Monthly Blog Update: December 2009
If you follow this blog, you know that turning this blog into a sustainable, growing income stream is a huge priority for me. I document my progress each month with a monthly blog update. The blog updates typically include traffic growth as well as income for the month.
I’m happy to say that 20smoney.com just had its Google Pagerank increased from 3 to 4. This happened just last week. Also, Google has now added sitelinks for my site on the search results. If you search for “20smoney” or “20smoney.com” you will see the sitelinks below the main listing. Both of these developments are very encouraging. An increasing status in Google is key to growth.
Traffic & Readership
I like to break my traffic down into three categories: visits, page views and eye ball time. Since page views per visit can depend on a look and feel and how a blog is organized, the eye ball time is probably the most accurate number when comparing blog to blog. Let’s look at each…
October 2009: 6,387 visits
November 2009: 6,996 visits
December 2009: 7,735 visits (10.6% increase)
A very nice increase in visits but wanted to note that there is one more day in December than in November. If I compare the average daily number from month to month (233.2 to 249.5), I get a 7% increase in daily visits. This is probably a more accurate number to report. Either way, I’m happy since I shoot for a 5% increase each month.
October 2009: 19,155 total page views
November 2009: 20,500 total page views
December 2009: 23,418 total page views (14.23% increase)
The pages per visit increased from November to December slightly.
Eye Ball Time
October 2009: 1:44 per visit = 664,248 total seconds = 184.51 hours
November 2009: 1:57 per visit = 818,532 total seconds = 227.37 hours
December 2009: 1:48 per visit = 835,380 total seconds = 232.05 hours (2% increase)
The time per visit decreased which impacted the growth in overall eye ball time. I’d like to get the time per visit back up to around 2 minutes per visit.
New Articles Published
October 2009: 56 Articles / 436 Total Articles
November 2009: 39 Articles / 475 Total Articles
December 2009: 48 Articles / 523 Total Articles / 10.1% Increase in # of Articles
This doesn’t tell us much, but I like to include it anyways since it might have an impact on search traffic. 500 articles published is a pretty good milestone for a growing blog!
October 2009: 3,570 visits / 55.89% of overall traffic
November 2009: 4,075 visits / 58.25% of overall traffic
December 2009: 3,954 visits (3% decrease)/ 51.12% of overall traffic
The search traffic numbers actually decreased in December which shows that I received much more traffic from referrals and direct traffic since the overall visits jumped significantly. I have found that search traffic numbers are pretty much driven by the handful of big keywords that some of your articles dominate. I have 3 or 4 articles that rank #1 for a given keyword which drives the vast majority of search engine traffic. The goal then is to increase the number of articles that perform well in search. We must realize though that we don’t have much control over the popularity of a topic or the volume of search for a keyword for which we rank high. As such, the search traffic numbers might fluctuate up and down as we document each month. Either way, we’d like to see this trend higher over time.
Level of Engagement
October 2009: 836 total comments / 1.91 Comments per post
November 2009: 882 total comments / 1.86 Comments per post
December 2009: 936 total comments / 1.79 Comments per post (3.8% decrease)
54 new comments this month is pretty good. The comments increased, but I wrote a good number of articles this past month so the number of comments per post went down.
Please note that I used Google Analytics for the above data. I tend to think Site Meter is more accurate, but I couldn’t get all the data that I wanted for the above metrics from Site Meter, so I chose to keep it consistent by getting all information out of GA.
October 2009: $38.60
November 2009: $75.40
December 2009: $59.28 (21.4% decrease)
While my Adsense revenue went down, I expected it to after my huge month in November. I’m happy with the number this month as it looks like my average revenue per month for Adsense is definitely trending higher. Hopefully, this continues.
November 2009: $285.00
December 2009: $90.00
I didn’t sign many new deals this past month, but the revenue that is recurring each month is increasing which is what I want long term. I now have three deals that pay each month through PayPal subscriptions. The consistent monthly income is what I’m shooting for.
Another great month for my blog. While income was down, traffic was up nicely which is the most important part in the growth stage of this project. Without high traffic, there won’t be high income, so traffic increases each month is goal #1.
Also, I’m now over 700 RSS subscribers which is also a good indication of growth. Hopefully, it won’t take as long to get to 800 as it did to move from 600 to 700.
2009 was a great year for the blog, especially the second half of the year. I’m excited to take the momentum from the last 6 months into 2010. With regards to setting goals for the next year, here are my goals for the blog:
- Alexa ranking under 120,000 by the end of 2010
- Google Pagerank of 5 by the end of 2010
- 25,000 visits a month by the end of 2010
- Averaging over $100 per month in Google Adsense income by the end of 2010
- Averaging over $400 per month in total blog income by the end of 2010
- 1500 RSS subscribers by the end of 2010
These are both aggressive yet reasonable goals for the coming year. If I can keep up the consistency and work load, I think they are obtainable.
Additional Resources That I Recommend For Other Bloggers
- My November 2009 report – similar to this one
- My article that explains a great deal of the growth process – “The Slow Grind of Growing A Successful Blog”.
- Recent article: “No Free Lunch For Aspiring Bloggers”
Do you have similar reports for your blog detailing your traffic and income? I want to know about it and link to it. Leave a comment with the URL.