I Don't Give a Shit About Google's Penguin

by splork on May 6, 2012

I really must be the crappiest Internet marketer in the business. I’m supposed to care about Google’s Penguin but I really could give a shit.

Of course my email was stuffed with marketers lamenting the great penguin assault. The idiot savants at Daddy G have nothing better to do than fuck around with the controls of the Internet. I guess unless you have new animal change every 3 months then you can’t justify packing the sewers of Google with academic elite.

The naming convention is getting old. I guess anti-spam marketers think if they name the fucking whirlwind they unleash on webmasters by some cute animal it will make strategic sense. I think it’s stupid.

So what happened to my sites during the latest website reaping? I dunno. See, I have no idea how to set my sites up to utilize Google’s analytics properly. All I do is build a site and go to Amazon, CJ, Linkshare, Shareasale and the like and see what I sold. I target as many 3-4-5 word keyword phrases that make sense and build a Tumblr site, Squidoo lens or Hubpage. Folks seem to really dig those sites. I’ve been pinning images onto Pinterest and that seems to make people happy.

Squidoo is killing it.

I built a site on Cinco de Mayo less than a week before it occurred. I still don’t know what it’s about but people in the U.S. will use any excuse to dress in a sexy outfit and get drunk.

The takeaway from this is that I should have built this site way before I did and I might have made a few more sales of skanky outfits.

I did no backlinking. I built it and hoped they would come. They did.

I went over to one of the IM forums and the dude running the thing said the penguin update was great for high level domain content. Put shit on Blogger, Squidoo and Livejournal and the like and you were golden. Everyone was crying because their 40-1,000 word tomes on self hosted blogs turned to shit. People were livid because they did all the backlinking the marketing guberus said to do. Wrote the lengthy posts. Socialized this. All for naught as the shithead with a YouTube account hit #1 with a bullet for their prized keyword. Shithead didn’t waste time with backlinking either.

I do very, very little backlinking. I have never been able to be bothered with the enterprise. I have always funneled traffic to where I wanted it to go with Tumblr sites and WordPress blogs. I suppose that is backlinking but really it’s giving the bored surfer another link to click before they leave their cubicle at 5.

What do I think of the Penguin update? Nothing. Unless you are a big corporate deal you will always mean nothing to Google. So that is why I take a ride on Squidoo and Tumblr. Google has finally taken their silver spoon out of their ass and realized that Squidoo and Tumblr are viable business entities that do a great job of encouraging people to create excellent content. They police their own. If it’s ranked well on Squidoo then Google finally, finally decided it’s good enough.

Nothing I build ever does better than the shit that I spray on third party platforms. I’ve been at this for 8 years. Idiot guberus run around telling their lists that you HAVE to self-host. That you HAVE to backlink. That it’s only a matter of time before Squidoo shuts down your lens or Squidoo itself is shut down. That Tumblr is a phase. That Hubpages are dead. I make as much with Hubpages Adsense rev sharing now as I ever did self-hosting niche sites. I sell plenty of Amazon crap off a lens.

I wish I was smart enough to enlighten you 3 or 4 readers about the intricacies of Google updates. I have no idea what they are about. The last one that hurt me was some version of panda that destroyed my Hubpages. That lasted about a month. I changed nothing. It sucked but everything recovered. I suppose that all your “content is king” sites will likewise recover the next time some educated elitist adds the decimal point back into his formula. The same one will probably kill Squidoo lenses. Bummer.

Try this on: Create web sites/pages that you like. If you want to sell 7″ survival knives then find long-ass-tail keyword phrases that a few hundred are searching on each month and get yourself over to Squidoo and build that page. Then build another. Go to Hubpages and build one. Go to Tumblr and build a survival blog and curate the shit out of existing content and link the mess to your salespage at Squidoo.

Use the free hosted sites and stop listening to these jackasses that say you can only make money buying a domain, hosting and building complicated WordPress blogs. If the whole enterprise collapses then you’ve spent nothing but time. Gather up all your XML files and load them into your self-hosted WordPress blog and carry on.

So the Penguin means nothing to me. My latest project is called SEAL (Squidoo Easily Activated Laziness). It consumes penguins.

{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Ray May 6, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Hey Splork,

Do you write your own content for the Squidoo lenses, curate, our outsource them?

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Navy SEAL May 6, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Love it.

This is a great strategy. It’s FREE, costs nothing but some time and as you’ve preaching it keeps working out for you over time.

