Quarterly Blogwanking: Spring 2015

I pulled the quarterly stats Sunday morning, so I’ve not captured the entire month of March, but I decided to go ahead and do this before the A to Z Challenge starts so we can see where we are going in. As always, I’m not bragging nor complaining. I do these because I always learn things when other bloggers share their stats, and I have friends who like this stuff.

We’ve had a stellar quarter both here and at Part Time Monster. I knew January would be good, but February and March have exceeded my expectations and compared to how we ended 2014, the Monster is absolutely killing it. I am curious about two things going forward:

  1. What’s the A to Z Challenge going to do for our traffic and engagement?
  2. Is the increased traffic we’ve seen this quarter sustainable, or are we in for a huge dip later in the year like we saw in 2014?

Here are Sourcerer’s monthly views. I went ahead and included them all so we can compare them to last year’s.

Sourcerer_Stats_2015_03_29January of this year was comparable to January of 2014, but we didn’t see the huge drop-off in February and March this year that we saw last year. That’s because January of last year was a lucky month — we had the Zero-to-Hero Challenge, a weekend where the entire southeastern U.S. was snowed in to binge on the Internet, and some lucky Stumbles. This year, we got the numbers in January by blogging consistently, and we’ve been able to maintain that consistency for the entire quarter.

I don’t expect to reach 3400 views for March, but it’s going to be close. I’m interested to see what we get the first week of April. I think we should see a nice bump, but I don’t know how much of the traffic growth I’m expecting in April we’ll be able to hang on to. We didn’t do A to Z here last year, but it got me my best month of 2014 at my personal blog.

The traffic at my personal blog settled back to the normal level pretty quickly once April was over last year. That doesn’t mean much, though. A to Z took so much out of me last year I had to shut my personal blog down for a couple of weeks to get Sourcerer back on track. I’m hoping I’ve done a good enough job with the planning this year to just keep rolling once April is over.

Now, Part Time Monster’s monthly totals.

PTM_Stats_2015_03_29The Monster’s last three months are the best quarter Diana and I have had at any of our blogs since we started, and it’s the #WeekendCoffeeShare that’s driving this increase. March looks better than it actually is, because Diana got more than 800 views on March 12-14 from someone Stumbling one of her posts, and that’s not a predictable source of traffic. Even when we correct for that, though, the Monster’s had a good month.

Sourcerer and Part Time Monster have run neck-in-neck for views most of the time we’ve been blogging. We’ve rarely ended a month more than 1,000 views apart. When one pulls ahead, the other always catches up. I’ve said several times that I thought PTM was pulling away and been wrong, but I think it’s happening now.

Just in general, the Monster is a better blog for getting views because Diana gets the same amount of traffic for a lot less work than I put into Sourcerer, which is a bit of a high-maintenance operation. Just to give you a frame of reference, PTM has published 550 posts since we started. We’ve published 775 here.

The #WeekendCoffeeShare has made me a believer in the power of linkups, so once A to Z is done, a Sourcerer-appropriate weekend linkup is my next project. And as for the StumbleUpon luck – that’s not going to be luck forever. We will learn how to use StumbleUpon effectively, even if it takes me all of next year to figure out how. And that’s likely the last network I’m going to need to solve.

This is not to suggest that you should run out and get yourself a linkup without thinking about what you’re hoping to accomplish. Linkups have to be well-crafted to appeal to a lot of people, and they have to attract people who actually visit the other blogs on the linkup. Otherwise, they’re just more work for very little gain. But I’ve seen enough good ones to put one together for this blog and have a chance at success with it.

In the meantime, I am interested in seeing how April plays out for these two blogs. Here’s why.

  • We have consecutive list placement and a lot of mutual friends who are near us on the list, and we typically post an hour apart.
  • We’re both doing A to Z with contributors, and we are writing posts for one another, but Diana has fewer contributors than Sourcerer.
  • We’re both planning to visit the same number of blogs, but Diana will be visiting more because she’s a helper, and so she has extra ones to visit.

