Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Reflecting on '12, looking ahead to the new year

I hope everybody is ready for a fulfilling and profitable new year. As BizMojo Idaho has finished its first full calendar cycle, I thought it might be a good time to look at the numbers and reflect on where this all might be going. There have been a lot of highs and lows and lessons learned.

Here's a snapshot from our Google Analytics page, with some numbers and statistics that still mystify me.

Click on graphic to view larger size
All I can say in the end is that 15,393 people is more than the population of Blackfoot (Note: I have nothing against Blackfoot. There are lots of things I love about Blackfoot and I'd be glad to tell you what they are if you want me to post them.)

Marissa Bodnar
In terms of eyeballs, the biggest bump I got all year was in mid-August when I was interviewed as an "expert" by Marissa Bodnar of Local News 8. It was a revelation the way the line graph shot up after that segment aired on the 10 p.m. news. I hardly had time to thank Marissa before she moved to take a job in Portland, Maine, so I'd like to now.

One question I get asked a lot (usually by my mother) is "Are you making any money doing this?" I would like to call your attention to the advertisers on the page, especially Snake River Landing, who has been with us the whole year. I hope to monetize the site more. You might notice the Amazon.com link on the page. Just yesterday I began looking into affiliate marketing after reading a column in the New York Times by David Carr. The story is not about affiliate fees, but about Brian Lam, who found great success on the Web, burned out, left and then came back on his own terms. Worth a read: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/17/business/media/buffeted-by-the-web-but-now-riding-it.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

Content is always going to be the heart of any blog, but I am convinced that in the age of social media the conversation that goes on between the storyteller and the listener is the most important aspect. I sort of knew this when I was writing my weekly column for the newspaper (BizMojo Idaho is basically its online reanimation). People sometimes told me, "When I read your column I feel like you're talking to me," which I considered the highest praise I could receive.

So stay tuned, folks. I predict something will happen this year with the old T.G.I.Friday's on Hitt Road, which now has been vacant for more than a year. Don't ask me to make any predictions about Costco, though.