Monthly Blogging Report: February 2013

Feburary has proved to be a great month! And wow, after the kick in the teeth that was the end of last year, I really needed it.

Stats started recovering, and, as is so often the way, once things were on the up I felt so much better, so I put more effort in, so things improved some more. An upward spiral, following the downward one, if you will.

The Big Redesign

So, if you recall, this month I was intending to check out some sites that I liked, design-wise, and then engage a designer with a really clear list of requirements for what I want in terms of a brand-new site design.

Turns out, I’m too much of a control freak. I got myself Photoshop, and got to work. I designed a new logo. I changed a few things. I did it again, and again, and again. I decided it was perfect.

I started working on the Cascading Style Sheet, or CSS for short. This is the code which tells your internet browser how to display the website. Everything from the type of font, the size of it, and the colour of links, are all altered using CSS.

I chose a set of colours – main ones, and a few accents. I changed them. I changed them again. I decided they were perfect. Then, I looked at them on a few different computers / tablets and phones. The same colour really does show up very differently depending on your monitor! I always thought that was something makeup companies told us to justify sending out lipsticks that look nothing like the website.

So I redid the colours. I was fairly happy with them. I redid the sidebar in the new colours. But by then, with all the other changes, the logo looked wrong… So I redid the logo. Again.

You can see how this is going. It’s a lot of trial and error. I’m sure it would be a lot quicker to hire someone. However, I really feel I can do a good job of this myself, if I put the time in. And I’m willing to put the time in. I must have invested about 40 hours in design this month. This isn’t reasonable for most part-time bloggers, which is why I would usually suggest going the professional route.

The Rebranding

Rebranding is also underway. It’s a pain. I have to start new accounts in my new name with all the social media sites. I have to think about transferring my e-mail over too. I’ll be honest, it’s kind of over-whelming.

I’m attacking this, and the whole redesign, by writing out to do lists.

Relaunch To Do List

  • Finalise site design
  • Install on my honest answer
  • Install whole site on new domain
  • TEST!
  • Set up redirect from MHA to new domain

But then I’ve got a to do list with micro actions. In this case, the CSS for the new design

CSS To Do List

  • Change ‘search’ box
  • Decide finally on colours
  • Modify bottom footor in those colours
  • Change sidebar colour / opacity?

I have another list for page layouts, where I might tweak where I want the number of comments to show, and so on. Basically, it’s slow going. But instead of telling myself, ‘Today, you’re going to redesign the website!’, I tell myself, ‘Today, you’re going to redesign the Search box’. If I get that done, I move onto something else.

Using this system, I have achieved so much in under a month. The redesign is almost complete, but as always, the last few jobs are the ones I don’t know how to do, so they will take the longest.

WordPress Statistics

Page Views: 3,888 (Previous month: 2,405)

Best Day: 199 views (Previous month: 139)

Best Week: 1,029 views (Previous month: 682)

Much better! Still not up to the levels seen before I was hacked, but I’m hopeful that, combined with the redesign launch, they will be back to previous levels in March.

Google Statistics:

Page Views: 3,907  (Previous month: 2,453)

Visitors: 2,871 (Previous month: 1,812)

Unique Visitors: 2,521 (Previous month: 1,491)

Page Views per Visitor: 1.36 (Previous month: 1.35)

Average Time on Site:  1:07 (Previous month: 1:01)

Traffic sources February 2013

65% Search Traffic

4% Referral Traffic
29% Direct Traffic
2% Campaigns (ie. Subscribers)
 
Other stats:

Best Alexa Ranking of the month: I’ve given up tracking this for the moment. It’s too volatile!

Page Rank: 1 (Oh, how this is doing my head in!)

Subscribers: Around mid 70s.

Adsense

Revenue recovered quite well from the post-Christmas slump.

The Targets I had set

  • Engage a designer for the new site
  • Explain clearly what I want, get work started.
  • Look into site redirects.
  • Decide whether I am keeping my less than stellar older content, or deleting it.

I decided against engaging a designer, but the good is that, despite this, the redesign is further along than I thought it would be even with help! I’m so motivated this month.

Targets for March

  • Finalise site design
  • Install on my honest answer
  • Install whole site on new domain
  • TEST!
  • Set up redirect from MHA to new domain

It’s going to be another busy month for me!

