Blog Traffic Report: February 2013
March 2, 2013 Leave a comment
Welcome to February’s traffic report (see January’s here). My goal in sharing these data is to provide you some encouragement and support in your own blogging journey. If you blog, I’d love to hear how you did in February in the comments.
A few highlights from last month:
- The story of Homeless Dave took on a life of its own. In total, I wrote 6 posts related to Dave’s story. Also, I created a “Start” page for Dave’s story in response to inquiries around how to read the story, which linked to all related posts.
- I began accepting donations using PayPal, totaling $1,421. I’ve received many questions on how to use PayPal for donations, so I may post something on that soon.
- I continued blogging less often (read why I began posting less). In February, I posted 9 times, compared to 22 in January. Even so, pageviews increased (see below).
Personally, I was pretty busy in February, with travel, work, and home-life. Because I knew my time would be limited compared to prior months, I wasn’t sure what to expect going into the month …
Even with limited time invested, February continues to show growth over prior months.
I’ve decided to summarize the stats using the following table, so that it is easier to see month-over-month (“MoM”) trends:
While visitors grew by a meager 3%, pageviews grew by 46%. I interpret this to mean that the blog has a regular group of readers (around 1,200), who are starting to engage more per visit (around 1 page more per visit this month).
In my opinion, 3-4 pages per visit is a decent ratio; let me know your thoughts in the comments.
Top Traffic Sources
The most pageviews continue to be driven by Facebook, with LinkedIn and Search Engines a distant second and third:
- Facebook: 1,645 pageviews
- LinkedIn: 213 pageviews
- Search Engines: 159 pageviews
In an effort to further promote Homeless Dave’s story, I experimented with using a Promoted Post on Facebook. It only cost $7, and took about 2 minutes to complete (great user experience). I received my receipt from Facebook immediately, but it took a while for the post to actually get promoted.
Here’s how the post did with the $7 encouragement, showing a 2.9x increase in views:
In addition, I experimented by running a Facebook Ad for Dave’s story. I decided to spend $10 for 3 days, targeting 7,500 people in the local area. I selected to pay by thousand impressions.
Not much happened, as I only saw about 1,400 impressions. I decided to increase the bid to 50 cents p/thousand, and within 45 minutes, the impressions had increased to 39,456, resulting in 9 clicks to the blog.
At the end of the campaign, here’s how we ended up:
I think that both Facebook Promoted Posts and Ads are worthwhile advertising expenditures, and I’m going to continue experimenting with them in the future.
Top 7 Posts
6 out of the top 7 posts were related to Homeless Dave. Here are the top posts in order of pageviews:
- Costa Mesa Homeless: My Time With Dave (Part 2): 368
- Costa Mesa Homeless: My Time With Dave (Part 3): 330
- [PICS] Costa Mesa Homeless: My Time With Dave (Part 6): 246
- [Video] Costa Mesa Homeless: My Time With Dave (Part 5): 176
- DSCOOP8 Nashville Photo Dump: 147
- Costa Mesa Homeless: My Time With Dave: 126
- Costa Mesa Homeless: Dave’s Story [Start Here]: 123
As I mentioned above, February was an active month for me in terms of webinars and tradeshows. I visited Vegas (short summary here), and Nashville (photo dump here), both for MindFire to spread the gospel of Marketing Automation.
While this kind of activity minimizes the amount of time I have to write, I notice that my social numbers generally increase when I’m on the road or doing webinars.
Here’s how my audience looks, with month-over-month comparisons:
Facebook and LinkedIn connections both grew (11% and 22% respectively), but in case you’re jealous, don’t be: I continue my trend of sucking at Twitter (gained 1%, or 7 followers — boo!).
I just started engaging with Pinterest, and will reflect those numbers on a go-forward basis as well.
My email subscribers remain low, which I will probably need to focus on in order to grow engagement with the site.
Here’s how Klout views my engagement, showing a 3 point increase over January:
Revenue & Donations
Revenue hasn’t been a focus, so I’m not surprised by the big fat zero. However, donations were not a focus either, but on a whim, I experimented with asking readers to get involved in Homeless Dave’s story, and donations followed. You can read the behind-the-scenes story here.
I have some thoughts around how to monetize the blog, as I get a lot of questions from readers regarding whether (or not) it is possible to generate income from blogging. I intend to put money where my mouth is and show you how to generate income, but there are a few things I want to do first.
After having posted a few of these summaries, I’ve noticed that most questions I receive are related to one of these topics:
- How do I start blogging? I don’t know where to begin.
- Who will want to read my blog? How will I get any traffic if there are so many other blogs out there?
- Can I really make money blogging?
By the way, I get the question of “how do I start” about many things — including how to start a business — so I may write a blog post on how to launch a blog for little to no cost so that I can point people there as a resource.
In answer to the question of who will want to read your blog, I hope that my stats give you some encouragement. You can see that from nearly a standing start, this blog was able to generate some traction over the course of a few months.
Believe me, I also struggle with the idea of “Who will want to read my crap?”, but I always take the approach of providing value in the form that I’d like to receive it. In other words, I write about things that I would be interested in reading, and figure that there are others out there who are similarly interested.
Until next month, I wish you continued success in your own journey!
Now it’s your turn: If you blog, how was February for you? What were your results? If you don’t blog, what would like to know that would help you start? What are you afraid of?