My daughter asked why I don’t play video games much any more and I thought to myself, “Have I just gotten old?”. “Am I tired of getting beat by a 5 year old?”. “Am I just too busy?”. I realized the answer is none of the above. Yes, I do think I can find better things to do with my time than play video games, but everyone needs a little fun and games every once and a while. The real truth is my domain stats have turned into a real life version of “Lemonade Stand”. You remember the game, I first played it on the Apple II in 1979 or so. It was a simple game, here is weather forecast, here are some advertising signs, and you decide how many cups of lemonade you were going to make tomorrow and how much you would charge per cup. The next day you see what the weather did, how many cups you sold, and how much money you made. The feeling I get now is the same feeling I got back when I was 9, the difference being it’s real money. I buy the domain, build the domain, tweak a few things, and check each day to see how the traffic and money comes in. I am constantly tweaking, add a few more articles, change the advertising, or perhaps the look of the site, to see if it improves the clicks.
On the blog type sites, I look for stories from my site that make the front page of reddit or digg and watch hourly. It’s never great money but its still exciting when you have 100,000 people visit your site in a day. One day on my site I had an article that became an Internet meme (look it up) and had 2 million uniques that month, was on Talk Soup, and Best Week Ever. I took the day off to watch the domain stats. It’s my version of World of Warcraft and I bet a few people have stayed home from work for that.
Some people think its a waste of time to check stats more than once a day but I enjoy the numbers. I always have, from the auctions on the BBs in the 80s, selling on ebay, to setting up websites, I have always enjoyed watching the stats. Some people just like the money but I enjoy the process as well.