Blog Traffic Report: February 2013

February_header

Pageviews continue to grow!

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:

  • 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 … Read more of this post

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Blog Traffic Monthly Report: January 2013

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.

Read more of this post

Why I Will Be Posting Less

Since launching this blog late last year, I’ve posted every day (even Christmas!). Many of you have provided feedback (both online and offline), and there are two common themes woven throughout:

#1: “How do you manage to write each day!?” (Answer: Use a template, be disciplined, love what you do …)

#2: “Posting once a day might be too much.”

Regarding #2: Traffic has gone up rather consistently since the start, but since I am a big believer in experimentation, I’m going to create fewer posts per week — and see what happens.

I am reminded of an idea in The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss. It’s called the “minimum effective dose,” or MED. He explains it as:

…the smallest dose that will produce the desired outcome. Any thing beyond the MED is wasteful. To boil water, the MED is 212°F (100°C) at standard air pressure. Boiled is boiled. Higher temperatures will not make it ‘more boiled.’ Higher temperatures just consume more resources that could be used for something more productive.

So, what if I can get the same traffic — but with half the posts? This means gaining several hours per week that can be invested in other activities, like:

  • Finding great material to share with you, and writing higher quality posts (as Google’s Larry Page puts it: “More wood behind fewer arrows.”)
  • Writing an e-book or creating educational material
  • Seeking guest blogging opportunities

I still believe posting often is one of the best ways for new bloggers to build traffic.  But let’s challenge the status quo and see what happens.

Lastly: since some of you have asked for clarification around what this is blog is about, I’ve updated the “About” page to give you a clearer idea what you can expect as a reader.  Take a look.

Let me know what you think!

How to Build a High Traffic Blog Without Going Crazy: Secrets From Tim Ferriss

A few years ago at the Inc500 conference, I had an opportunity to meet Tim Ferriss, author of “The 4-Hour Work Week,” “4-Hour Body,” and “4-Hour Chef” (all three are New York Times and WSJ best-sellers). Tim has a great blog at fourhourworkweek.com/blog/, and has built a successful empire around his content.

Around the same time as the Inc500 event, Tim spoke at the WordPress Conference about how to build and optimize a high traffic blog.

Even though it was a few years ago, some of the lessons are still helpful and relevant. Here’s a summary of some of the interesting points:

Read more of this post

Blog Traffic Monthly Report: December, 2012

I’m often asked what kind of results to expect in the first month of blogging.  As of today, I’ve written 30 posts (including this one), meeting my objective of one short post per day.

I’m running a number of experiments with this blog (which maybe I’ll cover in another post), and so measuring the data has been an important part of the process.

Here’s a summary of this blog’s ROI (return on investment) for the first 30 days. Read more of this post

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