Confessions of a Lazy Blogger

If you are a blogger, you’ll find this post curiously entertaining; if you are a reader, you’ll get a behind the scene sneak peak at what keeps a blogger awake at night!

Going through my site statistics I noticed that the traffic for this blog has been gradually increasing and last month alone, the traffic was almost as much as the entire traffic of in 2010!

That’s a year’s worth of traffic in one month!

I would usually attribute a sudden spike as an anomaly, but considering the traffic has been gaining slowly, I’m quite pumped!

Traffic snapshot this year (taken beginning of Nov)

Statistics for

Traffic snapshot last year

Statistics for

170,000 pages served to 21,000 Unique Visitors just for the month of October
Same time last year: 20,000 pages served to 3000 unique visitors

Building a site with a blacklisted domain

When I purchased this domain last year, little did I know that this site was previously used by some chinese spammer to peddle incense sticks! Or may be that’s an euphemism in China, I don’t know.

That was my impression from the spam I was receiving. Some were in Chinese, some in English and nary a vist from Google. And so in exasperation, decided to write to Google! Like they were going to consider my request from the millions of such requests they get everyday!

But surprise, surprise! I did receive a response back from Big G that they are reconsidering my request and that I should expect a visit! And sure enough, the traffic started picking up – slowly but surely.

Now that the first hurdle was overcome, the next was more difficult. Sustaining the traffic. I must be doing something right to have a consistently growing traffic! I thought I’ll compare my secrets with what’s considered conventional wisdom!

Post regularly, post often

It is generally believed that if your site doesn’t have frequent changes, search engines might stop visiting you. And to keep the site fresh, keep posting often and maintain a schedule.

I would, if I could! I post if I have something to post about and keep fluff posts to a minimum (ok, this one is a fluff post!). The original purpose was to journal my financial successes and failures which I thought readers might find informative *and* to keep a personal record.

I go from one financial project to another and don’t really have a schedule or post frequently for that matter. But that hasn’t stopped search engines from visiting.

Guest posting

The purpose of guest posts is to reach a wider audience and to gain backlinks. Not considering blog swaps or Seeking Alpha syndication, I have a grand total of one guest post!

Not that I didn’t try! One was too busy to respond, the other politely refused! Published them here and both brought a ton of traffic and ironically one of the posts was chosen as the Editor’s Pick in a carnival started by one of the bloggers above!

Guest posting takes a lot of time and effort. Not saying I won’t attempt it again, but not really into it.


That’s short for Search Engine Optimization! Or known as the art of writing for search engines.
moneycone - Google Analytics

80% of traffic from Google! That’s considered pretty healthy. I know there are a number of tools to get ranked higher in search results and this strategy is called keyword research. I’m aware, but don’t use any of them.

I do follow some basic rules, but don’t let SEO dictate what I should post about.

I write about what I do, mostly. Can’t tell you what’s the best balance transfer strategy, since I haven’t done it myself! Plus, too much effort for a lazy blogger!

Social networking

Honestly, I suck at that! Had a facebook page which only I was aware of! Ended up deleting it! I do like Twitter. Requires minimal maintenance, but best of all, it is a great way to discover new blogs. But with Google beginning to index Facebook threads, this may be required at some point.

My take

There are a number of strategies to please the search engine gods and I’m sure if I focus on them I might do even better with the traffic. But I think, none of them triumphs good content.

This one post was tweeted 99 times, liked 300 times and is also the most commented, most linked post in this blog. Incidentally, this post was also the most time consuming. Took me weeks to research the data. Calculator, spreadsheets, historical quotes, calculating returns, checking and rechecking for errors… It was exhausting. But the hard work paid off!

I could spend time SEOing a post or spend time on a post itself. I choose the latter.

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45 thoughts on “Confessions of a Lazy Blogger

  1. Congratulations on the solid growth of your blog. Your numbers tell a wonderful story of how consistent posting with minor fluff can yield great results. I wish you continued success with your site.

  2. You lazy blogger you! lol Way to motivate the masses! haha!
    But I know that after about a year, a website’s traffic will grow exponentially because it’s building on itself from the effort that you put in at the beginning. So you are not really lazy, just reaping the rewards of your effort.
    But maybe it’s time now to start a new site? :)

    • :) Not my intention to demotivate anyone LaTisha! I just think SEO is overrated!

      Time to start a new site? Lazy bloggers don’t start new sites!

  3. These are some fantastic numbers MC!

    How was your adsense in October? :)

  4. I appreciate your laziness in the guest post category! I think guest bloggers dilute the integrity and character of a site. I prefer sites (like this one) that develop and grow a real personality!

  5. Congrats on all your success MC! You always provide wonderful content which makes readers come back for more :P

  6. I also add my congrats! I think your success is due to the usefulness of your posts. You have a talent for explaining the complex procedures and choices available in the world of finance and financial products. I especially liked your write -up on rolling over 401(k)s and would like to add it to my “resources” section.

  7. Congrats; those are some great stats! I’m just curious, why did you purchase the domain from a scammy chinese guy instead of just starting from scratch? (or had it expired, you registered domain and didn’t know until after you started blogging?)

    • You guessed right Darwin! I thought I was registering a brand new domain, but the truth was, this was an expired, blacklisted domain which I didn’t realize till the spam started pouring in!

