Get more readers by Publicizing on Facebook, Twitter, and now LinkedIn, Too! Want to share your WordPress.com posts with your LinkedIn connections? Now you can! Today we are happy to announce that our Publicize feature connects with LinkedIn. To activate Publicize for LinkedIn, head to Settings -> Sharing in your dashboard and click Connect to LinkedIn. Please note that you need to have a LinkedIn account before you can connect it with your WordPress.com site. After you’ve approved the connection, you’ll see LinkedIn l … Read More

via WordPress.com News

Jim Adcock is a SharePoint Administrator, and blogs about SharePoint at his main blog, Working It Out. He is also Vice President of Launch Pad Job Club, an organization in Austin, Texas, whose mission is help people who have lost their jobs to get the skills they need to land their next job, and to help them cope with the interim between jobs. Consequently, Jim also blogs about career management. Not long ago he served as Secretary on the Austin Software Process Improvement Network Board of Directors, but left the post to look for a mythical creature he’s heard rumors of, called “sleep”. He’s still searching…

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Posted by: Jim Adcock | January 25, 2013

Pareto Would Be Proud

Vilfredo Pareto (1848–1923) was an Italian economist who studied efficiencies in distribution in economic systems.  He is the originator of what has come to be known as Pareto principle and as the 80–20 rule, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsity.

Roughly, the principle has come to be understood as the idea that 80% of your benefit comes from 20% of your resources, or that 80% of your time will be spent taking care of 20% of your responsibilities.

In reality there is nothing magic about the number 80%; it is a general tendency between 50% and 100%, and the same applies to the 20%, as a general tendency between 0% and 50%.  But often the 80/20 ratio tends to be pretty close if not dead on.

Case in point, my main blog, Working It Out.  As of today, I have 131 posts, and I have 130,550 page views.  If we apply he Pareto principle, then 26.2 posts should account for 104,440 page views.

The top 26 (19.85%) posts account for 103,333 (79.15%) page views.  The top 27 (20.6%) posts account for 104,099 (79.74%) page views, and the top 28 (21.37%) posts account for 104,789 (80.27%) page views.

That’s damn close to 80/20.

Jim Adcock is a SharePoint Administrator, and blogs about SharePoint at his main blog, Working It Out. He is also Vice President of Launch Pad Job Club, an organization in Austin, Texas, whose mission is help people who have lost their jobs to get the skills they need to land their next job, and to help them cope with the interim between jobs. Consequently, Jim also blogs about career management. Not long ago he served as Secretary on the Austin Software Process Improvement Network Board of Directors, but left the post to look for a mythical creature he’s heard rumors of, called “sleep”. He’s still searching…

Posted by: Jim Adcock | February 2, 2012

Blacked Out – An SEO Problem?

I have a problem.

I participated in the SOPA blackout on January 18th, locking down my blog posts so that nothing was visible except a notice that the site was down because of SOPA.

WordPress.org created a tool for self-hosted WP sites to use to black out their sites, but didn’t post a solution for their hosted sites at WordPress.com (like my sites) until the morning of the blackout, by which time I had already blacked out my site.

I probably wouldn’t have used their solution anyway, because I wanted to say my own thing about the blackout, which WP didn’t offer as an option – their solution blacked everything out, even any statement you made on your blog about the blackout. But it was moot anyway, I had already blacked my site out at midnight.

I did it by marking all my posts as “private” (except my statement about the blackout), which means that only invited users would see the posts… and I hadn’t invited anyone. While somewhat laborious, it was an effective solution. Then, the night of the 18th I re-enabled my content. Everything went smoothly.

Except, over the next few days, I noticed something strange. Four of my top 10 pages stopped getting traffic.

Not entirely, but the drop was obvious and significant.

