Hope for your financial life and beyond

I’m Having a Yak-Attack!

Heart PulseMy hand is resting gently on the mouse, scrolling and clicking. Without warning,  a strange sensation comes over me. My upper body begins to feel a tightening pressure like the whole center of my chest is squeezing inward. The skin on my arm turns clammy, as my hand breaks out in a sweat.

Why can’t I breathe? Where is this anxiety coming from? I’m just working on the computer here.

Ok…settle down…you can do this. Copy code. Paste into widget. Save. Refresh.

Boom! I’m a Yakezie Challenger! Whew…that wasn’t so bad.

My sincere apologies to heart victims everywhere who experienced those symptoms and were faced with a life and death situation. Heart issues have impacted my family on more than one occasion so I certainly don’t employ those symptoms with jest. Only to point out the physiological and emotional tensions I experienced on a minute level as I concluded it was time to push my blogging self once again. Maybe you don’t get nervous about stretching yourself and going out on a limb like this, but I do.

Blogs and their owners progress through stages. Surely these stages vary for each individual blogger, depending on their skill and agenda. My agenda for stage one of my blog was simply to write for one year. Maybe along the way I could make a few connections and help some readers out, but I spent 80% of my effort on writing and finding my voice (my style). Before I began Luke1428, I had read how most people quit less than six months into their blogging life. I didn’t want that to happen so my energies were focused on surviving for one year.

I passed that milestone on July 3rd. Stage one complete. Now begins stage two with some new aspirations.

In addition to writing quality content for another year, my added goal for year two will be to grow Luke1428. To do this I need help. Sure I could do it by myself and probably experience some success. However, it seems foolish to hack your way through the wooded wilderness alone, without direction, when so many have already gone before you and blazed a well marked trail to follow.

Enter the Yakezie network.

The Yakezie network is the web’s largest network of personal finance and lifestyle bloggers. It’s a community where members collaborate with one another and learn how to enhance the quality of their content for readers who come to the various member blog sites. All prospective members must go through a 6-month challenge to join and be evaluated for that time by the other members.

That’s what I’m here announcing today – that I’ve joined the challenge. Hence the black Yakezie Challenger Badge embedded in my primary sidebar.

The biggest part of the challenge seems to be the lowering of my Alexa ranking. Alexa (owned by Amazon) provides web traffic data for all sites that have downloaded the Alexa toolbar into their web browser. The toolbar transmits data to Alexa and provides the basis for their global ranking reports. The lower the ranking the more popular the website. According to my toolbar, Facebook currently holds the #1 ranking in the world.

As I write this post, my world rank sits at 477,488 out of the estimated 30 million+ websites that Alexa tracks (That low of a rank was actually a surprise to me when I installed the toolbar several weeks ago. I thought it would be much higher.) The goal of my challenge will be to lower the Alexa rank for Luke1428 to below 200,000 in the next six months.

I don’t know how that gets done in such a short time frame. Hopefully the members of Yakezie and other information on the web can help me figure it out. I welcome the challenge though and what it will mean for my site in year two. Thank you to the members of Yakezie for providing a supportive outlet for personal finance bloggers to connect with one another to our mutual benefit.

What’s your big tip on how to lower an Alexa rank?

Image at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Prior Post: Investing Made Easy (Part V): Common Investing Mistakes

About Brian

I'm a former private high school personal finance and Bible teacher now turned stay at home dad and blogger. My hobbies include rental real estate, running, cooking and sports. In my down time, I love hanging out with my four kids and hearing my wife talk about all the cool things CPAs do at work.

Comments

  1. I love the network. It’s so supportive and helpful. I really enjoy being part of something that has a bunch of people that also are interested in similar things – blogging, finance, lifestyle.

  2. I think you’ll enjoy Yakezie. I took part in it for about 5-6 months but dropped out because I already had built a wide network of bloggers to support and never spent time in the forums. I might join again at a later date. Getting your Alexa ranking down is fairly easy with Yakezie because everyone has the Alexa toolbar and it’s data is based primarily off of how often people with the toolbar go to sites. I think you’ll get it down really quick now that you started.