  8. This is a powerful lesson. Great numbers. Makes me want to rethink my strategy completely.

    • Thanks Hunter! I’m sure SEO has its place and I too follow some rules, just that I don’t put as much effort into it as I should.

      Your content is already top-notch, that combined with SEO could be a winning strategy.

      My intention is not to discourage anyone! :)

  9. Chinese incense sticks?! Really?! I wouldn’t think of that at all when hearing MoneyCone.

    Congrats on the growth of your blog. You are doing well and like DIY said, I think you do so well because of your articles. They are always very interesting to read.

    Wishing you the best going forward.

  10. Wow, those are great numbers! As usual, I like the way you’ve broken it down here.

  11. We are blogging twins in our philosophy MC. I can totally see where you get a lot of search engine traffic though because your posts are so darn helpful that I am sure people search on the terms and end up at your site.

    I am shocked that my SE traffic is around 73 percent. My SEO efforts are as following: write my post, lists some keywords in the All in SEO area, add a description, and I usually link each post to about 4 of my own posts. Pretty exciting.

    I went and looked at my AWSTATS from Cpanel, which is where I assume you found yours. Do you find your AWSTATS are similar to analytics? Because mine are not even close.

    I was just talking to another blogger about guest posting. I just am so busy keeping my own head about water that I just haven’t gotten my act together to do it. (However, I would never reject a guest post from you my friend!)

    The only caveat about the ‘freshness’ thing is that Google just made a ‘Google Fresh’ update where search results reward freshness, or something like that.

    Anyway, this is one of my favorite sites, and you do a fantastic job. I can see why your site is growing so quickly. Congrats!

    • Awstats usually is higher than Google stats, but I tend to trust Awstats more since the data comes straight from the source – my host.

      With Google analytics, till the entire page loads, it won’t register as a hit.

      I read about the ‘Google Fresh’ update! I refuse to play the google dance! :) First it was the invasion of the pandas, now this!

      Thanks much for the open invitation to guest post! Likewise, your posts are always welcome Kris!

  12. good stuff. I currently have a handful of guest posts out there. they definitely increased my traffic quite a bit. But, it is good to see that I don’t have to guest post to get traffic. Right now 70% of my traffic is referred and only 5% from search engines :-(

  13. I don’t think YOU need to post very often. Most of your blog post are filled with great content. As long as you have your subscribers, your readers will come back. And as long as you have great content and SEO, as your Apple post proved, you will gain unique visitors. Great job and keep up the good work!

  14. Wow! Your stats are awesome! What can I say, but GREAT JOB!
    I’m a lazy blogger too and haven’t put as much work into SEO. My SE traffic is at about 40% and have a lot of room to improve. :(

  15. Big numbers man! Nice.

    Can you explain the definition of the 5 columns and where you got them?

    In Oct, each visitor clicked on 4.3 pages on average etc?


  16. Congrats on your year over year stats! Those are some awesome numbers MC. And what a weird thing about your domain and the incense thing. Really nice work on that apple stock vs products post! It’s the best feeling when extra effort pays off. -Sydney

  17. Hi MoneyCone,

    Good stuff! Can you explain the various columns?

    Also, any tips on how you are averaging 8.5 pageviews per visitor?



  18. Sure Sam!
    Unique visitors: Unique IPs logged
    No of visits: All IPs logged
    Pages viewed: Total number of pages viewed across all IPs

    Pages viewed per visitor is around 4.4. (Pages viewed/Number of visits)

    I wish I had a secret recipe I could share on the numbers, Sam! If this happened as a sudden spike, I would be very suspicious. But the growth has been very gradual.

  19. That’s awesome success. I hope to make the same steady climb.

  20. Ya wanna do a guest post on my blog? I could use some good content from someone who’s not a literary writer. If you get inspired to go guesting let me know. I’ll make an opening for you.


  21. Awesome number MC! But your posts are super helpful so that explains the SE traffic. If these numbers are from a lazy blogger, I don’t even want to imagine what it would be if you became.. umm.. less lazy… Congrats!

  22. Those are some awesome stats, MC! Congratulations.

  23. That’s some pretty impressive numbers MC! Maybe lazy blogging and fluff posting is the new SEO. :) Keep inspiring!

  24. Wow, you’re doing awesome! It would be great if I could read more of your lessons learned. It seems like you have plenty of them. Continued success with your site!

  25. All I can say is that those numbers are amazing. your secret sauce is working!! Unconventionally… way to go :)

  26. Congrads. Every little helps on your way to financial independence. How does increase in traffic translate into income?

    On one hand you do need to post regularly but don’t you afraid to scare off regular visitors by to frequent updates?

    Many of us subscribed to a dozen plus sites and surely you do not expect to read 7 articles a day? : -)

    I intentionally try to keep updates regular but unique, to avoid the flooding. What is your strategy?

  27. Very nice traffic growth numbers! I hadn’t seen the Apple post before now and I enjoyed reading that one as well.

  28. Wow you got some pretty amazing numbers there.

  29. 20,000 uniques is amazing. Merry Christmas Moneycone and here’s to a great 2012!

  30. Very impressive, MC! Congrats on getting over that obstacle of the name. Whodathunkit? You’re obviously doing a lot right!

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