Think Traffic Monthly Report – July 2011

  • August 4, 2011 by Corbett Barr
  • 30 Comments

Welcome to the monthly report for Think Traffic for July, 2011!

Each month, I post an update on what we’ve been doing to grow the audience for Think Traffic. I also occasionally write about how we’ve been earning revenue for this blog-based business.

It’s actually been about six weeks since the last monthly report. Since I started this blog back in March of 2010, I had been posting monthly reports from the 16th of the month to the following 15th (mid-month start and end dates). This month I decided to reset the calendar and go with standard months.

This report will cover the whole month of July.

Important Happenings Last Month

A couple of important things happened here last month. First, we reopened Traffic School to new students for about three days in early July. More details on how the launch went in a minute.

Second, I subtly changed the tagline for this site from “get more traffic for your website or blog” to “build a thriving and profitable audience for your website or blog.”

This site has never simply been about traffic. I’ve written before that it isn’t the size of your audience that really matters, it’s what you can do with it.

What good is traffic if you can’t build a business or successful project around it? We’re interested in building quality targeted traffic here, not just any old traffic, because what we want is a thriving and profitable audience.

Think Traffic itself is an example of what I’m referring to. The audience here isn’t huge by any means. In fact, the size of Think Traffic’s audience (about 30k monthly visits this month) is modest compared to a lot of sites out there. But I’ve focused from day one on building an engaged audience and on helping you solve a very specific and necessary problem.

By helping you solve a specific problem and trying to engage with you all as much as possible, I’ve been able to build a very profitable business around this blog in less than a year and a half.

Which brings us back to Traffic School.

Traffic School is one of the ways we earn revenue through this blog (along with consulting, affiliate marketing and by selling other products). Traffic School is a comprehensive course on how to build a thriving audience for any website or blog. It’s a premium course and people tell me it’s the most effective course of it’s kind on the market.

I have opened the course for enrollment twice now, once back in March and again last month. The first time we opened, the course sold out all 100 spots in 36 hours. This last time, we sold out 100 spots in two days again, then went on to sell a total of 125 spots by the third day.

The fact that I’m able to sell 225 total spots in a $600+ course in just four months is exactly why you should be focusing on building a specific type of audience for your site, not just any audience.

If you build the right audience, you don’t need hundreds of thousands of visitors to build a very profitable site. You might just need 10,000 visitors a month or even less. It all depends on how much value you bring to each of those audience members.

Ask yourself this question: “how much value am I delivering to each person who visits my site?” Think about that for a moment. How helpful are you really being? Are you changing lives or having a measurable impact on your readers or visitors?

There’s a reason I named my company Insanely Useful Media. It isn’t good enough to just be useful. You need to be insanely useful if you want to build a highly profitable audience around your site.

Of course, there are a whole host of details and strategies you’ll need to employ to actually earn the revenue from your audience. You can’t just give away the best information on the planet and hope to be magically compensated for it.

And that’s what we’ll be covering more of here. In addition to helping you attract traffic in general, we’ll also help make sure you’re attracting the right kind of visitors so you can build a profitable business.

If you’re not signed up for email updates already, get on the list below so you don’t miss a post. Trust me, you’re not going to want to miss anything coming up here:

And now, on to the numbers from this past month.

This Month’s Traffic

We saw 27,700 visits this month (vs. 29,639 last month). That’s a modest decrease of 7% for the main site, although if you include visits to the Traffic School sub-site, we actually saw a total of 40,042 visits (besting the old record for both sites of 30,547 by over 30%).

Let’s look at some other stats for last month:

  • New subscribers: 161 (-79% month-over-month – I think FeedBurner is on the fritz at the moment)
  • New comments (including my replies): 509 (+16% month-over-month)
  • Retweets of new posts: 480 (+93% month-over-month)

10 total posts were published last month (vs. 10 in the prior month), including 4 guest posts:

Top Traffic Sources

Top Search Terms:

  1. think traffic: 720
  2. personal introduction: 392
  3. unique selling proposition: 358
  4. unique selling proposition examples: 356
  5. thinktraffic: 244
  6. website traffic: 227
  7. sales pitch: 204
  8. unique selling point examples: 119
  9. thinktraffic affiliate: 107
  10. not stereo: 91

Top Content

Notice that the #2 most popular piece of content is something I wrote months ago. That’s the power of epic content that can become a cornerstone of your site that people continually refer back to and share.

The Next Challenge for Think Traffic

Last month I wrote about challenging myself to increase engagement (specifically average time on site and bounce rate metrics). Then I found out a week later that Google Analytics and Clicky both measure site statistics very differently (see the bottom of this post for full details on the differences).

Long story short, I’m happier with the engagement numbers for this site knowing that Clicky measures things differently (and that I was using my friend Pat Flynn’s Clicky numbers to compare to my Google Analytics numbers originally).

But even though I’m happier with the numbers, I’ll still be working to improve apples-to-apples comparisons of visitor engagement here. More on that challenge later this month.

