A few weeks back I passed my one year anniversary of writing and caring for the PardonMyFrench blog. I know I didn't celebrate it because it really isn't that big of an accomplishment. Sure I've had some good posts and some bad posts but what I'm most proud of is that I have a mission as to why I do this and I do my best to stick to it. I also think I found a little niche. One of the things I've noticed of late is some interesting traffic patterns to the website. Take a look at these stats from December 1st through just a minute ago.
According to MyBlogLog which I use for tracking my site, I had 744 visitors and that excludes my email and RSS subscribers (about 100 per day) who don't have to visit the site to read my posts. Of those 744 visitors, 99 came directly to the site and 35 came from a redirect posted on a Google press release. So, 13% came directly to the site, 5% from a Google press release and the other 82% mostly from search results. Take a look at the screen shot - it really is a Long Tail on content.
So, what does this traffic pattern tell me and what should it tell all new bloggers. A lot, so here's what I learned while blogging for a year.
Eric's Blogging Lessons Learned
- Create your own content and eventually you'll get enough organic traffic from your posts
- Linking to other famous blogger's original posts may help you in the short term, but then again what's the point; the only way to benefit from that post is to be the first one to report on it
- A-list, B-list, C-list, and D-list blog ratings are mostly due to traffic and linking ratings as reported by Alexa and Technorati. So, focus less on your traffic and more on your content and why you blog.
- If you have no industry name recognition that's fine, but realize it will take effort for your traffic and audience to build. For example, if Derek Jeter started his own blog, he would have enough traffic from his first post to be an A-lister while an average blogger with great content will have traffic coming from mostly friends and family.
- Staying with #4, be persistent and keep posting. Like anything else, the more practice you have the better you'll be.
- Know your audience. If your audience is busy corporate executives then write posts that cater to them
- Speaking of #6, those types of people won't be using Alexa and will probably not list you as a friend on Technorati. Again, that's ok as long as you focus on your audience and don't get too worked up over your lower ranking.
- On the rankings front I have two urls that get you to my site because I was a bit of a novice when I moved from Blogger to Typepad. My Typepad URL is pardonmyfrench.typepad.com and then I have ericfrenchman.com. ericfrenchman.com has a Google PageRank of 5 and an Alexa ranking of 493K while pardonmyfrench.typepad.com has a Google PageRank of 3 and an Alexa ranking of 350K. What does this mean? Besides being an idiot for setting my blog up this way, ericfrenchman.com has a higher pageranking because of people linking, typing in the url and its high natural search rankings, while the individual articles have the pardonmyfrench urls which appear in search results. Moral of the story - don't screw this up and make your rankings work harder than the need to if you care about rankings.
- Google AdSense on your website are just ways of people leaving you a tip and the best thing about them is to see how well Google does matching advertisers with your content (on a scale of 1-10, I'd give it a 5)
- Everyone has advice and rules, but my one piece of advice is stick to what you like to do by focusing on what your audience likes to read. Forget about all other experts unless they have a similar background/situation like you.