Monthly Blogging Report: January 2013

So, in November’s Report, I told you I felt that I was a crossroads with my blog.

I decided there were two courses of action:

  • Stop blogging
  • Go all out to make my honest answer a success.

Throughout December, I was still thinking things through. Now the New Year is here, and I feel it brought with it some clarity.

Because  I’ve come up with a third option:

  • Go all out to make an advice column a success, but with a different name from my honest answer. 

Yep, it’s a big decision.

New Name, New Direction?

It was a big decision. I put a lot of thought into it. I started to feel that my ‘brand’ wasn’t right back in November. I really pinned down those feelings during my vacation that month, and began brainstorming new names. After two months of ruminations, I chose a new name.

I’m not going to reveal it now. All will come in due time. But it’s going to be a big job designing and branding a new site, and moving all my existing content over to it. Don’t worry though, I’ll take you all along for the ride!

The Reason For My Falling Stats

The biggest surprise for January was that I found out why my stats were falling so drastically.

I HAD BEEN HACKED.

As a result, google was telling all searchers that ‘this site may have been compromised’, which was, obviously, resulting in far fewer search visitors clicking through.

Yes, it was scary. Yes, I am mad that this happened in November, and instead of finding out, and dealing with it, I just assumed my falling stats were because I was crap.

But. Overall, I’m happy about it, because at least now I know WHY my stats were falling so badly, and, the best news, I’ve rectified it, and my stats are recovering!

Moral of the story: if you stats suddenly drop and you don’t know why… investigate.

Onto those stats… since I only discovered and fixed the hack at the end of the month, it was a terrible month stats wise.

WordPress Statistics

Page Views: 2,405 (Previous month: 1,963)

Best Day: 139 views (Previous month: 95)

Best Week: 682 views (Previous month: 539)

Terrible stats again, but wow, I’m glad to see them heading in the right direction!

Google Statistics:

Page Views: 2,453  (Previous month: 2,000 )

Visitors: 1,812 (Previous month: 1,514)

Unique Visitors: 1,491 (Previous month: 1,229)

Page Views per Visitor: 1.35 (Previous month: 1.32)

Average Time on Site:  1:01 (Previous month: 0:51)

Traffic sources January 2013

62% Search Traffic

8% Referral Traffic
27% Direct Traffic
3% Campaigns (ie. Subscribers)
Other stats:

Best Alexa Ranking of the month: Didn’t even bother checking…

Worst Alexa Ranking of the month: Didn’t even bother checking…

Page Rank: 1 (this is REALLY starting to get to me!)

Subscribers: About 75. Previously, mid-60s, so that’s good news.

Adsense

Revenue was down, but since the increase was holiday shopping, it makes sense that in January it would be very low.

The Targets I had set

  • Make a decision on whether I am committing to this, or letting it go.
  • Decide on a relaunch strategy, if that is the decision.
  • Run a questionnaire, so my readers can be involved in the relaunch.

These have been my targets for the past TWO months, since I was making so little progress. However, I’m now really excited that I have made some decisions.

I’ve decided I’m going for it. I don’t feel as though I am fully committed in my heart of hearts though. I need to work on this.

I have decided on a new name. I’ve bought the domain. And I am now looking for a designer to work with (no pitches please. I’m seeking someone, rather than being sought).

The questionnaire is up and running!

ALL DONE!

Targets for February

  • Engage a designer for the new site
  • Explain clearly what I want, get work started.
  • Look into site redirects.
  • Decide whether I am keeping my less than stellar older content, or deleting it.

You can see I’m moving towards action based targets, rather than achievements or stats based. That’s because I CAN control whether I do things that are on my list. I can’t control the results of those endeavours.

So, that’s where I’m at.

I need a renewed focus. And I need to get on with things, instead of procrastinating and overthinking. I have a feeling you will be seeing lots more lists around here in the future.

 

Monthly Blogging Report: December 2012

The theme of November was indecision. Move forward? Stop altogether? Change things up?

I’m afraid that theme continues. I have no conclusions to bring you, so, instead, on with the stats.

