10 Great Tools To Measure Blog Traffic

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Have you ever visited someone else’s blog and wondered how much traffic they are getting? Or maybe you want to know how well your own site is doing, and aren’t sure what the best metrics to use are. There are many great tools out there that do a pretty good job of estimating how much traffic a website gets, and this is just a look at some of them.

Times have changed, and the same tools that were relevant and useful in 2013 are definitively not the same tools that bloggers, PR companies and brands use these days to determine blog traffic.

We now must consider how big someones social media following is, and more importantly, how engaged their followers are. I have included various tools to properly measure this, which should be used along side the other traffic measurement tools.

Why is traffic important?

Knowing how much traffic a website gets can help you in many ways.

Guest Blogging: If you are looking to guest blog (to increase the amount of inbound links to your site, and thus increase your Domain Authority) on other websites, you should first check how much traffic the site gets. You should never guest post on a site that gets less traffic than yours. Buffer Founder Leo Widrich used guest posting on blogs with high traffic helped to propel his site from 0 to 100,000 customers in just 9 months!

Paid adverts: Many bloggers offer paid advertising spots on their websites to give lesser known bloggers a bit of exposure to a large audience. Before you dig deep to pay for an advert spot, make sure to do some research on how much traffic the site is getting and how big their reach is on social media. There’s no point in paying if you don’t think you will get as much exposure as you might like.

Working with brands: Depending on if you are blogging for fun or trying to make an income from it, working with brands will either be high up your priority list on not on it at all. Even if you blogging is just a hobby, working with PR companies and brands can be a lot of fun and gives bloggers a real sense of achievement to know their blog is good enough to merit paid blogging gigs. One of the first things brands will look for is how much monthly traffic your site gets to see if it will be beneficial to them to work with you.

I’m sure there are many other great tools which can be used to see how much traffic a blog is getting or how influential a blogger is, so please note this is by no means a complete list. Also, these tools have not been ranked in order, they are all useful in different ways.

10. Google Analytics

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Google Analytics is by far the best tool out there for measuring how much traffic a site gets. It is important to make sure you have signed up and that you have embedded all the relevant codes in your sight to ensure an accurate reading of your site traffic. The only problem with Google Analytics is that you won’t be able to access the stats of other people blogs,  unless they decided to share monthly screenshots on their site or something similar.

It’s a great tool for you own site though, and tells you a variety of metrics from how many pageviews you get to where the traffic is coming from, what keywords bring people to your site from Google and how many people are being referred from social media networks to your site.

For my site, according to Google Analytics, I got 15,000 unique visitor in the last 28 days and almost 40,000 pageviews which people clicking on an average of 3 pages in total and spending around one minute on my site. 

9. SEMRush.com

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I love using SEMRush as it tells you so much about your site, and your nearest ‘blog competitors’. It tells you metrics such as how much traffic you are getting, how much that traffic is worth is $$$, how many keywords you rank for on the first page of Google and how many other websites link to your site. Remember, the more sites that link to you, especially sites with high traffic or authority, the higher your site will rank.

For my site, according to SEMRush, my site has received 26,000 hits so far in October. Consider it’s only October 18th, this seems about right, and matches up with the google analytics stats for the past 28 days.

8. WordPress Stats

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Similar to Google Analytics, WordPress statistics are only good if you are looking for statistics on your own blog. They also only show you unique visitors rather than pageviews, so the numbers may look a little lower. Even so, WordPress stats are really helpful in knowing where traffic is coming from, how much comes from Google, what keywords bring people to your site and what social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Reddit etc) bring in the most visitors.

My WordPress stats for October so far say my site has received 12,000 unique visitors, with the majority of hits coming from Google search followed my referrals from Facebook, Twitter and Reddit. You can also see that since I started taking this blog seriously earlier this year, my traffic has really increased.

7. Alexa Ranking

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If you don’t get over 100,000 hits a month, Alexa doesn’t really offer a lot of insight. What it does do, apparently, is it ranks your website and tells you on a global scale and based on traffic) how popular your website it. Alexa says my blog is ranked 650,336 in the world which I believe means there are 650,335 websites in the world getting MORE traffic than me and probably millions that are getting LESS traffic than me.

I’m not too sure how accurate this is, as I have heard many mixed reviews, so if anyone has any experience with this site / tool, please leave a comment!

6. YouTube Views

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This is most relevant to Vloggers or bloggers who use a lot of videos in their blog posts. You can quickly estimate how much traffic a blog is getting by looking at how many monthly hits their YouTube videos get (on average). If a YouTube channel is getting million is hits, it makes sense that the blog is probably doing quite well too. One thing to consider, however, is to check out how much hits a few of their videos get rather than just one. These days many people have ‘one hit wonders’ which do not bring back repeat customers (or readers) to their site.

