It’s pretty clear this blog is once again going to smash it’s own records in 2009.
From Jan 1st 2009 up until yesterday, smemon.com has had over 65,000 unique visits & 82,000 pageviews in 2009 (less than 6 months in).
In 2008 (over 12 months) smemon.com received just over 80,000 unique visits and 127,000 pageviews.
The blog ended 2008 with 125 feedburner subscribers. It’s now up to 300+ thanks largely to a change feedburner made a few days ago.
So stats are always on the rise. Traffic is averaging over 360 unique visits / day now which is incredible really for a small personal blog.
Anyway, i never just sit back and admire… i’m eager to get past the 100,000 unique visitor mark as quickly as possible and i’m also setting myself a target of 500 feedburner subscribers by the end of the year which means i need to get 200 from somewhere over the next 6 months.
Basically, it means i have to start producing better content and more lists, more personal stuff etc… there is no danger of me slacking off or getting fed up – the last day i didn’t publish a post was April 15th. Since, then i’ve blogged for 69 consecutive days and i’m setting myself another challenge of blogging daily for the rest of 2009.
It will require ‘cheating’ by scheduling the odd post here and there (for example when i’m in london next month) but 99% of my posts are written & published ‘live’.
So by the end of 2009, i want smemon.com to record;
- over 130,000 unique visits.
- over 500 feedburner subscribers.
- completed 260 days of consecutive blogging.
If i manage all that, i’ll be extremely happy and proud of 2009′s performance. It will move this blog in to another league all together… i’ll go in to 2010 owning one of the largest personal blogs in the country.
Yesterday i made some minor but essential changes to the blog and i’ll continue to make changes when i feel they’re needed. It is important though that i continue to set goals and targets for this blog and remind myself of them in posts like this.
I said yesterday i’d be spending most of my day today going through this blog and getting things done. That’s exactly what i’ve been doing. Here’s a list of the changes i’ve made;
- New 468 x 60 banner ad
- New ‘design‘ page
- Updated advertise page
- Dropped 10 unused tables from database
- Optimized database
- Changed paged order / sub page order
- Updated all plugins to latest versions
- Reduced xhtml errors on homepage from 29 to 18 (a lot are cause by essential plugins)
- Links / CSS / colours more consistent
- Added pagination to homepage
- Added a lifestream feature to footer
- New ‘popular posts’ section in sidebar
- Updated 404 error page which now displays error + a list of popular posts
- Added Google analytics within admin dashboard
The major noticeable changes are obviously the new banner ad slot at the top of the page and the new ‘popular posts’ section in the sidebar. Neither of these were particularly easy to get right – it took me hours to get them both working properly with wordpress 2.8 and integrated with this blog’s theme.
The ‘popular posts’ section is powered by the ‘popularity contest‘ plugin and the new banner ad is powered by ‘oio publisher‘ (along with my regular button ads on the sidebar). I also came up with the design for the current banner ad slot which i’m pretty proud of
So in general, lots of changes, lots of improvements and most of them good. This site has grown from day 1 and this year traffic will be hitting 6 figures (unique visits) for the first time ever. It’s a good time for me right now and it’s a good time for smemon.com but i’m not happy to stand still… there will be more growth.
I’ll be blogging about stats tomorrow but in the mean time, let me know what you think about all of the above changes and if you’d like to see any more…
Tomorrow i’ve decided it’ll be smemon.com’s turn to get my attention. I’ll be making some changes and generally updating everything.
I’ve a lot of stuff to put in my portfolio and there’s also a lot of small bits and bobs that i want fixed. I’ve already fixed a css inconsistency that had been annoying me for months – when you hovered over a link in the sidebar or footer, they’d be a different colour than those in the main body or header etc…
The only thing stopping me from fixing that was laziness. At the end of the day, the blog doesn’t earn anything and i’m probably the only person who noticed or even cared about that ‘problem’ so that’s why i left it – i said to my self just forget about it and set aside one day where you’ll just go through the entire blog and fix everything.
So that day will be tomorrow and hopefully i’ll have plenty of updates to show you all!
These past couple of weeks i’ve been extremely busy working on several paid jobs. This week, things should finally be getting ‘back to normal’.
I’ve loads of work to do myself… too much to mention in a single blog post. I do enjoy getting paid to build websites though – i take for granted my own skills and i have to if i’m to constantly improve but it’s nice to know people are willing to pay for my services and go away happy with what they’ve got
Anyway, next week i’ll be working on redeveloping / improving some of my own sites (this one included) & i’ll also be developing one site which i haven’t mentioned yet.
I’m due to meet a partner next Saturday in Dublin too so that’ll be fun… it’s always interesting to talk about projects face to face and get some ideas flowing.
So it should be a pretty calm week but that can change. I’ve had one or two people express an interest in getting work done and i’m finding that as soon as i create one site, two more seem to come along – i suppose it’s a good thing because i’m being recommended or people just like what they see.
Right now i’m just enjoying myself and enjoying being off from college. Work rate is good, quality of work is good… i’m learning constantly and making some cash on the side, plus raising money for charity, adding to my portfolio etc… it’s gonna be one mad, but very productive summer ahead for me!!
The graphics tablet i ordered at 2am on Wednesday arrived today I didn’t think it would, because it was sent out yesterday (Thursday), so it means it arrived in les than 24 hours which is a great service from elara.ie & their couriers.
Here’s a few pics;
I’ve only played with it for about an hour but i’m already getting used to it. Here’s an example of what it can do….
Signature 1 was done with my mouse.
Signature 2, with the bamboo tablet & pen.
Same size brush, same settings – nothing was changed. You can see the depth / pressure / realism in no.2 – it’s just like a pen signature whereas you’d know the top signature was either done by a 3 year old with a marker or else done using a mouse