Violent Acres (VA) has quickly risen in popularity since it’s coming out party on 27OCT2006. In just about 8 months VA
has hit the top 2,000 on Technorati with a ranking of 1,406 (all rankings are based on the date this post is written).
Compare that to this blog, which launched in August of 2006 – this blog has a ranking of 109,198.
By almost any standard that is phenomenal growth for VA. According to Alexa, VA has a Traffic Ranking of 37,274. Quite impressive.
By comparison, this blog has a traffic ranking of 394,582 (and that number just recently took a big upward bump)
So, how is VA able to sustain the growth rate? Especially considering the VA author recently posted:
My website is proof that you don?t need to make friends online to get readers, ad income, and book deals. I didn?t network a goddamn thing and I pretty much broke every unofficial rule in the stupid blogging handbook. The end result? My website does significantly better than 90% of the websites who write the ?Ways to make your blog? popular lists.
Being curious, I sought the services of the Blog Stat Analyst, Yuvi to do a blog analysis of Violent Acres for me (note – I paid Yuvi for this data).
So, why would I want to pay to analyze someone else’s blog? Well, first off, Yuvi Analyzed already analyzed my blog, so I have that data, but mostly because I am curious – how do you ignore almost all of the usually accepted ways of building an audience and rise so quickly in the rankings?
First, let’s look at the raw stats provided by Yuvi:
Total posts: 174
Posts per Day: App. 0.75
Average Words per Post (wpp): 855 (855 wpp is VERY high – compare it to Engadget at 160 wpp, and this blog at 230 wpp).
The shear length of each post probably accounts for the daily average of just under one post per day (ppd).
Oddly enough, Violent Acre’s has managed this growth even though it does not allow comments, trackbacks but be approved by the blog admin, and the outgoing linking is nearly non-existent for a blog of this ranking. The 174 posts contain only 74 external links. This blog had 857 outgoing links as of 26 April 2007. I average 0.89 links per post. Violet Acres averages 0.5 external links per post. (Yes, this blog is linked two twice by VA, as seen in the chart below – lagesse.org) <click the charts for a larger view in a new window>
So that’s the Stats. Now let’s see what “rules for blogging” VA breaks, bends, or totally ignores!
First we’ll look at the “27 Lessons Learned on the Way to 3000 Visits a Day and 2200 RSS Subscribers” (mostly because the VA author railed against them in the quote at the top of this post). But let’s see which “Lessons” VA may have followed, didn’t follow, etc.
Lesson 1 is two parts. “help people solve a problem” and “differentiate yourself”. VA doesn’t really appear to provide much of the former – VA provides some financial advice, but it’s not really a tutorial site. As far as being different, you can’t get much different than the VA blog. Nothing is safe, or sacred or off limits. Numerous social powder keg issues are discussed – often very bluntly with language that can’t be played on broadcast TV. Partially compliant.
Lesson 2 says it will take 2-3 years to make serious returns from blogging. Unless your blog is Violent Acres. I have no idea what the income is for VA, but based on the traffic one can at least guess what VA could be making. It’s a substantial amount – over 12K/year. Maybe a LOT over 12K year. This is just a guess -but it IS apparent that VA blows Lesson 2 out of the water.
Lesson 3 – Easy to subscribe – yeah, VA does comply.
Lesson 4 – Full feeds. Compliance.
Lesson 5 – Sit on a post until you are sure it’s a good post. No way to validate if VA does this.
Lesson 6 – Be prepared to run out of ideas after a few months – VA has NOT run out of ideas – in fact, I think the site is gearing up, not ramping down.
Lesson 7 – Who you know is important. In VA’s own words, it isn’t. The external linking and lack of comments proves VA does NOT follow this lesson.
Lesson 8 – “Catchy Headlines” and list posts on Social Sites. While VA does use interesting headlines, I see no evidence of VA seeding posts on Social Networking sites. Partial compliance on this rule.
Lesson 9 – Seems a repeat of Lesson 8 to me, but we’ll say VA complies with “make your headline and opening paragraph as compelling as possible.”
Lesson 10 – “Courteously encourage friends, family, and casual acquaintances to vote up and link to your posts.” There is NO evidence of this on VA. In fact, it almost appears as if VA is trying to piss off as many friends and family as possible! I’m calling it non-compliant.
