Blog Traffic Monthly Report: January 2013
February 1, 2013 4 Comments
Welcome to the second monthly traffic report, where I share the blog’s metrics (you can see last month’s report here). My purpose is to give insights and ideas that may help in your own blogging journey. In the comments, let me know what other data are helpful to you.
Before we begin, here are some things I did differently in January 2013:
- Added Pinterest as a sharing option (before, it was only available behind the “More” button). Content started to get “pinned” almost immediately.
- Started posting every few days, as opposed to once daily. You’ll see the results of this experiment below (you might be surprised).
- Completed my Google Authorship, which I had started in December 2012, but for some reason didn’t finish.
- Revised the “About” page to be less formal. Instead of referring to myself in the third person, I modified the text to the first person, and intentionally made it more personal. My intent was for you to feel we were sitting down over coffee and chatting about our lives. This page was the 5th most requested in January.
Let’s see what these changes did to traffic.
First, the numbers for January:
- Pageviews: 3,015 +37% (December: 2,189)
- Visitors: 931 +14% (December: 814)
Here it is graphically:
Visitors and pageviews went up over December, which is great, but also interesting given that I decreased my blogging frequency (read “Why I Will Be Posting Less“). Whereas in December I blogged daily, January was a time of experimentation, in which I posted 22 times (29% less than the previous month).
Even so, traffic was up. In addition, 1/26/13 was a record-breaking day in terms of pageviews, reaching 307 (previous record was 296).
I’m very goal-driven, so if you’re wondering what I’m shooting for, I’ve challenged myself to 10,000 monthly pageviews. If I can get this blog to that point, I figure it provides a springboard for a variety of things.
By the way, at some point, I will switch from a WordPress hosted blog to a self-hosted platform, where I can use Google Analytics and give you even more insight.
Top Traffic Sources
Traffic came from the following sources:
- Facebook: 984 (61%)
- LinkedIn: 195 (12%)
- Search Engines: 194 (12%)
- Twitter: 59 (3.7%)
Facebook remains #1, with LinkedIn and Search Engines virtually tied for second place. I remain quite sucky at using Twitter as a traffic generator, so if you have suggestions, let me know in the comments.
Search engine keyword themes & phrases included:
- John Rosendahl related phrases (John is my uncle)
- Getting engaged (odd, right? A friend got engaged and I wrote a short post on something no one tells you about getting engage)
- V2MOM (an organizational alignment method made famous by SalesForce.com)
- Agile, scrum , and sprint related phrases (a process we use to develop kick-a** software)
After December’s report, I shared the results with a few friends. While I was pleasantly surprised at December’s pageviews and visitors (considering I started from zero towards the end of November), the most common response was: “Well, don’t you have a large network from which to draw readers?”
I’m not sure how my network stacks relative to yours, so I’ve decided to share these stats too:
- Facebook: 949 friends
- LinkedIn: 1,903 connections
- Twitter: 543 followers
- Email: 32 subscribers
I’m not sure if these numbers seem good or bad to you, so I’m simply reporting them without providing commentary until I get a sense for what everyone thinks. Here’s what Klout thinks of my activity:
Top 7 Posts
Here are January’s top 7 posts by pageviews (not included the home page), starting with #1:
- Elizabeth: Homeless, But Not Voiceless — a comment I received on Facebook blew me away with its honesty and insight, and in the process, met one of this blog’s goals: to have comments worthy of being a post themselves. The comment is from Elizabeth, who happens to be homeless. Her comment is included in its entirety.
- What’s The Difference Between You and J? — a story about my time with J, a homeless friend I met in a Target parking lot
- Costa Mesa Homeless: My Time With Dave — a story of time spent with Dave (also homeless), and who I also met in the Target parking lot
- Confession: I’m Ashamed of This — a post about an inner struggle I’m ashamed of; lots of comments suggested that I’m not alone
- About Me — the revised “About” page, which includes a more personal tone and spirit
- John Rosendahl: 1955 – 9/1/2012 — a post about my uncle’s suicide, including an update with a slideshow from his memorial
- Why I Will Be Posting Less — covering why I decided to experiment with posting less often (ironically, was a top post for the month)
Revenue & Donations
My goal is not to generate income from blogging (at least at this point). However, I’ve started experimenting with affiliate links in a few posts, since I tend to talk about books I read from time-to-time. So far, those links have received 22 clicks, but no sales. I plan to continue this experiment as time goes on.
Acquiring donations for the causes mentioned in the blog was also never my intent, but I recently felt compelled to involve others in the stories of the homeless men I’ve spent time with. This experiment was launched on 1/31, and as of writing this, $176 has been donated. Wow!
Here are a few things I learned this month:
- Going from posting daily to every few days did not hurt traffic. In fact, traffic increased in January. I’m not sure this is entirely attributed to posting less often, but I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts in the comments.
- You can increase traffic and engagement by re-broadcasting older posts. For example, I updated this post about my uncle, given that search engines continue to bring in regular traffic to this page. I added a slideshow and updated the content. After sharing it on Facebook, I saw traffic to this page rise, and engagement increased with more comments.
- Speaking of Facebook: it continues to dominate as the best inbound source. By far, Facebook drives the most engagement and activity. I’m going to continue experimenting with other social networks while continuing to refine how I use Facebook. In addition, I’m going to speak to our marketing team at MindFire, and see if we should invest more in Facebook for lead generation.
Lastly: if you’re wondering what kinds of benefits this blog has brought me personally, one thing I’ve noticed is that it has laid a foundation for a platform to communicate with other like-minded people.
For example, you’ve seen my posts on the homeless in our city; the response via the blog, Facebook, and offline channels has been substantial. The blog has enabled me to share stories in a way that was previously difficult, and it has brought new friends, contacts, and opportunities to the table. I’m going to think more about this and continue to share ideas on how blogging can become a platform.
Until next time!
Questions: If you blog, what was your top post for January? Why do you think that was the case? How do your January data compare to what I’ve shared?
If you don’t blog, what can I share that would help you take the next step? Leave a comment below and let’s discuss.