Category Archives: Blogging

Blogger.com Dropped NevBlog – Traffic Drops By Half

Over the last few weeks I noticed NevBlog was not ranking in Google for any of the keywords previously bringing in lots of traffic (“Starbucks Liquor”, “Neville Medhora”, “Easiest Job In The World” etc…).

Even if you directly typed in “NevBlog” into Google the only thing that came up was other sites and my .xml site feed.

I usually don’t care about the traffic this site gets, but I care about some of the outgoing links, and without the site being indexed, those links were worthless…..I also can’t search for past posts to refer people to…..plus I just wanted to know what the hell was going on!

I thought it was a temporary hiccup in Google’s indexing, but almost a month has passed without improvement. I used Google’s Webmaster Tools and they said my site was being indexed just fine and nothing was wrong.

I casually mentioned it to my buddy Jon Brelig, and being the expert he is….he noticed a Robot NoFollow meta tag on my site. This was NOT on my Blogger template, instead Blogger put it in with the “Blog:Meta:Data” tag

THE PROBLEM:
Blogger.com made me switch to the “New Blogger” which apparently sneakily added a NoFollow tag. I figured there MUST be a setting on Blogger to fix this, but I haven’t found it.

THE RESOLUTION:
Removing the BlogMetaData tag from my Blogger template altogether.

THE FOLLOWUP:
I wrote this and removed the meta at 11:00pm on Monday night (2-26-2007). Just out of curiosity I want to see how long it takes Google to re-index my page for the term “NevBlog“.

Updates

H O U S E O F R A V E – U P D A T E :
Over the last 2 years HouseOfRave has gone from making a few hundred bucks a month in profit to $6,000+/month. However the supplier has been experiencing pains along the way with the increased order volume.

The same problems keep happening over and over and the same excuses are being given over and over. Despite all my best attempts, I can’t get them to fully cooperate with my steps for expansion, so after 6+ years of doing business, it’s time to say goodbye to them as my sole supplier.

HouseOfRave is currently in a state of two different suppliers as I switch sources, and by the end of February I will be completely switched to a new one who is oriented more towards customer satisfaction, fresh products and prompt delivery.

N E V B L O G – U P D A T E :
I believe comments will for the most part be gone from future posts. Comments are entertaining, but for the most part relatively useless. Occasionally I get some good ones, but the majority are a waste of time. I get GREAT emails, but comments are not well thought out and are generally self-promotion for someone else with a blog or some lame remark about blah blah blah…..

L E X U S – U P D A T E :
Lovin’ it!

E D U C A T I O N – U P D A T E :
After not being in school for a while the psychology course I’m trying to finish online before I go to China is uugghhh…..

I’ve been sticking to my schedule, but it’s not fun having read about, take notes on and then answer questions about bunk theories made by Sigmund Freud. Hopefully this course gets more interesting.

T W O – M O S T – I M P O R T A N T – T H I N G S :
The two things I’m most focused on for the next few days will be finishing the psych class and switching HouseOfRave over to the new supplier.

I might even have to ::shudder:: stay in on a Friday night and study.

M O O D – U P D A T E :

I get paid to write this

My streak of not monetizing this blog has ended. Interest.com (Owned by BankRate, Inc.) is now the official sponsor of NevBlog. This means I get paid to do what I already do….update this website.

Of course in return they want something: Advertisements. This works out perfectly because I hate managing advertisements, and they love it.

They pay is pretty good, but I could easily make more by handling my own advertisements (Doing the whole Adsense, text link and affiliate stuff)….however, BankRate and Interest.com bring something else to the table: Giving me exposure.

NevBlog is part personal journal, part fun, part SEO tool and mainly a NETWORKING TOOL. Believe it or not I’ve met some of the most influential people in my life through this blog. Sounds stupid, but very true.

