Friday, January 16, 2009

Links to Nowhere

A week ago, I left a whining post about how lousy I am at link building.

The real motivation for that post was that my stats showed that I would soon be deleting the 5000th entry from the Community Color directories.

The site currently has 19055 active links. Over a fifth of the web sites that I've added to the site have gone dark already. FYI, I was hoping that the live count would top 20k before deleting link 5k; so I had stopped culling dead links for the last several weeks.

When I saw on my news reader that Circuit City is calling it quits. I decided to make their link the 5000th deletion. This was one of my few advertisers. My stats show that I them 1578 hits and made an astounding $58.17 for the effort.

Removing dead links always makes me sad. In many cases, it means that a person failed to realize a dream.

The primary reason that so many small web sites fail to realize their dreams is that no-one links to small business sites. People tend to get all jealous and link stingy when it comes to their neighbors.

Rather than doing something worthwhile like support the local community, people do silly things like writing absolutely inane posts that contribute nothing to the world. For example, I just read an idiotic piece from a Salt Lake blogger who was mourning the geese lost in the Hudson River crash.

What a Nimrod!

I would never do something like that.

My current focus on the community sites is a feature called Site of the Week. This is really just a blog about local web sites. I do the reviews on weekly schedule so that I can put them in an RSS feed. My stats show that there's current 2933 of these little beasties, and that the reviews have had 1.1 million page views. (When I delete a link, it deletes the review and the stats. I've probably deleted 300 reviews so far). The reviews are all poorly written because it is the link to web site that matters.

My most important reader is a gent named Googlebot. Googlebot doesn't seem to care much about the quality of the writing.

My hope is that people will subscribe to the RSS feed for their town, and might occasionally visit local business, artists, nonprofit or community sites in the feed.

To fund the review program, I made a cheesy little store of the day feature. Today's store of the day is MusicNotes which sells musical scores through the PC.

I estimate that the reviews make about $1 for every 1000 page views. So, I've made about $1,100 from this local site review program.

Speaking of RSS feeds: Blogger recently added a feature that lets people include an RSS feed in the side bar of their blog. As I have no shame, I put the feed rss.gif for the Store of the Day on the side bar of this blog.

All you have to do is pasted the URL of the feed in feed widget found on a layout manager. Blogger will post the most recent 5 entries from the feed.

I invite anyone who wants to promote their local web development community to add a feed for their town in their blog. For that matter, I would be happy to give people access to the review writer for their town if they contacted me.

BTW, The motive behind writing this blog post is to promote an effort to promote local web sites. In a round about way I am practicing what I preach in this blog.

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