Blog stats for 2014 and what I learned

Each year I read around the net how different blogs did for the year and attempt to compare myself to those blogs or just simply learn how I can do things better. I also get asked many times by aspiring tech bloggers how much traffic to expect. I always say “not much at first” but focus on “green content” – ie. content that will forever get hits from SEO and search engines, or timeless content. As you will see below, a majority of my top posts came from previous years. My average bounce rate was 1.37 for 2014, meaning each visitor viewed almost 1.4 posts on each visit. This at least tells me the majority of people who get sent to my blog look at another post for some reason or another.

This year I focused on developer and business content and cut way back on personal information and relied more on platforms like Facebook for that stuff. I also focused on what I considered better content and less frequent posts unless I had something good to share or it was time sensitive. So here are my results for this blog:

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Top 20 posts on this blog in 2013: SEO stands out!

glassesSimilar to all years, the Home Page was king on this site. However, I would like to point out a new contender among the posts – “Why do you favorite a tweet?“. This was posted earlier this year in April and has been a popular target for SEO. The title is basic, it asks a question, and many apparently ask the search engines the same question. The key for me in this space is to “get the word out”. Use social sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. However as you can see from my referer post it’s all about SEO. Make sure your content and title are relevant and searchable!

Once again, thanks for reading my blog and have a happy new year!

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Top 20 Search terms to this blog in 2013, Content is KING!

Screen Shot 2013-12-13 at 11.03.49 AMSearch terms are words readers put into Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc and get directed to your site. This is also a good indicator for what your site is “known for” on the internet. When you create content and people search for that content on a search engine, then actually click on that content the search site actually grades the clicks on the different results for that search term. In other words, if your content is clicked on more than any other content on the internet then your content will eventually bubble up to the top. In many respects it use to be a lot about the title but search engines are getting smarter and the actual content is even more relevant today. So while in days of yore your title attracted traffic, it is the content that keeps it coming!

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Top 20 Referrers for this blog in 2013, Search engines rule the roost!

Screen Shot 2013-12-13 at 9.17.18 AMTo continue the top lists for 2013 this one is all about referrals. A referral is a site where they reference my blog and their readers click the link to here. It could also be a comment I made on a post somewhere and it linked back to my blog. While search engines rule, you can see social sites like PlanetLotus.org, LinkedIn, Twitter, and StackOverFlow had some pretty good numbers. However, this supports the “content is king” motto when you see search engines with such a powerful referral number.

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Xtify is now running on my blog!

xtify-iphoneSo I am playing around with Xtify and I pretty impressed with this technology and I am even more impressed with management of the messages/alerts. Don’t know what Xtify is? Watch the video at the end of this blog post.

I simply went to Xtify.com and signed up for the free Reactor service. The service is free if you stay below the 5,000 views per month. Unfortunately my blog gets a lot more than that so we will see what happens.

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Blogging – Quality versus Quantity

In the spirit of reading others posts about “how much they are blogging lately” I decided to look at my own statistics in this space. I will admit, in the past year or so I consciously decided to blog much more specific information to my job, programming, etc. and a lot less about personal stuff where as I decided to use other channels like Facebook to put more of my personal posts. One thing I have been consistently watching is “views per day”. I feel as long as I can keep a readership then that is good enough for me. I have also noticed a lot more hits from search engines and other sites mentioning my site in the past two years. With that approach, it clearly looks like less is more – if the quality is there. So now with the stats!

The first chart shows some monthly counts spanning the years my blog has kept stats. I had to put the views in thousands (K) so it wouldn’t skew the chart so much. As you can see, the average day pretty much reflects the number of posts in that month – so I guess if I did blog more the views would go up. However, if you look at the total views in K for each month it is pretty level at around 20K per month. I did notice that 2010 and 2011 were big years for views so it has actually skewed some of the numbers (see the annual chart) from reality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The annual chart does show a steep decline from this year and the past two years, however, I still have 14 days left! Once again, notice how the number of posts have dropped considerably but the views in K and Average Views per day only dipped slightly. I think this is because of my first statement about getting more referrals and showing up in more searches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lightbox Plus now active on this blog

I installed the Lightbox Plus WordPress plugin from here. Go ahead and check out the feature by clicking on the image below. I love how simple this plugin was to install and get up and running, very cool and easy to use feature!

Lightbox Plus implements ColorBox as a lightbox image overlay tool for WordPress. ColorBox was created by Jack Moore of Color Powered and is licensed under the MIT License.

The power of SEO when no one is home…chirr chirr chirr chirr

One of the interesting things about the internet and writing on the internet is once you get some kind of solid foundation you realize some articles are actually read sometimes months or even years after they are posted. Google does a good job in relevancy finds but its only as good as your title, tags, and content. If you are lucky you may create enough articles that when someone searches on their favorite search engine they get directed to your masterpiece.

I try to tag/categorize every single post I can and have somewhat descriptive titles because those are the key words the search engines rank on most. Then of course the content is always king. The most clicks your posts generate on the search site the better chance your article will move up in the ranks.

As you can see from the chart below, I just took a random day where I had not posted in a few days to see what impact search engines and social sites have on my blog read counts.

The site actually got 190 hits that day and the previous post was actually four days prior spanning the weekend so the referrer count was pretty much narrowed down to searches and social sites.

On an average day where I do post I get about 350-700 visits on those days and still get an average of 100-200 visits from search engines and social sites. That means on average I am seeing one third of my traffic resulting from searches.

What is “chirr chirr chirr” you ask? It is suppose to be the sound of crickets, I actually found this to see how it is spelled.

Presentation Tip: Locating the pointer for the viewer

When you create tutorial videos or live presentations of software you may want to have the viewer see where the mouse is at certain times throughout the video. Windows 7 has a pretty slick feature that you can enable in the Mouse dialog box. Enabling that option will then allow you to simply hit the CTRL key to get a visual indicator of where the pointer is. This is great for highlighting the pointer and also highlighting a button or a click option you will click.

Many video production software packages do something similar as this but if the one you are using doesn’t you can always use this as an option. This is what it would look like in the end video:

 

Planet Lotus click counts versus WordPress stats and YouTube views?

For the most part the hit counts on PlanetLotus mirror what my statistics say for my posts. There are however three that seem to be a little off. Check out the stats from my WordPress statistics and the click counts from PlanetLotus on these three posts:

My stats:

Content Management Part 2 – scheduling advertisements 29
WebSphere Commerce developer tutorials on InfoCenter 255
Searchandizing with WebSphere Commerce 103

PlanetLotus stats:

Another interesting point is the Searchandizing with WebSphere Commerce post is also a YouTube video and that has 372 views, almost three times the number of hits as my blog but nowhere close to the PlanetLotus click count.