I’ve built lenses over time too and I’m noticing the same thing with them. These Squidoo SEALS are eating penguins like fat boys at buffets.

This is where I’m going to continue my efforts. I’m sick of trying to keep up to date with all my domains and hosting packages and WP updates and plugin updates hacking shit and the other nonsense.

Keeping it simples is where it’s always been at. Now we have more incentive.

Wise man with wise words and a mischievous moustache.

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Splork May 6, 2012 at 5:28 pm

@Ray – I don’t outsource. I would get more done but I just can’t make myself go to the trouble. Seems when I get them back I spend just as much time tinkering with it than I would have if I just wrote it myself. Outsourced articles tend to be sterile. Generic. I like to put in some personality to the thing.

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stephen May 6, 2012 at 5:34 pm

You crack me up! i think you may have more than 3 or 4 readers.

I have been hit pretty hard by a dumb penguin! And i have to say i am starting to lean more towards your ideals. The only reason i am thinking of keeping my hosting for is to put up landing pages and collect some subscribers? But i am so tempted to pull the trigger on my websites and hosting and go down the free route to earning some monies. I do not think that anybody will truly be able to withstand the Google turbulence every time it hits, and to be totally honest why should we? Much better to go with the free options because if any one of them fall like Squidoo or Tumbler, there will always be another one starting up for us to jump on!
By the way i have been waiting days and days for you to post something about wild animals, and you did not disappoint:)

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Seth May 6, 2012 at 5:35 pm

I understand your strategy and probably will do more of it myself from now one. It can’t hurt to try.

However, while the update may not have impacted you much, you need to realize how many people it has hurt from marketers like your readers, to article writers, to site designers, and of course people who make their money doing SEO. Everyone down the line is suffering as a whole industry is turned upside down.

You may not do this for a living but if you did, you might be more interested in what is happening. Most people who rely on IM income to put food on their tables have their own sites and Penguin has severely beaten many of them back.

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Splork May 6, 2012 at 5:46 pm

@Navy SEAL – The forums are buzzing about the fallacy of creating content on 3rd party sites. To wit:

“Seriously Be Careful people… These Web 2.0 properties will start deleting your pages like they did in the past. To get top ranking for any medium to strong competition keywords… you will need serious backlinks…. then as that happens the web 2.0 sites will just delete your pages that you spent lots of time and or money to backlink. Thats what happened in the past when web 2.0 were the ranking rage. Its going to happen again and you will be sorry you went that route.”

Yep. This has been the mantra for the last 5-6 years. Why people feel like if they use a property like Squidoo, Hubpages, et. al., they will lose everything and cannot make any money.

People are so hung up on GOOGLE. Yes they command 60% (I guess) of all searches and you really, really want to rank well on them. But people are searching within Pinterest, Squidoo, Hubpages, Tumblr, Wordpress without once negotiating over to Google to discover it. I get just as much traffic from Wordpress clicking over to my sites as I do Google.

stats

I also find it hilarious that when folks websites get creamed by Google then it just has to be that Google is rewarding spam. Like how dare they fuck with my content rich delightful site!? Maybe your content rich site is boring. Maybe it sucks. Maybe you forgot basic on-page SEO. Maybe your keyword is stupid. Maybe Google just doesn’t give a shit about your site. Who knows?

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Splork May 6, 2012 at 5:54 pm

@stephen – Thanks for reading. You’re right. It costs nothing but time to try. I can promise you that NOT every Squidoo site you build will work. If I build 5 lenses 1 might be really good and make some money. But if it does good then I build more sites on the keywords that work. I build a Tumblr site. Hubpages. However, I rest on my laurels a lot and also enjoy the fruits of past efforts. Not a smart strategy but I’m pretty lazy at times.

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Splork May 6, 2012 at 6:08 pm

@Seth – yea I could and probably should be more sensitive to the efforts people put into this racket. And yes I am an amateur. I have always said that there is no way in hell I would ever go full-time in this business. The only way I would play this game, for reals yo, is to create my own product. I think, that if one is trying to make a living solely on the grace of Google with niche sites then frankly that person is crazy, or single.

I have always preached on this piece of crap blog not to rely on the crumbs of Google for a single visitor. If they provide then that is just a bonus. Folks have to come up with a better strategy than trying to figure out what billions of dollars of research is going to do to the search engine algos. This month Google cares not for backlinks. Next month they will. It’s a losing game.

