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:
It is that time to reflect on the past year and this year I am starting with my YouTube channel. In case you missed any of these blockbuster hits you can watch them now!
This year I had over 32,000 views (up over 10,000 views from last year, Thank You) on my YouTube channel and gained over 150 new followers. This is the first year where I had five videos over 5 minutes long in top ten. I still stand by the YouTube law that videos over 3 minutes rarely get fully watched but in the end content is king – so maybe I did something right with those 5. I gained 3% in audience retention from last year.
I actually started published videos and content at my night-time so it is available to the east in their morning, I have already started seeing shifts in views – it will be interesting next year to see if it made any difference.
One of the things I really love about WordPress is the statistics feature it gives me for the where readers from my blog are coming from. This is the map from the WordPress.com site that shows a “heat map” of where the visitors to this blog came from within the last 90 days. You don’t get this map in the JetPack stats screen, you have to go to the actual WordPress.com to see this map:
One major problem I have with base WordPress is while it does a good job giving you stats around views (the number of hits you get per post) it does not do a good job for post counts. In the previous post I had to create a chart that showed how many blog posts I wrote in the months and years past. I am sure there is a plugin out there for this so if you know of one please mention it in the comments!
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.
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.
I started keeping stats in 2010 and it looks like 2010 was a “better” year for hits and posts, most likely because I blogged a lot about Lotus and Eclipse stuff more (about twice as many posts) that year than 2011. This site generated 88,815 hits for the year in 2011 and 68,443 in 2010 (minus three months of logging statistics).
The home page is by far the most active hit, probably because of my blog URL on all of my social site profiles (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc).
I did have a fairly good year of video viewers on YouTube with 6765 views of for the year. I am glad to see some WebSphere Commerce videos in that top 10 list but it looks like the Lotus and Eclipse ones still reign.
It has been one full year (plus one month) since I started using the WordPress Site Stats plugin. The stats are structured in a way that you can easily learn about your site and the popularity of the posts. One thing that still amazes me is Google. It continues to be a major factor in my sites hit count. I still have many posts (very old ones at that) that get 2-5 hits a day from Google’s search. My site started five years ago and for the first year averaged about 25 hits a day. Over time more and more hits would come. I read a lot of tips about blogging and “green content” (content that makes your readers keep coming back). My goal for the past year was to attempt to write daily and and in some cases twice a day. I did not really schedule blogs for the weekends because most of my writing was done on the weekends and then scheduled for publishing throughout the next week. And because my blog is primarily business related most of my hits come from Monday through Friday.
From what I can tell most of my hits come from the Lotus, Eclipse and Dojo communities – so thank you to all of my readers!
So how did this blog do in a single year? Here you …