It’s rather obvious there are now ads all over the place, including two visible above the fold:

I get paid $????.?? per month for allowing these advertisements to be placed on my site, plus I get the additional exposure. Since I’ve already met some very influential people solely through this site, I figured additional exposure couldn’t hurt. The money brought in through this arrangement will be divided up into different accounts just like any other income I make.

Thanks to Interest.com and BankRate.com for the arrangement!

———————

Current Asset Update (11-01-2006)

General Account – $ 4,631
Spending Account – $ 293
Spending Account 2 – $ 363
Investment Account – $ 2,741
Bill Account – $ 1,039
Permanent Savings – $ 4,770
Charity Account – $ 318
Stock Portfolio Value – $ 11,107
Roth IRA – $ 6,912
Emigrant Direct – $ 5,020
Total Liquid Assets – $ 37,194

Credit Card Balance – $ 0
Business Holding – $ 13,651
Total On Hand – $ 50,845

Advertisments on Site?

Perusing websites, I see ads all over the place. They usually don’t bother me if done tastefully, and provide the site owner with a source of income. Nothing wrong with that.

If free television stations didn’t interrupt their programming with advertisements, they wouldn’t be around. So it’s a bit of a trade off.

Taking a look at some personal finance websites, I noticed everyone has all sorts of cash-generating items on their site, which are relatively un-intrusive. I’m just curious of the average total amount everyone makes from their sites. For example, I was looking at Consumersim Commentary and took a good look around his site to see where cash comes from.

Just looking above the fold (meaning not having to scroll down), I noticed SIX different pieces of cash-generating website real estate.

At the very bottom of the page, I noticed FOUR different cash generating avenues including lots of text links for PageRank purposes. Based on the requests I turn down everyday for these, I’m guessing these go for between $50 and $100 a month.

I won’t even mention if there’s anything in the middle, as there is unlimited potential for that, especially on long blog pages.

Based on the Adsense Experiment I did a little while back, I could probably make about $500/month from a simple banner above the fold on the left side of the page. Not bad.

NevBlog originated late one night whilst working at the easiest job in the world as a way to track financial progress…not as a tool to make money. Now I am more open to the idea of it bringing in money….sort of.

I’m not going to slap a bunch of advertisements up immediately, but I’m stroking my chin thinking about it. A far cry from my previous anti-Adsense stance!

Hard Drive Crash

The hard drive crashed on my tablet pc two days ago, stuff happens.

Bought a new hard drive from ebay which after shipping cost me about $100. Now I need to find a proprietary Toshiba external CD drive so I can load the operating system to the new drive. Till then, I am using the University of Texas computers for everything….like back in the day! It reminds me of high school how I started House Of Rave from the school computers because my home computer was too slow.

I haven’t backed up the computer for about a month, so I’ve lost all my work/pictures since then……grrr…..but I’ll live.

LESSON TO LEARN: Backup more often.

On a fun scale of one to ten, this rates about a two. Tinkering with hard drives and electronics is always fun, but not as much when you just lost all your work.

Since almost everything I do is internet based, I thought if my laptop crashed it would be the same as my office burning down….but it really hasn’t been. I can still use the UT computers which have all the necessary software I need (Thanks R) and thankfully I do monthly backups, which I should increase to bi-monthly.

The main thing I miss is my email on Outlook. I’m currently back to using webmail to check all my email accounts.

Luckily, the total cost of this hard drive failure after I get everything fully repaired should be under $150.

-Nev

Making up for being absent

It’s been a full month since the last entry, and I feel like I should have tracked it better. I kind of wish this blog was private so I could actually write everything that goes on, but it’s still nice to share.

Anyhow, I was in California for 2 1/2 weeks for business/fun, and the trip was very successful. I spent a total of $2,100 which was slightly over budget, and rings in an average of $123/day. I still feel that’s a lot, because I didn’t pay a cent the entire trip for housing (Thanks to awesome friends).