WordPress Statistics

Page Views: 1,963 (Previous month: 3,053)

Best Day: 95 views (Previous month: 199)

Best Week: 539 views (Previous month: 912)

Terrible stats. Not much else to say.

Google Statistics:

Page Views: 2,000  (Previous month: 3,106  )

Visitors: 1,514 (Previous month: 2,281 )

Unique Visitors: 1,229 (Previous month: 1,888)

Page Views per Visitor: 1.32 (Previous month: 1.36)

Average Time on Site: 0:51  (Previous month: 1:00)

 

Traffic sources December 201257.46% Search Traffic

11.10% Referral Traffic
28.40% Direct Traffic
3.04% Campaigns (3.04% Campaigns)
Other stats:

Best Alexa Ranking of the month: Didn’t even bother checking…

Worst Alexa Ranking of the month: Didn’t even bother checking…

Page Rank: 1 (this is REALLY starting to get to me!)

Subscribers: Hovering mid to high 60s. Still.

[Note: these are totally unchanged since November. Argh]

Adsense

Good news! At last! Adsense revenue was much improved, presumably because of holiday shopping. I don’t expect this trend to continue, sadly.

The Targets I had set

  • Make a decision on whether I am committing to this, or letting it go.
  • Decide on a relaunch strategy, if that is the decision.
  • Run a questionnaire, so my readers can be involved in the relaunch.

No decisions made. Sorry. This is a long process, and I’m blogging in real time. I’m sure this makes for really boring reading now; I’m hoping that when looking backwards it just proves that Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day.

Targets for January

I’m going to cheat. Since I didn’t meet a single November target, I’m going to concentrate on crossing those off the list before looking for new things to tackle. So, once again they are:

  • Make a decision on whether I am committing to this, or letting it go.
  • Decide on a relaunch strategy, if that is the decision.
  • Run a questionnaire, so my readers can be involved in the relaunch.

And yes, this slow progress is killing me too, but I hope a better site will be the end result.

 

Monthly Blogging Report: November 2012

November was a bad month. On the blogging front, that is. It was a good month in every other way!

I am starting to feel like I am at a crossroads in my ‘blogging career’. (How pretensious does that sound?!).

Where Do I Go Now?

I have been blogging now for about 18 months. And for the first time in a year my pageviews are falling. As I said last month, I had very little time in November to dedicate to my blog. I made sure posts were published, but I didn’t even log in for most of the month (and I usually do it daily).

I’m not sure if this had/has an effect on Google, but I have been seeing less search traffic this month. It could just be an update which, for whatever reason, has not worked in my favour (unlike Panda and Pengiun, which rewarded my original content with a huge boost to search visitor numbers).

 

I also did very little promotion, which probably had a lot to do with it. Overall though, despite having put very little time into the blog during the month, I am still disappointed with my stats because I still put the same amount of work into each post, I just did it in advance. 

Anyway, back to the crossroads. I think it’s time that I either:

  • Went full speed ahead trying to make my honest answer my main job and source of income – whatever that takes.
  • Or, retire the whole thing. This half-asses blogging isn’t achieving anything.

There are a few things holding me back from that. The first step would be to come out of the blogging closet, and start promoting my site as me. I am reluctant to do that for many reason. Fear of failure. Worrying what everyone else would think. And, since I offer advice, worry that people will say, ‘Who are you to tell me what to do?’.

I need to get my head, and my priorities, straight. The holidays is the perfect time to do that, as I will have time off to ruminate. Wish me luck as I decide what the future holds (yes, it is in my power to decide. Just you watch).

So, onto the stats.

WordPress Statistics

Page Views: 3,053 (Previous month: 4,361)

Best Day: 199 views (Previous month: 305)

Best Week: 912 views (Previous month: 933)

Terrible stats. Not much else to say.

Google Statistics:

Page Views: 3,106  (Previous month: 4,506)

Visitors: 2,281 (Previous month: 3,162)

Unique Visitors: 1,888 (Previous month: 2,627)

Page Views per Visitor: 1.36 (Previous month: 1.43)

Average Time on Site: 1:00  (Previous month: 1:18)

 

Traffic Sources November 2012

62.82% Search Traffic

10.48% Referral Traffic
23.67% Direct Traffic
3.02% Campaigns (3.02% Campaigns)
I’m not even commenting on these. Ugh.
Other stats:

Best Alexa Ranking of the month: Didn’t even bother checking…

Worst Alexa Ranking of the month: Didn’t even bother checking…

Page Rank: 1 (this is REALLY starting to get to me!)

