Today we continue to celebrate my one year blogiversary with a look at some of my stats. I’m going to share my visitor count, my RSS count, my Twitter count, my Alexa ranking, and my Technorati ranking. I’m also going to show you some graphs that chart my growth over the last year.
Why share the numbers? Well, for one thing, I enjoy seeing these numbers when other bloggers share them. For another, it’s one way of quantifying my progress and growth.
When I first started blogging last October, most of my visitors came as referrals. Some came from friends, family, and Facebook. Some came from the comments I would leave at other blogs. In the early days of Eden Journal, I had a lot of time for reading other blogs and leaving comments. Commenting is a great way to get to know other bloggers, and each time I leave a comment, I also include a link back to my blog. Commenting does two things. It builds a relationship between the commenter and the blogger, and it also builds links back to Eden Journal, which helps with my ranking in Google. Over the first few months, I ended up leaving over a thousand comments on other blogs.
I wasn’t really shooting for the Google rank at the time, I was more concerned with getting my name out and getting to know some of my fellow personal development bloggers.
I guess you could say my early focus was to write good content and get to know my fellow bloggers. In January 2010, I started a new job, and that left less time for browsing other blogs and leaving comments. Because of this my number of visitors began to decline.
Another method of getting readers to a blog is through guest posting. From what I’ve read, guest posting is one of the very best ways to find new readers. So, in March 2010, after a couple of months of low numbers of visitors, I tried a couple of guest posts. I shared a post on Dumb Little Man and another on World’s Strongest Librarian. Through these guest posts more readers found my blog, and a few of them stuck around.
Another interesting thing happened in March 2010. March was a turning point for my search engine mojo. I started pulling in a number of readers from Google. I noticed this with a post titled “1000 Awesome Things and The Book of Awesome.” Somehow this post ended up on the first page of Google for several keywords related to the book. It was a combination of things that boosted my rank in Google. For one, it was all the commenting I had done in the earlier months. Google counts the number of links to a website as one of their metrics for determining search engine ranking. Then I had the links from the popular sites I guest posted on, which are weighted a bit more than comment links. Finally, I had a keyword heavy title for the Book of Awesome post. Not everyone knows the name of the book or the website, so they would type in various combinations of the name of the book and the name of the website. Since most other sites reviewing The Book of Awesome only included the name of the book, anyone trying to find info on the book based on the name of the website (1000 Awesome Things) ended up at my blog.
I learned a couple of things in March 2010. I proved to myself that guest posts really do work for increasing readers. I learned that keyword heavy titles get a lot of love from Google. I also learned that jumping in to “hot topics” can really boost my visits from Google searchers. I wrote the Book of Awesome post simply to share an exciting accomplishment from a fellow blogger, but the buzz surrounding it, generated more traffic to my blog. I’ve since repeated this a couple of times with interesting topics I’ve found on Yahoo news or buzzing around the blogosphere.
Another more recent example of this is my Invisible Gorilla post. It made headlines on Yahoo news, and I found it interesting, so I blogged about it and added my own comments and shared what I learned. This is now my third most visited post.
Ever since March, my search visitors have outpaced my referral or direct link visitors. Here is a chart showing some different metrics, and you can see the point where I started getting more search visitors than referral visitors.
Up to this point I have mainly focused on writing good content for my blog. I think year 2 will see more guest posts, as a way of sharing content and attracting more readers to Eden Journal. If you have a blog and would like a guest post from me, send me an email. Eric at edenjournal dot com. I’d be happy to guest post on any topic you’d like.
My ranking on Alexa has followed a similar path to my number of visitors. It dipped in January and February and then picked up in March. My current Alexa ranking is 374,488. This basically means that of all the websites in the world, mine ranks 374,488th. Alexa uses number of visitors over the past three months to determine your ranking. Alexa rank isn’t perfect, as many website aren’t even listed there, but I think it’s the best tool available for comparing popularity of a website.
Technorati is another story. Technorati focuses on blogs and attempts to rank them based on the number of links and where those links come from. I feel it’s not a very accurate tool based on my experience with it. I’m currently ranked at 56,868. The thing with Technorati is they only look at the past 30 days, and they have an odd weighting to their ranks. For example I had two months where my ranking shot way up. In both cases it was from a single link from a more popular blog. The first was in March when I guest posted on Dumb Little Man. My Technorati rank shot up to 14,000. After 30 days it dropped back to the 50,000 to 60,000 range. Then in July I got a link from Upgrade Reality after I reviewed Diggy’s new eBook. That link shot me up to 5804. Then in 30 days I was back down to the 50,000 to 60,000 range. It really doesn’t seem like a single link should be able to cause that much fluctuation in ranking, and because of this, I don’t put too much value in my Technorati position.
RSS and Email Subscribers
I currently have 95 subscribers according to Feedburner. Feedburner is used for my RSS and email subscribers, and the number fluctuates up and down, but it’s currently sitting at 95. That’s not a very high number, especially when I look around the blogosphere and see many posts on increasing subscriber count, and everyone having goals to hit 1000 or 10,000 subscribers. I haven’t really focused on getting readers. My time is limited, so I’ve mainly focused on creating great content. I did rearrange my sidebars at one point to provide a little more focus on the subscribe area, but that’s about all I’ve done really. In a way, I hope that sharing this number will make some other bloggers feel better. It’s ok that I’m not at 1000 subscribers. In fact, my content is more focused and takes more time to digest than many others in the personal development field, so I wouldn’t expect my numbers to be as high as some of the quick fix bloggers.
On twitter, I currently have 36 followers. I’m not a big fan of twitter, as I find it to be distracting and impossible to keep up with. I do know that many others like it though, so I offer it on Eden Journal as a way to share my blog posts.
Now, how about some visitor count numbers? Currently I get about 1000 visits per month. Again, that’s not a spectacular number for a one year old blog, especially if you look at the hype around the popular blogs and the blog building gurus. I think it’s a solid number though. Every month I’m reaching 1000 people with the messages shared on Eden Journal, and I’m very happy about that. I would like my reach to continue to grow; I have messages to share and I want to reach all the people that are ready to hear my messages. I want people to think and to question, and I want to provide a medium for those thoughts and questions to develop.
Here are some charts showing my visitor counts over the past year. I’m showing you the same chart over different lengths of time: monthly, weekly, and daily. On the daily chart you’ll see a big spike in March. That was my guest post on Dumb Little Man, and it illustrates the power of a guest post at attracting new visitors.
The growth of Eden Journal has been slow and steady, and overall I’m pleased. Year two will see more of the same from me, including an average of two posts per week, eBook reviews, and participating in shared events like RAOKA and the Personal Development Campfire. I would like to do some more guest posting, assuming I can fit it into the time I a lot for blogging.
Most Visited Posts
I want to end this post by highlighting my top five most popular posts (the posts with the most views.) Most of these are ones that are visited by the search engine crowd, so they’re not necessarily my best or my favorite posts, instead they are the ones that more people are searching for. It’s an interesting distinction between popularity and quality. I’ll share some of my favorite quality posts later this week.
I hope you are enjoying my Blogiversary Celebration. Check back tomorrow for Google Love, a look at the normal and zany keyword that folks are using to find Eden Journal.
Be sure to enter my Blogiversary Contest