Page Average daily page views
Before After
Error: SharePoint List – Cannot Edit in Datasheet, Export to Excel, or Import Spreadsheet  10  0.57
Publish an InfoPath Form to Multiple SharePoint Sites   6  0.07
Use Calculated Columns to Close Technical Gaps in SPD Workflows – Another Solution   4  0.21
Error: The website declined to show this webpage HTTP 403   4  0.07

In the two weeks following the blackout, each post got fewer total views than they got on an average day before.

Something happened, but only to those posts.  Other top posts did not show any drop off, and have in fact increased their daily page views.  Most other posts have stayed about the same.

Much of my traffic is driven by search results.  54% of the page views on my site this past quarter were from search engines, and 68% in the last week.  So it seems fairly obvious that the pages are no longer showing up in search results.

I’m not sure why this happened, especially since the results for these four pages are out of line with all of the other pages.  If anyone can offer clarity (or help fixing the problem!) I would appreciate it!

(In the meantime I am hoping the links on this page will help the pages get re-indexed, or bump up their visibility on the search engines).

Posted by: Jim Adcock | August 31, 2011

The Secret to Getting Blog Traffic

Well, my secret anyway.

I’ve recently bragged about the page views on my main blog, Working it Out.  I have achieved a level of traffic I consider pretty good given the fields I cover, the number of posts I make, and the fact that I’ve only been doing this for a little over two years.

The graph shows the number of hits per week I have generated since I started the blog in May 2009.

You can see that I had a decent start, went through a low period, picked up steam and have steadily increased my traffic, and have had a number of significant spikes in traffic.

The first spike, just to the left of the center of the graph, now looks pretty small compared to the other spikes.  I’ve already written about the self-promotion strategy I used during June of 2010.

The second spike, the pair of tallest columns, came from a blitz of a week of daily posts in a series, along with a strong daily promotional push.  I’ve also written about this strategy.

The third spike, actually the beginning of a long-term rise in my overall traffic, was caused by a new technique – quantity.  I had a burst of creativity at the beginning of the year, with several clever ideas (driven by business needs) that I wrote about and readers and Googlers have responded to.

The fourth spike, the four columns to the right of the graph, represent another tactic – interaction.  In the run up to making the five posts in the series I was writing at the time, I had several conversations on Twitter about the topic in question, soliciting feedback from other Twitter users.  (It also didn’t hurt that the topic I had chosen (SharePoint Governance), in addition to being what I was working on at the time, was and continues to be a hot topic in SharePoint and business circles.)

The seven magic rules for blogging success (IMHO) are:

  1. Post.
  2. A lot.
  3. Understand what your audience wants to read.  (You have identified your audience, right?)
  4. Quality.
  5. Promote yourself.
  6. Interact with your readers and potential readers.
  7. Volume, volume, volume.

What’s the secret to your success?

Jim Adcock is a SharePoint Administrator, and blogs about SharePoint at his main blog, Working It Out. He is also Vice President of Launch Pad Job Club, an organization in Austin, Texas, whose mission is help people who have lost their jobs to get the skills they need to land their next job, and to help them cope with the interim between jobs. Consequently, Jim also blogs about career management. He recently served as Secretary on the Austin Software Process Improvement Network Board of Directors, but left the post to look for a mythical creature he’s heard rumors of, called “sleep”…

Daily post had some interesting comments about post titles.

If you’re interested in more traffic, you should check out this top ten list of tips from Poynter.org. Since they’re focused on journalism, they know a bit about how to write good headlines: “Omit needless words,” said Strunk and White. If you apply that guideline to only one aspect of your writing, let that be headlines. In several of its potential destinations — Google, Twitter, Facebook, etc. — a headline that’s too long will have to be trunca … Read More

via The Daily Post at WordPress.com

This is a topic I have visited before, in my own post What’s In A Name.  Brevity is good, brief and pithy or attention-getting is even better.  Of course, you have to have the content to back it up

Jim Adcock is a SharePoint Administrator, and blogs about SharePoint at his main blog, Working It Out. He is also Vice President of Launch Pad Job Club, an organization in Austin, Texas, whose mission is help people who have lost their jobs to get the skills they need to land their next job, and to help them cope with the interim between jobs. Consequently, Jim also blogs about career management. He recently served as Secretary on the Austin Software Process Improvement Network Board of Directors, but left the post to look for a mythical creature he’s heard rumors of, called “sleep”…

Oooooo… irony!  The word “truncated” in the pull quote got… truncated. 

