WARNING: In case it wasn’t obvious from the headline, this post is going to be mostly inside baseball and nonsense. I know there are a few people who will still read it because you’ve posted similar things lately, but oh who am I kidding EVERYONE READ MY NERDY BLOG MATH POST RIGHT NOW.
I’ve cut back pretty substantially on care and feeding of the blog for the last week or two, and even more so since Tuesday when my wife had her foot surgery and I became responsible for All the Things around the house. (Note: Not complaining. I’m about to leave her one-legged and alone with the boy for four days while I ponce off to DC for a while. Merely stating facts.) A couple of my more regular blogbuddies have posted recently about traffic trends and other things like that on their sites and it got me interested in pulling together something similar for mine.
So. Some facts:
- The blog was born on June 4th of last year. I’ve been blogging since 2004 with varying degrees of regularity but was mostly living over at Xanga (pours out liquor) before moving over here.
- I currently have approximately(*) 2,364 Followers.
- The single best day for traffic had either 725 or 708 page views .(**)
- Until February, which only missed the mark by less than 100 page views, every month has had more traffic than the month before it. This month will not reach February’s traffic either; I’ll get to why in a bit.
- Excluding the last couple of weeks, an average day generally reaches around 160 unique visitors and around 450 page views. Over 500 is not uncommon; I’ve broken 600 three or four times, and 700 only the once.
- March and February, my two best months, were just short of thirteen thousand page views and around 3200 unique visitors.
- This will be my 452nd post. READ THEM ALL, RIGHT NOW.
Until recently, especially since I’ve gotten so busy that just finding time to put up a post has been difficult, I was averaging two or three posts a day (one of which, usually, would be a picture) and was also trying to find some time each day to go look through keywords and read other blogs. I tend to spread a lot of Likes around; they absolutely help in driving traffic to my website and plus it gives me a chance to find other good bloggers, which is fun. My theory is that the Likes are what is responsible for a lot of the traffic and certainly the (to me, at least) large number of followers. Lately I’ve not been posting as much and generally when I have it’s been later in the evening, and so I’ve not gotten nearly as much traffic. The floor seems to be around 130-140 page views for any day when I actually post; it’s very rarely lower than that. I seem to have a core readership right now of around eighty people who are going to visit the site every single day no matter what; that said, I don’t think looking at blogs through the site reader functionality on WordPress actually counts as a hit, so it may actually be more than that.
Interesting fact: while pure views and visitors are down, attention to individual posts doesn’t seem to have wavered– I’m still getting around 25 Likes and a handful of comments for everything I post regardless of overall traffic, which tells me that there really are a group of regulars around here. (Love ya!)
What seems to work:
- Post every day. The “sweet spots” for a new post generating a lot of traffic seem to be around noon, around 3 PM, and around 7 at night. Sometimes early-morning posts will catch a lot of attention too but that seems to be more dependent on the day of the week.
- Read and comment on other blogs. LOTS of people seem to like to click through on their Likes to see who left them. I don’t generally do that unless one of those tiny icons catches my eye but lots of folks do.
- Occasionally find an excuse to leave a blog link on other high-traffic websites. I found a reason to link to a post I did as comment #6 on one of John Scalzi’s posts and it brought me hundreds of page views. I try not to do this too often (I figure if he notices, that’s probably bad) but it works.
- A wee bit of luck doesn’t hurt.
- Practically the only reason I still have a Facebook account (and I still haven’t figured out what to do with Luther Siler’s, which you can Like here if you want) is because several of my RL friends use it to click through to blog posts. I get generally 10-15 clickthroughs a day. That said, I’m also fairly certain that some of my friends have blocked me (note: I don’t mind) because of the fact that I post almost nothing but links to my blog posts now.
What doesn’t seem to matter:
- Twitter. I’ve had three or four retweets of blog links by Twitter accounts with ten thousand or more followers; once by someone with over twenty. I’ve never had more than five hits from Twitter in a single day. No one clicks on links on Twitter. That said, I still like it for other reasons, but it’s not driving meaningful traffic to the blog that I can see.
Anyway. Does any of that count as interesting or useful? I hope so.
(*) Why “approximately”? Because WordPress doesn’t seem to know how to count. I’m curious to see if other people have noticed this phenomenon– I will get six or seven notifications in a row that someone has followed my blog and that they’re my 2012th follower, or my 2013th, or my 2011th, and then all the sudden a few days later it’ll spend a day or two telling me that people are number 2035 or 2036 or 2037, with no numbers in between. I know I don’t get notified about every follower but it’s weird that it can’t keep the count straight. Also odd: nothing I’ve ever done has caused the number to go down. I feel like at some point someone has to have unsubscribed, right? Has anyone else noticed this phenomenon?
(**) I swear it was 725 for a month and then it inexplicably dropped to 708. No idea what happened.