How to share Google Analytics reports with others

Google Analytics is a great service and it’s used by many. One of the features that I like about Google Analytics is – sharing your reports with others.

Sometimes advertisers or potential partners would ask for your blog’s/website’s traffic statistics. And in this time of fraud and forgery, screenshots won’t simply do it. They want to see the real, live statistics. So, in this kind of situations G.Analytics’ “share reports” feature is a great solution.

Sharing your reports is easy, can be done in 3 simple steps.

1. Login to your G.Analytics account and go to your overview page of your reports. At the end of the page you will see a link “User Manager”, click it.


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2. Next page will show you the list of emails (people) who have access to your reports. If it is your first time, you will only see your own email. Click on the “Add User” link.

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Blogging Tips: How to write better posts

Writing blog posts comes naturally to some people, but some struggle to write and convey their message effectively. Following some of the tips below, can improve your blog posts’ quality.

Get to the point, will you?

It’s very important that you get to the point in the first few sentences of your blog post. If you cannot do that (perhaps the topic is too broad) then at least give an abstract of what you will be talking first. This is to get the attention of the reader from the beginning, and to give them the idea on what the blog post will be all about.

So, don’t write few paragraphs building a base for your punchline in your post. Leaving the most important part of the post to the end is a bad idea. Unless you are some politician or celebrity, you want to grow your blog’s readership and reach, and by beating around the bush in your blog posts, you will only hinder your blog’s growth. Because new readers generally don’t read posts that they don’t know what it is talking about, and they don’t have the time to to figure out what it’s talking about by reading few paragraphs.

Use simple words

If your blog is about helping others or teaching them, or sharing your experiences so that they can benefit from it. Then you have to use simple words that everyone can understand. For example, if you have these two different words with a similar meaning to describe a man “sagacious” and “wise“. You should choose “wise man“.

You know what I am talking about right? Again, you don’t have to unnecessarily degrade your speech with primitive words. This is not meant by “using simple words”. It depends on your audience as well. But all else equal, you have to pick words that won’t confuse your readers or won’t make them think what the word means. Try your best to make your sentences flow smooth. Continue reading

Forrester: Company blogs are the least trusted source of info

Forrester has an interesting report on “sources of information” and how much people trust them. You can see the results in the diagram below. As you can see, the least trusted source of information is the corporate blogs. With all the “corporate blogging” taking off… at least among Fortune 500 companies, this is a huge information to swallow for the corporate bloggers.

However, on the positive side, now that the companies know people do not trust their blog posts, they can start working on various solutions to make their corporate blogging work.

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How can they make it work?

  • Well, perhaps they could use the blog not only to communicate but also to get feedback from their customers and to start building strong community.
  • To genuinely listen to the comments, and provide quick solutions to the problems.
  • Instead of just re-posting press releases on the blogs (i.e too formal), maybe they could choose an informal approach and be closer to their blog readers.
  • Top management should be actively involved in blogging as well. This has many advantages; one – it would make the posts more authoritative. two- people would be more willing to listen to and believe CEO than any other executive. and three – it would have a multiplier effect on the company, because if CEO replies a commenter and says “we will do it”, this would actually turn into an action. So, by just replying to comments CEO would actually be improving company’s products.
  • …etc.

Companies should definitely try to get this report and study it if they can.

When will the Hour be established?

Picture below is an aerial view of Dubai City. As you can see the buildings are literally above the clouds. Just a few hundred years ago, Dubai and the whole of Arabian peninsula was just a desert. During that time, all you see was some mud houses, bedouins and camels. But now… this!

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When I saw it I couldn’t help but remember the prophecy of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He was asked a question by angel Jibril (Gabriel): “When will the Hour be established?”, in other words when is the Judgment Day.

Prophet said:“… When the shepherds of black camels start boasting and competing with others in the construction of higher buildings. And the Hour is one of five things which nobody knows except Allah.” (Volume 1, Book 2, Hadith No:47)

Subhan’Allah, what a vivid description of the above picture by the prophet.

This was prophesied more than 1,400 years ago. And it’s just one of many prophecies of prophet Muhammad (pbuh) regarding the coming of the Last Day, including the Second Coming of Prophet Isa (Jesus).

The Hour is indeed near!

Gmail: How to find all “unread” messages in “inbox”

I have just done a cleanup of my Gmail inbox. For the first time it’s showing “2 Unread Messages” andinbox_unread.png not “100+ Unread Messages“.

How do I feel? Feel like I had a haircut after 6 months, no no, feel like I just shaved my head ;) Yeah it’s that good to see so few unread messages in my Gmail.

Two little Gmail search strings and a lot of courage helped me to achieve this result. A lot of courage – because some of the emails I intentionally marked “unread” so that I could reply to them when I have a spare time. But the spare time somehow never came ;) and by now, it was too late to reply to them anyway.

As for the two little search strings, they were:

  1. is:unread for listing unread messages.     2)   in:inbox for listing messages in inbox

Used together as is:unread in:inbox in the search field, it will list all the unread emails in your inbox.