Subscribers: Hovering mid to high 60s. Still.

Adsense

Down on last month, in line with the falling stats.

The Targets I had set

  • Exceed October’s pageviews. (realistically, given the amount of time I can dedicate to commenting and promotion, I don’t think this is going to happen).
  • Post consistently each Monday and Wednesday at a minimum.
  • Possibly launch a new series called My Story. I’m undecided (see above about worrying about exposure!)

Yep, as I predicted, my pageviews fell.

I did manage to keep the posting schedule up by planning in advance.

I did half-heartedly launch ‘My Story’. It didn’t garner a single comment, and I felt very exposed, so I took it down.

I’ve learnt a lot from that episode though: trying things costs you nothing. Sometimes you have to go against conventional wisdom (in this case the assumption that people want to know about the blogger). I need to concentrate on my community – not taking the focus away from them and onto me. It felt unauthentic.

Targets for December

I think pageviews will fall again – historically Christmas week has been disastrously low.

 

  • Make a decision on whether I am committing to this, or letting it go.
  • Decide on a relaunch strategy, if that is the decision.
  • Run a questionnaire, so my readers can be involved in the relaunch.

The fact that most of my targets are to do with a relaunch perhaps reveals that I have already decided on the first one… I’ll keep you posted.

 

Monthly Blogging Report: October 2012

One my main targets from last month was to find more sites for which to guest post. I did a lot of research in October, but then spent most of the month procrastinating and making excuses for myself. Bad blogger.

I did have one guest post published, and it brought, unbelievably, 0 referrals. I’m not kidding. And it wasn’t on a small site either – it got about 5 comments, which is still more than I’m getting most days.

So I guess I need to write another article – How to ensure your guest post is a total failure. Live and learn, I suppose.

WordPress Statistics

Page Views: 4,361 (Previous month: 4,303)

Best Day: 305 views (Previous month: 327)

Best Week: views (Previous month: 1,269)

I only bearly exceeded September’s pageviews – in fact, I broke through on the 31st! If this month hadn’t have had as many days I wouldn’t have done it (and remember I’m comparing to a 30 day September, so actually, average pageviews per day were down just a smidge – 143.4 for September versus 140.6 for October).

The big day of 305 views was when a very popular post of mine about whether people regret having kids was linked to from a childfree forum. I was very excited to see my work being talked about on the wider internet – and on a site I didn’t even know existed.

Links such as these should do me a lot of good in terms of rankings with search engines.

Google Statistics:

Page Views: 4,506 (Previous month: 4,427)

Visitors: 3,162 (Previous month:2,904)

Unique Visitors: 2,627(Previous month: 2,489)

Page Views per Visitor: 1.43 (Previous month: 1.52)

Average Time on Site: 1:18  (Previous month: 1:32)

61.92% Search Traffic

14.61% Referral Traffic
20.84% Direct Traffic
2.62% Campaigns (2.62% Campaigns)
Referals were up again, due to the mention on the forum. Direct traffic was also up a little, though I don’t know why. Feed traffic was down a lot. Again, I’m sorry, but I have no explanation.
Other stats:

Best Alexa Ranking of the month: 473,870 (Previous month 461,901)

Worst Alexa Ranking of the month: 492,521(Previous month: 491,521)

Page Rank: 1

Subscribers: Hovering mid to high 60s.

The mystery of the falling Alexa rank continues. I have reverted to checking it only about once a week because I was so depressed about it. So these figures are not as accurate as they used to be. Oh well, I have much more productive ways to spend my time. Like thinking about, and then not writing, guests post!

Adsense

Up a little on last month again. Loving this trend!

The Targets I had set

  • Exceed September’s page views.
  • Work on guest posts.
  • Work on overall strategy. Very vague, I know.

 

So I did alright on my targets. Which was quite easy, since they were so vague. I did do one guest post, even though it flopped. I need to work on my confidence. I don’t want to submit things to huge blogs because:
  1. I’m worried they’ll say no. Which is stupid. So what if they do? I haven’t lost anything!
  2. I’m scared of the exposure. I need to man up. If I want this thing to work I have to be more accepting of the scrutiny.

