Scott H Young

Post One Hundred


It looks like this is number one hundred for posting. That’s almost one hundred full articles, discounting a few of the smaller post updates I had made. Since I average about 2000 words per article that is approximately two hundred thousand words of personal development. The decision to start this blog has to have been the best decision I have ever made in my life, and I say that with complete honesty. Blogging has skyrocketed my growth and allowed me to connect with thousands of other people who share that same passion for getting the most out of life.

Big rounded numbers seem to inspire moments of reflection in our society and I suppose I am no different. I thought I would take this time to step away from my normal updates of personal development information and discuss the past, present and future of this website. In one hundred articles this site has come a long way, much further than I had anticipated. I have set pretty challenging goals for this site so hopefully it will continue to surpass my expectations.

Past

This blog started in late February. I had begun working on Goals! An Interactive Guide in January and I was having trouble doing the written portion of it. I found writing more than a thousand words on a particular subject was pretty difficult and I lacked a particular writing style that I found comfortable. So I decided to start my blog and improve my writing skills as I went to work on the program.

I had initially thought of this blog as being the vehicle to develop traffic for my interactive program. Seeing the incredible successes of many other bloggers, I never considered that my content could really stand out in a purely written medium. So I went to work on my program and blogged as an addition to that.

My first few posts didn’t even get a whisper of traffic. Without any prior web presence to leverage, my first posts had absolutely no one reading. I had no intention of making this a link blog, so I figured I would have to get traffic another way. By posting comments on other personal development blogs and contacting other bloggers in the area I was able to build a slow trickle of traffic. According to the stats package provided by my hosting provider I was getting between 150 and 200 page views a day. Hardly monumental, but I kept writing.

In May my traffic skyrocketed after a link from lifehacker.com took my traffic from about 300-400 page views to 20000 in a single day. Although this traffic leveled off sharply afterwards, I was still left with about 1250 page views and dozens of blogs linking to my Habitual Mastery series. With the sudden success of the blog, I was beginning to think that blogging may be a more valuable route than my program, but I continued on.

From May to this point my traffic has tripled and is growing steadily. Although some days are up and others are down, my traffic continues to rise. I have between a 25% and 50% monthly increase in traffic. Unfortunately, only a small fraction 5-10% of my posts create about 90-95% of my traffic, which means many posts take off while others lie asleep in my archives. Habitual Mastery, Enthusiasm and Energy Management all took off, yielding huge increases in links, while others don’t even generate a comment.

Present

After releasing Goals! An Interactive Guide, I have become convinced that blogging is the correct route for the current moment. Building content and increasing my visibility through writing is probably my best place to focus for right now. My stats package given by my hosting provider tells me that I now receive an average of 2500-3500 page views each day. I suspect this figure may be somehow inflated as my AdSense and Google Analytics accounts show scaled down versions of these numbers. Despite this I am extremely happy with the traffic increases I have been able to generate.

I am also experimenting with different writing styles and formats to see if I can unlock any secrets into the successes of my posts. The distinctions between those posts that give huge boosts of traffic and those that die into obscurity seems to be mostly a mystery to me. I have written a lot of ‘how to’ articles in the past week, and I may experiment with other types of posts. My only theories on what posts work and what ones don’t is that the posts that are successful tend to be fairly basic and general, but also about a topic that isn’t being covered much. Energy management and enthusiasm aren’t wildly original topics but they both gained me a relatively large amount of traffic. If any of my readers has any idea why some of my posts are better than others, I’m all ears.

I recently added AdSense ads to this website. AdSense terms of service forbids me from sharing specific details about my revenue or click through rate, but I will say that there is much work to be done. I hope to optimize the ad positioning so that they provide the least distraction but also are visible enough that users can make use of the services offered from them. I think the ads are fairly relevant to my subject as I often find myself intrigued by their headlines as I browse my own site (AdSense publishers are forbidden from clicking on their own ads).

I plan to ask the AdSense team about how generalized of information I can share with my audience about revenue earnings. I know many of my readers are fellow bloggers who may be curious about my own goals, revenue and success with this blog. Although I have absolutely no intention to turn this blog into a personal diary of myself, the goals and aims for my own growth are often similar to the goals and aims for growth of my readers. As I said previously, my 2008 financial goal is to make $20,000 Canadian annually from this website. I’ll try to insert tidbits of my progress into my regular postings I try to center around you.