Posted by: Jim Adcock | August 16, 2011

The Passing Lane

I started blogging in May of 2009.  During the remainder of the year, I logged 3,909 page views on my main blog, Working It Out. 

During all of 2010, I pulled 11,355 page views.

As of today, I have as many page views in 2011 as I had in all of 2009 and 2010 combined.

(These numbers include removal of spam clicks from the counts.  With the spam clicks added, I passed the two-year total last week. The spammers have been busy this year…)

Since I last posted, there have been some adjustments to my predictions:

Joining the 1K Club This Year
Predicted Date Post
September 9
August 31
Resume of Jim Adcock
September 1 6 Tweaking IE 8
October 24 12 Use Calculated Columns to Close Technical Gaps in SPD Workflows – Another Solution
December 12
October 13
Error: The website declined to show this webpage HTTP 403
October 6 24 SharePoint Governance – Why?
October 30 26 Automated SharePoint Site Provisioning Solution – Act One (The Setup)
Joining the 2K Club This Year
Predicted Date Post
November 1
September 21
Add a Unique Auto-Incrementing Column to a SharePoint List
October 26 6 Error: SharePoint List – Cannot Edit in Datasheet, Export to Excel, or Import Spreadsheet
Christmas Day
January 22, 2012
Limiting SharePoint Workflow Due Dates to Business Days
December 13
January 25, 2012
Publish an InfoPath Form to Multiple SharePoint Sites

Also, there were three of the nine items that looked like they might join one of the clubs in 2012 that got pushed back to 2013 or later, and one that looked like 2013 that now seems to be headed for 2012.  And the first entrant into the 3,000 club looks to be the Auto-Incrementing post, much sooner than I could have possibly imagined.

Jim Adcock is a SharePoint Administrator, and blogs about SharePoint at his main blog, Working It Out. He is also Vice President of Launch Pad Job Club, an organization in Austin, Texas, whose mission is help people who have lost their jobs to get the skills they need to land their next job, and to help them cope with the interim between jobs. Consequently, Jim also blogs about career management. He recently served as Secretary on the Austin Software Process Improvement Network Board of Directors, but left the post to look for a mythical creature he’s heard rumors of, called “sleep”…

Posted by: Jim Adcock | July 28, 2011

How to Get More Blog Traffic (via WordPress.com News)

A good common-sense list of basic steps to get more traffic.

As Scott says, “Often you’ll hear about get traffic fast schemes, but we don’t believe in those sorts of things.” Regular readers of this blog (at least, back when I was posting regularly) know that I, too, advocate against get-traffic-fast schemes, instead promoting non-spammy, non-scammy, non-scummy methods of self-promotion.

Give Scott’s column a read!

As soon as a blogger publishes their first post, their first question is: Where’s all my traffic? Everyone assumes they’re the only one seeking attention, when in truth nearly everyone is. It takes time to build an audience and no one gets much traffic without putting in the effort. Here at WordPress.com we want you to get more traffic, and we build features and services to help. It’s been awhile since we’ve told you about them, so here are our t … Read More

via WordPress.com News

Last time I posted about my success (from a statistical perspective), and coming soon I’m going to talk about how I achieved that success.

Jim Adcock is a SharePoint Administrator, and blogs about SharePoint at his main blog, Working It Out. He is also Vice President of Launch Pad Job Club, an organization in Austin, Texas, whose mission is help people who have lost their jobs to get the skills they need to land their next job, and to help them cope with the interim between jobs. Consequently, Jim also blogs about career management. He recently served as Secretary on the Austin Software Process Improvement Network Board of Directors, but left the post to look for a mythical creature he’s heard spoken of, called “sleep”…

Posted by: Jim Adcock | July 27, 2011

30,000

Working It Out, my blog covering my work with SharePoint and my observations about maintaining a career, hit a milestone today in a year marked by milestones.

