Twelve months blogging milestone

Three, then six, then nine months had passed and so I am here at first birthday of Rarst.net blog. Honestly feels like any other day. So let’s see how this year went for my blog and my readers. :)

Readership

In these twelve months (actually eleven since I started counting properly) blog was visited by over fifty thousands visitors that read my posts over hundred thousands times.

I have to admit I fail to visualize this number. Ten people I understand, hundred people is crowd. 50K is hell lot. While it is tiny drop on Internet scale it is really freaking lot for an introvert person who is not even much used to getting people listening. By the way I had 10K visitors in last month alone. I won’t call growth explosive but it is steady and considerable from month to month.

As for community there are some people around here who were with me for most of this year, some had left by now and some had only joined recently.

Too many of you to try and list names (including 250+ commenters, 650+ subscribers, 200+ Twitter followers and unknown number of dedicated lurkers) so I will generalize and say that I am glad to have every single one of you as my reader, as well as hundreds of valuable and extensive comments you deem this blog worthy to receive.

Content

341 posts, quite short of post daily and I seem to slow down (and be more thorough) with time. Still many thousands of words and I can’t help but be proud that I did get somewhat better at this since I started. :)

Top read posts:

  1. Getting rid of software with Revo Uninstaller (3154)
  2. Edit files on FTP with Notepad++ plugin (2822)
  3. DrWeb LiveCD – free bootable antivirus (2602)
  4. How to fix “Failed to install catalog files” error (1455)
  5. How to check if port is open with YouGetSignal.com (1415)
  6. Stream and share media with UPnP server/player setup (1125)
  7. Choosing portable antivirus – ClamWin Vs CureIt! (1108)
  8. How to calculate best BitTorrent settings (1072)
  9. ClipNabber.com video download service (866)
  10. Google Page Speed vs Yahoo YSlow (859)

I cannot boast high figures on every single post so these are mostly those that got favored by search engines Google.

Traffic

  • 46.33% sent by search engines;
  • 34.46% sent by referring sites;
  • 19.22% of direct traffic.

I think it is quite healthy proportion with decent chunk of search engine traffic (that took me long months to get), as well as nice amount of incoming links and good percentage of returning users.

Top referring sites:

  1. gHacks (3462)
  2. Freeware Genius (1721)
  3. Appnews (1297)
  4. Freeware Junkie (1201)
  5. Entrecard (905)
  6. WPWebHost (459)
  7. Twitter (245)
  8. Nice2All (234)
  9. Coding Horror (197)
  10. Daily Blog Tips (196)

On large scale nothing beats awesome blogroll and in-posts links for fellow tech bloggers. Martin, Samer and Rob – I will never stop to repeat how much your support means for me and what a great contribution it is for this blog. You rock! :)

Lower end of scale shows that bashing Apple zealots or boring blogging wisdoms in comments of popular blogs may be decent way to attract some attention in little time. :)

Design

Code and looks of this blog are (at long last) in let the dust settle mode. It all served me well, allowed me to learn tons and probably hit ceiling.

So now I am slowly and carefully building new theme. That will probably struggle as hard as current to look decent with minimum eye candy and few colors… But it will run on extremely powerful code base with many tweaks and extensions to perform the way I want it to and will be recognizable as unique theme of Rarst.net.

Monetizing

In recent months this blog steadily brings $2 in monthly profits. :) So far I failed to make banners perform (themes manages to be incompatible with about most of formats) and affiliate experience is nothing to talk about either.

This is something that needs serious resolve to figure out – which I lack, occupied by techie side of things most of the time. But I will get there. Proper and efficient integration of monetizing elements is one of important goals of abovementioned new theme.

Goals

From month to month my goals changed from tactical stuff to making some strategic decisions and poking large new areas. I won’t do milestones that often in the future so for next year my plans roughly are:

  1. Move to new theme and maximize edge that techie stuff and my programming skills give to this blog.
  2. Seriously try to turn this blog into profitable asset which might greatly influence its future no matter the outcome.
  3. Get some order in my life. I rarely mention personal stuff but I suspect it often leaks as overall mood of this blog. Lately I have had yet another lifestyle crash forced on me and it will take ton of effort to get back calm and happy mood I started this blog with.

Overall

I probably should finish with something profound, but I am tired and sleepy. This blog is nothing to sneeze at and I am happy about that. Looking forward to second year (after I get some sleep).

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10 Comments

  • Happy birthday rarst.net keep going with that good articles ;)

  • Congrats on completion of a grand year of blogging, wish you all the best for all the good looking future :-).

  • Keep up the great job. I wish I had as much time as you do to work on my site. Unfortunately school is taking most of my time.

    Fortunately, my site is making about $200 cash every month. :)

    Happy Birthday!

  • @Chocobito

    Thanks and will do. :)

    @Keith

    Hehe, thank you and I will do my best so future goes well for this blog. :)

    @Diego

    You will be done with it some day, just try to don’t get yourself into even more troublesome job. :)

    Nice figure btw, what monetization works for you?

  • What I’m doing is not troublesome, it’s extremely great. I’m working in a lab on a university with some very talented people. So I’m conducting a project and participating in this summer program as well in San Diego, CA. So I’m enjoying myself. :)

    Monetization? Primarily link advertisement. Check my menu on my site…you’ll probably realize what I do. It’s mostly people contacting me to place links on my site. It works out well!

  • These figures are impressive. To me it has always seemed that you really enjoy blogging and I would like to think that this is the biggest contributing factor towards your success. Happy birthday.

  • Funny how themes affect people. I used to love gHacks, but after they changed the look of their site, I dropped it from my AM list. I’m sure they miss me :)

    Order is overrated and (in my life) always short-lived.

    Profit, on the other hand – well, you can never have too much. Good luck with that.

  • I tried to keep a blog, and failed, so I really understand the time and effort you put in it. It will pay off in time.

    FYI, one of the reason that I come back here is not only because you have great and interesting articles, it is because you take the time to read and reply to our comments, that really makes a difference!

    Congrats to you, and happy birthday at rarst.net!

  • @Diego

    Now that you say it I vaguely remember asking in the past once already. :) Don’t think paid links path appeals to me.

    @Lyndi

    Some days less than others, heh.

    I think that every single milestone post in this year had your comment. Thank you for being around and your long commitment to reading what I write. :)

    @kelltic

    Ouch, I’ll hope you will like my next theme or I’ll have to leave old theme option just for you. :)

    I define order in life as “no one tries to screw with me and my head for substantially long period of time”. I don’t ask for much.

    And thanks, luck improves anything. :)

    @JeeMan

    So they say. :) I certainly hope so.

    On comments – I like to get answers when I comment so I won’t do it any other way here. There are very very few people who leave comments and even less do it consistently. Proper reply is least of things they deserve.

  • I’m accepting anything that helps pay my school bills since everything is so expensive now. =) So far its working out fine for me. My ad placement right now seems to be the most effective as well. I’m average about $.40 on certain days and up to $3.00 every now and then.

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