Dear Kirsty … My Site is Sticky & Looking Up

Here’s an open letter to Kirsty, author of the influential affiliate $tuff blog. I’ve been busy of late on a site that is going to get more popular as winter approaches but the site isn’t currently set up with advertising. So I’m asking helpful Kirsty for a bit of advice on how to make a bit more pocket money.

Dear Kirsty,

I’ve just relaunched a site that was badly neglected. It regularly had thousands of visitors daily peaking at 125,000 and I didn’t think anything of it but only recently that figure dropped to a lowly 200.

I’ve removed all of the original content of the site and I have spent the first few weeks of August re-building up the pages based around my previous most popular keywords and images.

After it’s redesign launch four weeks ago, I’m now attracting 1,000-4,000 unique visitors daily looking at between 5,000-22,000 pages and this figure is climbing daily.

August Statistics approximate
I’m not quite sure of the traffic as Servage, Statcounter and Google Analytics are all giving me different results. This may be down to how I am presenting the content. The graph above displays the lowest figures of the three, so it’s looking promising.

Speaking of Google, they have been in touch to say that I can’t promote Google Adsense on the site. You see the content is a bit risque, as you’ll soon tell from my most popular pages:

/drunkcelebs/drunk-celebs-upskirt/
/drunkcelebs/drunk-celebs-see-through/
/drunkcelebs/drunk-celebs-flashing/
/drunkcelebs/drunk-celebs-nipple-slip/

I’m wondering how I can monetise the site. I don’t want to fill it with full adult porn adverts, so is there anything more subtle I could do?

I’m sure many merchants in the affiliate marketing space won’t want to be associated with a site that focuses on drunk celebrities and includes the odd not-safe-for-work image. The site has profited in the early days though from promoting the likes of Figleaves and JackpotJoy with traditional banners.

I’ve also spotted that a link from my Befuddle home page to an rss feed of my shopping site ShopCodes is ranking highly for some voucher code related keywords. So whilst that page was created as an experiment, I think the site has the potential to exploit the retail market.

Google certainly seems to like the influence of it’s status, being eight years old with a PR4 and it’s WordPress formatting.

My pages are being indexed within hours of posting. The quickest I’ve spotted is two hours between page creation and the page to be indexed by Google on page 1 and for someone to search for a celebrity and land on my site.

The site is on page 1 of Google for the following terms if not the #1 spot itself.

# drunk celebs
# drunk celebrities
# celebs
# uk celebs

Who or what can I promote? You’ll see there’s an advert on there for an adult dating site but that is merely a place holder as I want to see what click-throughs it receives. (At the time of writing, it’s got a CTR of 1.02%)

I also know I’ve got a worldwide audience. Visitors from 147 different countries have visited just recently and this is broken down as such …

The UK appears low at 8% but Analytics says the UK accounts for 33% of my traffic and the visitors spend an average of 4.5 minutes viewing content. They seem to stick around 🙂

All the best. Cheers,
Ray

Changing Face of Befuddle

I’ve been sat on the new design of Befuddle for a few week’s now looking for a window to be able to launch it. At the weekend, in an effort to avoid anything tax related, I completely removed all of the old Befuddle content.

I installed the latest version of WordPress, uploaded my bespoke theme and then played with a few gallery plug-ins. With this new format I can easily create a gallery around a celebrity based on the pictures that I’ve had stored for the last eight years.

The site is now live. I’m aware of a few small things that need tweaking which I’ll crack on with during August, once my tax deadline is out of the way. There is one major bug that I’ll be monitoring. Just like this blog there are often WordPress ‘unable to connect to database’ errors. So I may need to move hosts if I feel that will resolve it.

Below, are the subtle different faces of Befuddle. You can see a lot more at Wayback Machine.

This grab from May 2000, just 3 months after the site was named a ‘Yahoo! Pick of the Week’ and I was featured in national newspapers. The content is primarily story driven ie my friends drunken tales. Further down the page there’s a ‘Scooby Doo’ drinking game, which I still get in my keywords list to this day.

Look at this. It’s 2004 and this site has a bit more colour and begins to love itself. The adapted logo tells you the site focuses on drunk celebs. Traffic peaked at 125,000 visitors daily. The stories are relegated to neglected pages. Look on the right to see ‘Trolleyed’, my shopping portal.


