Neither of those facts is a big deal, especially given the trifling totals for the blog on both counts, but I like to analyze my blog metrics to see what I can learn, (and the analysis will no doubt be October’s least-read post). The blog had 23,508 unique visitors in September, just a bit ahead of the previous high of 22,584 in January of this year. September’s total views, 33,222, were a little less than the record of 36,179, set in February, and also lower than January’s total, 35,739.
So why did I set a personal record for uniques without also setting the record for views? A few observations:
- I published 12 posts in September, compared to 13 in February and 28 in January (I had 11 guest posts that month).
- Most of those January guest posts were part of a series of posts with advice for new journalism professors (not knowing I’d become a full-time prof myself later in the year). Those posts linked to others in the series, probably generating some extra views per visit from those January visitors.
- In both January and February, I published posts relating to Project Unbolt, and those posts also linked to others in the series, generating more traffic from those visitors.
- In February I published an index to my #twutorial series, a post of links to other posts, again likely to get more views per visitor.
- On the other hand, September was one of the best months for traffic to my post about Twitter’s ceiling, limiting users to following 2,000 accounts, unless they have nearly as many followers themselves. As I noted in that post, that’s a stupid Twitter rule and the continued views to that post show how often people search in Google for some help or explanation of the limit. That post had 3,228 views in September (more than any of my fresh September posts), just down a bit from its peak of 3,533. Those viewers were probably less likely to click other links on my blog.
- Two other posts that were among September’s leaders might have attracted attention from people who might be less likely than usual to browse other links on the blog:
- My post about my gender advantage in my career was the second most-viewed fresh post of the month, with 1,648 views. That got lots of shares in social media from women journalists. Many of the people clicking on it were probably journalists who might be likely to click on other links. But it also might have attracted some traffic from non-journalists interested in gender discrimination, and they would be less likely to read other posts on the blog.
- My post about my students’ use of laptop computers in class was linked from Freshly Pressed and drew readers who don’t normally visit my blog. It was the month’s sixth most-viewed fresh post, with 716 views, and I could tell from comments and reblogs that many of them came from educators and students without a particular interest in journalism, who would be less likely to browse around the blog.
Other notable (to me at least) September posts:
- Posts on whether Fareed Zakaria committed plagiarism (he did) and on the anonymity of his accusers combined for more than 2,500 views.
- My post asking why the New York Times didn’t publish its Innovation report didn’t get nearly as many views (164) as Amy O’Leary’s answer (757).
- My posts about interactive tools (1,024 views) and the new Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics (683) were the only other fresh posts getting notable traffic.
Archives and search continue to drive most of my traffic. In addition to the post about Twitter, I had three more old posts getting more than 1,000 posts each, five more posts with more than 300 views each and dozens more topping 100.