Today I hit 30,000 total page views (though admittedly a small proportion of those page views – 881 to be exact – were generated by spammers).

Last year, my post “Publish an InfoPath Form to Multiple SharePoint Sites” passed my previous top post (“Tweaking IE 8“) and hit 1,000 page views.  So far this year, four more posts have topped 1,000 hits, and if things continue at their current pace, six more pages will join them before the end of the year.  And four of the posts in the 1K club will move up to to 2,000 before year’s end.

Joined the 1K Club This Year
Date Joined Post
June 9 Limiting SharePoint Workflow Due Dates to Business Days
June 14 Error: SharePoint List – Cannot Edit in Datasheet, Export to Excel, or Import Spreadsheet
June 28 Add a Unique Auto-Incrementing Column to a SharePoint List
July 7 Automated SharePoint Site Provisioning Solution – Act Four (…They Will Come)
Joining the 1K Club This Year
Predicted Date Post
 September 1 Tweaking IE 8
 September 9 Resume of Jim Adcock
 October 6 SharePoint Governance – Why?
 October 24 Use Calculated Columns to Close Technical Gaps in SPD Workflows – Another Solution
 October 30 Automated SharePoint Site Provisioning Solution – Act One (The Setup)
 December 12 Error: The website declined to show this webpage HTTP 403
Joining the 2K Club This Year
Predicted Date Post
 October 26 Error: SharePoint List – Cannot Edit in Datasheet, Export to Excel, or Import Spreadsheet
 November 1 Add a Unique Auto-Incrementing Column to a SharePoint List
 December 13 Publish an InfoPath Form to Multiple SharePoint Sites
 Christmas Day Limiting SharePoint Workflow Due Dates to Business Days

Beyond page views on individual posts, other milestones were passed this year.  On June 24, my total page views for 2011 surpassed my total for all of 2010.  I started my third year of blogging on May 16th, and by July 7th I had more hits in the first 53 days of year three than in all 365 days of year one. 

I expect that by August 15, my total page views for 2011 will exceed my totals for 2010 and 2009 combined.

Before Christmas, at roughly 220 days into year three, I will exceed year two’s total.

Next year, the milestones will continue to fly by.  By day 290 of year three (early March of 2012) I will have exceeded years one and two combined.

Now to work on the next post!

Jim Adcock is a SharePoint Administrator, and blogs about SharePoint at his main blog, Working It Out. He is also Vice President of Launch Pad Job Club, an organization in Austin, Texas, whose mission is help people who have lost their jobs to get the skills they need to land their next job, and to help them cope with the interim between jobs. Consequently, Jim also blogs about career management. He recently served as Secretary on the Austin Software Process Improvement Network Board of Directors, but left the post to look for a mythical creature he’s heard spoken of, called “sleep”…

Posted by: Jim Adcock | June 28, 2011

What’s In A Name?

Continuing my analysis of my recent run of posts on my main blog, Working It Out.

So I was examining some conclusions about the run of posts and the reaction I got to them, and I noticed something interesting, something new.

Here are the titles of the posts in the series:

  • SharePoint Governance – Why?
  • SharePoint Governance – What is it?
  • SharePoint Governance – vs Organizational Culture
  • SharePoint Governance – Your Plan, on a Silver Platter
  • SharePoint Governance – Law & Order

Interestingly, the low performer in my current series is the second post, “What Is It?”.  With the Secrets series, the views dropped off pretty uniformly as the series went on, with the worst drop over the weekend, as one might expect (given that weekends are the lowest performers for me overall).  It is apparent that some people read the initial post or posts and didn’t come back to finish the rest.  Evidently, even I can’t please all the people all of the time.  Who knew?