Targets for November

I am very busy in November. I don’t expect to have much time to spend on the blog, so I’m afraid my targets are going to be simple:

  • Exceed October’s pageviews. (realistically, given the amount of time I can dedicate to commenting and promotion, I don’t think this is going to happen).
  • Post consistently each Monday and Wednesday at a minimum.
  • Possibly launch a new series called My Story. I’m undecided (see above about worrying about exposure!)

 

I also need to start getting ready for Christmas. I know this sounds very premature, but I like to take a proper break from blogging over the holidays, and that means a lot of pre-preparation and planning. Have a good month everyone!

Monthly Blogging Report: September 2012

After an incredible August, I always knew September was going to a be a bit of a struggle – both in terms of finding traffic, and motivation.

I was also on vacation for a week, so, though I scheduled posts to publish in advance, I was not around to comment – either on my blog, or on anyone else’s (which has historically been a big driver of traffic for me).

WordPress Statistics

Page Views: 4,303  (Previous month: 5,334)

Best Day: 327 views (Previous month: 686 )

Best Week: 1,269 views (Previous month: 1,925)

Really, I feel I should compare these figures to July, since August’s were very much inflated by my guest post. For comparison

Page Views: 4,303 (JULY: 3,716)

Best Day: 327 views (JULY: 199 )

Best Week: 1,269 views (JULY: 999)

This makes me feel much better! They show an increase in every stat, instead of a decrease.

Google Statistics:

Page Views:  4,427 (Previous month: 5,344)

Visitors: 2,904 (Previous month: 3,005)

Unique Visitors: 2,489 (Previous month: 2,473 )

Page Views per Visitor: 1.52 (Previous month: 1.77)

Average Time on Site:  1:32 (Previous month: 2:28)

As I suspected, pages per visitor and time spent on site fell dramatically compared to August. This is because my guest post referral traffic was so well qualified – they came to my site already interested in what I had to say, and with the endorsement of a very popular and respected site.

67.56% Search Traffic

8.51% Referral Traffic
18.15% Direct Traffic
5.79% Campaigns (5.79% Campaigns)
Once again, referral traffic back to normal. I am so reliant on search traffic now. It’s shocking to see, especially considering I do spent a lot of time earning the small wedge of referral traffic you see.
Other stats:

Best Alexa Ranking of the month: 461,901 (Previous month 364,728)

Worst Alexa Ranking of the month: 491,521 (Previous month: 446,248)

Page Rank: 1

Subscribers: Hovering mid 60s.

My Alexa rank still seems to be falling – I still have no idea why.

Adsense

Up on last month! Which just goes to show you cannot directly correlate traffic and earnings. The trends are there, for sure, but it’s too volatile to expect the relatively smalls peaks and troughs I have in traffic to convert to the same peaks and troughs in earnings.

The Targets I had set

  • Exceed 4,000 pageviews. I know I’ve already broken the ’5′, but that was the result of one guest post. I need to show I can be consistent without relying on one-offs.
  • Keep adsense earnings on an even keel.
  • Find more sites to guest post for.

Phew, I did stay about 4,000 pageviews. I knew I couldn’t exceed Augusts, and maybe I went for the ‘easy’ option by not trying to.

I totally failed on more guest post research. A combination of a vacation and a busy end to the summer left my little energy, I’m afraid.

Targets for October

  • Exceed September’s page views.
  • Work on guest posts.
  • Work on overall strategy. Very vague, I know.
One other interesting trend to note for September – my weekend pageviews seems to be almost catching up to my weekday levels. I am guessing it’s partly to do with how much of my traffic now comes from search engines. But it’s still interesting to see, since I used to receive, on average, only half the pageviews of weekdays at weekends. Now the difference is much smaller.

 

Monthly Blogging Report: August 2012

August was a big month! I was published on one of my favorite ever sites, A Practical Wedding.

APW is a huge blog, especially in my sphere. It was a huge breakthrough for me, but it took a bit of luck, and a lot of work. I am planning a long post full of tips and tricks to get published on your favorite blog!

