Thursday, 17 November 2011

When Running Frugal Forums and Blogs...

Who Reads What, When and Why?

Specially posted for 'someone'.

I couldn't decide whether this post should be included here or in the likes of the Paranoid Times blog. The topic is a rather curious one but I am sure it's a familiar one to some of you reading this.

Blogs are normally more likened to diarie, but I disagree strongly with this comparison.  Diaries always conjure up images of secrets contained within private writings, innermost thoughts set down in print for the benefit of the writer, little thought ever being given to any other eventual readers. Not so with blogs - they are for all the world to find and explore, should anyone be at all interested in searching.

Here is where things begin to get a little more different. Recently, a discussion sprang up about lack of followers, comments and/or sales, despite the invisible number-crunching programmes churning out figures that suggested thousands of visitors.

With blogs, forums and websites, you can invite any number of people to visit, join or contribute but the truth of the matter is, few will! Regardless of whether they be a friend, relative or, even, spouse, few of these people will actively support your 'cause' for the simple fact that your 'cause' may not necessarily be theirs.

So let's look at how the figures pan out, as I do happen to have a websites, some forums and several blogs. Most are used purely as free space for writing about things I would like to keep for future reference, or for the purposes of checking back to see what progress has been made on certain projects, when and where. Some are relevant to what's being discussed elsewhere but, owing to their nature, such diverse topics cannot be mixed together. None of these things is aimed at generating traffic by way of the general public. Should they choose to read, they are welcome to do so. This blog is for all, it's where I give away the secrets of my money saving, frugal lifestyle, but it is not about footfall through a virtual business gateway.

Back to the numbers - I recently opened up the Frugaldom forums to the public, so we now have a slowly growing 'membership'. It's free, so anyone can join at anytime. But of those who choose to join, how many are brave enough to step up to the mark and declare their interest in money saving and frugal living? How many are brave enough to post on the forums, comment in the blogs or physically interact with others, most of whom are there for the exact same reasons?

To date, 436 usernames have been registered on the newest frugal living forums.

Of these, I deleted 176 (40.3%) because they failed to complete the joining process . This leads me to believe they are spammers or electronic, automated 'visitors' sent to infest the forum with links to websites that I wouldn't want there in the first place.

Of the 260 'active' users, only 97 (37.3%) of them have ever posted to acknowledge their presence.

Of the 97 who posted, only 28 (28.9%) of them return to post regularly. This is what I refer to as the true conversion rate - 28 posters out of a possible 97.


BUT... how many of these 28 people are longstanding family friends or relatives? Not a single one!
This post has been thrown together to demonstrate how the numbers game really works - I have nothing to hide, nothing to sell and I don't track visitors to my forums, so there could be a million readers and I would never know they were there unless they took the time to register or participate in the discussions.

If you are in the business of generating yourself some income, you need to spread the word far and wide then monitor every real visitor. You need to analyse what percetage of these visitors are spending their hard earned cash while visiting your site or business. As a general rule of thumb, many marketing, advertising and sales professionals would accept 0.5% as an average result for something like a leaflet drop, while others spend a little more time preparing their leaflets - normally paying extra for sales copywriting - and look towards around 2.5%, assuming they have done their homework and targetted their advertising.

It doesn't take a genius to work out that in order to have thousands flocking to buy your product or service, you need to remember that your chances of turning a casual passer-by into a visitor (or reader) can be around 1 in 200 and then you still need to convert your visitors into paying customers or clients. Agai, this can be as low as 1 in 200. That's like one sale from every 40,000 website visitors!

What has this all got to do with Frugaldom or the frugal living and working brigade? Most of us are self-employed and/or working from home. We all need to earn a living and the depressing fact is that it's not always easy. The hours can be long, the hourly rate once calculated over each year can be a joke and the prospect of fame and riches isn't somthing often considered; those things don't drop into your lap purely with a stroke of luck.

The Frugaldom blog is about showing, by example, that fame and riches aren't always the best rewards. The sense of achievement and the freedom to pursue our own goals within our own budgets are what matters most to us. The integration of the concept of frugaleurs - entrepreneurs who have little or no debt/financial backing - is something completely new to many. It is my hope that dreams can be realised, even fortunes made, but without being indebted to a system that seems to prefer keeping the majority of people trapped by debt.

Be all you can be, set yourself free from the constraits of escalating credit or debt, speculate within your means if you have to, but be prepared to do whatever it takes (within the eyes of the law) to succeed and live a happy life, because we get only one shot at it...

That shot is now.

NYK Media


  1. I tried to join the forum - had a problem with it, I think it thinks I'm a minor LOL & I think it's just great if I occasionally find just 1 tip or idea that saves money and works for us 'ordinary mortals'
    Mrs T x

  2. Hi Mrs T, the name 'Mrs Tightwad' shows up on the members' list, have you tried logging into the forum recently? If you use AOL or GMail then there's sometimes a delay in confirmation. Lt me know if you have any further problems and thanks for letting me know. :)

  3. The frugaldom forum feels like family to me!

    I put a link on my blog recently and I noticed a copy of people who follow me have joined.


    Sft x

  4. I find the Frugaldom forum a breath of fresh air. There is always good mannered banter and the people on it don't seem pretentious, 'right on' or 'keeping up with the Jones'. We also have a few laughs at ourselves!

    Long live Frugaldom Forum and blog.


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