For every month in 2015, I’ve set specific goals for growing my blog readership, and podcast audience. The end goal is that by December this blog will have at least 100,000 visitors for that month, and the podcast will be downloaded at least 10,000 times for December. Every month I am going to write a post like this recapping how I did in the previous month, and share any lessons I have learned. The goal is to help you learn how to build a blog readership and podcast audience as I do.
First, here were my goals for May:
Blog – At least 65,000 visitors
Podcast – At least 2,000 downloads
My blog traffic in May was 39,000 visitors, averaging 1,258 visitors a day. In April, the blog’s traffic was 40,980, averaging 1,366 a day. So a slight decrease, but not nearly as bad as it has been the last few months. If you’ve been following these monthly updates, you know that in February I made some backend changes to the blog. I switched from Godaddy’s shared to managed WordPress hosting, and I deleted a ton of plugins. The upside to these moves is that site performance, especially load times, was greatly improved. Avg load times for the site went from about 6 seconds before, to around 2-3 seconds now. Unfortunately, as soon as I made these changes, I noticed that traffic started dropping, especially search traffic. Here’s how each category of traffic did in May vs April:
Search traffic – Down 3.61%
Direct traffic – Down 13.28%
Referral – Up 1.9%
Social – Down 41.67%
Other – Up 362.65%
A note: The ‘other’ traffic spiked because Google Analytics apparently moved Twitter referrals from my blog’s Social Warfare plugin from Social (Twitter) to Social Warfare, and started counting it in the Other category. Which is why Social had a sharp decline, and Other was up sharply. Move the Social Warfare-based referrals back to Social, and Social traffic was about flat last month.
It appears to me that search traffic has almost reached a point where it is no longer falling. I am hopeful that once search traffic completely stops falling, that it will start increasing again. This is what weekly search traffic looks like for January through May:
BTW, what about mobile search traffic? As you may remember, Google claimed that it was going to start using mobile-friendly sites as one of its ranking signals. Meaning, if someone searches on a mobile device and your site is mobile-friendly, Google said it would consider that and rank your site’s content higher as a result. Or at least not penalize your site’s content while content from a site that was NOT mobile-friendly, would be penalized.
So I made sure that Google was reading my site as mobile-friendly in time for its April 21st deadline for doing so. So what type of jump did I see in mobile search traffic in May? Not much, in fact I saw an increase from 10,954 mobile search traffic visitors in April, to 10,970 in May. An increase of 16 visitors. Definitely not the jump I was hoping for, but at least it didn’t go down!
I wrote 13 posts in May versus 12 in April. I would like to write at least that many in June.
Podcast Numbers and Overview for May
While blog traffic was down again month, podcast downloads again did very well in May.
The goal for May was at least 2,000 downloads of the podcast, and The Fan-Damn-Tastic Marketing Show actually had 4,444 downloads in May. So the number of downloads exceeded my goals by over 100%. Here’s the number of daily downloads so far this year:
So those are my blog and podcast results for May. Here’s my goals for June:
Blog traffic – At least 70,000 visitors
Podcast – At least 2,500 downloads
These were the goals I set for both at the start of the year. So it looks like the blog’s goal will be all but impossible to hit, and it looks like the podcast’s goal will be all but impossible to miss. Honestly I will be happy with any growth for both over May numbers at this point.
I’ll be back in one month to share my results for June!