5. Domain Authority

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I know many of you might be asking, “What on earth is Domain Authority?!” so before I delve into how to use it to see how well a blog is doing, let me first explain what it is. 

Domain Authority is a score (on a 100-point scale) developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engines. Use Domain Authority when comparing one site to another or tracking the “strength” of your website over time.

With this in mind, working on your Domain Authority (DA) should be a priority for new bloggers who would like to take blogging serious down the line. Be sure to buy your own domain name as soon as possible as this is a big mistake I made. After blogging for FIVE YEARS, I only bought the domain name journalistontherun.com in May of this year, which is way my DA is a disappointing 22/100. A blogs DA will tell you how well that site ranks on Google. If your site is shown on page one of Google for many different keywords (such as ‘best travel blogs’ or ‘how to book cheap flights’ then your DA will start to increase.

The better your SEO, the more websites that link to you and the more traffic you get in general, the higher that DA number will go. Some of the top bloggers in the world have a DA of 60 or above while sites like CNN and the BBC would be in the 90’s.

4. Twitter Analytics

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If you use Twitter regularly, in my case very hour rather than every day, and share a lot of your blog content in tweets, keeping track of your reach is very important. I really like Twitter Analytics it because it shows me who the most influential people to tag in your tweets are, what sort of tweets do well (always ones with photos attached!), and who my most influential new followers are. It will also tell you how far your tweets go, how many impressions your tweets get and the total reach of all your tweets over a 28 day period. This will be an important metric for PR companies and brands because if you can prove you have a very large, and engaged, target audience, they will be more inclined to work with you on future projects.

In my case,my tweets reached a phenomenal 319,000 people over the past 28 days. On average, my reach would be around 200,000 each month, but last month seems to have been an exceptional month, with many tweets, many photos and a lot of mentions from bug name accounts like Visit Dublin and Joe.ie.

3. Facebook Insights

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As almost 50% of all my blog traffic comes from Facebook, I find Facebook Insights to be a very important metric when measuring blog traffic. Did you know you can ‘watch’ up to 10 other Facebook pages alongside your own? I tend to ‘watch’ a few blogs that are in the same category as my own and a few that are making waves worldwide and would be considered the ‘world’s top bloggers’. I follow their insights as it’s interesting to know which of their posts do best so you can try to do something similar. You can also learn a lot from the way the post, what they post and most importantly when they post.

Facebook Insights is also an important metric because there is no point boasting about your 50,000 FB followers if you’re weekly reach is only a few hundred. Really, your reach should be at least 5 times bigger than your total follower count. This means now only are your ‘fans’ commenting and liking your blog posts, but they are actually sharing with their own friends and followers. The more shares…the more traffic!

2. Blog Post Comments

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They say that, on average, one out of every 200 readers will leave a comment on a blog post. In my experience, while not 100% accurate, it is a good enough tool for measuring how much traffic individual blog posts receive. If a post is quite controversial, and has received 84 comments, like my post on why NOT to solo travel, you will quickly work out that the post received A LOT of traffic. 84 x 200 = 16,800, which means based on the 200 to 1 rule, this post probably received over 16,800 hits. According to WordPress, the post actually got 17,222 hits so far, so I must admit it’s very accurate indeed!!

1. Klout Score

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I know at least one person, with a much higher Klout score than I, who will kill me for including this metric. Admittedly, many people think Klout is all nonsense, and that your score will increase the more you post regardless of whether people are genuinely engaging with you or clicking your links and reading your blog posts. I’m not so sure if that’s true, as I only see my Klout score increasing when people become very engaged with my tweets and like and comment an extraordinary amount on my Facebook posts. That said, I know if I didn’t post at all, which happened for a few days in August, my Klout score dips right down to the mid sixties.

So, what is Klout and why is it important?

Klout measures your ‘social influence’ across all social networks from Facebook to Twitter, Instagram and even LinkedIn. There’s no point having 100,000 Twitter followers if none of them Retweet your posts or click-through to your blog posts. 

Klout is also used by many PR companies to see how influential you are online and if you represent their brand, how much extra exposure will they receive. If you are always sharing your blog posts, and you have a high Klout score, it most likely means that a lot of people are clicking your links and thus contributes to your site traffic in a big way.

Two Bonus Tools

When I first shared this post, it was suggested (thanks Nial!) that I add in Trust Flow and Citation Flow to this list so I am going to give a quick summary of both below.

