A guest post by my friend and colleague, Annabel Candy.
I take blogging seriously and am constantly checking to see if I'm making progress. I want to know if my blog's tanking so I can fix it, and I want to know if it's ranking because that motivates me to carry on blogging.
But how can you tell if your blog's ranking or tanking? Check out my progress report for my travel blog Get In the Hot Spot and you'll see a few ways I check my blogging evolution using everything from hard cold Google Analytics statistics, to the fuzzy warm feeling you get when a stranger sends you an appreciative email, or leaves a comment like this one from Randall at The Phillipines Project
“I’m so proud that you have done so well and know your blog is getting ready to grow exponentially!
You are always so helpful and kind. I’m sure that is your the real key to success. I have learned a lot from you.
Those of you just stopping by for a second really need to go ahead and subscribe via RSS or e-mail. Annabel is the REAL DEAL!”
Emails and comments like that have really helped me stick with blogging and I appreciate everyone who visits and reads my blog. Recently the lovely Jon Morrow wrote about the blogging glass ceiling over at Copyblogger. He nailed it with that one. Sometimes I feel like I've hit it again and again and all I've ended up with is a sore head. Other times I think I'm doing quite well. That's what I call the tao of blogging.
I've written before about how all bloggers want to give up blogging from time to time and how we have to fight that and battle on. I've written before about what I've done right in blogging and how I got 1,000 subscribers to my blog after my first year of blogging even though I made a lot of big mistakes like changing my domain name three times. But now I've got a reprieve.
My husband says this is the real first birthday of Get In the Hot Spot .com because on August 3rd 2009 we bought the domain name and moved my blog here. So now my blog is a toddler. Up until today I've crawled but from soon on I'm going to be walking, still slowly and clumsily at first, but I'm definitely looking forward to running at full speed.
Blog Ranking – 12 Months of Blogging Statistics
54,886 visits have been clocked by Google Analytics. Sign up free now if you haven't already.
After 119,477 page views, 35,377 unique and amazing people from 165 countries have visited.
1,694 comments have been written. That's not counting the 753 comment replies from me.
I've published 106 blog posts – 150 if you count the other blog posts I posted on my WordPress.com and blogspot domains.
On average each person spends 3:31 minutes here.
Blogging Statistics – Growth 484%
Number of Unique Visits:
August 2009 – 1,144
July 2010 – 5, 543
August 2009 – 87
July 2010 – 912
Check out this graph from Feedburner which shows slow, steady growth:
I worked hard to build up my subscribers to a point where I could actually display it on my blog and around that time Feedburner seemed to break so one day my stats would read 600 and the next day 300. Or even 0 if they were being really cruel. Feedburner drives me nuts.
Then, soon after I clawed my way up to 1,000 subscribers, TechCrunch announced RSS was dead which practically killed me too after all that time I'd spent trying to get people to sign up for my RSS feed. Thankfully, the very clever Corbett Barr over at Think Traffic mentioned an alternative way of charting your blog's progress and showing social proof. Now, like Corbett, I'm displaying the number of people who read my blog each month at the top of my site – 5,849 is the number of unique people who visited in July.
I started using MailChimp for email subscriptions in because it's free if you have less than 500 subscribers, but apparently Aweber is cheaper once you have more than 500 subscribers so I should probably change to Aweber.
August 2009 – 0
July 2010 – 726
Total Subscribers by RSS and Email – Growth 1,883%
August 2009 – 87
July 2010 – 1, 638
Brand Awareness – Growth 590%
The number of people doing a Google search for Get In the Hot Spot or Annabel Candy:
August 2009: 25
July 2010: 148
Other Social Media
Facebook Friends: 303
Facebook Fans: 114 – Please take a moment to join me on Facebook. I want to interact with my readers on Facebook more.
3 Reasons This Blog is Ranking
- I write guest posts on top blogs.
- I try to fit in and network.
- I reply to comments and ask my readers to help me promote blog.
3 Reasons This Blog Could be Ranking Better
- I've changed topics three times and now write about empowerment and entrepreneurship.
- My blog doesn't fit into a specific niche. It's practical lifestyle and business tips with and upbeat tone and motivation built into every post.
- I can't be pigeon-holed and don't run with the in crowd.
The Readers Make it
If you want to gain confidence and improve your writing blogging's the best. I couldn't have come this far without feedback from readers like this:
“This article was like a breath of fresh air. Thanks for this different perspective on blogging.”
Arlene at Life Plan Web
“You sound so positively positive in your post! your enthusiasm for what you do and how you do it is infectious.”
Delta at Outrageous Age
I am really inspired by what you wrote about telling a story. I’m going to think about that one for my biz.
Susan at Secrets to Uultimate Living
“What a fantastic blog this is! Thanks for this. I am a new blogger and this is great information to have – I was just thinking about how I should start looking at guest posting and then I read this. Fantastic advice on what I need to do. Love all your tips. You're an inspiration Annabel.”
Danni at Danni Beauty
“WONDERFUL WONDERFUL WONDERFUL, WHAT AN ADORABLE STORY – thanks for sharing your insights. I’m loving your writing, Thank you very much. And here’s some smiles back to you for your kindness and open-heartedness”
“Thanks for the summary!”
Seth Godin at his famous marketing blog
“Annabel–thank you for this! You completely captured my own blogging experience! The peaks, the valleys, the tech frustrations, the way one comment can cause such delight, a single mention on a prominent blog can make your stats soar (and then drop), and good blogging friends are invaluable for getting you through it all.”
Doreen at Stylemaniac
“Love the post! Guest posts are also such a neat way to connect, aside from helping get the word out – reminds us that we need one another to make this all happen! Thanks for the tips and inspiration!”
Corey Heller at Multilingual Living
“Annabel you are an inspiration to many of us out here in the weeds!”
Barbara Hammond at Zero to 60 and Beyond
Other Blogging Achievements
- Guest posts on some of the most popular blogs on the Internet including Zen Habits, Problogger and Copyblogger.
- Invited to be a Positivity Ambassador for Coca-Cola and flown to Shanghai by them for a blogging conference and trip to World Expo.
- Hosted my first blogging seminar as part of the Reality Bites Non-Fiction Literary Festival.
- Have completed the first draft of my blogging book and will be ready to launch it in September.
- Have been featured in the print media and interviewed online heaps, most recently by Hulbert Lee about early rising.
- I've motivated, encouraged and helped thousands of bloggers and entrepreneurs to keep working towards their dream and am following my dream of writing and helping other people get the life they want. Blogging has brought me so many opportunities and I think it can benefit most of us. I recently wrote 10 Ways Blogging Can Improve Your Life at Lifehack and I feel passionately about blogging. I hope it will bring you as many amazing friendships and business opportunities as it has me.
Thank You to all my Readers
As you can see from these WordPress statistics of page views July was the best month ever and the blog is growing thanks to your support.
Is your blog ranking or tanking? How can you tell if you're making progress with your blog?