Here’s the amount of posts i’ve published on this blog for the past two years….
- 2007 = 705
- 2008 = 407 (+ a few more as we’ve a week or so left in 2008)
So 700 in 2007, 400 in 2008. A massive REDUCTION in content. For every 7 posts i made in 2007, i only made 4 in 2008.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that would mean my traffic would be down significantly. I’m afraid not 😉
Traffic has in fact more than tripled in 2008 from roughly 25k unique visits in 2007, to almost 80k in 2008. It means i’m now averaging over 200 unique visits a day and that’s excluding RSS readership which has also tripled in 2008 to 120+ subscribers up from around 40 in 2007.
In terms of traffic and RSS subscribers, here’s some graphs which date back from day 1 one up until now (I only installed feedburner (to track RSS subscriptions) about 6 months after i created the blog).
In general, always on the rise. Of course i’ll have spikes here and there, i can’t control or predict them, nobody can – in one day alone this year i racked up 12,000 unique visits Overall, the blog’s progress is slow and steady and has been now for over 2 years.
I can safely say 2009 will eclipse 2008 again in terms of traffic & subscribers. Why can i safely say that? Because i’m in control and i call the shots. I have the power to destroy the blog or enhance it further. With just me running the show, it allows me to make instant spur-of-the-moment decisions and write about anything i want. That freedom is what makes blogs addictive to read… they’re uncut. Take my samsung nc20 article. I’d be shot if i wrote something like that for a newspaper or professionally edited blog.
The fact i can almost half content, but triple the amount of people coming to the blog shows that i’m either upping the quality of posts or just making more connections and getting myself out there more. It’s probably a combination of both actually. It’s not just luck, although that plays a part too.
I’m learning how to attract people, how to give them what they want, how to distance myself from the norm but at the same time do all that with a personal stamp of authority on everything. So long as i keep blogging, i’ll keep learning and it’ll only make both me and the blog stronger. That’s why i say 2009’s statistics will continue the trend of onwards and upwards.
You can also chuck in the fact that i’m always sharpening my SEO skills and trying to develop the blog continuously. In 2008, 36% of my traffic came from search engines. Almost the exact same percentage as 2007. But when we break it down in to unique visits, 29,000 came from search engines in 2008 -v- 9,000 in 2007. A four fold increase in search engine traffic.
SEO is definitely something i’ve improved over the last 12 months. Looking at the stats it’s pretty clear i’m working smarter rather than harder these days 😉 If I stop working though or stop learning, traffic will die – no doubt about it. But i’ve no intentions of stopping anytime soon.
When i started out, owning a blog of this size was fantasy stuff. It’s tough to do, but at the same time it’s very simple. The key to growing any site is simply determination and dedication. So many people start blogs, start out enthusiastic and then just go missing after a few months once the novelty wares off. The key to keeping motivated is renewing the novelty factor once it starts to ware off. Get a new theme, launch a competition, create some challenges to keep yourself entertained…
When driving on a long journey on a motorway or something you don’t just switch off and take it easy even if you’re tired and the road ahead is clear… you’ll turn on the cold air or put on some motivational music or something… anything which gets adrenaline flowing or ‘wakes you up’. Maybe stop at a petrol station and go in to a shop… You do all that because you know you ultimately need to get to the finish line in one piece and you also know you need to remain alert and awake 100% of the time.
If you apply the same thinking to blogging or running a website it makes life much easier for you. Slack off and you risk death (or your site does). It is of course easier said than done to keep motivated and keep working on something that may seem pointless or not rewarding financially, but if you want a career in IT, a proven track record of developing sites over a long period of time speaks volumes about the type of person you are. It is the ultimate reference for an employer (particularly a personal site/blog).