Trust Flow: Trust Flow is a tool designed by Majestic, (a site quite similar to MOZ) which gives sites a score based on quality, on a scale between 0-100. If your site is closely linked to a trusted site (think BBC, CNN etc) your site will have a higher Trust Flow score, whereas sites that may have some questionable links would see a much lower score.

Citation Flow: Citation flow is another tool created by Majestic and is used alongside a sites Trust Flow score. It is a score between 0-100 which helps to measure the link equity or “power” the website or link carries. It essentially predicts how influential a URL might be based on how many (good) sites link to it.

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How To Get Published on The Huffington Post

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Ever wondered how to get published on The Huffington Post, and online news site that gets over one million hits every months? Here 7 accomplished writers, bloggers and photographers give some tips on how to get published on The Huffington Post.

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Bloggers love to blog. We love it, of course we do. But, as much as we love blogging just ‘for the sake of it’, what we really love is getting more readers. We love getting more hits. We love getting more followers. It means so much to bloggers when our posts get read, commented on and even better…shared. As much as we love blogging on our own sites, the opportunity to blog on external sites is very appealing. So many bloggers are creating the most incredible content every day and sadly no one is seeing all these wonderful posts.

Enter The Huffington Post. If you haven’t heard of The Huffington Post, you must be living under a rock. With an Alexa ranking of 93 (meaning it is the 93rd most visited site in the world!), over 1 BILLION unique page views a month and tens of millions of visitors, it really is in a world of its own.If you are looking to share your writing with the world, and you really would be sharing it with the whole world, then The Huffington Post is a site you should be aiming to get published on. Aim hugh, as they say.

So the question is, how on earth does a blogger/writer/rambler like me get published on a site like that? Fear not, for I have done the hard work for you for! I have talked to some incredible bloggers from around the world and they have all kindly offered to share their Huffington Post experiences. Find out how to get published, and what incredible things it will do for you and your blog. 

Amanda Walkins – Blogger at AWalk on the Run

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How did you initially get published on The Huffington Post?
I initially got published on The Huffington Post after reaching out to their new section “The Third Metric” via email. They had a post on their main page for that section seeking new contributors, so I emailed that address directly, rather than a general inbox. I linked to my blog and told them briefly about where I live and what I write about, and told them how my lifestyle was in line with that section’s main concepts. Within about an hour I had access to the backend of the blog to post whenever and whatever I wanted.

How has it helped your blog? 

While I’ve written a few articles for HuffPost, two have gone viral and drawn a ton of attention to my blog. My average article will bring in a handful of new Twitter followers, blog followers, and Facebook adds, but the two that went viral boosted my numbers in a huge way. After the most recent one, I gained more than 50 blog followers within 4 days – which is big for a newer niche blog like mine! I’ve also had a lot of HuffPost readers reach out to me directly with in-depth questions on moving abroad, so it’s prompted me to cover other topics on the blog that I hadn’t thought of before.
It’s been a great experience, and a great way to build my portfolio as a freelance writer as well. I can write about topics on HuffPost that are completely unrelated to my blog’s central theme, which opens up new doors to me. Basically, I love writing for HuffPost in case you couldn’t tell. Except for some of the comments…people can be harsh! Keep that in mind if you write anything that could be at all controversial (or just completely misunderstood in my case). 

Cliff Hsia Blogger/Owner of LiveFamilyTravel

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How did you initially get published on The Huffington Post?

I initially got published after I came back from my half-year cultural sabbatical of world travel. I pitched the editors of the Travel section with a simple message and a link to my blog post, titled “What I Learned From Five Months of Travel”. They liked it and it got published the next week. With a bit of beginner’s luck, the article was featured prominently on the Travel section for almost a whole week and has been one of my most well received articles on HuffPost to date.
I think the key to success is to pitch with one really good post that fits the content style of HuffPost. Good timing, persistence, and bit of luck helps too.

How has it helped your blog?

My blog has two distinct periods: before HuffPost and after HuffPost. With the large readership of HuffPost, my articles have been read by a lot of new readers, which results in a big increase in traffic to Live Family Travel. HuffPost has been the single biggest contributor to my early stage blog growth. Moreover, since most HuffPost articles are picked up by Flipboard, a considerable amount of new readers come from there as well. 

Lizzie Davey  Blogger at WanderfulWorld 

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How did you initially get published on The Huffington Post?

I’d just got back from Romania and was looking for places to pitch articles ideas from my trip, so I sent them a draft of a post I’d written highlighting my personal experiences in Bucharest and how I thought the city was changing rapidly. I initially reached out just to have that post published, but they gave me my own login details and the freedom to write posts and publish them whenever I wanted. 