During the trip I spent over $600 on rental cars. I had to make sure I got full insurance coverage on all the cars since I recently got in a wreck, plus I’m under 25, generally meaning an extra $25 per day….plus you have to fill up your own gas.

My rental car for 21 days after the wreck was taken care of by the insurance company, but I had to pay $315 for the extra insurance ($15/day). I made sure to take this, because if I wrecked the rental WITHOUT insurance, I’d be doubly screwed.

Soon as I got back to Austin, I realized my lease on my summer apartment had expired! I got back to Austin at 1:00am on a Sunday night, and the apartment management had threatened to move my stuff out of the apartment by THAT NIGHT. Obviously I haggled here and there and eventually got them to slightly extend my stay for free, but I needed an apartment FAST.

Craigslist came to the rescue. I now have a larger room in a nearby apartment for only $270/month…and I paid out the entire lease up front, so all the way until December I don’t have to pay a monthly rent. Total was $945 till December 1st, 2006.

Unfortunately I had to move IMMEDIATELY when I got back to Austin, but the Camry was gone, so fortunately my parents gave me their spare van to use for the move. Also with a temporary car to use, I don’t have to go car shopping immediately. Plus I also have my scooter and bicycle to use….and legs….and the buses.

The van actually came in handy because I needed to move quick in one trip, I don’t think the Camry would have fit all my stuff (even though I have very little). It’s not the most fun thing to drive, but it does get me around having to buy a new car immediately! Here’s my new pickup line:

Google Ads Gone

On February 1st 2006 I for the first time put Google Adsense on NevBlog. I begrudgingly did this to fund my charity account, but the ads annoy me more than anything, so I will take them down for a little while.

Selling Pixels made me over $2,000 with just a little work and was more fun/unique than AdSense. However, I do see why people use Adsense. Here are the revenues from my first few days using AdSense:

After the 5th day, revenues were usually pretty low, somewhere in the $1 – $2 range or lower….sporadically jumping to over $10 on some days. The big money days were when I actually wrote about the ads, naturally drawing more attention to them.

Something really going against the ads is they were “below the fold” which means people must first scroll down to see them. I like extremely simple usability, and putting an ad where a navigation menu should go is a no-no to me.

If utilized correctly, people can actually make a decent amount of extra money with AdSense. This would mean positioning the ads correctly and writing about high pay-per-click topics, neither of which I did (or plan to). However, the ads tend to clutter pages and skew what content topics are written about.

This was a nice little experiment with Google Adsense for me. I learned something and came away with a total of $138 for the 28 days of February…..roughly $5/day.

NYTimes Article, Progress Update

An article written by Elizabeth Harris in today’s New York Times mentions me and some other financial bloggers: Psst: Want to Know My Net Worth?

It even has a picture of my………nose, hand and tablet PC.

The main interview was done by Elizabeth Harris about a month ago, and there was a photo shoot done two weeks ago.

Here is a scanned version of the article:


Feel free to copy, steal and use the image.

This NYTimes articles completes one of my goals of being mentioned in 5 major news sources.
On another note….
By September 30th I am planning to upgrade an existing business I own to make more money. So far I have added an SSL security certificate and a added a 1-800 number on my Vonage account.
Some Post I personally like:

I Would Like to Thank the Blog…

I started this site to track my financial life. So far it has done that and then some.

BECAUSE OF THIS SITE, I HAVE:

  • …been able to keep myself fully occupied with business ventures
  • …met a powerful current business partner
  • …have had at least 7 in-person meetings with strangers who found my site
  • …become the #1 and #2 search result for “Starbucks Liquor
  • …become the #1 search result for Financial Blog” (Shameless plug)
  • …have been mentioned in: Yahoo Finance, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times and Business Week
  • …had several business articles published in a newspaper
  • Much, Much More

Thank you Blog. Sorry I can’t tell you everything right now, all my current ventures are confidential for the time being.

Sincerely,

-Nev