I built my wife a cooking/recipe site. Self-hosted. Wordpress. Plugins. All the bullshit. I tried to explain to her about SEO and Google and keywords and she was like, ppffttt, just let me post some recipes and watch . Sure enough when she went on her Facebook and Pinterest sites she told her friends and folks at church and at the homeschool co-op, etc., that she is posting her recipes. In one day traffic went from zero to hundreds. Her Pinterest photos are being re-pinned all over. And Google is playing with it in their sandbox. Seriously, I worry more about Pinterest than Google at this point. Google is a non-issue and she will have plenty of folks visiting daily.

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Jon May 6, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Thanks for this post – Will try that Squidoo thing.

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KC May 6, 2012 at 9:30 pm
Hamish May 7, 2012 at 1:37 am

Hey Splork,

About time G gave some love to Squidoo. Glad to hear something’s working for somebody. Wizzley and blog.x (.co.uk, .de,.fr etc.) are also going well for me. Same gig – links to Amazon and my own sites from the Web 2.0 mainly.

Penguin seems to have bamboozled the gurus. It’s been a matter of days, nearly a fortnight in fact, and nobody seems to have their “here’s how to beat the Penguin” e-book/software/coaching product to the masses yet. I think people might be genuinely puzzled this time.

Needless to say, there’s more info in your above post than the average e-book – so is this the precursor of an info product? Go for it I say.

Finally – Panda/Penguin – both black and white, both can’t fly. Google’s next big algo update will be called Zebra I predict. Or maybe Orca – more sinister that one I think.

Get your clip art and pasted content ready and you could be ahead of the curve with you valuable info product for the NEXT update.

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atma May 7, 2012 at 7:02 am

I liked this:
“…I suppose that all your “content is king” sites will likewise recover the next time some educated elitist adds the decimal point back into his formula”.
Nice post, Splork! Although my sites haven’t suffered much from this update (somehow), I’m seriously thinking of expanding towards social.

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Splork May 7, 2012 at 7:45 am

@Jon – it can’t hurt. You lose noting but time. And at the very least you have a vehicle for backlinking if/when Google finds them desirable. Oh and you won’t get rich with them either. But then again who is getting rich with self hosted niche sites. Not many.

Look, think of Tumblr, Squidoo, Hubpages and the like as a free test bed. If you have a great idea about building a site to sell Amazon products on red kitchen blenders then build a quick lens. It shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes. Get it indexed and see what happens. If after a few weeks you see it jump in the search engines and traffic improving in Squidoo then take all those keywords the Squidoo stats are giving you and build a self-hosted site. Diversify. One month Squidoo might be great. We all know the next month they will suck.

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Splork May 7, 2012 at 7:58 am

@Hamish – well, it might be what’s working now. I like Tumblr, Squidoo and Hubpages because I’m lazy. I like them because they are easy. These things go in cycles. Next month all those niche sites will recover, Squidoo will suck.

Many of the guberus spend way too much time trying to unlock the secrets of Google. They don’t know shit. But they are smart enough to get their list working which does not require Google.

I figure you are about to see another big blast of Squidoo and Hubpages spam since folks are thinking this is where the action is. Squidoo is already hammering sites that has ANY duplicate content. I had one of my lenses blocked solely because I copied a couple of sentences of description from the affiliate offer I was sending them to. I think that is the reason the Google is giving them some weight.

I’m not advocating the death of Google. I just like the ease of the social type sites. If I build 10 sites on survival tools and 3 of those are great then I will collapse those three onto a self-hosted niche site. I will have plenty of keywords at my disposal found in Squidoo’s “stats”.

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Splork May 7, 2012 at 7:59 am

@atma – thanks for reading.

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Jack Folsgood May 7, 2012 at 8:21 am

Hey Splork,

Yeah… anyone who hasn’t been working to make some cash by way of the internet for more than a year usually doesn’t really understand the fact that an organic listing in the Serps is free advertising and Google doesn’t owe them anything.

I am constantly amazed at how many people feel their first page listing for “keyword x” is some sort of God given right and “how dare Google replace it with a listing to a site that is not nearly as good as mine”.

In regards to your comment that – “All I do is build a site and go to Amazon, CJ, Linkshare, Shareasale and the like and see what I sold.”

That’s all good and fine, but what many people fail to realize is many of the products (or at least similar ones) that you can pick and choose from at those sites are available from other places that offer much, much higher commissions and longer cookie durations.

I have found that it pays to do some (often time consuming) research on an alternative product to recommend to my visitors if I find I have a hot property (keyword) on my hands.

In many cases you can double the amount you are getting paid on the same item retailing for the same price. This is especially true for those selling health related products.

