Nine months blogging milestone

So three more months passed since last checkpoint and I again present cute graphs, boring numbers and what they mean (or not) for this blog. :)

Readership

In January blog had slowly recovered from Christmas curse and two following months brought more than positive change with solid traffic growth. March closed averaging 239 daily visitors (which is still very short of magical daily thousand figure). :)

9months_visitors

RSS count rose steadily and about twice as fast (meaning conversion rate is pretty stable) to around 380 subscribers at moment.

Plenty of comments and some new faces. I had 1000 comments milestone two months ago and already well into second thousand.

Content

74 posts, again declined a little. I gradually went to ~6 weekly post to give myself break from time to time. Scheduling posts ahead works good but I am rarely in a mood to write in bulk – need considerable cool off after writing post.

Top pages:

  1. Home page (15%)
  2. Edit files on FTP with Notepad++ plugin (search, 3.3%)
  3. DrWeb LiveCD – free bootable antivirus (search, 3.3%)
  4. How to fix “Failed to install catalog files” error (search, 2.5%)
  5. ClipNabber.com video download service (search, 2.5%)

Flaky spikes of early months were slowly replaced with search traffic. These posts do well in Google but combined make up for little over 10% of traffic so it won’t be deadly if they are de-ranked.

Traffic

I still completely suck at promotion so traffic is increasing mostly because of search engines. Which is perfect since long-term and good traffic (as opposed to pimp-your-content social one) is exactly what I like.

Top traffic sources:

  1. Google (51%, +31%)
  2. Direct (19%, no change)
  3. gHacks (3.8%, –1%)
  4. Freeware Junkie (2.8%, new in top)
  5. Yahoo (2.6%, new in top)

Completely overtaken by search (Google) traffic overall. Kudos to Rob who managed to land in top five at last after continuously loosing to Samer by tiny margin. :)

Social stuff is nowhere in sight.

Google

Up to Page Rank 4 (+1) with recent update. Overall Google traffic is on completely different level.

9months_google

I just hope it stick this time instead of crashing in rollercoaster style yet again. :)

Design

Can’t say it is theme of my dreams but I am pretty sure I hit limit in how far my skills can take me. Some minor details left to redo (like comment form) but overall I am out of urges to tweak it.

Not as light as in the beginning (thanks to fancy header) but still loads and works well.

Monetizing

I had returned AdSense in March and it had even managed to cover hosting costs for a month (or at least it will in around ten months it will take to first Google check at this rate).

Goals for last three months

  1. Finalize design. Fail but very close. Will be surely done by end of first year as planned.
  2. Start to learn SEO. Read pile of bookmarked articles and did extensive fixing of theme internals (one of weak aspects). From here most sane advice is that I should go get links. And I suck at getting links.
  3. Figure out possible monetizing opportunities. AdSense and affiliate for now. Big AdSense tweaking and optimization pass upcoming, will see how affiliate stuff performs – will post on it soon.
  4. Produce social strategy and focus on it. Screw social. How is that for a strategy? :)
  5. Keep up the overall pace. Done perfectly. I guess.

Goals for next three months

  1. Close all of design and whatever else issues.
  2. Including setup-and-forget monetizing if possible.

Really, nothing else to do at moment. I just need to complete all managing-establishing tasks so only thing left is writing content and looking into ways blog can be further improved. Oh and promote. Did I mention I suck at that?

Overall

Last three months were very uneventful to the point of boring. Much less group writings and contests to participate in.

On other hand traffic improved considerably and I hope trend will keep up instead of fluctuating as it did in the past.

So kudos to community, welcome to recently joined and let’s all see where Rarst.net will stand by the end of first year. :)

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14 Comments

  • Not bad, not bad at all. I have to agree with you with regards to the traffic from the search engines, that is the good traffic we are all looking for. Congratulations on reaching most of your goals, this was a job well done.

  • @Lyndi

    That was not much of a job. Except of sticking with it and pumping content steadily. :)

    I am somewhat bored with design and rest of things that were interesting challenge at start… I guess promotion and monetizing will be new toys in following months.

