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Post Popularity vs. Profitability

Post Popularity vs. Profitability

As I was reading over the data for the articles I write it occurred to me that my most popular articles fell into six categories:

  • Lists
  • How to
  • Planning
  • Training
  • Leadership
  • And Temperament

Now, the last four topics, I understand, because those are my areas of specialty. It is the first two that puzzled me.

So, I did a little research. It isn’t just my work that gets a lot of attention when the format is listing and how to. It is everyone. It is a regular phenomena.

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Take a look at the data from your own site and see if this doesn’t hold true. If you don’t track your data (and you really should) with something like site meter, do some surfing around and click on the little multicolored cube on the sites of other people. Then click on their referrals link and scan what you see in the search engine results. It’s impressive to say the least.

It seems that people will read, ping, link, quote and revisit most anything that is written in one of these two forms.

Now, all we need to do is figure out a way to make our content meaningful in these formats and we can retire from our advertisement funds. No…? Well, at least we’ll get a better handle on what our readers are interested in.

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I tested my theory on my own site with a series of “10’s” articles.

Here are my findings. The numbers did not, in fact increase. If anything there was a slight down turn. On the other hand, my profitability increased significantly.

However, since I was concentrating so much on this experiment, I didn’t do two things I usually do that bring in traffic to my site.

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I did not contribute heavily to Lifehack.org and I did not leave many comments on other sites. Those are two things folks like Seth Godin say are good ideas.

It is interesting to note that even though my numbers dropped, the target articles made up five of the top ten articles visited on my site.

The puzzle for me is, if numbers were down why was profit up?

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I’d really like to know how the impact is viewed on the larger scale. Do you notice the same trends in the popularity of the posts on your own sites? What about profitability? Do certain article topics increase the profitability of the advertisements on your site?

Reg Adkins writes on behavior and the human experience at (elementaltruths.blogspot.com).

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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