This is a trivial and self-indulgent blog post about my blog. I’ll share some facts and observations about the busiest month ever on my blog, 17,635 page views, passing my previous record of 16,119, set in June:
- Joining Journal Register Co. has significantly boosted traffic to my blog. Five of my seven busiest months, including the four busiest, in terms of traffic have been since I went to work for JRC in June.
- Posts about social media, especially Twitter, have always attracted good traffic on this blog. My live-tweeting post (Sept.6) drew the most traffic for the month, 2,171. Second was my Sept. 17 post on persuading curmudgeons to use Twitter, 1,437. Fourth was my Sept. 8 post listing social media resources for journalists, 1,138. Even my Aug. 19 Twitter tips for journalists continued to do well in September, 733. And my Aug. 25 post on engaging through newsroom Twitter accounts got 331 September views. My Sept. 1 post, encouraging sports staffs to promote and curate Friday Night Tweets, didn’t do as well, just 241. Various other new and old Twitter-related posts combined for more than 1,000 views. Altogether, that’s more than one-third of my traffic coming to posts relating to Twitter.
- Blogging about Jay Rosen boosts traffic. I blogged Sept. 18 about a post Jay had written about “he said, she said” journalism. Jay mentioned the post on Twitter and traffic took off, 1,186.
- I’ve heard and read that weekends aren’t the best time to post to your blog. But I’ve always thought and still think if you have something to say on a weekend, you should say it. I do a fair amount of my writing on the weekends, and when I hold something for Monday, it may or may not get the traffic I’m expecting. Most weekend posts get light traffic, but sometimes something will take off on the weekend. The curmudgeon and Rosen posts went up on the same weekend. Both got enough social media traction that they surprised me, getting strong traffic on the weekend, and the curmudgeon post continued to get some attention during the work week. On the other hand, my resources to help journalists with accuracy and verification also went up on a Saturday (I was doing a workshop on accuracy with Craig Silverman that day for Georgetown University), and that post only got 310 views.
- Search engine traffic is giving extended attention to a post that got only modest attention when I first posted it April 27. The 5 W’s (and How) are even more important to business than to journalism got 344 views in April and another 187 in May. The typical pattern is for traffic to decline in subsequent months, so it might be getting a dozen or so views a month by now. But apparently lots of people do Google searches for “the 5 W’s” or something like that. And somehow I got enough traffic to start appearing high in that search. The post got 304 views each in June and July, boosting its search ranking even higher. So it got 468 views in August and 711 in September. Search drove more traffic for that April post in September than I got (502) for my Sept. 7 post about JRC’s deal to manage MediaNews. I do try to write headlines that will help bring me search traffic, but I could not have imagined that this post would get this kind of search traffic. Given that the recent traffic hasn’t drawn any comments or pingbacks since April 29, I think most of that traffic is pretty hollow, people who click and that’s not really what they were looking for. (Yesterday I got 16 hits for seven different search combinations relating to the 5 W’s.)
- Sometimes something that doesn’t do well on the blog can be a hit somewhere else. I got only 141 views for my Sept. 22 post, sharing links and slides for my National Newspaper Association workshop, Developing a Culture of Innovation. That’s fine. I was posting that primarily for the people in the workshop. On SlideShare, though, the presentation took off, drawing a featured spot on the home page and on the list of most popular presentations. Those slides were viewed more than 2,800 times, 20 times as many views as the related post received. (I posted the slides before posting to the blog, and forgot to add a link to the blog, though I just did that belatedly. I don’t think that would have driven much traffic back to the blog, but it was an oversight nonetheless.)
- Anniversary posts didn’t draw much interest. I posted about some storytelling techniques I used in a story about Sept. 10, 2011, the day before the historic terrorist attack we remembered last month and shared some reflections on the Newspaper Next project the American Press Institute launched five years ago. Together they got fewer than 600 views.
- Archived content brings a bit of traffic. In addition to the 5 W’s post, I had 11 other posts that drew more than 100 views each. A 2010 post on developing story ideas apparently was used in at least one journalism class (because I got Google alerts on several students’ blog posts mentioning it). Some of the archived posts still getting traffic were some of my most-popular posts still getting a trickle of traffic. Others were linked to in last month’s posts, so people were clicking internal links. Some mystify me, but I’m pleased people are still finding and reading them. However, my most popular blog post ever (more than 8,000 views), the Blueprint for the Complete Community Connection, appears to have run its course. Now nearly two and a half years old, it got only 36 views last month, its slowest month ever. It stayed strong all of 2010, with more than 2,500 views, and topped 100 in March of this year. But not many cared about it in September.
- Productivity leads to higher traffic. I posted 17 times to the blog last month. That’s certainly not my most posts in a month, but I’m sure it was one of the busiest months.
I doubt I’ll top September’s traffic this month. I may not be able to blog as much this month, though I have a draft under way and some ideas percolating. One thing I’m pretty sure of, though: This self-indulgent post on a Sunday morning won’t be one of the traffic leaders.