Welcome to the 6th monthly report for Think Traffic. Thanks so much for reading these reports. It’s fun to look back on our progress here every month, and I hope the information is useful in building your own sites.
This report covers the period from August 16th to September 15th.
Can you believe it’s been six months since we launched this site already? I thought it would be fun to look at some stats for the first six months this blog has been around. Here are some of the highlights:
# Posts: 63 (10.5 avg. per month)
# Comments: 1,513 (252 avg. per month)
Total Unique Visitors: 30,370
Total Pageviews: 87,930
Avg. Time on Site: 2:16
Total Subscribers: 2,123 (354 avg. new subs. per month)
It has been an awesome six months. Thanks everyone who has stopped by, commented or shared an article with a friend. I really appreciate it. I hope you’ve learned a lot about building traffic to your own sites along the way.
So, how did we fare this month? I was afraid things might be a little slow around here, partly because it was the end of summer, and partly because I was on vacation for the better part of three weeks. It turns out we did just fine though, thanks no doubt to the effort we put in in prior months.
That’s a question worth diving into however. How can you maintain traffic to your website while taking time off?
I’m talking specifically about one-person run sites. It’s scary to think what you might come back to after a few weeks away, but there are some things you can do to minimize the impact.
In my case, I was on a road trip up through the Pacific Northwest. I was able to check in periodically for two of the three weeks, but mostly didn’t have access to the Internet for the third week, since I was sailing up in British Columbia.
I kept the blog alive with five new posts over those three weeks, and yet I only spent a few hours on the blog during that time. The result is that I still had a great vacation, but don’t have to share any bad news with you guys in this report.
Here are my top tips for maintaining traffic to your blog while taking time off. The key is not to stop posting just because you’re not there to write and publish things:
1) Schedule everything in advance
This might sound like a no-brainer, but I suspect many of you have never used the post scheduling feature in WordPress. It’s pretty simple and very effective, however. Just click “edit” next to the “Publish Immediately” title in the upper right-hand corner of your Edit Post page.
Just be careful to double-check your dates and times carefully, especially if you won’t be able to check on things for a while.
2) Run guest posts
While you’re gone, guest posts can be a great way to keep providing your audience with value. You can either schedule the guest posts before you leave, or (if you know the guest poster well) you might be able to ask the author to publish the post using an account you create.
Another reason I like guest posts is that generally the author will be willing to respond to comments left on the posts. That’s another way to stay engaged with your readers while you’re gone.
3) Experiment with easier post formats
When you’re preparing to be gone and writing extra posts that you can schedule, time might be an issue for you. One way to trim some time is to write using some easier formats.
For example, I regularly use the “ask the readers” format here. I ran two of them during my three-week stint away because they’re easier to write then the typical 1000 to 2000 word posts you might find here. Those types of posts are also beneficial because I don’t typically reply to comments on them, since they’re all about your opinions.
Overall Monthly Traffic
Back to this month’s report. How did we fare vs. last month? Overall traffic was down a bit, but not bad for the end of Summer.
Here are the overall visitor numbers for this month:
We had a little under 600 less visitors than last month (-6% month over month).
- New subscribers: 285 (-47% month-over-month)
- New comments (including my replies): 336 (+20% month-over-month)
- Retweets of new posts: 259 (-24% month-over-month)
8 posts (vs. 7 last month) published here this month (including 2 guest posts):
- 5 Steps to Make More Money From Your Website with Less Traffic
- How Usability Can Make Your Website Suck Less and Earn You More Customers (guest post by Andy Hayes)
- Ask the Readers: What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content?
- The Sure-Fire Way to Double Your Blog Comments Every Time (guest post by Joel Runyon)
- How to Convert Traffic into Buyers with Dave Navarro
- Ask the Readers: Why Do You Comment on Other Blogs?
- 10 Examples of Killer Unique Selling Propositions on the Web
- How I Created a Thriving Business Around this Blog in 5 Months (Think Traffic Monthly Report #5)
Top Traffic Sources
Guest Posts and Interviews I Did For Other Blogs:
I wrote a guest post for Social Media Examiner this month: Are You Using Social Media as Social Proof? The post was received well by the audience over there, and it was tweeted 658 times.
SME is a huge blog (top 5000 on Alexa) and yet the guest post only resulted in 23 visits to Think Traffic, despite an apparent sizeable overlap between our topics. It’s interesting and curious, but it confirms the experience some blogger friends have had when guest posting for other big blogs recently. Maybe we’ll dive into this topic more in the future.
Top Search Terms:
- think traffic: 194
- thinktraffic: 182
- most popular blogs: 83
- most popular blog: 33
- website traffic: 29
- corbett barr: 28
- most popular b:og: 28
- site:thinktraffic.net: 25
- how to find your blog usp: 24
- unique selling proposition examples: 23
Goals for This Month (Switching it up…)
The goals I’ve set each month have been working well, but I want to mix things up a bit this month. Here are two new things I’m planning to focus on:
- Use this blog to connect with and highlight other excellent related blogs. Linking out to other blogs is a great way to spread the love and get on people’s radar. It’s also a great way to provide even more value to your audience. I’m going to work to share more great content from around the web this month that will help you grow your own audiences.
- Say things that really matter. Everett Bogue of Far Beyond the Stars has been stressing this to me recently in conversations. The way to grow really quickly is to say things that matter, says Everett. Publishing the usual “10 tips” kind of posts that everyone else runs just won’t make you stand out enough. I’m going to play around with that concept here this month. I always try to share killer value here, but let’s push it even further and see what happens. I may post slightly less as a result.
Questions? Feel free to ask anything.
Once again, if you have any questions about this report or about growing website or blog traffic, ask me anything in the comments below. I’m happy to help!