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Don’t be discouraged by the numbers

Human beings (accept for the prophets, i will tell you the story after the post) are affected by the results of our actions, I guess that’s our nature. If we relate it to blogosphere, it’s all about traffic, RSS subscribers, number of comments blog posts etc. Bloggers get happy when their blogs’ traffic increase, when their comments on the posts increase and their RSS subscribers increase… etc.

And opposite is true, when the traffic decreases, the number of comments decreases and RSS subscribers drop, bloggers get upset and demoralized. Eventually they may even abandon their blogging because of the declining stats.

My advice is “don’t bother about the numbers!”. (Yes, I know it’s easier said than done but…) Just do what you have to do (i.e blogging) and keep blogging, don’t bother about those stats. Because if you are good at what you do, you will eventually succeed.

I guess in order not to be bothered much about the stats, you need to overcome a certain barrier. In my view this barrier consists of thoughts like: I have too few readers. My traffic is too low for me to succeed in blogging. What will people say if i write in certain manner? I have to write/behave/attend conferences like “top bloggers” to be accepted by others…etc

Reason for the discouragement

Usually one of the main reasons for the discouragement is, it’s when you blog for the wrong reasons. People blog for various reasons, and if you blog for specific reason like “making money online” only. Then, there is a high probability that you will stop blogging when you hit the bottom. In other words, when your blog stops making money, you won’t see any reason to continue blogging.

Of course, it depends on the projects. Sometimes you launch a project just to make money. So, when the project doesn’t make money, it’s better to just discontinue the project. Continue reading

Learning from mistakes – Story of Daud AS

Two brothers came to Prophet Daud (peace be upon him) (Prophet David in Bible) and said

“Judge between us, we are in dispute”.

One of them said

“This is my brother. He has ninety nine sheep and I have one sheep. He is now forcing me to give up my single sheep to him”.

So, prophet Daud without listening to the other brother said

“He has undoubtedly wronged you in demanding to add your single sheep to his flock. He should return your sheep to you!”.

Once he has delivered his judgment, two brothers disappeared into the air. Propet Daud realized that these were two angels and that he was just tested by God and that he made a mistake — he didn’t listen to both sides of the story before delivering his judgment.

So, he fell prostrating asking for forgiveness from God. And God forgave him. (Quran 38:21-25)

When mufassireen (interpreters) of Quran talk about this story they say that Daud after the mistake was a better Daud than before the mistake. In other words, after the mistake he was wiser and more knowledgeable than before.

Moral of the story:

Mistakes can be a great source of knowledge if we derive lessons from them, and learn from them.

About a month ago, problogger posted a blog-post on his blog asking readers “What is the biggest mistake you have made as a blogger?“. I am not sure if you have read this post and comments under it. There are over 200 comments where readers share their mistakes as a blogger and how their mistakes affected their blog negatively (directly or indirectly).

So, if you haven’t read it, go to the page and go through the comments. There are a lot of lessons to be learnt for everyone.

Paying attention to the right stuff, and learning how to sacrifice

Update: This came to be known as Lean Startup, popularized by Eric Ries in late 2008.

prioritize.png Last week in my MBA class (Management Control Systems) I had a case-study about “Balanced Scorecard” and how it was implemented in a particular company in the banking industry. Obviously the company had a lot of challenges and issues during the BSC implementation.

One of the lessons from the case was, for the BSC to be implemented successfully and fully, you need to keep improving it as the implementation phase moves along. One of the reasons cited for BSC implementation failure was because some companies want a perfect BSC – from the start. But that’s not possible, since BSC is a continuous thing, which has to be improved, changed, and adjusted over time.

Relating it to web-projects and Startups

This case-study reminded me of few occasions where I noticed how some people want everything to be perfect. They pay attention to the wrong (or shall we say less important) parts of the project. Every project consists of different parts, if it is a web project for example, then it could be divided into design, development, choosing hosting, choosing domain name, marketing, advertising etc.

However in order for the work to begin, you only need design and development (i.e scope of work) first. So don’t waste your time thinking how you will promote the website after its completion. Similarly, if you just want to test the waters whether the project will work or not, then don’t delve too much on the design of the interface. Just get a functional user interface that will do the job fairly and see if your project will stand the test. Because I noticed that some people will spend so much time perfecting the design of the website that they delay the launch of the project, or even worse the project gets not launched at all.

Because in most cases, it’s not the user interface that determines if the project will work or not. It’s the IDEA that determines the fate of your project. If your idea is good, then even if your website is not that “good looking” – it will still work! But not vice versa. You might have the best designed website, but still fail.

Lessons to be learned

So, in conclusion; first prioritize your tasks, identify the parts that are most important for the project to be completed. Once you have identified, work on those important parts first. Don’t waste your time on the tasks that will follow after the project has been completed.

Secondly, try to learn how to sacrifice on the design. Yes great logo is important for the brand, but don’t search for it for months until you delay the project. Same goes with the design of the website, some people spend so much time on the design that the real objective of the project gets forgotten.