Lesson 11 – “Don?t write every post for the social sites. It isn?t genuine and people get tired of it. My favorite ?A–List? bloggers rarely make the front page of Digg or Reddit.” I doubt VA thinks of these things at all, but I have evidence to support that belief. I’ll call this one “unknown”.
Lesson 12 – Listen carefully to every piece of feedback but don?t be a slave to it. – Not compliant. No comments means little feedback.
Lesson 13 – “Experiment. Take chances. Piss a few people off.” LMAO – FULL Compliance!
Lesson 14 – “Always look for a different angle.” – VA is certainly unique, so I’ll say compliance on this one.
Lesson 15 – “Don?t participate in every meme or trade links with everyone who asks. If linking doesn?t provide value to your readers it?s a bad idea.” Compliant – VA approves every trackback.
Lesson 16 – “Write about your life in a way that?s relevant to your topic. People relate to meaningful personal experiences and it?s a consistent source of material.” – Compliant
Lesson 17 – “Make people think.” – Compliant.
Lesson 18 – “Don?t be anxious to plaster Google Ads all over the place.” – Non-compliant. In the 5 months I have been reading VA, I have seen ads.
Lesson 19 – “Design matters. If your blog looks terrible, people won?t take it seriously.” – This is a crappy lesson. It should have been worded “making it readable” maybe. In any case, the VA blog isn’t too ugly and it is readable. Compliant.
Lesson 20 – “Posting comments on other blogs is overrated. Writing a quality post and politely emailing a dozen bloggers in a relevant niche can do wonders.” – no way to measure if VA is compliant on this. I would bet VA never emails posts to other bloggers. But no way to measure any part of this since the VA author is “unknown”.
Lesson 21 – “Respond to your commenters, especially the ones who disagree.” – No comments = non-compliance.
Lesson 22 – “Obsessively reading other blogs and checking traffic stats are not productive activities. Your time is better spent doing things that actually increase traffic like creating content, doing research, and posting to relevant forums.” – No way to know. compliance unknown.
Lesson 23 – “Once you have a bit of success don?t flaunt it but let other people know.” – WTF does this even mean? It’s stupid as a lesson. I’m discounting this one!
Lesson 24 – “Make use of blog carnivals.” – Non-compliant.
Lesson 25 – “Display your best posts on every page in a prominent location.” – non-compliant (and sites that do that annoy the shit out of me).
Lesson 26 – “Read blogs about blogging.” – since VA blasted this very list of lessons as being “stupid”, I doubt very much VA follows this “lesson”. Non-compliant.
Lesson 27 – “Do what works for you. Be completely genuine. Trying to promote a fake persona isn?t sustainable. People will see through it.” – again this is retarded. “Do what works for you” is a lesson? If it’s fucking working for me I don’t need the GD lesson now, do I? As since the author of VA is unknown it is impossible to know if they are being real, or completely fake – or something in between. I’m throwing this “lesson” out as well.
So let’s see – there were 27 lessons, two I through out (because this is my blog and I can do whatever the hell I want to – see lesson 13).
Of the remaining 25 lessons the breakdown is:
Unknown – 4
Compliant – 10
Not Compliant – 9
Partially compliant – 2
So it doesn’t appear that VA is doing to much to go out and “learn how to blog”. And I think VA has done a great job of ignoring most of what the “blog experts” are saying. I agree that these “blogging lessons” are generally as idiotic as “Guides to picking winning Lottery numbers”. My favorite stupid blogging rule: “Blog, blog, blog” – well, no shit, Sherlock! It took a fucking genius to figure that out. It is like telling someone how to stay alive (“breath, breath, breath”) of how to climb Mount Everest (“climb, climb, climb”).
OK, so now we know that for the most part – beyond technically doing things right, like letting people subscribe, and providing full feeds, VA follows little of the “expert advise”. So what makes VA so compelling? Why is it in the Technorati 2000?
The answer is easy – VA pisses some people off, and thrills others. It is apparent VA has some writing skills, and that VA probably likes to write. VA also keeps people coming back to see what is next – even the ones VA pisses off. And THAT is how you blog your way into the Technorati 2000!
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