I wrote about it in my most recent post. (shameless plug)

Thanks for your words of wisdom – you are an inspiration to all 6 of us.

Jack

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Mark T. May 7, 2012 at 8:51 am

Splork, please create your own product about your method! I’ve been reading your site for a long, long time and every time you post about your method, I just want to read more. I would buy your ebook for sure. Your “simple, amateurish, and lazy” method sounds like a winner to me.

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Splork May 7, 2012 at 12:52 pm

@Jack – thanks for reading. I agree there are better places to source products. Much better actually. But like you say it takes work to find them, you have to contact affiliate managers, etc. I’m just too lazy sometimes. Amazon pays crap and I’ll admit to trying to find a better source if possible though. It depends on the product.

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Splork May 7, 2012 at 1:25 pm

@Mark T – thanks for reading. My method, if you can call it that, is embarrassingly worthless. I just write a lot. My gift is that I can write about pretty much anything and deliver 500 words in about 20 minutes. That is plenty to create a Squidoo lens or Hubpage.

Through the years I have learned that building Wordpress.com blogs and filling the pages with videos and photos and sending that traffic to Squidoo or Hubpages is worthwhile. Now I use Pinterest to do the same thing. Pinterest is a gift. Women love the site. If you post photos of interior design, clothing, shoes, food, adorable pet or baby photos, hairstyles, celebrities, etc., you will be amazed how much traffic it will generate to your site. I doubt the goodness will last long. Somebody will sue the site for copyright and some idiot fed judge will shut the thing down.

Anyway, I have sawed off my penis and am now happily marketing to women with stupid ass sites for women attire, shoes, makeup and the like. Squidoo Tumblr and Hubpages are my sites of choice though my self-hosted perfume site is getting play this spring. And it’s all because of Pinterest.

5 years or so ago I started flinging shit into the web sewers to see what worked. Virtually none of the ebooks I have ever bought were useful. I simply wrote and added content to see what people were interested in. I discovered that Squidoo, Tumblr and Hubpages, despite their ups and downs, pretty much remained useful for 1) extra income 2) backlinks and 3) testing. Some never made money but I could put a link on there. They make nice landing pages too.

For instance, if I wanted to create a Squidoo site on perfume I would first create a blog on Wordpress and curate as much shit on the perfume as I could find. With plenty of photos. Videos. Copyright? Don’t care. Let them contact Wordpress and shut the site down for all I care. Make the titles provocative and get people surfing over to Squidoo to see what is going on. Pin the product photos. If you sell a couple of bottles then maybe it’s time to move forward and take all those keywords that you now have and build a self hosted site. No where in this little scenario have I mentioned Google. That’s because people are searching within Wordpress, Squidoo and Pinterest. You’ll funnel them to your self hosted site. Google will eventually come around.

Takes work? Yep. You could do less by building a self hosted site with 10 articles and build links into The Keyword Academy Postrunner. Probably, eventually get the same results. I just like to zig while others zag.

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Mark May 7, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Thanks for the information Splork. Always an entertaining read here.

My problem with all of these 2.0 sites is that I want to own the content I write and the server space it sits on. After reading about your successes though, they may be worthy endeavors though.

My site that have a large amount of quality and original content continue to untouched, even improved, with each Google scare/update. Thing is, I may not want to write 200 articles about a subject and your way may be a good outlet for this type of thing.

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Mark T. May 7, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Thanks a ton for the reply Splork. Thanks to your words, I head into the sewers way more informed. Keep it coming!

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Fraser Cain May 7, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Hey Splork, great advice. I’ve never had a problem with the people who want to linkbuild, I just think it’s overly complicated and risky. If you’re some superduper blackhatter with the mad tech skills to stay one step ahead of Google, that’s great, but there are legions of people out there following risky advice… at their peril.

I love just creating content on my own website because it’s simple, and it works.

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Jon May 7, 2012 at 9:56 pm

@Splork – Never been successful with Squidoo before, maybe too much ideas, anyway, I do appreciate your advise, will try to make lenses right away.

Should have listened to you before not to rely solely on G. Shame on G by the way, still earning adsense income brought by Facebook, Yahoo and Bing Traffic.

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Splork May 7, 2012 at 10:50 pm

@Fraser – thanks. Yea you sorta convinced me of that a year or so ago on TKA.

I’ve never had that one big idea to sustain me like you have with your astronomy site. The wife and I may have our big idea with her recipe site so we shall see. I’ve just chased these small niches that never seemed big enough. Seemed easier to simply build some site on Squidoo. I’ve no doubt I’ve left some money on the table but the effort is good enough I guess.

