'I recently had a blog entry hit the front page on Digg. When the heavy traffic arrived my server locked out the blog directory and I lost about 20K hits! I do not know why this occurred but it was a simple enough fix to make and once I found out about the trouble (I was busy watching a movie at home) I had the blog back up in a few minutes.
Here is what my web server reported to me in regards to being Dugg to the front page:
Average daily hits: 110
Average daily hits while front paged: 12K
Average daily advertising impressions/clicks: 110/8
Average daily advertising impressions/clicks while front paged: 12K/12
* These numbers do not include errors (404/403) or bots hitting my site.
Now, some of you might say, "Oh man, I got to get my blog Dugg to the front page too!" You might want to hold back on that thought.
Yes, Diggers do give you a lot of hits over a short period of time but... Diggers do not click on advertising. Why is this important? Because, if your site is advertising supported you will find a "Digg Effect" hurts you much more then it helps you!
That's right, if your site is advertising supported getting Dugg to the home page hurts you!
"But, how can all that traffic hurt," you ask? Simple. Because Diggers do not click on advertising you will find your "click-through" ratio (or CTR) drops into the decimal range. The CTR is a prime factor in getting paid by the company who puts advertising on your blog. If you have a high CTR you get more money and better ads showing up on your site. If your CTR drops very low you will find the money drops with it.
I've been using Google AdSense for well over a year now, even before I had a blog. In that time I've seen my revenue numbers fluctuate highly based on CTR. There was one day where I only had about 35 impressions but 1 click. This resulted in about $6.00 in advertising that day and a rate of $200 per 1K impressions! It would have been nice to see the impressions run up to the roof that day...
Another day I had 12K impressions but only 45 clicks. This resulted in about $0.12 in revenue.
I do not know how AdSense figures out what rates to pay it's members but what I have learned is that you are much better off with a small number of visitors who click on advertising links then a large number of visitors who don't click on advertising links.
During the recent front page hit on Digg I tried to log in on an hourly basis to both my web server and Google AdSense to see how my numbers looked. It's just terrible to see thousands of hits coming in and at the same time seeing your expected revenue drop.
It's also highly irritating to look at the ads that are attached to your Dugg article and see that they have zero relation to it.
I posted an IT joke story, you might think the associated advertising would have something to do with IT? Nope... The advertising that appeared on the page had no relation whatsoever to IT!
I find this very interesting as my blog covers several topics and the other entries in my blog either generate generic "learn to blog better" advertising links or links directly associated with the category the articles fall under.
My Pokemon articles get Pokemon ads. My programming articles get programming ads. My amusing story about NetFlix gets... advertising about renting movies! So why can't my most hit article get ads that are related to it?
I do not know what advertising *is* being clicked on as Google does not tell. I do not even know which blog entries are generating clicks either. Though, I am now learning about "channels" in Google AdSense that I can create to try and track down where the clicks are coming from.
I'm not going to worry about getting "front paged" on Digg anymore and instead I'm just going to go back to focusing on having fun and providing information that my loyal readers want to read. Blogging for money is not a good reason to blog. It's nice if the advertising helps pay the web server fees but $300 per day in advertising revenue (which I would need to quit my day job) is just not in my future!