What Can I Help You With?

As always, I’m here to help. Really. Challenge me on that if you’re feeling up to it. Questions? Comments? Just want to say hello? Hit me up on Twitter, send me an email or leave a comment below.

Have a fantastic August. On a personal note, I just embarked this week on a two-month trip that will take me and my wife up to the Pacific Northwest until mid-August and then to Europe for six weeks after that. I’ll still be working throughout the trip, but I also have some new help starting next Monday that I’ll also tell you about shortly. Cheers!

Written by . Corbett is cofounder of Fizzle, a place for creative entrepreneurs, writers, makers, coders and artists, all working to support themselves doing what they love independently on the Internet. Follow Corbett on on Twitter.


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Mike Crimmins August 4, 2011 at 5:55 am

Enjoy the trips. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and I would love to get back there.

Thanks for sharing your reports. I don’t think the exact stats help me directly, but I’m always getting ideas from these posts. As I was reading it, I came up with a way to be more insanely useful to my readership.

Corbett August 5, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Awesome Mike, thanks for reading. Good luck with the new strategy.

Sarah Russell August 4, 2011 at 6:29 am

Haha – I’m almost relieved to hear that Feedburner is giving you trouble as well, not because I’d wish trouble on you but because mine’s screwed up as well and I was hoping it wasn’t because people suddenly hated me :)

I’m definitely excited to hear more about the specific actions you took to increase engagement, as it’s something that’s been on my mind a lot lately. Do you think your efforts there helped contribute to the huge change in post Tweets?

Take care and enjoy your trip!

Corbett August 5, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Hey Sarah! Yeah, FeedBurner counts are notoriously unreliable. I don’t worry about them too much, as long as the general trend is up.

About tweets per post, I actually meant to mention that I switched back to the “official” Twitter retweet button from the TweetMeme button because the TweetMeme button started losing it’s accuracy recently. That’s why the tweet counts are higher.

TrafficColeman August 4, 2011 at 7:15 am

Corbett you have taken this site to the peck of the mountain and your doing it with style bro. I’m extremely happy to see your progress and making ThinkTraffic.net into one of the most visited site in the blogging world.

“Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

Corbett August 5, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Thanks Coleman!

Momekh August 4, 2011 at 9:49 am

Good luck with your conquests and queries up in the Pacific Northwest, Corbett! :)

I am trying to benchmark here (obviously), I am getting roughly 3k/month visitors to my blog – and about 6 to 8 signups per day (I hear it is good – 5% signup rate). My Aweber open rate is between 25% to 45% (is that good?).

Thanks to the 21 actions I took for my blog in one sitting (although it took me about 5 hrs I think, but I do remember you telling me it’s unheard of … I am actually proud of that :) thanks Corbett).

Feedburner is just too erratic and too complicated. I supposedly have 350 RSS subs. Then 280. Then back to 300s. I just display the chicklet, and that’s all I pay attention to. All my signups are to the email list.

I have yet to dabble into guest posting, given that I write about ‘creative self-employment’ … hmmm…

I am saying all of this to perhaps “thank you” for the inspiration, and I wish this kind of lifestyle for everyone reading this. And may God guide and bless us all. :)

Corbett August 5, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Hey Momekh, wow, it sounds like you’re doing really well. A 5% email subscription rate for all visitors to a blog is tremendous. I’m averaging more like 3% here. Of course, it depends on the % of new vs. returning visitors as well, but you should be really pleased.

For open rates, 25% isn’t all that great, 45% is pretty good though. It depends on what the average is of course. I’m getting about 45% on average, and some posts are opened by 60% or more. These are metrics through AWeber, so your comparison might not be valid if you’re using some other email service.

Thanks for the update, I’m glad things are going well for you. Cheers!

Terry Dunn August 4, 2011 at 10:05 am

Hi Corbett,

1000 visitors a day might be modest to you, but it would be huge to me. I notice your bounce rate is 72%. I seem to remember you saying a high bounce rate suggests your site may need a redesign. I think your site design is great. Perhaps 72% is not high for a bounce rate? What would you say is a low bounce rate?

Terry

Corbett August 5, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Hey Terry, great question about bounce rate. The answer really depends on what industry you’re in and what type of site you’re running. It also depends very much on which program you use to measure bounce rate. Google Analytics tells me the bounce rate here is 72%, but Clicky tells me it is 30%.

In either case, I think I can do a little better. I’ll be working to lower the bounce rate by making the older content on the site more accessible. As far as Google Analytics measurements are concerned, I’d like to shave 7% off and get to 65% as a medium-term goal.

Eugene August 4, 2011 at 10:41 am

Amazing results as always! I keep hearing about Clicky, I’m going to have to try it out.

What parts of Europe are you going to?

Corbett August 5, 2011 at 2:30 pm

We’re headed to Amsterdam, Berlin, Budapest, Croatia and Barcelona. I’m really looking forward to the trip! Most of those are new locations for us.

