So, I’ve kind of orphaned a whole slew of side projects (including this blog) lately while I worked on spinning up another blog to test some SEO, content strategy and audience building approaches I’ve had rattling around in my head for a while.
It’s something I’ve been working on in my spare time for a bit over a year, and I just wanted to do a quick retro and reflection on where I’m at. It’s not a huge deal, but I’ve passed a couple of personal milestones that are worth noting:
A Week of Site Traffic of ~250 Visits a Day
Seems like nothing, right? Well, what makes this special to me is that I built this from scratch. In my spare time. The world it a lot different when you have no existing brand, no guaranteed traffic, and no time to invest in generating either. Nothing.
Transparent red line indicates relatively sustained traffic at or above 250 visitors a day.
Broke Through the Google Webmaster Tools 50,000 Impressions Ceiling
I was stuck at 50,000 impressions (exactly) for so long that I’m convinced Google has a throttling mechanism in place. I suspect site age has something to do with it.
In April, I finally broke through the 50,000 impressions ceiling.
Identified the Reddit Effect in My Analytics
Reddit is notorious for driving mad traffic to unsuspecting websites. After careful scrutiny of my analytics for the last year, I was able to tease out correlation between visitors and having a post make it to the front page of a smallish (50K subscribers) SubReddit. Can you see it?
If you look closely and use your imagination, you may discern the Reddit Effect.
And of course, there’s more…
Some Things I Have Learned
Some of what I’ve learned over the past year kind may seem obvious in retrospect, but kind of surprised me as things were progressing…
- Starting from 0 is a different game than taking over something that already has momentum.
- Branded search terms have very little value. People searching for my site name are always going to find my site name. What has value is driving traffic for keywords related to the subject domain of my site.
- My highest performing posts are longer pieces that dispense with the advice about brevity, bullet points, etc. Readers don’t appear to be afraid of a lengthy post so long as it helps them answer a question, provides them with something of value.
- The project will consume all my time if I let it. I need to do a better job balancing my after-work time between my projects and my friends and famly.
- This is the most fun I’ve had in a long, long time.