Because of the guest post, all my stats were high. It was a great month.

WordPress Statistics

Page Views: 5,334  (Previous month: 3,716)

Best Day: 686 views!!! (Previous month: 199)

Best Week: 1925! views (Previous month: 995)

Having been unable to break 1,000 pageviews a week, suddenly I nearly hit 2,000! All of this success was due to my guest post.

Google Statistics:

Page Views: 5,344  (Previous month: 4,099)

Visitors: 3,005  (Previous month: 2,596)

Unique Visitors: 2,473 (Previous month: 2,111 )

Page Views per Visitor: 1.77 (Previous month: 1.58)

Average Time on Site: 2:28 (Previous month: 1:35)

63.65% Search Traffic

15.25% Referral Traffic
15.15% Direct Traffic
5.95% Campaigns (5.95% Campaigns)
You can see how much referral traffic was up from  my guest post. I also know that this contributed hugely to driving up the time spent on site, and the pageview per visitor. On average, those referred by A Practical Wedding viewed 3.19 pages, and spent a whopping 7 minutes and 33 seconds on the site.
This is the beauty of qualified traffic. Go out and FIND YOUR AUDIENCE, then bring it back to you. 
Other stats:

Best Alexa Ranking of the month:  364,728 (Previous month 354,022)

Worst Alexa Ranking of the month:  446, 248 (Previous month: 379,742)

Page Rank: 1

Moz Rank: 4.35

Subscribers: Hit 60 for the first time! Again, the result of my guest post.

I don’t know why my Alexa rank is falling. This is a genuine mystery. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know in the comments.

Adsense

Considering the traffic I had, adsense earnings were fairly static. However, though it seems like a huge peak to me, in reality, it was only about a 20% bump on the month, and with adsense earnings fluctuating so much, you cannot expect a 20% increase in visitors to result in a 20% increase in earnings. It just doesn’t work like that. (And thankfully, a 20% decrease in traffic doesn’t usually result in a 20% decrease in earnings, either).

The Targets I had set

  • Exceed July’s pageviews.
  • Break 4000 views in a month. Probably a bit hopeful, but my next major target is 10,000 a month. That seems to be the level at which Federated Media accept publishers for their advertising program. FM are very well thought of, and even if I’m not going to approach them, knowing that I could would be amazing. I basically need to triple my traffic to make that possible. And look – I’ve tripled it a few times before. From 500 a month to 1500 was hard. From 1000 to 3000 felt easier. So here’s to 3333 to 10000 being a breeze!
  • I would really like to get to 60 subscribers. Breaking 50 was a big thing for me, but growth seems to have stalled since then.

I exceeded every target. What a month!

Targets for September

If last month was about ‘celebrating small victories‘ this month is about ‘moderating expectations’ . I had a fabulous August. It helps to create a great base – but I can’t expect it to be like this from now on.

  • Exceed 4,000 pageviews. I know I’ve already broken the ’5′, but that was the result of one guest post. I need to show I can be consistent without relying on one-offs.
  • Keep adsense earnings on an even keel.
  • Find more sites to guest post for.

 

Monthly Blogging Report: July 2012

In July, I really changed my blogging strategy.

I was sick of writing articles that got no comments. I tired asking questions at the end of each post, with limited success. I read tips around the web, and eventually decided that perhaps my latest post was being superceeded too quickly.

Each post was having a very limited time on my front page, because a new post was being published every 24 hours.

I also thought that cutting down on my frequency of posting might allow me to spend longer choosing each question, and then writing and editing.

I received a lot of questions in July, which was great because it meant I had a lot to choose from. It also put some strange pressure on me, because, as I was posting less often, I was worried that people were waiting too long for an answer.

I guess this is a classic advice columnist problem: what are the letter writers doing whilst they wait for you answer? Will your answer still be relevant, or will the circumstances have changed?

I guess some of this is overcome by it being an online service. My turnaround must be a lot quicker than a traditional newspaper column.

I have reconciled myself to the fact that people will have to wait a few extra days by realising that not only is it good for my business to do things this way, but it also improves the quality of the answer I give as well.

So, I went from posting four or five times a week, to twice a week.

Conventional blogging wisdom would say that this is bad. But I found that actually, my traffic continued to grow, just like before.

