Blogging Update: How many sidebars are enough to drive you crazy? and more…

I’ve been looking at redoing my sidebars for sometime on InvestorBlogger. But the thought of doing that really strikes horror into me. There’s so much that needs tweaking. I have five blogs on InvestorBlogger Dot Com, and each of them has two sidebars. Worse: each of the sidebars needs multiple changes!

SideBar Changes: Adsense, Stats, and more…

I’m planning to remove the Adsense from all of my blogs to get impressions back to zero. It’s obvious from the number of clicks, payment rates and so on that my Adsense account has been targeted as ‘underperforming’, or to use Adsense’s euphemism “smart-priced”. I’m not sure what’s covering that phenomenon, but once I reduce my impressions to zero, I can begin giving them a test to see what the source is. Right now, my publisher code is spread across numerous sites.

Financial stats are outdated by more than a month. In fact, in September I easily broke through US$12K earned since I started blogging online! I have now averaged a little under US$500 per month, and recent months have edged towards US$600 in all, though the past two months or so have been weak. But I’m not keeping up with the ads, so I need to find some way to tame the information.

Trimming one sidebar, and standardizing the content much more would also help, as each sidebar appears different. This also makes trouble when widgets need to be pulled. I typically add as much to one widget to cut processing time, so I have to hack the HTML code in each text widget to make sure things are okay. It’s a bummer if I didn’t tag the code properly! I can’t find it! Right now, I need to move the BlogRush code because the BlogRush Project hung up its shoes (not surprisingly).

In future, I think I’m only going to have one major sidebar on my blog, likely on the right. It will it make finding things much easier! But there are other changes afoot.

InvestorBlogger and DollarTravels

I recently merged all my blogs into one ’superblog’, and created URL redirects. I figured it would be much easier to manage one superblog than numerous mini-blogs and each blog would benefit from the ‘traffic’ juice, thus gaining more exposure. The results have been pretty mixed: traffic is up, but I noticed a couple of things that give pause for thought: the sub-blogs are much stickier than the original blog itself; the original blog is ’somehow’ lost … and some traffic is not clicking through in quite the same way. I also preferred having an automatically updated blog. WordPress MU isn’t much fun. Many plugins just don’t work properly. Some of my favorites cause problems for search engines by not working properly.

It seems that I’ve underestimated the hits on traffic to InvestorBlogger as a result of the Google Spank last year. My blog has failed to gain any appreciable increase in PR since then, and advertising revenue has not increased much since then. Some advertisements are sold, but many are not. This all-in-one strategy hasn’t really worked as it has also undermined mini-blogs by not providing a more focused and more ad-ready audience!

So, it looks like I’ll be reestablishing some of the original domains with the original content sometime soon, as well as adding one or two more. InvestorBlogger will remain but minus some of the financial content. It *could* be that InvestorBlogger in its current form is now reaching the end of its useful life: but then I thought that last year, and, if anything, content and traffic are 100% better. So who knows? It is clear that some refining of InvestorBlogger’s focus is becoming necessary at some point.