I am curious to compare our daily totals, and to see how the #WeekendCoffeeShare, which will continue in April, plays into the numbers. Here’s a brief run-down of our quarterly referrals and top posts.

Sourcerer’s Top Posts

  • One of Jeremy’s Batman posts that gets Google search hits every day,
  • A big bunch of Luther’s Walking Dead recaps,
  • Rebecca’s review of Disclaimer,
  • Natacha’s post on Star Wars and long-lasting franchises,
  • David’s Agents of Shield post that ran during the break in Agent Carter, and
  • the A to Z reveal. Nothing else generated more than 100 post views this quarter.

Sourcerer’s Top Referrers

  • Search Engines (3,200)
  • The WordPress reader (500)
  • Twitter (360)
  • Facebook (260)

No other single source generated 100 referrals.

Part Time Monster’s Top Posts

I’m not going to run them down, but PTM has 20 posts that generated more than 100 views for the quarter. These fall into several categories.

  • Old posts that generate consistent search traffic.
  • Weekend Coffee share posts (nearly all have generated more than 100 post views).
  • Event-oriented posts like the two Feminist Fridays, Diana’s #1000Speak post, and her A to Z Theme reveal.

Part Time Monster’s Top Referrers

  • Search engines (2500)
  • StumbleUpon (652, but this number looks low to me and the stumbled post was viewed more than 800 times)
  • WordPress Reader (560)
  • Twitter (500)
  • Facebook (250)
  • Email (175)

Interestingly, Part Time Monster received about 1000 more front page views than Sourcerer this quarter. I’m assuming a lot of these views are repeat visits from people checking the coffee share linkup periodically on the weekends. Just as a bonus, here’s the traffic spike from the StumbleUpon hit on March 12-14.

PTM_spike_2015_03_29Since this occurred Thursday-Saturday and coincided with the coffee share linkup, it got Part Time Monster our two best days ever for views.

Happy April! Best of luck with A to Z if you’re participating. If not, stop by for our A to Z posts. In general, our April posts will be our standard fare, only the posts will be shorter and we’ll have two posts on a few days of the week that we generally only have one.

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27 thoughts on “Quarterly Blogwanking: Spring 2015

  1. Well done! I love the term blogwanking! The stats are looking good – so pleased that all your hard work is paying off! I really want to take part in the A-Z but can’t commit all that time – would you mind if I just joined in occasionally?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great stats, I can only dream of my own blog doing so well. I definitely need to get better at getting traffic, search engines etc. Knowing the size and direction of the mountain is half the battle. 🙂

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  3. I just had to look at mine. I don’t have the patience to look for trends, but I know the break I took for almost a month definitely changed things. Will be interesting to see what happens with A to Z. I have been getting likes and comments on my most recent post from new, needing to be approved commenters so maybe that is part of the lead up to the challenge?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree. And I’m fortunate because I have access to the stats for a few blogs. I only share the ones from here and Part Time Monster because my personal blog doesn’t get enough traffic to be interesting and the other ones I can see are owned by other people. I think of the stats as feedback — they tell me what people like. I don’t look at them every day, but I look at them at least once a week and do these posts quarterly.

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    • My personal blog, which is mostly a weekly blog and a space for things that don’t fit here, rarely sees 100. I’m averaging 48 per day for the year with that one at the moment and only averaged 28 per day last year. Pop culture blogged from many different perspectives is just interesting, it seems.

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  4. Looking at my stats now too. I’ve been averaging about 2000 views per month, which isn’t bad considering a lot of my content isn’t as likely to be searched for on a search engine (that said, search engines are my best referrer, followed by FB, then Twitter). My most popular post of the quarter was my Feminist Friday post about the MPDG, followed by my other Feminist Friday post on the Bechdel Test–there’s an obvious pattern there. My best day recently was the Theme Reveal, though my best month overall was November, which makes sense because I did NaBloPoMo & Daily Post’s Photo 101 simultaneously. I’m going to set myself up after April to make sure I have more photo features each week, since those are popular and I have a huge archive.

