Giveaway Downloads on Every Post

It’s a strategy from a guy whose business is business. The kind of internet fauna of which there might be too much of, in the same where there are too many magic wand salesmen recruiting new magic wand salesmen who will recruit yet more magic wand salesmen.

The advice checks out though, here’s how I’ve adjusted it with my own slant of laziness.

Instead of putting a giveaway on EVERY post I’ve decided to spend the time to put these giveaways on the posts that have already proven that have 2 of the 3 following features

  • High traffic through main site
  • High search engine visibility
  • High page earnings

Spending the time to put giveaways only on the posts with a proven track record is sort of an 80/20 compromise. I figure I can get 80% of the benefit of these techniques with only 20% of the effort applied strategically.

I used the HTML code provided which was very helpful. The only coding necessary was the HTML and 1 or 2 CSS changes. In total it took 30 minutes, and will probably be much faster in the future now that it’s been done once. Building the brand new mailchimp campaign took an hour or two and should go much faster if part of the process can be template.

(from my comment on the interview podcast)

Summertime Search Traffic Growth

These are notes for summertime traffic growth for the 3 blogging sites that have so far stood the test of time. I have other sites but these 3 are the most impressive statistic-wise.

I’m planning a 4th site themed similarly to these sites soon so this data will help me plan for future growth.

This is organic search traffic only, which is a minority segment of total traffic.

Time frame is from May 5 to Aug 24 2013 and is calculated by 7-day period. That’s 16 weeks total.

Note: For each chart, first and last data points shown are not used; they are incomplete weeks.

Site 1: Site “B”


week of may 5: 2169
week of aug 18: 3115
growth amount: 946
growth per week: 59

Interesting to note that SEMrush is showing this site losing search traffic over the last 2 months. No sign of that in the actual data….

Site 2: Site “G”


week of may 5: 20
week of aug 18: 203
growth amount: 183
growth per week: 11

Site 3: Site “J”


week of may 5: 62
week of aug 18: 218
growth amount: 156
growth per week: 10


I didn’t realise Site B was growing so quickly. It had seemed to be plateauing compared with the other 2 sites, but by running the numbers the growth seems significant. It only looks like slower growth in the charts because the week-over-week growth represented as a percentage of pre-existing traffic has actually been much lower than the smaller sites. Babies grow the fastest, but that doesn’t mean they are the strongest.

Bonus Chart – Site “D”

Alright, here’s a bonus search volume chart for a mature site that is popular but rarely updated. This site is a loser in revenue but is kept up as an art piece. Interesting to note how stable the traffic volume is over time while fluctuating wildly week-to-week.


week of may 5: 414
week of aug 18: 363
growth amount: -51
growth per week: -3

Although it looks like this site is shrinking, the 16-week shrinkage of 51 seems to be just within the normal weekly fluctuation. To me this is a positive sign that a blog left to its own devices does not really shrink over time.

Minimum Daily Cost of a Coffee Habit

Summary: Buying high quality but cheap costco beans and drinking 1 percolator pot of coffee per day, my personal coffee habit costs $0.65 per day. I drink as much or more coffee than average, which means that no one’s coffee habit need be more expensive than mine.


Hypothesis: I usually tell people that my daily pot of coffee costs 50 cents per day. That’s always been a rough guess, here I’m going to find out exactly what that cost is and how it compares to my estimate.

Methodology: I bought coffee at the Co-op for more than I usually buy it for at Costco. 326 grams were on sale for 5$ exactly. I bought the tin on July 29, and used it that day. Brittany drank about 15% of it which is usually what she drinks out of each coffee purchase. She gets coffee at work free which is why this number is not larger.

Results: The coffee lasted 5 days. I thought it would last 7 and hoped it would last 10 so reality fell pretty far short of my estimate. For this tin of coffee, cost was $1.00 per day.

However – usually I buy a lot more coffee at a time, netting me a significant discount. I buy it for around 12$ for a 1.2 kilo bag at Costco, and it’s a lot better tasting than the Co-op shit. This cheaper coffee is Kirkland brand, but is actually roasted at Starbucks so it is actually quite high quality.

Based on my 5$ 5-day coffee test, a bag of costco beans will -conservatively- stretch out to 18 days. Dividing into 12$ gives me my final coffee habit figure, 65 cents per day.

That’s 30% higher than what I’ve assumed up to this point, but it’s still a trivial amount. Based on my comprehensive bills-and-rent survival number of 26$/day, kicking my coffee habit would only save 2.5% of my total bills.

I think I’d rather keep the coffee habit.

My Dream of Getting a Real Job

That’s “dream” in the literal sense. I had this dream a few nights ago and wrote it down. I’ll keep it brief because I know that other people’s dreams are just about the least interesting type of story. So here it is, in dream italics.

I had just started working for a tech startup with a weenie of a boss. I think it was my third day on the job. Boss told me he was worried for the last two days because traffic numbers to the site had been low. I guess he expected his new traffic ninja to deliver results instantaneously as soon as my butt hit his cheap office seating. But he was happy because today traffic numbers seemed to be at a record high.

I told him different days of the week were better for visits, and that traffic growth takes time, done right it can take a lot of time.

He admitted he didn’t really understand Google Analytics that much so I told him to sit down I would teach him. Right now if you like.

Sat down to show him and he immediately dismissed himself saying, “haven’t eaten yet today.”  He invited me out to lunch. I accepted We ended up in an enormous dining hall, set up hogwarts style. At this point I realise I forgot to wear a shirt to lunch.

Weenie and I sat across from each other at the table. People in the dining hall were playing a mixer game where you have to write something down on a piece of paper.

Weenie boss is starting to distance himself from me as I talk loudly to the people around me.

I start talking to this girl and tell her that we are in a dream, because I’m not wearing a shirt and that happens in dreams.

Find a bunch of friends from high school and hit it off. Tim and I start impersonating Sean Connery singing a traditional scottish war melody while forcing our way down a crowded staircase. This is despite a sign that clearly states “No Sean Connery beyond this point.”

Nerd Finance

Ever since I learned about Nerd Fitness, I’ve wanted a Nerd Finance.

Nerd Fitness is a popular site that helps motivate 20-somethings toward health by plugging health and fitness into their Super Mario mindset. For example, the Nerd Fitness jogging regimen uses waypoints along Frodo’s epic ring journey to milestone your own daily runs. Now your running has a real tangible goal – being able to proudly proclaim, “I’ve run to Mordor!”

Today I heard the topic for the first Nerd Finance article I would write if weren’t the property of an eager for profits cyber squatter.

The Red Ring

The Red Ring is an ultra overpowered accessory in some 90’s RPG. As soon as you found and equipped the red ring, your character’s power ascended to that of a demigod. The protagonist breezed through the rest of the game effortlessly, slaying the end boss without breaking a sweat.

In finance, the red ring is your retirement nest egg. If you can aquire it early, you get to play your whole life on easy mode, living off the dividends it throws off quarterly. That’s why money saved in your 20s has exponentially more value than money saved later in life.