Future

AdSense optimization is my side activity for the moment. I have to resist the temptation to switch around the layout every five minutes so I can get a large enough sample to test from. Most of the other publishers I consulted said that a week was a good length of time for a trial, two if the changes are big. The nice thing about AdSense success is it seems to work best when it is the least distracting. You may see some ad changes over the next few weeks as I take steps to try out different layouts.

My blogging strategy has remained fairly similar, write my ass off. Because I don’t have any more major projects on the go, my focus is completely on writing content. I should be able to do 1-2 posts per day and maintain the quality you have come to expect. I also plan to eventually publish the written chapters from my goal setting program onto this blog so those who can’t access the program will still be able to get that information.

Many internet marketers have a phrase, “Content is king.” I’ve come to learn this is complete bs. Content is not king. Value is king. As I mentioned earlier, about 20 percent of my posts have gathered 80 percent of the links for this website. A fact I must have to face is that those posts probably had more value to more people than my other posts. When I was away for two weeks at the start of this summer, my traffic actually went up by 100% because of just a few posts saved over that period of time. This has really made me believe that it isn’t the amount of my posts, but their ability to impact that makes the biggest difference in my overall levels of traffic.

Unfortunately, I have few clues as to why certain posts succeed more than others. So in order to create a few gems, I am going to experiment with variations of posting style and strategy. I’ll also experiment with different marketing techniques to get my content out there and hopefully something will stick. I’ll let you guys know if I discover anything.

Close to a year ago I set two financial goals for my life. My first goal was for $20,000 annually by my twentieth birthday (2008). My second, long-term goal was $200,000 annually by my twenty seventh birthday. Are these goals realistic? Who knows. In just looking at how much my life has unexpectedly changed just in the five months since I started blogging, I think a ten year goal is likely to need adjustment far before it is ever reached. In ten years I may decide that two million dollars annually is a more appropriate target or I may decide to take a vow of poverty, shave my head and live in a monastery ;) . The only problem (or possibly its greatest benefit) of living a life dedicated to growth is that it changes in beautiful, magnificent and bizarre ways you never expect.But I don’t set my goals to reach them. My goals are merely a device I use to accelerate my growth, not an objective in themselves. If I later decide I need to change them, it won’t matter because I was only using them as an anchor of growth, not a milestone. Every day is a milestone for me, I don’t need to achieve a goal to feel that fulfillment. My goals just make sure I stay on track with how I want to grow.

Steve Pavlina’s financial success really inspired me to pursue a different objective than just financial freedom. I really like the idea of conditioning yourself to live on only a small fraction of your earnings and then using the rest of that money to help others to grow. Buying bigger houses, more cars and toys doesn’t fulfill me. But if I could earn enough money to achieve maximum growth with that resource so that I could then use the extra to help others, that would be truly fulfilling.

Above all else, the best way I think I can gather traffic is to continue my own personal growth. The more I read, practice and implement the more I can write about. By truly experiencing growth I have the ability to write about it and help others do the same. By maintaining my commitment to personal development I might very well be doing the best thing possible for my traffic levels.

Thank You

This website would be just a bunch of bytes and data if it weren’t for you. I hope I have been able to help in just a tiny way of repaying you for the help you have provided me. Although I can talk on and on about this being an act of contribution, it is probably best described as an act of pure indulgence and selfishness. The sheer benefit to my own growth from the words I have received from my readers has really allowed me to get the most out of my own life.

I hope that sharing my ideas, experiences and research has given you just a fraction of the immense benefit it has provided me. In any case I wanted to thank you for coming here and reading these posts. I wanted to thank you for sharing with me your own personal stories as you try to build better lives for yourself. Thank you.

So I end this post with a question for all of my readers. I have set a lot of goals and made suggestions for my blog, but what would you like to see from this website and myself from the future?


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11 Responses to “Post One Hundred”

  1. Zach Graham says:

    Incredible article. This article has filled me with more inspiration and motivation to continue to work hard on my own personal development website.

    Even though we both have slightly different goals, I believe we both share one thing in common: a deep desire to change people and help them grow.

    I admire you for your positive outlook and I sincerely hope you achieve your goals.

  2. Scott Young says:

    Thanks Zach. Keep up on your goals and live them with purpose.

  3. Congratulations! I’m a new reader, and also a quick fan of your podcast. Would you mind using a bit larger font on the website? Keep up the good work!