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    • Yeah. Photo features rock. Not the best for engagement or page views, but great for attracting social media traffic if you can get them to display in the publicized links. No telling how many of those MPDG views were me. I’m curious — what’s your visitor-to-views ratio like for that day? We normally run ratio of 1.5 views per visitor, but on the weekend, Diana’s ratio jumps to more than two views per visitor because of the coffee share.

      Search engines are powerful if you can find the right thing and package it properly. The Batman post I refer to brought as many views here this quarter as the StumbleUpon brought Diana — it’s just that they were collected 5 and 10 per day instead of all at once. five or six of those could easily increase a small blog’s traffic by 30 to 50 percent. And those are mostly new readers, so there’s the possibility of picking up regulars that way.

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      • I don’t think I can tell for that day specifically, but I can see the weeks and it falls into my average 2-2.5 views per visitor. A lot of those views may have been you, but it’s not glaringly obvious that that’s the case.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I just know I worked that thread hard, visited six or seven times at least, and during part of that discussion, I had it open in a separate tab and was refreshing it every half hour. That is a good average for views/visitor.

          Liked by 1 person

          • And if that’s the case, it means that it may have been skewed–actual numbers may be more like 3 views/visitor but lowered due to refreshing.
            My theme is one where people can’t scroll through everything. They have to click if they want to see the material. People may be on your site longer, reading but not clicking. On mine they get tallied every time they read something.

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            • I could do that, but don’t because I don’t want people to have to load a post to read it (I often don’t click things I would otherwise read all of, like and perhaps comment on beacuse I don’t want to load one more page). I DO display the posts as summary in the reader, but Diana does not.

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  5. It’s really good to see these stats. Interestingly, I have about the same amount of views as PTM, but limited engagement in the comment section, which is what I really want to work on this year. Likes and comments are important to me to show a blog that is alive and breathing, but I worry about turning too much into a bloghop/bloglinking traffic stop, as for me, personally, I don’t find most of them very engaging or interesting (A-Z aside, because it’s a theme free-for-all, and people tend to be really creative for bloghops that are limited, rather than year-long.) It’s just my personal preference as a reader, and also for my audience; I’m definitely not trying to knock anyone who uses these methods!

    I do know that I stop engaging with blogs that have no “unique” content, and instead their entire blog feed is ***** Monday, ***** Tuesday, Mid-Week *****, etc. I think the Weekend COffee Share works well, as it’s sort of a life update thing, and I enjoyed 1000Speak, but as I’m a writer, I probably see a lot more Flash Fiction, Camp NaNo, NaNoWriMo, NaNoPoMo, IWSG, ROW80, etc than a lot of other bloggers, haha.

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    • Very interesting take. For me, the quality of the bloghop depends on the structure of the thing, and I agree about the unique content. But there are a few I like. The coffee share thing is good for the very reason you state. I also like the Top Ten Tuesday even though I don’t join in because it’s always about books, and the Friday 56 because they are easy to put together, easy to read, and a lot of the people who do that linkup actually visit. Basically, my long-term linkup plan for here is:

      1. Join a couple of easy ones that actually bring in a few visits and use those as secondary, afternoon posts — rather the way I use the Tuesday/Wednesday photos now. Those are about getting a late bump after the morning post runs, so it’s important that the posts for the linkups be short so they don’t bump the morning feature too far down the page.

      2. Do one of our own here, but basically, just open the linkup at X time every week with a one-paragraph post, stick the post to the top of the page until the linkup closes, and keep running the unique features.

      I think this will work without having the linkups take over the blog if they are structured and scheduled properly.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Loved this post! So interesting to see trends and analyze what’s going on. Both blogs are doing awesome! Makes sense though because both blogs are really fantastic. They have very interesting material and continue to deliver fresh, fantastic posts!

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  7. Pingback: First quarter book saleswanking | Infinitefreetime.com

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