Category Archives: Blogging

Woopra – The Chuck Norris of Site Analytics!

You know in the movies when they’ve always has this cool laptop with some program on there that seemingly lets him rule the world? You know, they can access whatever they want, hack into things and do cool-looking stuff. Well the little techno-control-geek in me has always wanted something like that, and I’ve got a built in sucker button for anything that looks remotely close.

Well I just got my very own blogosphere-ruling software. It’s called Woopra.

Woopra is the Chuck Norris of Site Analytics.

Woopra makes Google Analytics look like a old donkey pulling a wooden cart with square wheels.

Woopra is free. I am led to believe it is going to remain free as well.

So you’re asking yourself right now, what in the world could be so cool about blog analytics that elicits Chuck Norris-isms? Here’s a screenshot from the dashboard, and then I’ll explain a bit more.

Live stats from Woopra

What you see here is the live dashboard in Woopra. That’s right, I said live. You get to see who your visitors are, right then and there as they are reading your posts, in real time. You see IP, city, country, browser, OS, language, viewed pages, time spent on pages etc. You can tag visitors with nicknames, and you can even initiate chat with them! I tried this just now with a friend and it pops up a chat window in their browser. Very, very cool.

WARNING – If you’re reading this I might randomly start chatting with you!
Please be a good sport! =)

A couple more things about the screenshot above… As you can see at the time it was taken there were 21 people reading my blog, simultaneously. From the graphic under the 21 (to the right) you can see this all happened rather suddenly, and traffic was building at that point. In fact it ended up being about a 20 minute spike of around 45 people in total, nearly all from StumbleUpon. I’d like to know if I somehow made front page or something. So the graphic gives you yet another realtime measure of your traffic volume.

There is a ticker tape that runs along the bottom of the screen, displaying your current, once again, I’ll emphasize current, blog stats. It scrolls along quite happily, just like a stock ticker, giving you the key stats of the day, while also telling you if they are up on the day, or down, and by what percentage.

Woopra tVtP

At the click of a mouse all sort of information is immediately available, and all in a very nice user interface. Popular pages, landing pages, exit pages, outgoing links, downloads, custom events and way more. Woopra even has a full screen mode, which brought out my little Mission Impossible wannabe ideas. It truly is fun to watch a full screen map of the world flickering with hundreds of dots (I’m optimistic) showing the locations of who is on your site, worldwide.

Woopra also has search functionality built into it, so you can search for pretty much any event or thing you can dream of that was recorded. With over 40 different statistics recorded in real time, this should be enough to keep you happy!

How To Install Woopra

Woopra is very easy to install. There is a tiny snippet of code, similar to the Google Analytics code we’re all so familiar with that needs to go into your WordPress blog. To make it even easier, they have turned this into a plugin. So, install the plugin as you would any other, and configure it with your site ID. Now you need to install the Woopra software on your computer. They currently have beta versions for Windows, Mac and Linux, so no sad faces today!

Because the software runs locally on your computer it is very quick – no more logging in and then waiting for slow servers at Google to generate some report or other. Everything is instantly accessible, which adds to the fun.

The Way of the Future

I can only imagine the ways in which this revolutionary software is going to be used in the future. Webmasters can now respond to traffic spikes in real time. I know there must be many good uses out there, especially from a marketing perspective, to being able to initiate a chat with a visitor viewing a certain page. Plus, the sheer fun of being so in touch with your blog and your audience is much more stimulating, even for the average blogger!

If you’ve got a WordPress blog – why not sign up at Woopra.com? It’s free!

If you liked this post, please Digg it, or leave a comment!


The Top 5 Commandments of Blogging

I’ve been working through Rob Benwell’s Blogging to the Bank 2.0 and came across his 5 Blogging Commandments. I thought I would paraphrase them here for you (somewhat heavily), as I think they’re a useful reminder for us all.

1. Imitate Nature. People don’t naturally write with 20% keyword densities! Write naturally, on topic, and don’t stress the SEO too too much. The search engines are looking for real content that people find valuable, and as long as you’re producing that, one way or another, sooner or later you’ll be in them.

2. Add Some Visitor Value. Each post should provide a reader with some value. It doesn’t have to be mind-bendingly brilliant each time, but it shouldn’t be drivel either. Make it something people are interested in reading, even if it is short. RSS vomit is not that something. Make it interesting, and make it you.

3. Make it Sticky. Give people a reason to come back over and over. Make your RSS signup easily accessible, give them something to read, and over time you’ll build up your readership.

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4. Don’t let it Die. Update your blog, even with short posts, from time to time. Dont’ let it stagnate because traffic will as well. Posting every day or week isn’t necessarily necessary, but posting never is a guaranteed recipe for failure.

5. Market = Profit. If you’re out to monetize your blog, make sure you pick your market. Preferably pick one you’re interested in, (that will make writing a much much easier chore) and also pick one with good sales potential.