  4. Scott Young says:

    Reality Bytes – Thanks, although its just a blog, no podcast yet. As for the font, I think I’ll experiment with a slightly larger font size. I too find it a tad small, but I use a very high resolution for my moniter so I wasn’t sure whether it was just me. Thanks for the comments.

  5. stealbelow says:

    There is a typo in the first link under the sponsored links in the sidebar.

    Cheers!

  6. Brian Kim says:

    Scott,

    Congratulations on your success. There are only a handful of people who have the stuff to stick it through, to keep going, and to not quit.

    I’ve read your articles, in particular, the Habitual Mastery series. You have a knack of logical flow. It’s apparent you take the time to guide the reader from the first step to the finish line, all the while making complete sense. You also have a good sense of fitting together things you’ve read elsewhere into your flow, and also expanding on those ideas as well.

    A lot of other writers tend to mash all their information together, leaving the reader to question what the point of the post was.

    Keep up the good work and I hope to see more from you. Keep us informed of your financial goals as well!

  7. Juan Pierre Newton says:

    Hi Scott!

    I read every single one of your posts and I like all of them.

    I still could not fathom how such a young guy could have such an advanced mind. I’m turning 28 in four days and I have been told I do have thinking ahead of my age. But I had not believbed it since I discovered your blog. I’m amazed how brilliant, accomplished and focus you are.

    I hope you could answer the following questions:

    Who catalyzed your thinking and disposition? Your parents? Some extraordinary event? Some prophet in your dreams?

    When exactly is your birthday( month and day included)?

    Sex and relationships. Doesit play any role on our quest for meaningful achievements?

    Sincerely,

    JP Newton
    http://www.obscuredCEO.wordpress.com

  8. Scott Young says:

    @stealbelow – Google serves up my Sponsored links, so unfortunately I can’t correct typos, hopefully they will fix the problem.

    @Brian Kim – Thanks for the encouragement. Hopefully my writing will continue to improve and I hope the readers here can continue to get value out of it. I’ll try to insert tid-bits of my own goals into posts to keep you updated although I tread carefully to ensure this blog doesn’t focus on me but on you guys.

    @JP Newton – As to who catalyzed my thinking I can’t really say. Parents, environment and maybe genetics played a role. Even when I wasn’t involved in personal development I was a critical thinker, so I can’t tell you where that came from. My personal development introduction came a lot from Steve Pavlina, but that was in the days when he was still writing articles for independent game development and not blogging.

    I will be 18 on the 19th of August, so in a few weeks.

    Sexuality and relationships of course play an important role in our quest for meaningful achievements. Much of my recent life has been focused on vertical growth, that is to say, goals, discipline and all that sort of stuff. I’m hoping University will turn out to be a great opportunity for lateral growth of which relationships would definitely be a part. I don’t write posts about intimate relationships because I really don’t have any expertise in that area at the moment.

    Thanks for the comments!

  9. RAVEN says:

    The idea’s you share on this blog are helpful beyond belief. It is also an inspiration to watch as you grow. Thank you for sharing your ideas with those of us who are learning so much from you.
    I also wanted to say thank you for another lesson you taught me the last time I left a commit to you. I learned that all capitol letters means yelling. I did not know that until then and although it was a little embarrassing, I used your own words to get over it. “I did the best I could with the knowlegde I had at the time.”

  10. Scott Young says:

    RAVEN,

    Thanks for the comments, I’m glad you find this blog helpful. The all caps thing is a little bit of online etiquette. I could tell by the content of the message that it was unintentional, but most people recognize all capitol letters to indicate that you are yelling something. So if I used it in one WORD it would make that word seem like it is being asserted. A whole message usually implies shouting. Don’t worry about it, I appreciate all the comments I receive.

  11. mani k says:

    Scott,

    You have got a huge fan on the other end of the globe. one day i typed in ‘ how to invest in oneself’ and googled it. i must admit that i was looking at the website address to decide whether to open it or not, but by chance i opend your site whose name suggested nothing about the content. but, i entered in to a gold mine!. thanks for enriching my life.. my daily goal now is, apart form others is to read one post each form your archieves,.

    wishes,,
    mani

Debate is fine, flaming is not. Pretend that this comment form is a discussion taking place in my house. That means I enjoy constructive criticism and polite suggestions. Personal attacks, insults and all-purpose nastiness will be removed especially if it is directed at other readers.

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