Today’s article is just another meta article. It will not be all that long, as not a whole lot of the favorite articles – or even numbers, have changed. This will be published on Sunday, a day when I don’t get a lot of traffic.
Well, some things have changed.
See, if you view the site with ads enabled, this site whitelisted in your ad blocker, and you’ve been clicking ads – please don’t click on ads just to help me out. That’s not how AdSense is meant to work.
If you can’t tell, the ads have been suspended while Google researches the site for ‘invalid traffic’. I’m not sure what that means, but some searching says it could take a month or so for ads to be resumed. Invalid traffic also includes purchased traffic, something I’ve never done.
I can’t help but wonder if many of us use a VPN to connect? I do. Maybe that’s the kind of traffic, but I can’t imagine Google not knowing how to recognize VPN traffic and to adjust accordingly. That doesn’t seem like invalid traffic to me.
So, don’t click ads to help me out. Ads should only be clicked if you’re genuinely interested in the subject. Otherwise, it screws over the people paying for the ads.
So, last month we kinda had a blow out. In the month of October, we served almost a million pages to about 16,000 viewers. The pages number is kinda wonky, so that probably includes bots. But, for the first time ever, we had over 10,000 unique viewers.
Other than that, not much has changed. The three most heavily visited pages are the following:
About 97% of the traffic is using Linux – which is interesting. For a while, it was a lot of Windows users. I never did quite understand that. Windows users are down to like 2% of the traffic.
About 80% of my traffic is from the United States, and about 20% has IP addresses from Russia. It’s safe to discount those Russian numbers as they’re likely bots and people attacking the site. We get a lot of attacks here.
Chrome (and probably others that identify as Chrome is the most common browser. About 85% of you are using Chrome, Chromium, or a derivative like Opera or Brave. Firefox is only about 12% of my traffic.
What Else & Closure:
So, yeah… We’re about at the 300 article mark. That’s a lot of writing. If you feel like writing an article, let me know. This is the meta article for the last month, so November looks even better.
Why is this article late? I typed a bunch of it up and then just plain forgot to proof it and write this part of it. I then didn’t schedule it. So, it’s a bit late, but not terribly late. It also means I got it out in time to not have skipped a day!
I’m not sure how much longer we can go without skipping a day. Winter is definitely coming and I will have connectivity issues as well as losing mains power on a regular basis. I should probably get a few articles ahead and then saving them for any major infrastructure outages that will occur.
It’s time for another meta article. These are just articles where I take a bit of a break and write about the site itself. Some of them have been a little tough to write, but this one promises to be pretty darned easy. (I try to avoid swearing on the site, but sometimes I notice I did when I get to the editing phase. In real life, I swear like a trooper, depending on the company I keep.)
You won’t learn anything major from this article, and none of what you learn will be about Linux! You have been warned!
Well, I haven’t written the article yet – but that stands to reason! I don’t plan on writing anything even remotely educational in this article. I won’t even have to use the code blocks for anything – and you won’t even need to open a terminal! That’s right, it’s an article where you do not have to crack open your terminal. (I cut and paste that instructional ext, mixing it up a little from time to time.)
So, well, I do kinda wish I’d started these meta articles off by numbering them. Then I could kinda keep track of how many I’ve written. I suppose I could still filter it and figure that out. Lemme check…
I’ve used the meta tag for some pretty silly stuff – perhaps by accident. This would be like the 8th one that’s really about the site itself. Maybe I’ll remember to call the next one “#9”. There are a couple of other ‘meta’ articles where I’m not quite sure why I used the tag or title. Ah well… It was probably wine.
The State Of Linux-Tips #8:
So, not that long ago there was an article that I posted without disclosing any details. Let’s just say lessons have been learned. I think even Google noticed, ’cause my traffic hasn’t really grown any since the last time I wrote one of these.
In fact, pretty much all the same data from the last one would apply to this one. In a few areas, my traffic actually decreased a little – not much, but a little. The gains made with keywords like ‘apt purge‘ ranking pretty high seem to be countered by fewer clicks on the other articles.
Basically, it’s a wash… I think Google punished me for about a month, because traffic seems to be increasing again. You can help with that, you know. Share the articles on your favorite social media sites and that’ll help a great deal – more than donating or unblocking ads.
Speaking of ads, I got some money from AdSense and I see no reason to suspect the bills won’t get paid. Well, they’re gonna get paid regardless. So, there’s that, which is nice!
Literally, the same popular content from last time is the same popular content from this time. It’s almost as if Google put me into stasis, or something. So, I do believe I’ve learned a lesson regarding publishing content from other people with different objectives.
Speaking of which, you can also help by writing an article. I’ll clean it up and make it suitable for publication, including formatting and digging for links as needed. That’d be great. It’s summer and I’m pressed for time. So, that’d really help. You might want to make sure that it’s not something I’ve already covered! We’ve got a ton of content already.
That’s it, really! I just wanted to touch base with an easy meta article. Normally, they’re a bit more complicated than this. This time, nothing major has changed. Even my drop in traffic is closer to just staying the same and not increasing in traffic as I have been. It’s down like 1.3% – or pretty much a rounding error. However, the site has been experiencing linear growth – which, mixed with other numbers, makes me think we won’t be seeing a repeat of the article shared a month or so ago.
I like to do a meta article once in a while, a bit of a break from the normal writing and the chance to just speak about whatever is going on with the site itself. Today, today is one of those meta articles.
