Your Site Logs Can Help You Make A Ton Of Money

Your Site Logs Can Help You Make A Ton Of Money



I’m a​ busy guy. I own several traditional brick and mortar businesses,​ and I spend a​ lot of​ time online. Since last month I’ve been spending a​ lot of​ time working on​ this blog and re-orienting myself on​ the​ Net.

So every morning I let my four dogs out,​ grab a​ cup of​ coffee and toast a​ bagel,​ then run upstairs and get on​ my computer. Some days I need to​ be out of​ the​ house at​ 9:00 AM to​ get somewhere,​ and some days I have nothing but time. Either way there are three things I do every morning after looking over my emails. First I go and post an​ article to​ five different article sites. This ensures that a​ steady stream of​ new one-way links to​ this website is​ being produced.

Then I go to​ my RSS reader and poke around for a​ while on​ the​ forums and blogs to​ see what is​ going on. I keep a​ notebook next to​ my computer and write down anything that I think I can use later. Then I get to​ the​ most interesting and important part of​ the​ morning — I go to​ my awstats page.

Awstats is​ a​ basic site log analysis program that comes with most host accounts. I’ve always wondered how accurate the​ hit counts and other numbers really are,​ but that doesn’t matter because I’m not looking for counts…I’m looking for trends.

Reviewing and understanding your site traffic logs can help you​ make more money by tailoring your site to​ meet the​ needs of​ your visitors.

The first place I stop is​ my average page counts by day of​ week. I’ve noticed on​ AffiliateBlog that the​ traffic starts off strong on​ Monday,​ builds through Wednesday,​ then starts to​ trail off. There’s a​ small spike Saturday morning,​ but it’s a​ classic bell curve otherwise. What does this mean? it​ means that if​ I have something that I think is​ going to​ be well received I try to​ publish it​ on​ Sunday and get my pinging done for Monday. I’ve also noticed that my RSS Feed subscribership follows the​ same pattern. This all makes sense,​ because people start off the​ week strong and end it​ tired — including me.

I breeze by the​ countries and note the​ flags because I think it’s cool. Next I stop at​ the​ section that shows the​ robots visiting the​ site. I make sure all of​ them have been there recently (especially Google),​ and I make a​ note if​ it​ looks like something is​ not right. I recently realized that one of​ the​ minor robots had never visited,​ so I went to​ the​ site and submitted a​ listing. if​ you’re curious about all the​ robots out there,​ go to​ Robotstxt.com and take a​ look. Make sure the​ major robots on​ the​ list have visited your site in​ the​ last month. if​ not,​ you​ need to​ get them there. I’ve noticed that MSN,​ Yahoo and Google (in that order) visit my site the​ most. you​ need regular robot visits to​ ensure your latest content is​ indexed and available to​ prospective visitors.

Now we get to​ the​ fun part — the​ list of​ the​ most-viewed pages. This tells you​ which content people are most interested in,​ and which content isn’t really making the​ grade. the​ most popular post on​ AffiliateBlog has been the​ Ten Top Paying Programs at​ Commission Junction This Week. Oddly enough,​ a​ similar post about Shareasale is​ much farther down the​ list,​ meaning that people want to​ hear about top paying programs,​ but they want to​ hear about Commission Junction as​ well. I always watch for posts that climb up the​ line fast,​ and I always take note of​ them to​ brainstorm another entry that my visitors might like.

I get some search engine traffic but not much,​ so I glance at​ the​ keywords. Judging by some of​ the​ keywords that appear there,​ this section isn’t very accurate.

Still there? Okay…listen up. Here’s where you​ can really multiply your traffic,​ find some compatriots to​ work with and get some terrific insights into the​ minds of​ your visitors. Move down to​ the​ section that shows the​ external web sites that people are coming from. Understand…this is​ where your visitors saw something about you​ and clicked on​ it.

Go through this entire list. I look for blog sites,​ web sites,​ social bookmarking sites (like del.icio.us) and forums that have not appeared before or​ have moved up fast. I click on​ the​ link and see where it​ leads. Then I see the​ context in​ which my website appears.

Just as​ I do for people who trackback my blog (refer to​ it​ in​ their blog),​ I follow each link,​ get an​ email address and send off a​ quick email to​ the​ person thanking them for taking the​ time to​ mention my site. Nothing fancy — just a​ quick thanks is​ fine.

The responses I get back are terrific. I would say that a​ large majority of​ them (80% probably) are responded to​ with amazement that I would take the​ time to​ acknowledge their actions. But why wouldn’t I? if​ someone takes the​ time to​ recommend you​ the​ least you​ can do is​ acknowledge that recommendation and be grateful for it.

I love the​ site list because I find out some really interesting things. For example,​ my trackback to​ Google’s blog when they bought Writely was actually listed on​ the​ Google blog page and brought me some traffic. And I was on​ the​ front page of​ del.icio.us for a​ little while…long enough to​ get some hits that way too. It’s really interesting,​ and it’s really fun to​ go through. Sigh…I am a​ dork.

One last observation…I noticed that the​ people bookmarking my page hovers between 7 - 10%,​ which isn’t bad. My RSS feed list at​ Feedburner hovers at​ about the​ same range throughout the​ month,​ meaning that more people bookmark the​ site than sign up for RSS feeds. I’ve pondered this all month,​ and I’ve decided that a​ large majority of​ my visitors don’t use RSS regularly. That’s why the​ new crimson box at​ the​ top of​ my blog pages has appeared today. I put together an​ email version of​ my RSS feed in​ digest form that I’m going to​ make available weekly.

So there’s a​ ton of​ information out there in​ that log file — you​ just need to​ go over it​ carefully and think.




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