Traffic Transparency – Are you sharing your Stats?

trans·par·ent - easily seen through, recognized, or detected.

Transparency is frequently sought after in the world of Blogging. Generally, transparency makes the organization or individual more attractive to the reader. We tend to show more trust when the source is open, and shows some vulnerability. Bloggers also care about traffic. Whether we want to admit it or not, most of us care. It may not be #1, but it’s up there. We all like visitors.

Over the last 4-5 months I’ve found four individuals that share their traffic data along with any income they bring in through blogging. Month in and month out they post their numbers. They provide detail on what worked, and maybe more importantly, what didn’t. Both newbies and veterans can learn from their experience.

Magnet4Marketing – Is a site that provides online marketing and blogging tips. Fabrizio Van Marciano resides in the UK and started this blog in mid 2010. His motivation for sharing his traffic reports is twofold. He does it to inspire other bloggers, but also to leave a footprint for himself to see what has been successful. Here’s part of Fabrizio’s traffic results from April 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While it was a hectic month for Fabrizio, where other commitments chewed into his blogging time, the site still attracted just shy of 10K unique visitors. Over 80% of the traffic comes from Google/Organic. A combination of solid keyword research and a ton of content. Fabrizio goes into detail about improving bounce rates along with other helpful hints on his site.

TrafficGenerationCafe – Ana Hoffman brings readers, as the title of site suggests, information to generate traffic. Ana provides a great education on Marketing Tools and SEO. As Ana says, blogging is all about “Walking the Walk” and that’s her driver for sharing results.

This Google Analytics shot displays the traffic sources for March 2012. Ana provides additional detail about the new Google rules, referral traffic sources, and her March income from the blog. Great information that is helpful to any blogger looking to generate traffic.

Dragon Blogger – Is a Technology and Entertainment portal, the creation of Justin Germino. The site had an incredible 103K unique visits over the last month with 132K pageviews. Yes, Wow. Each month Justin delivers a breakdown of his earnings that gives great insight to his paid sources.

TheFinancialBlogger -This financial blog is the main contributor of a few sites that brought in 290K visitors in February, including over 400K pageviews. The blog income report gives plenty of detail on the revenue generating pieces including: Adsense, Affiliate deals, Private Advertising, and Niche websites. The sites collectively took in over $10K in February 2012, although expenses were roughly $4K. The breakdown of the earnings and traffic is robust. Mike also provides a monthly snapshot of his assets and net worth It would take quite some time to get through all the content.

So, are you publishing your traffic stats monthly? Once you’ve hit some numbers you’re comfortable publishing, what better motivator than to share your traffic data with your readers. You’ll be providing your audience with a learning experience while pushing yourself to maintain/exceed previous traffic numbers.

This is arguably More Important than Content…

Content is King! Content is King! Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. I know Thoreau would be envious of your work. Unfortunately, if no one is showing up to see your incredible content, then what’s the point? Marketing and bringing people to read your blog posts arguably trumps content, at least in the beginning when you’re building an audience. The “Build it and they will Come” mentality doesn’t apply in this world. Over the last year I’ve viewed hundreds of solid blog posts, and I’m always shocked on how many have little or no shares and no comments. They are not getting the exposure that their writing deserves. Are you getting the exposure you deserve? If not, you have to take it upon yourself to bring readers to your blog.

Facebook Groups: There are Facebook Groups out there where it’s all about sharing and reciprocation. Many FB groups are about helping each other. I’m sure many of you reading aren’t even aware of these groups. They work. If you’re interested in joining a FB group, ping me or leave comment. I’ll be happy to assist and get you started.

StumbleUpon: Yes, I wrote a post a few weeks ago dedicated to StumbleUpon. Maybe if you keep seeing the name, you’ll jump on board and take advantage of the traffic SU can bring to your blog. I’ve had over 2K visits from StumbleUpon in January, and average time on site was 1:32. Even from past posts, I’m still getting traffic daily from SU. These articles stay in StumbleUpon, and do not go off to pasture immediately. Please do yourself a favor and join SU today. The traffic is waiting for you.

Triberr: Bloggers helping Bloggers. Triberr is a fantastic way to get readers to find your blog. While Triberr was by “invitation only” last year, it is now open to all. Triberr is a community where you share posts with other bloggers in your tribe. These posts are sent out with a link through Twitter. A general rule of thumb is to have at least 500 Twitter followers. If you’re serious about your blog and gaining traffic, Triberr is a must. If you blog about Social Media, Technology, or Marketing and are interested in Triberr please let me know.

Empire Avenue: While Empire Avenue isn’t for everyone, if you do decide to register there are communities and missions within EA which are very helpful to bringing readers to your blog. Empire is a Social Network where you buy and sell other players in a virtual stock market. Your Social Media activity influences your score. Empire requires a fair amount time the first 4-6 months as you build up your portfolio.

Share Buttons: I see many blogs that only have Facebook and Twitter share buttons. I highly suggest at minimum you have the following: Facebook, Twitter, Google +, StumbleUpon, and LinkedIn. Other share buttons to think about adding are: Digg, Buffer, Reddit, and Pinterest. Yes, there is a Pinterest share button now available. Update your site, and make it easier for your readers to share to their networks.

Comment on other Blogs: I understand it takes time to read a blog and then put a couple of sentences together, but most appreciate it and will reciprocate at some point. Do not comment with “nice post” or “nice article” and nothing else. That tells me you probably didn’t read a word, and are just leaving a message to leave a message. Start commenting on a few blogs a week to start. Inevitably you’ll be learning something new by reading the blog, and commenting is good practice that will help you get comments in return.

Keywords: Keywords can take on a life of its own, but at least try to come up with some Keywords that aren’t so highly competitive that you’ll have a good shot of landing on page 1 in Google. Social Media is a highly competitive keyword and is not a good choice for most of us, but think niche and chances are your work will show up in some organic searches.

Having a nice new shiny car is fantastic, but if you don’t put gas in the car it’s pretty useless. Go out there and put some gas in your blog.