Jump to 2007. Ooh that logo is moving on now 🙂 But what happened to that partner site ‘Trolleyed’? Well Shop Codes is the same site as Trolleyed. It just never made any money when it was called Trolleyed! The success of Shop Codes though lead to the downfall of Befuddle. Traffic was at a reasonable 1,000 a day before it crashed and burned in September 2007.


Hello to today! New logo, keeping with the spirit that you’re drunk and a little homage to Paris Hilton. Little content at the moment but I’m in no rush. I’ve got another eight years to enjoy working on my own original first website again.

Better Befuddle Blog Beta

The new design and format of Befuddle, my drunk celebrity picture site, is currently available for viewing in it’s ‘hidden’ location at www.befuddle.co.uk/blog.

Back in March, I took stock of the existing site and realised that it was pretty much pointless carrying on with the existing design and methods.It wasn’t flexible and there was no scope for any enhancements for the site that once had daily traffic of 125,000 unique visitors.

NextGEN Gallery

So I thought I’d give WordPress a go. I installed it and set about looking for some plug-ins to create and manage galleries online. Alex Rabe’s NextGEN Gallery does most of everything I need it to, including adding watermarks to images.

I created several posts based on the remaining picture content that I still had on my Befuddle and Drunk Celebs domains. Most of that content had to be deleted back in September when there was the malware warning.

I back-dated the posts, so I’ve now got some content in the new format dated December 2003.

Adult Design Evolution

Once I established that I could manage galleries and posts within WordPress I needed a new theme. I searched for adult WordPress themes and on 19th March found Adult Design Evolution.

I entered my project details in their site for a quotation and received:

  • Custom Cartoon Design: $75
  • Logo Design: $125
  • Custom Blog Design: $175

I received personal emails from Laurentiu of their sales and marketing team and he sent me questionnaires so that I could write down the specifics of my requirements.

I received a new Befuddle logo, which you’ve already commented that you like. I said I wanted something in the same colours as the original and that “it should be a fun font or give the impression that the site doesnt take itself seriously”.

I got a custom cartoon design. I wanted a cartoon to show that the site was very much tongue in cheek. I also didn’t want the site to be too adult. So I asked for a suggestive Paris Hilton lookalike that “can show teasing flesh but not be too provocative” and that “the character should appear drunk or carrying drink”. I’m very pleased with the result.

I also got the rest of the blog theme to sit with how I wanted the categories to be displayed and that there was room for advertising banners within the posts and spaces for sponsorship slots on the widths.

I paid half of the fee upfront via PayPal and the final payment once I’d received the final approved designs. It was only when I received the invoice did I realise that I was dealing with a Romanian company Studio DBS.
ADE have been busy so they scheduled my project in for 10th May. On 21st May I was sent an email with a design of how the blog would look. At this point I still had opportunities to raise any issues or concerns.

I wondered if I’d see more than one design but ADE usually work on just one design sample because they can achieve better results than splitting the time and making more versions.

Two days after approving the designs, the blog was viewable as a working sample on their servers. Again I had opportunity to review. At this stage I completed the full payment of $375. Which, with the exchange rate is an absolute bargain!

Beta

I’m not in a position to launch this new design over the existing site yet, as I’ve found a technical fault with my host. Sometimes viewers of this blog see database connection errors and Befuddle, which is hosted in the same place, will experience the same.

I’ll also have little or no Internet access over the next fortnight, as I’m away on business and pleasure, so I am in no rush to launch the new design.

However, take a look around at some Drunk Celebs. Much of the content will lead you back to the original existing site.

Cheers!

Befuddle Teaser

My original site Befuddle has been in a sorry state of disrepair for years now. While I’ve gone off to make big money on my shopping directory site, the poor eight-year old celebrity site has been neglected.

When Google gave it the kiss of death with a malware warning in September the end appeared nigh.

However, I refused to let my great brand die. I culled all the pages, slapped up some Britney and then left it to rot again.

The sleeping giant is only resting though and I’ve made the decision to transfer all the content into a WordPress blog format.

The new site should be live once I’ve got my June holidays and training out of the way and re-populated the content.

You may be wondering about the foot in shot? Well, my site pays homage to Paris Hilton. The drunk celebrity that got my site famous and got me making money online in the first place.

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