Here’s One for Working Smarter

| October 29, 2009

As most of you know, I’m a statistics junkie (there, I admitted it). I’ve cut back on the amount of statistics I track because I found that stat tracking could be a full time job.

That being said, I inadvertently ran an experiment. The experiment solidified my belief that it’s so much better to work smarter than harder.

Back in April of 2006 I created a website. It’s a true website and not a blog. The pages are static pages that are not interactive. No comments allowed.

A few years later in January of 2009 I created another website. Well, it’s not really a website, it’s a blog. On this blog I did not enable comments because I wanted to try to re-create the website feeling without having to go through all of the website coding. This blog is also static as it does not allow reader interaction.

Here’s what I discovered about the first 10 months after each site went live.

Site #1
(created in 2006)
Site #2
(created in 2009)
Number of Pages Over 250 23
Number of Page Views 127,224 8,438
Amount of Promotion Digg, Reddit, Mixx and just about every other social media I could think of. Very little
Revenue in 10 months $37.95 $165.21

There are a lot of variables here. When I created the site in 2006 I didn’t know very much about writing for the web. However, the one thing I did realize was that Google AdSense was a powerful earning tool so I tried to get as much content on the site as quickly as I could.

I did manage to populate the site, but it’s quite obvious from the above numbers that I should have taken my time to pick and choose my content more carefully. As time went on and I learned more, I made changes to the site, but I think the initial damage was done.Rodin's Thinker

Don’t get me wrong, it still earns a steady income, but imagine how much more site #1 could have earned if I had used similar tactics to the ones I used with site #2 above.

What I learned:

  • Bigger is not always better
  • Traffic does not always translate into dollars
  • A small niche site can be more profitable than a larger multi topic site
  • Working smarter is much better than working harder
  • Slow and steady beats a wheel spinning frenzy any day

Tags: , ,

Category: Earning Money, Motivation, Niche Sites, Residual Income, SEO

About the Author ()

Felicia A. Williams is a freelance writer and blogger. She spends the majority of her time with her family and writing. If she's not writing or commenting on NJFM, she's either outside smelling the roses or writing articles for one of her other sites.

Comments (9)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Drew Taylor says:

    Hi Felicia,
    I’m a new business owner who, after being on the cusp of greatness with a small manufacturing business must close. My partner fell ill and I made a decision to continue working for myself as a writer online.

    I came upon your blog while searching for some related information and was greatly impressed. I am male, a former U.S. veteran
    (Army & Navy) honorably discharged both times, and also a person of color. I appreciate the wit and candor of your blog.

    You have inspired me and just thought you should know that you made a difference today. Thank you so much! And for the record– I like statistics. Keep up the fantastic work. You made my day.

    • Felicia says:

      Hi Drew and welcome to NJFM.

      I’m glad that I was able to be of help to you.

      It’s funny, my mother-in-law is with me for a while and I tried to explain to her what I do. I’m not so sure she truly understands it, but once I read your comment to her she now thinks what I do is worth while. Thanks for helping me out. 🙂

  2. Wendy says:

    Hey Felicia!

    This is so interesting! Okay, so can I surmise what you did with site #2 is make sure that every page was SEO friendly…is that too private? What *did* you do, exactly, to make it that much smarter?
    .-= Wendy´s last blog ..Feeling A Little Scattered : P =-.

    • Felicia says:

      Wendy, I’ve been trying to track what I did so differently with site number 2.

      I believe there were a host of things I did differently and will try to write about it in depth in a later post.

      The fact that site #2 was focused on one topic instead of 13 sub topics was a big help. Additionally, I used a WordPress template instead of coding it by hand this time.

      SEO did help, but I’m no SEO expert. Well, I guess any SEO is better than none (you need a magnifying glass to find any SEO on site #1).

      Personally, I think the big kicker was that I wasn’t in a rush this time. I took it slow, wrote a little, forgot about the site and then wrote a little more. Now that it seems to be earning consistently, I think I’ll put a bit more effort into it.

      I’m still analyzing what I did to see if I can wash, rinse and repeat it.

  3. Lisa says:

    I’m a stat-junkie, too. it’s nice to know what works, so we’re not wasting time, isn’t it:)

  4. Kidgas says:

    Wow,
    Those are impressive stats. I am shocked by the difference in page views. To think that that the second site probably took less time as well and is earning that much.
    .-= Kidgas´s last blog ..Strategy for Work at Home Moms =-.

  5. prerna says:

    Wow.. That is insightful. Your love for stats is so inspiring. I have to get started on tracking performance and revenue earned in greater detail. Thanks for sharing this:-)
    .-= prerna´s last blog ..Being a Writer : Awards and Appreciation.. And an Interview! =-.

  6. Crystal says:

    That’s quite a difference in earnings, Felicia. How’s the old site doing now?
    .-= Crystal´s last blog ..Make an Easy, Luxurious Tied Quilt for Someone Special =-.

    • Felicia says:

      The old site is doing well, sort of. It brings in a few hundred dollars each month, but I bet if I had been more focused when I created the site, it would have been a goldmine.