Some quickie ideas for market research (more in a future post):

Research keyword search traffic on SEOBook.com. Research available affiliate opportunities (ie on Clickbank). Find out whether people are talking about your niche online (search google for your topic + “forum”). Check Amazon to see if the market is selling products like hotcakes, and if so, what complimentary products are those customers buying?

3 Simple SEO Tips for Bloggers

Are you one of those people, like me, that writes a post then changes it 10 times immediately afterwards? Perhaps not. Nevertheless, it is important from an SEO standpoint to choose how you want things to look from the search engine and post with this in mind. Here’s a few tips:

1. Pick a catchy title that will stand out in a crowd of search results. Even if you make it to the first page, if you don’t have a title that elicits interest, nobody will click.

2. Write your title after your post. Perhaps you’re less rabit brained than I tend to be, but many times I’ve sat down to write on a topic and it rabbit-trails into something else. My original title is not really well suited any longer, and needs to be changed. Save yourself the hassle, write the post, then write a title. Students: You don’t write a summary before you write the paper do you? (Don’t answer that).

3. Use a plugin like the All in One SEO pack for WordPress. It plugs in seamlessly and allows you, right in your post editor, to add meta tags, a meta title, and a 160 character description that will be seen by the search engines. In the description field, try using a portion of one of your more interesting sentences and end with an ellipsis (…) to lead their attention on, into your blog. Having just read the first part of the sentence (if it is interesting), people will naturally want that thought to be completed in their brain, so they’ll click to see what it says.

This is your chance to customize what your search engine entry looks like! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen search results and the “title” is simply a bad list of keywords, and the “description” is basically more of the same. I typically shy away from these results, and go for the ones that look more professional, the ones that are actually coherent! It doesn’t take much effort to stand out sometimes, but it is well worth the few seconds you’ll spend doing it right.

Inserting a YouTube Video in WordPress 2.5

Inserting a YouTube video into WordPress 2.5 is really, really simple, and here’s how: 

Five Simple Steps to Adding a YouTube Video in WordPress 2.5

1. Go to the YouTube page you want to use,

2. Find the text box on the right side with the code in it to embed the clip.

3. Copy that whole line of code.

4. Go into your blog post editor, switch to html view, and paste the embed code in where you want it to appear in the post. 

5. Publish the post, and you’re done!

If you want to play with the positioning or other aspects of the clip, feel free to go back to Visual view and do so. The updated editor won’t screw up your code.

This is a little clip I took of my puppy, Fraser, howling along with me while I played my guitar. I know, it’s completely irrelevant to internet marketing but hey – this is my blog! Anyways, he’s done many more “duets” since this clip was taken, and one day perhaps I’ll post more. Cheers.

How to Get High PR Linkbacks

In my newly found quest to promote this blog and generate traffic, I thought why not submit to a ton of site directories? I found a ridiculously long list of free web directories at lazyurl (they will know if I copy it!! 😉 and I submitted my site to a few. I’m curious – has anyone had any quantifiable success with free directory submissions? Anyways, the sheer monotony of doing that for about 20 seconds caused my attention to slip and I started surfing again.

I stumbled upon the following list of filters one can search Google with, and became immediately intrigued. These links search Google for blogs with a specific PageRank (PR), and apparently filter out all blogs that use nofollow links in their comments (better check them yourself though). That started me thinking. Chris Sandberg once told me that a great way to get traffic and rankings was to post on other people’s blogs; basically become involved in the community. In addition, links to your site from pages with a high PR count for more when Google is calculating your own PR.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no SEO Master; in fact I’m just starting out here. But I can put two and two together. So why not find a blog with a high PageRank, and post it to death? Just kidding, make sure your posts are meaningful.

So here’s that list of Google filters. Simply click on the PR you want, and search Google for a topic relevant to your blog, and voila, bang presto – you have a list of sites that have decent PR!

PR 6 – http://www.google.com/coop/cse?cx=01…66:2ziwmhsusja
PR5 – http://www.google.com/coop/cse?cx=01…66:gpfnyqgww54
PR4 – http://www.google.com/coop/cse?cx=01…66:fcvptc3lghk
PR3 – http://www.google.com/coop/cse?cx=01…166:ec1btv16hl
PR 0-2 – http://www.google.com/coop/cse?cx=01…ygwict5bzjo&hl

Now comes the next little problem: hardly any site out there is going to allow you to post a comment on their main page (most likely the highest PR page on the site). So if you posted on a sub page, you might not be getting any value at all, right?

Never fear, there’s a tool for that too!
I found this cool tool at SEOCompany.ca (which has many cool FREE tools) which will check internal site pages for PR. So if you combine the links above with this tool, you should be able to find high PR blog pages that you can post a comment on. Because most blogs use the title of the post in the URL, you can quickly look down the list and even pick a high PR page that is most relevant to your own blog.

Hope you find this useful.