With this series, there is also some apparent drop off over time.  (It is a bit hard to tell, given that I’m trying to track the posts’ views when their start points are staggered by about a week each, but it looks like the drop-off is much less steep than the Secrets series.)

But that second installment is an anomaly.  What happened there?  I believe it was the title.  Nothing there to grab the reader.  Ho hum, I’ve read that before. 

I haven’t seen anyone ask “Why governance?” before so it has some uniqueness.  “SharePoint Governance vs Organizational Culture” sounds like a cage match (mostly because it is) and everyone loves to see spilt blood (even if only metaphorically).  “Your Plan on a Silver Platter” sure sounds enticing (though I made sure to say “not really” in the promotion – I want to be provocative, not misleading).  “Law & Order” has that blood lust thing again – someone is going to get shot or put in jail.

All of these do a pretty good job of hooking the reader even before they read the post.  But that “What is it?” title has none of that provocative draw.

And apparently it made a difference.

So what’s in a name?  Apparently a lot of page views.  The same blog post by any other name will not get the same results. 

Choose your titles wisely!

Jim Adcock is a SharePoint Administrator, and blogs about SharePoint at his main blog, Working It Out. He is also Vice President of Launch Pad Job Club, an organization in Austin, Texas, whose mission is help people who have lost their jobs to get the skills they need to land their next job, and to help them cope with the interim between jobs. Consequently, Jim also blogs about career management. He also serves as Secretary on the Austin Software Process Improvement Network Board of Directors. He also wants to know why everyone keeps asking him about sleep…

Posted by: Jim Adcock | June 27, 2011

A Little Analysis Is Good For The Soul

I’ve been focused more recently on my main blog, Working It Out, and a few side projects, including helping my daughter get her blog up and running.

It has been a rewarding time.  My side projects have been going well, Emilia’s blog is doing well and she’s all fired up about writing, and Working It Out has been doing very well.

In the vein of “write what you know”, I’ve been writing about my current project, a governance plan for the SharePoint 2010 implementation that we are preparing for.  Unsurprisingly, given the impact that SharePoint has had on businesses (and how easy it is to get SharePoint wrong), governance has been a hot topic recently, and that has translated into quite a few page views, and a few lessons as well.

There were two past sets of postings that produced similar spikes.  A year ago, at the end of June 2010, I published my “most controversial post ever“, It’s No Secret – Optimism In the Job Search.  The promotional push gave me my biggest day to that date, as well as making June and July the two biggest months to that date.

In October 2010, I did a daily series for a week about the Secrets of the Successful Jobseeker.  That series blew the doors off my previous records, moving my biggest day of No Secret to the number three spot, and also taking fourth, fifth and sixth, too.  October was more than the page views of June and July combined.  This, too, was heavily promoted, and benefitted from being a multi-day, multi-post push – there was new promotion every day for a week, readers who read the first post and liked it came back again, and again, and again (and again, and again, and again) during that week.

Lessons learned – provocative sells, as does promotion + frequency.

At the same time I was quietly (and not-so-quietly) building up my inventory of other posts, mostly about SharePoint, tackling issues that I hadn’t seen posted anywhere else, or combining solutions found elsewhere with other ideas to create something functional.  This inventory of content provided a growing baseline of daily hits, page views from people searching for the content I provide.

So this month I started to tackle the governance posts.  I had no idea it would turn out into five posts – my original thinking was maybe two or three.  This series, like my series on a solution to provide automated site creation and provisioning, was posted as I completed each post.  By contrast, my series on Secrets was preplanned as a seven day series, with everything mostly written before I started posting, and the weekend dip taken into account.

Because the posts weren’t clustered as closely together as the Secrets series, the intensity of the page views was lower, but the overall effect was just as strong, or stronger. 

(Lots of geeky stats plus some conclusions after the break!) Read More…

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