I have decided on the following strategy I would recommend to new bloggers:

In the beginning, post as often as possible. Get a strong back catalogue of posts for new visitors to look through. No-one likes to arrive at a site with only a few articles to read. Keep up the momentum, and keep posting. Once you are becoming a little more established and have subscribers, it might be better to reign it in a bit. No-one likes to see their e-mail or their RSS reader full of the same people over and over. Nothing makes people unsubscribe quicker than more information than they can happily digest.

 

WordPress Statistics

Page Views:  3,716 (Previous month: 3,416)

Best Day: 199 views (Previous month: 206)

Best Week: 995 views (Previous month: 930)

I was so close to getting 1000 pageviews in a week! That seems quite incredible when back in September I would have longed for that in a month.

 

Google Statistics:

Page Views:  4,099 (Previous month: 3,667)

Visitors:  2,596 (Previous month: 2,270)

Unique Visitors: 2,111 (Previous month: 1,701)

Page Views per Visitor: 1.58 (Previous month: 1.62)

Average Time on Site: 1:35 (Previous month: 1:55)

74.38% Search Traffic

8.74% Referral Traffic
13.14% Direct Traffic
3.74% Campaigns (3.74% Campaigns)

My referral traffic was down a lot. This was because I was focussing less on commenting on other blogs, and more on creating, editing, and perfecting my content.

Referral traffic is therefore a good source of potential growth for August. If I renew my commenting vigour, I should see an immediate increase in traffic, since in July I was heavily reliant on search visitors.

Other stats:

Best Alexa Ranking of the month:  354,022 (Previous month 360,354)

Worst Alexa Ranking of the month:  379,742 (Previous month: 406,820)

Page Rank: 1

Moz Rank: 4.35

Subscribers: hovering between 40 – 50. STILL. Sigh. 

 

To add agony to my ongoing pagerank of 1, I can see on check domains that my predicted pagerank in the next google update is 4. FOUR! It’s been predicted as 3 since about Christmas, which made me equal parts ecstatic (that is a really good pagerank!) and annoyed (because when will they run the update? I want the rank I deserve!). Now I’m predicted as a four I just want the update already. I think this would really help with my advertising.

My MozRank is increasing. So that’s good.

I’m worried about the subscriber rates though. I’m attracting SO MANY people to my site, but SO FEW are sticking around. I really need to work on this.

Adsense

My June Adsense success has continued. I can’t believe the difference that David Risley’s advice has made. The quadrupling of my RPM is amazing, and much needed. I was getting very frustrated with the poor income from adsense, this has really turned things around.

As I mentioned last month, exact adsense tutorial I took was premium content I bought during a massive Only 72 discount sale. As the name implies, these sales are only open for 72 hours, and it is now closed. However, you can sign up to be notified when the next sale starts.

The Targets I had set

  • Exceed June’s pageviews.
  • Increase the number of questions submitted so I have more choice in which to answer.

I did exceed June’s pageviews, which I am finding quite incredible. After a run of good months, I really thought the growth would suddenly tail off. But no. My traffic has now increased for the 10th month in a row.

The number of questions did increase slightly, so that’s good.

Targets for August

  • Exceed July’s pageviews.
  • Break 4000 views in a month. Probably a bit hopeful, but my next major target is 10,000 a month. That seems to be the level at which Federated Media accept publishers for their advertising program. FM are very well thought of, and even if I’m not going to approach them, knowing that I could would be amazing. I basically need to triple my traffic to make that possible. And look – I’ve tripled it a few times before. From 500 a month to 1500 was hard. From 1000 to 3000 felt easier. So here’s to 3333 to 10000 being a breeze!
  • I would really like to get to 60 subscribers. Breaking 50 was a big thing for me, but growth seems to have stalled since then.

So I guess this month is about celebrating small victories. Things aren’t happening as quickly as I would like, but they are definitely happening.

 

One Improvement Per Week: Guest Post Submissions Update

So, a few weeks ago, I told you I was making some guest post submissions. And I ended the post by telling you to cross your fingers, because I had made two approaches. And I realized, I forgot to tell you how it went.

Well, it went brilliantly! Both sites accepted my submissions! I have now been published on Divine Caroline, and accepted as a regular writer over at Glass Heel.