More than a year ago, I set out to put my notes online. More than a year later, I’m not even close to complete – and I’ve consistently published an article every other day for just about a year. I still have tons of notes.
The site started off on a .gq domain – a free domain – that was universally hated by every search engine on the planet. On top of that, getting a .gq TLD email through spam filters was pretty much impossible.
At one point, I decided I’d take the project a little more seriously and moved to a .us domain name. You could say that that’s when Linux Tips was truly born. I also decided to reset the clock and to start the year over again. I figured the new site would be motivation and that I could probably keep it going without missing too many days. (Note: I’ve so far missed no days!)
And, like all good things, that year is coming to an end. The very first article on the new domain was Welcome To Our New Home! – on April 16th, 2021. For those who can’t use a calendar, or use a different calendar, that means we’re just about 2 weeks from the official end of this project.
Many of you will have read the comments in my “Closure” sections and already have guessed what I’m going to say next.
I plan on keeping the site going. I plan on continuing to put my notes online and the interesting things I discover.
You might ask why, and I think I’d point to a few reasons (among the many).
I am learning so much.
I am still having fun.
The results have been amazing.
Not a day goes by these days without at least a couple hundred unique visitors. It’s not unique to get twice that many – enough so that I’m now crossing into a position where I am just going to pay for CDN services. (I’m happy with the company I’m currently using and their rates are reasonable.)
Technically, assuming my cost for my time was zero, the site has made a few bucks with the Google Ads. It’s reaching the point where it’s likely to cover expenses – including covering the CDN. I’ve long since come to grips with the fact that it’ll never pay me for my time – and I’m okay with that.
By the way, the CDN isn’t because I worry about bandwidth, it’s because it makes the site faster to load. Google loves a site that loads quickly and this site now ranks pretty high for a bunch of keywords and phrases. Making sure the site is responsive is a definite part of modern SEO. (These are things I’ve mostly had to learn on the fly. Like I said, it has been pretty educational.)
Actually, for the month of March, the site averaged ~250 unique visitors per day. It chewed through about 10 GB (not much) bandwidth – but most of that was CDN bandwidth. The CDN company lets me pay for what I use and not some flat rate, which is nice.
So, you can assume I’ll still keep the site going. Granted, I still have a couple of weeks to decide and may change the publication schedule – but the site’ll remain here and get additional content.
Some Meta Stuff:
Seeing as I’m here, I might just as well give you some other numbers. It seems like the thing to do, and I’ve done something like this in past meta articles. Traffic has steadily increased. Traffic has steadily improved by every metric, with people spending more and more time on the site. Truth be told, I’m quite amazed at the success. At one point, I was legitimately happy when I’d get 25 visitors in a single day.
I mentioned search engine traffic above and, like the most recent norms, the vast majority of unique visitors came from search engines. Google alone sent me ~5200 visitors – surprisingly some of them were repeat visitors.
A much smaller number of visitors – but still the most from any site other than a search engine – was (of course) Linux.org. It’d be nice to get some more traffic from other places (while not losing traffic from Linux.org). You can help with that!
You Can Help!
I know y’all have social media accounts. Well, some of you… You can easily share to the major social media sites. I made it really, really easy. There are quick links to do so at the top of every article. If your favorite social media site isn’t there immediately – it might be in the menu under the plus arrow – pointed to in the following image.
There are literally like 100 social media sites hidden under the arrow and by clicking on the more option. When they say ‘more’, they aren’t kidding. There are sites in there I’ve never even heard of before!
If you participate on Reddit, you can share it in the Linux subredits without making me look like a spammer! I’d do it myself, but that’s just bad form. Actually, I have done it myself – and had some solid results – but it felt kinda icky and one subreddit banned me without warning.
There are still other ways to help… You can donate, you can write articles, you can just vote on the articles, you can leave comments with additional information, and you can sign up for the newsletter – that only sends messages when new articles are published.
If you want to help in some way, just let me know. I hate proofreading but I do it anyhow. A skilled editor would be pretty sweet. Some more guest articles would be fun. Oddly, I get emails asking me if they can pay me for a guest article (and the nofollow links in it), but I decline those offers.
I’d accept the articles if they were topical, but I just can’t seem to figure out how investing strategy would be topical on this site. So, I don’t get to charge for those. I’m told they pay pretty well for a site such as this – like a few digit sum worth of money. I just really don’t want to sully the site with guest articles that don’t fit the subject.
So, yeah… The site’s almost certainly going to keep going. I might relax a little and take a day off now and then, but that’s fine. Heck, I still have articles on the original site that haven’t migrated to this site. I suspect I have many articles left in me and I’m not yet bored to tears with the project.
It hasn’t always been easy. But, I’ve not missed a single day, even with a pandemic and internet outages. Even when sicker than a dog, you’ve had an article every other day. A couple of ’em weren’t all that good – but there were articles. I’ve even made a few mistakes along the way, but I love all the feedback I get that tells me when I messed up.
If the site is missing features, let me know. I might be able to do something. I’d toss up a forum, but I don’t want to be seen as competing with other forums. I have thought about chatting and setting up a few chat rooms. All the acceptable scripts are a bit more than I feel like paying, so I’ve never done much with it other than research it.
Anyways… One year is pretty much done. I don’t know what the future holds, but you can help shape that future. All you gotta do is step up and opine or offer to help.