Writing by numbers

Back in July I blogged about the numbers behind the blog, and I received some useful feedback at the time, and I think sharing the information was useful for other bloggers too. A couple of months on here is a quick update.

Total visits to the site are up from 33,884 in July to 39,563 now. September 2011 closed as the busiest month to date with a small milestone of 3,003 visits, a step up from August which was the previous best at 2,076. I’m pleased with the increase in headline numbers and let’s look a little further.


I previously observed a close correlation between number of posts and number of visits. Last month I wrote the fewest number of posts since January 2011, nine in total. Why the shift? Well two posts I wrote in September were particularly busy, Naked Whine and You Will Fail. Beehive Yourself, a review of David Zinger’s London engagement workshop I wrote in July remains popular and is drawing lots of visitors in from Harvard Business Review. And a post I wrote in June, Kung Fu Panda – The Illusion of Control is getting lots of hits. I Googled Kung Fu Panda and my blog post came up on the first page. Lots of folks are landing at that page and leaving pretty quickly too – sorry kids. You’ve heard of the saying an elephant in the room, well I have a panda!


At the time of the previous update, 145 posts had generated 708 comments. Wind forward and 168 posts have now generated 984 comments. I’m delighted that the level of conversation, feedback and exchange of views seems to be thriving. This for me is much more important than a topline view of visit numbers. As I’ve learned from the wise panda, you can probably engineer traffic flows to your site. In this instance it was completely unintentional, I had no idea he would be so popular but he’s costing me a fortune in bamboo shoots.


In the last month (with July 2011 figures in brackets for comparison) the traffic source figures are 15% (23%) direct, 35% (23%) search engines, 40% (43%) referred (almost half of all referrals came from Harvard Business Review last month), and 10% (17%) others. I note that folks referred in via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social type sites spend several minutes here per visit. Traffic from search engines produces briefer visits.

So there you have it. I’ve found it useful to take a quick look under the bonnet and see what’s going on, I hope it helps a few of you out there too. I enjoy writing very much and I enjoy practicing and hopefully improving as a result. As always – thanks so much for reading, and if you have any questions and observations I’d love to hear them.


It’s a long way to the top…

…if you wanna rock and roll. I thought it was AC/DC who penned those words so I Googled it and yep, it was. I’m not a big fan of theirs but it popped into my head when considering my next experiment and for now it’s stuck there.

I’ve been running What Goes Around for just over 18 months now and in that time I’ve made some very useful blunders, and by learning from them, I think I’m getting a few things right too. One thing is for sure, I wish I knew then what I know now. And until I invent time travel a wish it shall remain. What I could do though is share some of these experiences and mistakes, and other information in the hope that other small and growing businesses may not trip into the same potholes that we did. So here’s the plan – such as it is.

  1. Write up some of the best goof ups and publish them. Some here and some over at the house of XpertHR.
  2. Develop a business summary to be shared every month. To include stuff like headline income, expenditure, enquiry numbers, what seems to be working and what ain’t. Maybe also include blog figures and what subjects are attracting attention, and a couple of other social tool numbers as well.

I asked about this on Twitter a little while ago and received enthusiastic responses (including one from a pot plant!). So in the spirit of growing the market I’m going to give it a try. And as this experiment continues and I share more information who knows – maybe others will chip in with their own ideas about what and how and why.

More news to follow very soon. In this planning stage I would simply like to ask you, what would be helpful for you to see and learn about, what would you like to see included?