How has it helped your blog? 

Whenever I publish a blog on the HuffPo I notice a surge in social media followers, subscribers, and views. My destination specific articles on there are the most popular, drawing in lots of visitors from those regions who have strong opinions. I’ve also had a number of brands approach me through my blogs on the HuffPo with press trip opportunities, and it always piques clients’ interest when I mention it in a pitch for new work. 

Aimee ChanEditor of Suitcases and Strollers

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How did you initially get published on The Huffington Post?  

I received an email from Arianna Huffington inviting me to submit some posts and hooking me up with the editorial team. I think the key was to ensure that I pitched a story idea that was unique and had a clear point of view. I wrote it in a way so as to ensure that the editors would know exactly what kind of story they would be getting from me.
 

How has it helped your blog?

In the world of online I expected the response in traffic to be instantaneous and direction-changing and it wasn’t at all. At first I was disappointed. But after a couple of months and a lot of diligent plugging away, I have found that now there is definitely a correlation between my website’s traffic and what I publish on Huffington Post. The readers I get from Huffington Post are more interactive and loyal too — they email me personally and want to develop a relationship with me and my website. However, it is not always the stories that you think will be popular that are. The one that has been the most successful for me was the one that had nothing to do with my website at all, so you never can tell what is going to work. 

Ellen Frankel Author at AuthorEllenFrankel

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How did you initially get published on The Huffington Post? 

I was first published on The Huffington Post in December 2012. The blog was called: Five Lessons of Hanukkah to Unwrap. I had been working with a publicist for one of my books that was being released that spring (Revolution of Jewish Spirit) and had written this short piece, which she sent out to various outlets. I did not know that she was planning on sending it to The Huffington Post, but she did, and they published it and then invited me to become a blogger. Since then, I have enjoyed blogging for them and have published 10 posts.

How has it helped your blog?

I used to blog on my website but have done much less blogging since I went back to work (I am a bereavement counselor at a non-profit hospice in the Boston area). I do have 7 books published (actually, the 7th will be out this spring) and hopefully the blogs help book sales or at least get the word out about my books. I have had great feedback from many posts, especially my blog called: The Edge of Grief: A Summer Reflection, which seemed to resonate with a lot of people.

Tom Gill Photographer at TomGillPhotography

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How did you initially get published on The Huffington Post?

A few years back, some of my frozen lighthouse photos were featured in a regional US magazine including the cover.  Shortly after, my images were discovered on my flickr.com photo sharing account by a news publisher in Australia.  The news syndicate ran a feature on the images and included a link to my personal blog.  A few days later, the Huffington Post contacted me and licensed the images for an article and feature on Huffington Post. Many other publishers and sites followed.  The Huffington Post followed up last December and ran a new set of frozen lighthouse images, and at that time, the photo editor asked me to become a photo blogger for Huffington Post.  I agreed to the terms, and they set up an account for me.  Now I can blog about what I wish, when I wish.  So while most of my posts so far have been in the Travel vertical, I’m really not a travel blogger, I’m a photo blogger, and will blog about my experiences where ever they take me.  But they do seem to fit well in travel.

How has it helped your blog?

The exposure from the initial features in Huffington Post (and other media outlets such as the Weather Channel) have increased traffic to my blog, and my photo sharing site.  In fact, after publication my page views on Flickr increased from an average of 3,000 a day, to over 80,000 a day.  Of course, this spikes, then falls a few days later, but it has not gone back as low as 3,000 in many months it averages around 10,000 a day.  My blog traffic also increased, but the numbers aren’t as dramatic, but percentage wise, it has increased 300%.

I don’t actively market my photography as many others do, I’m rather passive, so I rely on publications linking back to my work for additional work and photo sales. In addition to The Huffington Post, and the Weather Channel, my photos have been featured in books, magazines, calendars, news outlets, and countless web pages. I’m hoping to build a following on The Huffington Post.  My first entries received about 30 Facebook likes, but my post about shelf ice received over 10,000 Facebook likes, and hundreds of shares.  It could be the subject, or how it engaged the readers, I really can’t tell.

Carol E Wyer – Writer at Facing 50 With Humour

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How did you initially get published on The Huffington Post?

I was very lucky as The Huffington Post approached me to write for them. I had just finished How Not to Murder Your Grumpy and The Huffington Post requested a copy to read and review from my publishers. After reading it they invited me to write for their Huff50 section and wanted the initial couple of posts to be written in a similar vein to that book.

How has it helped with book sales or your blog?

