5K!

Last week I passed another little milestone.

Thanks to everyone for reading, especially my regulars.

One of the goals of this blog is an open writing process, and I include the inner workings of the blog itself in that. I’m not exactly an internet celebrity or SEO expert, but hopefully there’s some value to other bloggers in seeing what my numbers look like.

The progression of these view milestones is interesting to look at:

  • Sept. 2020 – Blog created
  • Nov. 2021 – 1000 views
  • Apr. 2022 – 2000 views
  • Dec. 2022 – 5000 views

As you can see, while starting from small numbers, the progression is more exponential than linear. It took 14 months to get enough readership to get a thousand views. The next thousand took only 6 months, and five thousand came 8 months after that.

A Little Traffic Analysis

Based on the traffic stats, I attribute most of my traffic to a fairly consistent posting schedule and the long tail of search results. Almost none of my traffic in the first year came from external search engines. It was driven almost entirely by regular readers and people who found the blog through the internal WordPress.com search and recommendations.

Once Google picked up some of my posts to rank on the first page of certain niche search terms, the bulk of my traffic started to come in from that. On a typical day, I see hits on my most recent 1-2 posts, hits on my top few posts in Google search, and one or two hits on random old posts. I assume these old posts come up in WordPress search and recommendations or in the “other posts like this” end-cap.

This shows why people chase that sweet, sweet SEO. Having posts that rank high in the Google results gives you a steady stream of traffic, and that traffic can be converted into regulars and get more visitors clicking on your other articles in the end-cap. I haven’t put much effort into SEO, so it typically comes as a surprise to me which articles end up ranking high enough in a niche search to drive traffic.

Smoothing Over Time

It’s worth noting that statistics like this “smooth out” as you look at longer time scales. If you’re a new blogger, please don’t drive yourself crazy looking at daily view counts and other statistics. Especially when your blog is small, there will be a lot of variation from day to day and week to week. Even on a monthly scale, my graphs jump up and down significantly.

This is why I have been doing my own State of the Blog posts every six months. I don’t find the statistics to be all that useful on time scales much smaller than that.

Author: Samuel Johnston

Professional software developer, unprofessional writer, and generally interested in almost everything.

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