Benny August 4, 2011 at 1:32 pm

Congrats on Traffic School!

I do have one question I can’t figure out. I know you have the email signup for in the middle of your post. I’m assuming it’s from Aweber but how do you insert the code into the post? When I’ve tried it, I don’t get the customization or if I do, it’ll show up on the page but when I reload it, the customization goes away. Could you share how you get it to show up properly. Do you use the javascript or the html? My Google wasn’t broken so I tried searching but could never find the answer. :)

#10 for keywords is “not stereo”? Did I miss a post on that somewhere? :)

Have a great trip!

Peter St Onge August 4, 2011 at 5:59 pm

I second Benny. WTF “not stereo?!?”

Corbett August 5, 2011 at 2:35 pm

I’m not sure why so many visitors came through the “not stereo” keyword this time. I’m guessing Google was playing around with rankings for a while. Here’s the post that mentions “stereo” on the site:

http://thinktraffic.net/are-you-coming-through-in-mono-or-stereo

For the AWeber form in the post, I just used the javascript that AWeber provides. I noticed that the form doesn’t show up in WordPress preview mode, it only shows up after hitting publish. Is that the issue maybe?

Peter St Onge August 4, 2011 at 9:35 pm

This is just me, Corbett, and maybe completely left-field, but as long as we’re talking bounce-rate I wonder if the 3-line graphic looks a hair clip-arty. Which might make the homepage at least 8% squeeze-pagey.

Maybe a Bootcamp or Apple feel? Keep the concept, though. The 3 lines rock the authoritative theme. Just, y’know, more modern-looking?

Don’t take any of this personally — your logo is a damn sight better than mine, which is verifiable, 100% clip-art :)

Onibalusi Bamidele August 5, 2011 at 7:28 am

Congrats on another great month Corbett!

I really love your point about traffic not being about the quantity but the quality, and your blog is a testament to that!

Your “21 quick action” post is a great example of EPIC content and there is no doubt that is why it keeps on appearing in your income report every month :)

Concerning the bounce rate, I notice you really don’t interlink your posts (which Pat does well). I used to get an average time on site of around 2 minutes also and a bounce rate of 70%, but after starting to interlink more of my blog posts I now have an average time of 4 minutes on site and a bounce rate of 60%.

I also wish you and your wife the best with your trip!

Regards,
Oni

Alex Aguilar August 8, 2011 at 5:57 am

509 replies to just 10 posts in July comes to an average of 59 replies per post! This is on its own is the most astounding metric for me – I’m lucky if I see 10 to 15 replies per post in my blog.

Corbett August 8, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Thanks Alex, that’s a good point, we should cover tips on how to get more blog comments here soon.

Nate @ Strayblogger August 8, 2011 at 11:18 am

Corbett,
I’ve started recently reading your blog and have gotten a lot of valuable tips from your stuff- thanks.

One thing that could help your bounce rate is making a quick video for each post- that might or might not fit in with your strategy- but it will definitely keep people on each page longer, not to mention everyone loves videos.

Even on my small niche sites I create a quick powerpoint-style video for each page and most of my sites have an average time-on-site of between 5 and 7 minutes.

And… 20 or 30 youtube videos start to send quite a bit more traffic.

Keep the great content coming…

Corbett August 8, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Hey Nate, thanks for the idea! I might throw that one into the ideas bin and give it a try.

Dean Saliba August 11, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Nice traffic stats, I find reading posts like this helps me knuckle down and try harder on my own blogs.

Have you thought about maybe including a couple of amusing search terms to your reports? Sometimes I find that people have typed in some weird search terms into Google to reach my blog and my readers get a kick out of seeing them.

I bet you can’t beat mine. ‘Shiny bumhole’. What the heck where they looking for?!

Caleb Wojcik August 11, 2011 at 2:27 pm

I think the best one for my blog was “nudist minimalist”. I bet they were disappointed that I wear clothing…

ah Freedom August 17, 2011 at 6:03 am

wow… I’ve not seen these reports for a while now. Big change since last time. Curious to know if you’ve blogged about site performance when reaching 1000 + visits a day?

Chirag September 4, 2011 at 9:49 am

Wow, that’s pretty exciting (primarily because my visitor stats look pretty darn similar!)

I’m intrigued that your earnings are this high. I went through the affiliates vs adsense article and had a couple of questions. What’s the best way to ask questions? Here/Email?

Good luck with the website :)

Corbett Barr September 4, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Feel free to ask questions right here if they are appropriate for the whole audience. Cheers

Benny August 6, 2011 at 5:27 pm

I’ve published it before and it didn’t turn out right. I’ll test it out again. Thanks Corbett.

Eugene August 10, 2011 at 6:25 pm

That sounds like an incredible trip. I’ve been to the first three you mentioned. Croatia is definitely near the top of the list for me for where I still want to go.

Budapest is a beautiful city (or two cities I guess) but it gets a little shady there at night :)

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