I can’t really say if writing for The Huffington Post has lifted sales as I have also been involved in a lot of media work and appearances on television and radio also affect sales. However, one post I wrote had a link to my blog and a post I had written about If Men Were More Like Women. The day the Huffington Post article went live, my blog got 850 hits, substantially more than normal. I also saw an increase in number of followers on Twitter and Facebook and was invited by other websites to write for them on the back of posts written for The Huffington Post.

Writing for The Huffington Post has given me opportunities and assisted me hugely as a writer. It tests my writing skills and is very enjoyable.

So what are you waiting for?!  Get pitching those articles now! 

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Your Irish Adventure – New Blog!

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Exciting news readers…I have decided to set up a new website all about adventure in Ireland. Don’t worry, I will still be maintaining this as my main site, especially when it comes to my travel adventures.

The new site is aimed at people living in Ireland looking for fun things to do and places to go in Ireland and is aimed at both visitors to Ireland and locals living here. If you think you fall into either of those categories, or you just want to see what sort of fun adventures there are to do in Ireland, head on over to Your Irish Adventure and give it a follow! :-D

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Top 10 Korean Phrases – A Vlog

Last night myself and Shauna (from the amazing “What a Waygook” blog) decided to make our very first Vlog. We wanted it to be informative but also fun, so we decided to talk about the ‘Top 10 Korean Phrases’ that you should know while living here. Shauna asked all of her Facebook friends and followers which phrases they thought were the most useful and then we sat down in Shauna’s apartment, cup of Barry’s Tea in hand and pretty much had a chat about learning Korean.

We must have been chatting for about half an hour when we realised our beautiful video had cut off after 12 minutes due to the memory card being full. DISASTER!! A real beginners mistake, I know, but as my Dad always says, “If you do not learn from your mistakes, your are doomed to repeat them” and I can guarantee you this is not a mistake we will be repeating again!We hoped to teach you the Top 10 Korean Phrases (with a few BONUS phrases thrown in for good measure) but as our video cuts off early, you only get to enjoy the top 8 Korean phrases this time. We will finish the Vlog next week though, don’t you worry!

We really enjoyed making the video together and we are hoping you will enjoy watching it. It was our FIRST EVER time doing this, so please let us know (leave a comment here or tweet us @iamshaunabrowne or @janetnewenham)  if you would like us to make any other videos about life in Korea.

Here are the phrases (Yes, there are actually more than 10, we know!!) written in both Korean and English and with what we hope is the proper way to pronounce them. Happy Learning!

1. Hello– 안녕하세요. Anyeong ha sayo.

2. Thank You– 감사합니다 Gamsa ham ni da

3. Yes– 네 ney

4. No– 아니요 ah ni o

5. Where is the ___________? ________ 이 어디에 있어요? ___ o d eh is oh yo?  For example, “Where is the bathroom?’ The word for bathroom is 화장실( hwa jang shil) so the sentence becomes 화장실이 어디에 있어요?

6. How to I get to _______? _________ 어땋게 가요? o ddeok kay gay yo? For example, How do I get to Seoul is 서울 어떻게 가요?

7. I’m sorry– 미안합니다. me ann ham ni da. There are a few ways to say I’m sorry. This one is very polite and once you get better at Korean you can change the polite level depending on the situation.

8.Discount Please, 갂아 주세요. Gakk ah chew say yo. This can only be used when the price isn’t set. For example at a market or somewhere.

9. Simmer down/calm down; 침착해요. Chim chak hay yo. A great one if you’re out and about and someone is bothering you or something like that.

10. How much is this? 이거 얼마예요? e go ul mah eh yo? (이거 being “this”).

11. Directions; 직진- jik jin,  Straight

오른쪽 oh ruhn chuk, Right

윈쪽 wen chuk, Left

여기 세워 주세요. yoh gi say woh Chew say yo, Stop here please

12. Really? 진짜? jiin ja? I love this word! Even these days when I can’t follow my student or whatever I just reply “진짜”?

13. One moment please, 잠깐만요. Jam can man yo, . You can use this when getting off the subway, bus or just to say “wait a minute”

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree

When I saw the title of this weeks photo challenge I knew immediately which photos I wanted to use. It should be noted that one of the shots below was not actually taken by me…it was in fact taken by my camera as it floated away into the sky.

I’m guessing it was feeling pretty carefree at the time, as the timer worked its charm, snapping aerial photos of my house and farm every 2 seconds as it began its journey West with not a worry in the world….except for the pull of the 20 colorful helium balloons to which it was tied to. 

Admittedly I’m sure my camera was feeling a lot more CAREFREE than I was! (To read more about the camera adventure, click HERE.)

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gopro aerial photos

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gopro aerial photo balloons UP

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