Thanks to Google Analytics I can compare several metrics about my website before and after blogging. Here are my findings.
I started blogging on the 1st of January 2014, so this comparison will focus on (Jan 1 – 31 May, 2014) vs. (Jan 1 – 31 May, 2013).
- A blog gets you new visitors, but it needs time to build an audience.
The number of unique visitors I had in these first six months increased 17.8% to 1,638 visitors. That may not seem much but if this growth maintains I’ll end the year with a total of 3,276 visitors, which is 1000 more visitors than last year. Even better, I managed to increase the percentage of returning visitors from 17% to 34%. Thank you, come again.
- Different social networks give you different types of visitors.
When I publish a blog post I share it (automatically) on Facebook, Twitter and (manually) Google Plus. During these months 55% of my visitors reached my blog by clicking on a link posted on a social network. And guess what, Google Plus brought me 763 visitors almost the double of Facebook! Another curious thing was that Google+ visitors spend on average a total of two minutes on each page, which is 30 seconds more than a average Facebook visitor. That just confirms what I told you previously: Google+ users care more about the content you post.
- Your visitors need your help, not your opinions.
This is another confirmation. Posts with tutorials, tips, reviews and solutions got me the highest number of views; posts about personal thoughts or experiences the lowest. Visitors will find your blog by searching for a solution to their problems, so make sure your posts are solving someone else’s problem. Even before I had a blog, JCDP’s official page was the best evangelist of my website. All I had to do was spend 1 month developing an open-source Java library and share on Stack Overflow.
JCDP currently is the keyword that most people search to find my website; the second is
diogo nunes, which is my name, and the website’s name. That says a lot.
- Focus on writing interesting and useful content. Visitors will follow.
I spent two weeks writing a Rails vs Django vs Play framework review. It took me twice the effort and yielded me thrice the reward! I published that review on the last days of May and in just one week it had more views than posts with five months of accumulated views. Another champion of views is [how to set up a Rails environment; again two weeks, again useful problem-solving content. Your effort is always rewarded.
- Internationalize to broaden your audience.
In the past I blogged in Portuguese about Portuguese stuff. Today I write tutorials and share my thoughts in English. My Brazilian visitors dropped 70%, however all other nationalities increased: British (+365%), German and French (+165%), and American (+110%)! So while I managed to maintain my Portuguese audience, the Brazilian audience was replaced for the American as the second highest audience on my website.
- It’s increasingly important that your website displays well on mobile devices.
In the end of 2012 the first mobile pageviews started to appear on my website. Over the last six months I went from serving 200 pages to mobile devices to 760 (+278%). More often that not your audience will read your content on the go, so make sure your blog displays correctly on tablets and even smartphones, i.e. use a responsive theme.
I really have to thank you for your views, comments and positive feedback. Just a final curiosity 8th search term used to find my website is
adoro estar contigo (“I love being with you”) which links to a poem I wrote. Thank you for being with me :)