Smashill earnings, stats and thoughts for April 2009

This month has been all work & no p(l)ay. I redesigned my two major blogs, had a lot of work to get done in the offline world, but still managed to update this blog almost every day. It’s been a very successful month for me. Monetary wise this month has been a draught, even though I did make 100$. The funny part is that I won that amount at a contest over at psdfan, and that those 100$ are at the wonderful envato sites. So it’s actually no real cash, it’s a gift for useful stuff.

At my personal blog I ended up deleting all the old and useless content, redesigning it from scratch and writing a few articles. (No mentioning of the url here as I want to keep the projects apart.) It’s been well worth the effort, even though I fucked with the search engine traffic as I deleted a few targeted articles that generated hits. Not that I would have made a lot money out of those, so I have no bad feelings. I love the design and enjoy updating it again, which has more value than a slowly dieing site that has no fresh content. Uncluttering old things is a great experience, it refreshes energies. Everyone should do it every once in a while.

Smashill received a face-lift as well. All green and grassy 😉 It’s been quite a lot work re-designing both sites, but it’s been fun and I like the new looks. The new smashill look is inspired by the thought of growing creative capital like grass grows in the spring.

Project Stats & Earnings

4 files up and running, I uploaded one file, still I have the goal of 10 files… but I decided to add more value to this sites and added loads of freebie textures. Those textures add more value to this site and will probably give me more value than those stock photos. 🙂

As with istock, I just added 1 items to my Zazzle Gallery, this month I did not sell anything, but who cares… I didn’t put much effort into it, but it’s important for me to do this within the next months.
I can leave the sentence I wrote from the last month here: Nothing uploaded or sold this month. Totally neglected this one, nothing new and nothing sold. This is actually one of the places that I will probably leave, as I don’t like it. It feels amateurish and I don’t like to attribute my works with that tag.

Repeating last month’s words: Wonder if I will use that service more often in the future. It sure looks like a great community, but I have not been taking part in it too much.

Twitter is a great tool, generates some traffic towards this site, but moreover the conversations I had over the last weeks were well worth the time and distraction twitter creates. As long as it does not kill my work-flow I will keep it.

Site Stats

Since February 11. 64 Posts and 44 comments were written, I’ve hit the publish button more than enough and slowed down a bit at the end of the month. Taking part in the 31 day challenge and writing posts that I would read myself helped to get more comments & repeating visitors.
Traffic wise it’s been a great ride, as there came more than 700 visitors ending up on over 900 visits! The traffic has been increasing, the referrals going up and the bounce rate going down. Nothing spectacular compared to some big players, but exactly how it should look like.

Sandbox has not kicked in, yet. Even if it would do I probably would no even notice as search does not deliver many visits so far. The few that come by are well targeted and hopefully the content I produce within the next months will attract more & more visitors. Let’s have a look at the analytics stats.


Big ticket items

It’s been a great month, which is a pretty fluffy piece of information. Let’s reveal some details:

  1. The most popular content post has been how creatives benefit from twitter followed by 33 ways to creative capital. The texture posts generated some good overall traffic, but it hasn’t been necessary to write content for them as the textures spoke for themselves.

  2. Top referral has been lost and taken where my textures have been featured in a weekly roundup.

  3. re-branding my old blog – done

  4. redesigning smashill – done

  5. working on my art site – 70% done, should be finished around the middle of the month

  6. marketing this blog – did this through comments, free textures & the 31 day challenge

  7. Smashill hit pagerank level 2, which is decent for a 2 month old blog.

  8. Most important thing to learn this month: 1 link from a related site drives more traffic than 10 comments.

Outlook for May

My bouncerate went down, which is probably due to some great articles and the amount of textures I have been adding. As I am slowly getting regluar visitors and know which content is working, and which isn’t the time to making adjustments has come. Cracking 1000 visits and what’s far more important, I finally want to get more subscribers!
Old goals I have not accomplished so far are 10 files being approved at istock, where I lack 6. Another one are the 5-10 designs at Zazzle. Create more more more more more more. That’s what I am going to do.

