I set another traffic record for the blog in October, with 18,245 page views. I slipped past September’s total of 17,635 page views on the last afternoon of the month.
I don’t have as many observations on the record this time as I had about September’s record. But here are a few:
- It’s easier to set a record in October than in September, thanks to the extra day. I doubt if I’ll get another record in November, given the holiday and that it’s another 30-day month.
- Weekends don’t necessarily impact traffic. October had five weekends and September had four, so September actually had more non-weekend days, 22 to 21. My four slowest days in October, the only days with fewer than 300 views, were all on weekends. But I also had 916 views on Sunday, Oct. 16, the day I published the most-viewed post of the month. I also had good traffic the next weekend, 1,200-plus over the two days. I published my third most-viewed post of the month that Saturday. When I publish something good on the weekend, people find it.
- Similarly, evening posts can generate some evening traffic. I wasn’t able to post You can quote me on that and Our cheating culture until yesterday evening, but they still had 290 views (and several retweets) between them last night.
- Mystifyingly, searches for the 5 W’s continue to drive huge traffic for last April’s post The 5 W’s (and How) are even more important to business than to journalism. The post had only 344 views in April and less than that in May, June and July. But somehow it started showing up high in search results for the 5 W’s, and I’m amazed how often people (journalism students, I presume) search for the 5 W’s. Anyway, that post had its most traffic ever in October, with 800 views. It now has more than 3,000 total views, my fourth most-popular post ever. And, as I said last month, it seems mostly hollow traffic. No one’s commenting on the blog or blogging or tweeting about it, as people do when I write something they find engaging. At the risk of acting like a content farm (if you can do that on a blog with no ads), I might someday blog about the 5 W’s, in hopes of giving journalists (journalism students, I’m guessing) something more useful when they search for the term and find my blog.
- Twitter remains a big interest for people visiting my blog. My three most-viewed posts last month all related to Twitter: Advice for editors on becoming conversational on Twitter, Time for me to stop syncing Facebook with Twitter and How do you attract interested local followers on Twitter? And Advanced Twitter techniques for journalists ranked fifth, behind that 5 W’s ringer.
- Consistent posting drives traffic. I posted 19 times in October and 17 in September. Most of those posts didn’t get huge traffic. Only two posts topped 1,000 views and two more new posts topped 500. But everything except last month’s post about my traffic and a post yesterday about Newspaper Next topped 100 (and the N2 post will go over 100 before long). Posting consistently brings people back to my blog, too. Home page visits accounted for over 1,600 views.
- Make your archived content easy to find. Six old posts, in addition to the 5 W’s post, drew more than 200 hits each last month. Those are all posts designed to be useful over time, and I’m pleased that people are still finding them. (Unlike the 5 W’s post, I do occasionally get comments, tweets and blog links for some of those posts.)
OK, there’s another self-indulgent look at my traffic. It was the least-viewed post last month. Probably will be this month, too. But I still think it’s a good idea to look at my traffic patterns now and then and learn a few lessons.