching my business fall apart, that makes the two of us.
However, this post is getting too long as is and I still need to pull together all my financial from various bank accounts, credit cards, PayPal, and Quicken.
So I decided to publish my financials on Friday in a follow-up post to this one; stay tuned for that.
To sweeten the disappointment, here are some fabulously funny quotes I found while looking for an inspiration for this post:
And here’s my favorite:
SNL offers a revolutionary debt and money-management program.
Chris Parnell teaches Steve Martin and Amy Poehler the secret to financial success.
It’s all detailed in a new book called, “Don’t Buy Stuff You Can’t Afford.”
Every debtor in America should read it.
Unfortunately, it does to me…
There’s no such thing as free bacon.
However, next Friday I’ll attempt to figure out my bacon’s expiration date.
Come back to see what I come up with.
And don’t forget to share the pictures with everyone you know – please help to make me embarrassing myself count!