I couldn’t be happier, and, I can tell you, it really has helped my traffic. In two ways:

  1. I am receiving traffic from both sites. Which is great. But more than that…
  2. It’s good quality traffic from people who already feel they know and trust me.

Being published on large sites such as these gives you credibility. When people click over to my site, they are doing so because they have already enjoyed something I have written, and because the owners of those (bigger) sites has somehow pre-ordained me as worth a read.

In reality, it’s far simpler than that: multi-author websites are constantly searching for new content, and, of course, the only thing they prefer to new content is free new content.

But I don’t feel as though I am being taken advantage of here. I feel as though I have been allowed into a community to engage in their conversation.

Most of the pieces I write for them are very short, and take me less than half an hour. For the amount of qualified, interested and engaged traffic they are bringing me, this is more than a worthwhile investment.

So, what are you waiting for? Go out and find some multi-author sites looking for free content in your niche now!

 

Monthly Blogging Report: June 2012

June was a strange months for me.

As you can tell from reading May’s Report, I was getting very disheartened. I didn’t expect to see any growth in June, I was mainly hoping not to fall too far back.

I’m happy to report I was pleasantly surprized. My first week was strong – a total of over 700 views according to WordPress. This compares with barely 500 at the beginning of May.

For some reason I was convinced this initial fluke wouldn’t stick around, and I would struggle to beat May’s figures. Turns out I was wrong – not only did I exceed May’s total, I did so on the 25th of the month, with nearly a week to go!

 

WordPress Statistics

Page Views:  3,416 (Previous month: 2,619)

Best Day: 206 views (Previous month: 194)

Best Week: 930 views (Previous month: 757)

 

Google Statistics:

Page Views:  3,667 (Previous month: 2,880)

Visitors:  2,270 (Previous month: 1,832)

Unique Visitors: 1,701 (Previous month: 1,286)

Page Views per Visitor: 1.62 (Previous month: 1.57)

Average Time on Site: 1:55 (Previous month: 1:39)

 

 67.75% Search Traffic

13.22% Referral Traffic
14.32% Direct Traffic
4.71% Campaigns (4.71% Campaigns)
Other stats:

Best Alexa Ranking of the month:  360,354 (Previous month 371,515)

Worst Alexa Ranking of the month:  406,820 (Previous month: 400,201)

Page Rank: 1

Moz Rank: 4.28

Subscribers: hovering between 40 – 50.

 

I’m pleased with June’s stats. Really pleased.

You can see that nearly every metric improved. I had been worried about my pageviews per visitor figures falling. I know understand why this happened – because such a large amount of my traffic is now coming from search engines.

Search traffic is great in one respect – it is very targetted. But it’s also people wanting quick answers, so the bounce rate tends to be high from search traffic. If they don’t find what they are looking for immediately, they go straight back to Google and click on the next result down.

I think that the improvement in retaining search visitors for longer is due to my more clearly defining the purpose of the site. So if I could offer one piece of advice from this month’s review it is this: Make it clear WHAT your site is here for.

Adsense

June was also a great month for me in terms of adsense earnings. As per Google’s Ts & Cs, I cannot disclose any figures. However, I managed to more than double my monthly income. My RPM (revenue per thousand pagviews) QUADRUPLED. And the higher levels seem to sticking around.

How did I do it? I can’t take all the credit. I followed, very closely, a tutorial by David Risley. The exact tutorial I took was premium content I bought during a massive Only 72 discount sale. As the name implies, these sales are only open for 72 hours, and it is now closed. However, you can sign up to be notified when the next sale starts.

The tutorial was really thorough, but one of the things I did was swapping all my ads to the most productive sizes – 250 x 325. And I positioned one ad in between my content (the post) and the comments section, using the plugin AdInjector.

By quadrupling my RPM I’ve achieved a four-fold increase in my earnings. The other way to do that would have been to atrract FOUR TIMES the traffic. How much easier it was to reformat some ads!

The Targets I had set

  • Make it through the month without giving up.

I did it!

Targets for July

I guess it’s time to set some more serious targets.

  • Exceed June’s pageviews.
  • Increase the number of questions submitted so I have more choice in which to answer.