Last month was interesting for a number of reasons. It was the first full month for Expert Enough. Between the two blogs we published 22 posts, (with over half written by guest authors). We launched the Expert Enough podcast and published content on all kinds of topics from chocolate to blogging to goal setting.
We now run three blogs through our tiny business with just two full time people. Over the past few months, we’ve become a micro publisher.
No longer are we simply bloggers. This isn’t a good or bad thing necessarily, but it does present some unique challenges, which I’ll discuss later in this report.
We saw 30,113 visits this month (versus 32,441 last month). There was a slight decline in this month’s traffic to TT, as we also saw last December, but if you include traffic from our case study blog of Expert Enough we had over 47,000 visits to our two sites in December.
Now let’s talk about some specific Think Traffic stats for the month.
December Growth Stats for Think Traffic
Here are some other stats for last month:
- New Comments: 339
- Re-tweets of New Posts: 417
- New Subscribers: 234
9 total posts were published last month (vs. 12 in the prior month), including 5 guest posts and 1 interview:
- How to Make Your Blog Stand Out in a Crowded Niche without Guest Posting (Guest Post by Gregory Ciotti)
- Four Common Blog Commenting Myths Debunked (Guest Post by Eugene Farber)
- How To Get Over 50,000 Visits to Your Blog in the First Month (Guest Post by Peep Laja)
- 3 Reasons Why You Should Hit Publish On Your Next Post (Even If It Sucks) (Guest Post by Joel Runyon)
- How Two Women Used a Blog to Beat Their Kickstarter Campaign Goal by 227%
- Are You Neglecting and Losing 80% of Your Customer Leads? (Guest Post by Andy Harvard)
- 11 Uncommon Blog Post Ideas for More Web Traffic
- Don’t Let Your Brand Hold Back Your Content
- Million Dollar Blog Project Update: First Month’s Results (and Revenue!)
This was one of the few (perhaps the only) months in which over 50% of the posts we published were guest posts.
We would love to know: do you like when we publish guest posts here? Let us know in the comments. If so, what would you like to see more of? If not, why not?
Also, if there are any special guests you’d like us to interview or ask to write for Think Traffic, we’d love to hear it in the comments.
We’re pretty happy with the overall traffic we drove as a company last month, but I’d like to see Think Traffic get back to faster growth in the coming months.
To do that, we’ll be launching a new product in January that should generate some buzz and give us new opportunities to reach new audiences. We’ll also be focused on a refreshed content strategy and on getting featured on other sites.
Top Traffic Sources
The top 5 traffic sources for this month were Google search, “direct”, RSS feed visitors, Twitter and Facebook. No surprises there. I’d like to see more referral traffic from other blogs, so we’ll be doing some outreach and reconnecting with people around the blogosphere soon.
Top Search Terms:
- think traffic: 440
- unique selling proposition: 329
- personal introduction: 265
- unique selling proposition examples: 240
- thinktraffic: 197
- sales pitch: 193
- blog post ideas: 160
- unique selling point examples: 116
- not stereo: 102
- best sales pitch: 89
5 of the blog posts this month made it on the top 10 posts/pages for the month. I especially enjoyed the guest post from Peep Laja about how he attracted 50k visitors to his blog in the first month.
Expert Enough Recap – December 2011
Over at Expert Enough, we attracted 16,823 visitors last month (vs. 21,563 in the prior month). The decline was to be expected after the launch buzz from November wore off. We’ll be working hard in the coming months to build on the base we’ve established.
If you’ve been following along with the Million Dollar Blog Project, we’ll have one or two posts this month related to the project that will cover building your blog’s audience in the months after you launch.
On the revenue front, Expert Enough earned $165.17 in December, which came from sales of our Expert Enough Manifesto poster and from affiliate sales of Benny Lewis’ language hacking guide. As I mentioned last month, we’re focused on building the audience for the next few months before we ramp up the revenue at EE.
One of the challenges we’re working through at Expert Enough is how to dial in the perfect content strategy. Some of our posts have been on fairly obscure topics that don’t always appeal to the entire audience. “Expertise” is fairly broad.
Instead of creating in-depth guides about expertise on lots of different topics, we’re going to start focusing on helping readers acquire the tools to gain expertise in a more generic sense. Some of the topics we’ll be experimenting with include productivity, rapid learning, improving memory, deliberate practice.
In the early months of a new blog, it’s important to watch and listen to your audience carefully. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your content and to change your strategy quite a bit in the beginning. Rarely can you have everything figured out right away, so it’s normal to change your content formula after you start.
I’m a ProBlogger “Blogger to Watch in 2012″!
At the end of last month I was honored to be named one of 2012’s bloggers to watch over at ProBlogger. Thanks to Darren Rowse and Jade Craven for including me there. Check out the list — there are tons of great people to follow.
Join us for a Live Class on Building a Thriving Audience
Today we’re holding a class at Noon Pacific / 3pm Eastern to help you learn how to build a thriving audience for your blog.
Join us to learn about creating sharable content, promoting your content on other sites, engaging and converting your visitors to become dedicated fans.
If you’re reading this after the class date, you can also access a complete recording at the link above.
Cheers and thanks for reading. I hope these reports are helpful. Here’s to a fantastic and fruitful 2012 from me and Caleb.