    Thanks for sticking around and your continuous support! :)

  • A man with a plan and the follow through…I’ll have to take some time to examine this article more closely (as well as all those bookmarked articles I have). I’m struggling just to find the time to write and the topics to write about!

    I’m your success will sustain at the rate you’re going.

  • @Nick

    Not really plan, just weak self-organizing attempts.

    I don’t complain about time in recent years, being unsocial lazy introvert geek I have plenty of that. :)

    Thanks for sticking around! Let’s see how far my plan will get me in the future.

  • Funny to see your line about “social” and it is coming back in your comments…
    Probably that is also (uh… also..??) my failure…. I should be way more social… but hey…. my real life friends even consider me non-social = so how the &$#@ should I do that online….?

  • @Sjeltur

    Yep online is no freaking different. Except that social is additionally perverted when stupid things like running around different services and amassing thousands “friends” for the only sake of pitching them your links to visit or “promote”.

    I like to know that there are real people gathering here little by little. Not thousands of them but they know that they can always leave a comment here and get reply. :)

    That’s better “social” than spinning followera counter on Twitter. :)

  • It’s good to see goals being achieved here. I think the design is great by the way.

    Some really good stats there, you’re putting me to shame……must write some more stuff :( Well Done!

  • @Jonny

    Well, I don’t consider this design great but it’s not ugly (already a lot as for me), fits my taste and works for my readers (it seems). :) I just need to finish tweaks at last and let it cook for a few months.

    On stats my best advice is to ignore what other blogs post about those. :) At least until you start encountering blogs that are smaller than yours and believe me that takes time, lol.

    Thanks for being around!

  • Search engine traffic is indeed great; I mean I had a one month hiatus and was still averaging 140 hits per day, not ‘brilliant’ but good nonetheless.

    I have also been considering setting up a more robust posting schedule as a I see a 35% increase of traffic on post days but I am in fact way to swamped with work!

    and yes the best SEO recommendation once you have done all the implicit things is to garner links; I would ofc recommend my own post on the best link that I wrote last month! and my latest favourite software traffic android ;)

  • Let me reiterate the pros.

    1) Its not evil! any ‘socialite’ will submit their stuff to their favourite social engines, this just helps do it a bit faster!

    2) its not about PR! its never been about PR…PR is just a number…

    3)…its all about serps and this is not limited to google but yahoo msn and ask also.

    4) Not wanting to requote my last months post but not all links are equal there are all weighed differently and domain authority is one of the many key factors which social sites have.

    5) PLUS with the new adsense roll out of ‘behavioural adds’ your conversion rates form social trafiic in theory should increase….

    I’ll add more points later on msn!

  • @Donace

    Yeah, automated software to gather PR-less links is sure sounds like a good plan to gain favor of single dominant search engine. Not. :)

  • @Rarst; I don’t claim to be an expert either.

    I also believe ‘you get better by providing better content’ but you may be writing Shakespeare, Millersque works but if no-one knows about them it is useless.

    Re: you point about delicious…it not about the direct or immediate traffic form it.

    I propose a small experiment in your next post DO NOT submit it to delicious.

    Check your serp ranking for the posts main keyword; 24hrs later check it again (to eliminate wordpress initial boost.)

    THEN submit it to delicious using your keyword in the description and tags and check your serp rankings 12hrs or so after this (to eliminate initial boost).

    You SHOULD see a boost in the serp rankings; it may be one it may be a few places different.

    Extrapolate from this the possible effects to submitting it to other Social sites that will help boost SERP ranking and therefore Search engine traffic…which is the targeted money making traffic and NOT the social traffic you COULD/WILL receive.

  • @Donace

    Clearly I am no expert. I just follow “never ask barber if you need a haircut”.

    There are a lot of stuff that claims to be so much value for bloggers. Somehow I don’t see any of my high-profile blogger acquaintances using such stuff.

    I just think you don’t get better by searching for shortcuts, you get better by providing better content and getting better community that is thankful to you.

    PS I have my post auto-submitted to delicious. Brought me whole of 5 (five) visitors in last three months. :)

  • @Donace

    I am not qualified to make careful SEO estimations, at least yet. :) I will get to it eventually…

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