The ultimate Twitter meme

…fuck twitter memes… that’s it. That’s the ultimate twitter meme. Enjoy twitter, stop thinking of it as some sort of tool that you can control. You can’t fake it. I really have to rant a bit about this whole “How do you succeed at twitter” party group. How do you succeed at twitter? You succeed in the real world or outside of twitter! That’s how you will get it working for you!
You should twitter for the sake of twitter, there is no right or wrong just useful, unique and memorable or boring and forgettable.
It does not matter how many people you follow, it does not matter how many people follow you. New twitter clients help you to add plenty of people and pretty much ignore them afterwards. The noise twitter creates is obvious, and adding people beyond good and evil is just bad. There are people out there with thousands of mutual friends, they are not even interacting with a quarter of those people on a regular basis. Twitter recently reduced the amount of people you can befriend, and that is a really good thing.

Time to get real

Why on earth would you need 12.000 mutual friends? Easy answer, there is no reason for it. You don’t need a group of 12.000 mutual friends, you will neither keep up with them nor know them all! Do you want to tell us that you read all those messages or actually care about them? Do you think those people care about you? OK you made us laugh there if you meant that seriously.
Let’s assume that you spend 1 minute on a conversation with all of your mutual friends, one minute is not a lot time, it’s pretty reasonable. That would be 12.000 minutes if you treat them all equal… 1 hour has 60 Minutes, 1 day has 1440 Minutes…. 12.000 minutes are roughly 8.5 days. And you seriously would spend 8.5 days to communicate with each of your friends for just ONE single minute? But they are all your friends… yeah right…it’s really time to get real.

The stalker effect

Twitter has some weird stalker effect, people love to follow people who they are interested in. That’s the reason why celebrities have thousands of followers! Do you see them following back everyone? NOPE! You will not benefit if you add more and more people, they will simply ignore you and your bullshit marketing efforts. Add who you like, who seriously interests you and start to interact with them. Start to actually be social and use this tool!
This whole collecting habit is all about marketing yourself Think of a pissing contest or some sick collectors anankastia(yes I did look that word up and there is probably some therapist to fix this addiction).
You will not have more friends if you befriend others. This behavior is like a miserable guy who walks around, meets people and starts to talk to them in a “I have no friends I need a friend” tone. Without knowing them, clinging, afraid to let people go, wanting to please everyone. It’s neither powerful nor useful. Do some character building exercises and come back when you have developed some self confidence. Or stick to this ego brushing twitter behavior. To make thing clear, those needy people might have many people following them, but they have very little influence compared to the real big players.

What to do?

As I mentioned in the first sentence, fuck twitter memes. Use it and have fun. If you really want to leverage yourself start to work on something outside of twitter and watch your followers grow. Twitter is great, but you should not force yourself into another rat race on who has the most followers or friends. It does not matter.

Week of Textures meets Sunday Freebie – Sixin Mixin

Today is the last and final day of the wonderful week of textures, it happens to be the exact same day as the Sunday Freebie. This time you can download 6 different high resolution [4288*2856 px] textures!

Week of Textures – Earth

Welcome to the wonderful week of textures here at smashill. The working week is over, but we are going the extra round! Today you can download four 4288*2856 px photos of the ground we are walking on.

Week of Textures – Sand

Welcome to the wonderful Week of Textures here at smashill. It’s an honour to present you four beautiful sand and stone textures today. Simple, a bit dirty and perfect for almost any grunge design. Don’t hesitate to download them!

Week of Textures – Nature

Welcome back to day four of the wonderful Week of Textures here at smashill. Today we are moving away from the Urban landscape and move the good old mother nature. For shots at 4288*2856 px, free to use for any of your projects. Enjoy.

Week of Textures – Graffiti

Today marks day three of the first official week of textures at smashill. This time you can download 4 different graffiti’s & tags found across the city. (4288*2856 px)