    Best of luck!

  3. Congrats on joining, I’m sure you’ll do fine! I am thinking of joining, possibly in a few months, when I have more posts and feel more comfortable with it. My Alexa rank is apparently 909k! I actually just had to install the plugin for it. I think the fact that you focused solely on writing/surviving for a year is great. So many bloggers get burnt out before that milestone. I will probably take that path for 6 months and evaluate things then.

    • The writing only approach was well worth it for me. I know not every blogger does that and in truth, I was probably ready to do this after 6 months. But I had other priorities that required my focus in life and just decided to wait until I had freed up a bit more time. My feeling was that I needed to learn how to write and present quality material before I started marketing my site heavily. That will be more of my focus this year.

  4. LOL too funny! I think we all go through that when we advance on to a blog milestone. I joined the challenge, but I’m not sure I took full advantage of it. I just couldn’t find time to spend in the forums. :( I did get my number down to 152k ish or so, but it’s stalled around that number. Not sure what I can do to bring it down but it doesn’t seem to affect advertising or anything…or maybe it does and I don’t know. :) My next big milestone is to TRY and produce more BATB TV and also possibly start another website. Too many ideas…so little time.

    • Nice to know I’m not the only one with these feelings. :) I usually get that way right before I start something new. Then once it’s going and moving I settle down and am fine.

  5. Lindsey @ Cents & Sensibility says:

    Hey Brian, I am a challenger as well! Welcome to the Yakezie Wannabe Club. :) I was worried about the Alexa score too but I realized it kind of takes care of itself. When I started the challenge, I was north of the two million mark and three months later (not even), I’m down to 250,000. Congratulations!

    • Thanks for the encouragement Lindsey! It’s so nice to hear about other people’s success with this. Sounds like the ranking takes care of itself as long as a person is active enough.

  6. Holly Johnson says:

    Congrats! I love the Yakezie network. I haven’t paid much to our Alexa ranking, although I probably should.

    • Seems like somewhere along the way, the closer you get to #1, it probably doesn’t matter all that much. Maybe to coax in some advertisers who might like a better ranking?

  7. Tanya @ The Heavy Purse says:

    Congrats! Shannon and I talked very early on about joining but at that time, she was only posting once a week. I believe that you needed to post more frequently than she was We may take another look at it as it seems really beneficial.

  8. John S @ Frugal Rules says:

    Good for you Brian! I seem to remember seeing that in the forums. I started somewhere north of 15 million myself. Like Matt said, not really bragging, I really did not do anything special to lower mine. It’s all about getting others to your site that have the Alexa bar installed. That said, you should be there in no time at all.

    • Thanks John! I’ve wanted to do this for some time now but like I’ve written about, it really didn’t fit into my year one goals. Hopefully, I can drive enough of the right kinds of traffic to lower it.

  9. Awesome! Good luck with the challenge. you just have to network as much as possible and your rank will drop easily.

  10. AvgJoeMoney says:

    Nice work. You’ll be there in a few weeks. After having been through the challenge once with my old blog, it’s a great way to meet a new community of people and learn a ton about blogging.

    • I’m looking forward to being a part of a community of people that can learn from one another, especially about the best blogging practices. I still feel like a newbie and inadequate in that regard.

  11. Congrats on entering! I started 3 months ago and I’ll tell you, as long as you make an effort to connect with other bloggers, mostly by commenting and sharing, the Alexa part is easy. I started at over 4,000,000, so you’re way ahead of me, and I think I’m down to about 150,000 already. That’s not bragging, since I really didn’t do anything special, it’s just how it works if you stay active. You’ll be there in no time.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience Matt! I should be able to remain active even when I go back to teaching school in a few weeks. Hopefully that will be enough like you said.

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