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stephen May 8, 2012 at 3:02 am

Frasers astronomy site is pretty awsome!
I’m with you splork, i would love to be able to have one site that i could just write on but i just have not got anything i am That passionate about!

I love lots of things and i tend to get bored very easily and move onto something else and because of that i do not have the required knowledge to be able to write on one particular subject 100s of times.

Jack of All Trades-Master of None!

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Vi May 10, 2012 at 7:37 am

By looking to your visitors referrals it looks like you realy don’t need to worry about G and what it is doing with it’s algo.

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Toho May 10, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Thanks for the insights, your posts are very informative and I might switch away from so many self hosted blogs to using your trifecta.

One thing I’m curious about is how you are managing all those logins for the many social accounts. Do you use something like Lastpass and organize by folder? Username/pw organization is something I’m struggling with.

Thanks again.

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Splork May 10, 2012 at 6:27 pm

@Vi – Here’s hoping I don’t.

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Splork May 10, 2012 at 6:27 pm

@Toho – Yep. Big fan of LastPass.

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SEO Sucks May 14, 2012 at 9:28 pm

I’m going to have to disagree with Seth here, at least partially. His comment definitely demonstrates a level of caring and empathy that you don’t see much in this industry, and that’s something to be commended for. *But*

Putting too many eggs in a single basket isn’t anything like an intelligent strategy, -especially- online–and especially when you -know- your main basket is controlled by somebody who gives nary a runny red ratshit about your online business. No sympathy for bad business strategies here.

In fact, the “I’ll make money by doing well in Google/Oh no I’m not doing well in Google,” looks to me like an attitude half of entitlement and half of sheer “make money online” (as opposed to “let’s run a real business”) laziness.

I’ll be honest, I’ve got less patience for laziness than I do for bad business plans. Bad business plans can be fixed. Laziness and entitlement attitudes are a little more difficult.

2) Google updates like this aren’t bad for _everybody_. They’re actually -good- for writers that provide quality content–even those of use who charge far above the (dismal) normal rates.

True enough, this last update seemed completely batfuck random the way it did things, sometimes. But the more Google cracks down on shitty content, the better that we quality providers have it.

A random update like this last one can make us SEO providers look bad for a minute, even when dropped rankings may have nothing to do with our efforts. It still beats the shit out of deep sea fishing.

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jack May 17, 2012 at 2:24 am

It’s a great amazing blog. I heartily congratulates to you to implement such new concepts. It’s really very informative article and it taught me many concepts. Thanks for our co-operation towards its (blog) posting and developing way.

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Splork Fan May 17, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Splork,

I see this as more of consolidating the internet into fewer URLs and of course, with much more emphasis on big brand domain names (Squidoo/Hubpages/etc).

This update was meant to kill off all the small timers and mom-pop outfits. The New World (Internet) Order has officially begun.

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ben June 15, 2012 at 7:32 am

@Splork – Great post as usual, with Squidoo do you take part in their “circle jerk” – liking/commenting on other lenses, etc.?

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sydney maxi taxi man September 14, 2012 at 6:00 am

I loved reading your blog and telling as it is about Google…I too am sick of their crap and constantly changing the goal posts!!! I am just about to see how i go with Squidoo and Hubpages etc and i sooo hope they are going to do well as i pray they turn out to be an ever increasing thorn in Google’s side!…Google is unfortunatly king and its about time there was a little bit of competition for where (online) traffic comes from. And cudos to your wife who got her recipies out via other methods other than Google!

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splork September 14, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Thanks for reading taxi man!

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Rachel October 14, 2012 at 8:27 am

ROTFL, absolutely loved this. Google are assholes and I don’t give a shit what they do. I mean who has TIME to figure out which backlinks are ‘suspect’ to Google, which article they think is ‘duplicate copy’ and on and on — especially as my main competitors have the crappiest content on the Internet are spamming all over the place and are STILL number 1 on Google :)

I just write my stuff on all the sites I own and let the shit fall where it may. Like you said, most get hit with the latest Google-shit update, but most recover within a week.

Great blog, btw.

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splork October 14, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Thanks for reading Rachel.

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Nakamura January 22, 2013 at 7:22 pm

Man, have I been underestimating Tumblr o.o

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splork January 24, 2013 at 2:32 pm

@Nakamura – Tumblr is great for traffic. In my usage, virtually useless for making direct money though.

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