Last year, I published this post, in which I detailed all I achieved within my first year of running this blog.
It’s now a little over two years since I launched the blog, and I think it’s just fair to let you in on what I’ve achieved between the time I published that post (May 2014) and now (July 2015).
My primary intent with this post is to motivate you by showing — in the practical sense — how a blog or online business grows gradually with time, provided it’s correctly and consistently nurtured.
In addition, I want to share an important lesson you need to learn.
So, let’s get going!
The screenshot above shows the traffic stats for this blog for the 30-day period between June 25 and July 24, 2015. Over the period, the blog attracted 6,446 visits from 4,744 users. From that, I deduced that the blog now attracts over 200 visits per day. Comparing that to last year’s 70 visits per day, that’s an improvement.
However, there’s a slight reduction in page views per visit (now 1.85 from last year’s 2.00), and average time spent on the site by each visitor (now 3 minutes and 39 seconds, from last year’s 3 minutes and 57 seconds).
Below is another screenshot showing traffic stats for the period between May 2014, when I published the end-of-first-year report, and July 24, 2015.
Over the past 14 months or so, this blog attracted 62,232 visits from 43,212 users and generated 103,903 page views. Comparing that to last year’s figures (13,627 visits from 9,007 users), the improvement is more than obvious.
2. Traffic sources
After digging up the traffic figures from Google Analytics, I probed further to know the major sources of my traffic over the past 14 months. The screenshot below summarizes it all:
As seen on the screenshot, 25,542 of the total 62,232 visits were referred by other sites. 22,724 visits were from my loyal readers who visit the blog directly from time to time. And 13,307 visits came from search engines — majorly Google. While there are other traffic sources (social media, etc.), those are insignificant.
I dug deeper to find out which sites (aside Google, Facebook, and my mailing list) referred visitors to this site the most, and here are the top performers:
- NGFR (my other blog, which I wrote about in this post)
- Notopoverty.com (owned by my good friend, Akaahan Terungwa)
- Naijawriterscoach.com (owned by another good friend, Muhammed Tosin Abdullahi)
I wasn’t surprised that some of these sites sent me a lot of visitors. I have a high-traffic post on NGFR that links to another post on this blog. I’m very active on Nairaland, and my signature contains a link to this blog. I once granted an interview for Notopoverty.com, and Akaahan has mentioned my name and this blog severally in his posts.
As for the visits from Naijawriterscoach.com and Inboxdollars.com, I really couldn’t explain those.
However, the author of NWC is my good friend, whom I’d once interviewed on this blog. And regarding Inboxdollars.com, I once mentioned it in one of my first posts on this blog, as one of the first sites I worked with while searching for ways to make money online.
Going by the first two screenshots, the average visit to this blog lasts close to four minutes. And that’s quite impressive, as getting people’s attention online is becoming more and more difficult.
The current bounce rate (a measure of whether visitors read more than one page or post on your blog before “bouncing” off) for this blog, going by recent figures, is 68.24%. That’s not too impressive (the lower your bounce rate, the better). My other blog, NGFR, has a bounce rate of less than 5%.
This is one area where I think I deserve some spanking. Over my first year of running this blog, I published 3 posts per month on the average. But over the past one year or thereabout, my posting frequency has reduced to about 2 posts per month.
Now, that’s not progress. But then, I’d still blame it on my other commitments (medical school, my wife and kids, etc.).
However, I’m sure the quality of my posts hasn’t reduced at all. I still take my time to write long and detailed posts that are filled with valuable and helpful information. (And that’s one of the reasons why I don’t publish new posts too often.)
Over the past one year, my blog has remained active. Both old and new posts continued to attract comments from visitors to the blog.
In fact, despite the reduced posting frequency, the blog generated 689 comments — that’s significantly more than the 552 comments submitted during the first year.
I didn’t make any changes to the blog’s design over the past year. So, there’s nothing to say here.
7. Related assets
This blog has 2 main assets attached to it: a Facebook page and a mailing list.
As of the time of this writing, the Facebook page has 510 likes — not too different from the 450 likes attracted during the first year. I actually stopped taking Facebook seriously when they introduced their silly new policy of showing each of your updates to only less than 20% of your fans. That, to me, makes zero sense!
As for my mailing list, it had around 3,000 subscribers as of three months ago. But I recently pruned the list to cut out inactive subscribers who are only wasting my money. And I’m now left with about 1,000 active and responsive subscribers.
And just so you know, I switched from Mailchimp to Getresponse earlier in the year for two reasons. Firstly, Mailchimp’s free account allows no more than 2,000 subscribers, and it doesn’t come with the autoresponder feature. Secondly, Getresponse has far more features and more affordable pricing.
This is no doubt the most interesting part of this report. In the similar post I wrote after one year of running the blog, I clearly stated that “I’ve not made a dime from the blog so far. And I’m not in a hurry…”
But it’s a very different story now. Over the past one year, I’ve monetized the blog through multiple options that cut across affiliate marketing and information marketing.
While I wouldn’t give specific figures for certain reasons, I’d love to give you some idea of how financially productive this blog has been.
Through affiliate marketing, this blog has generated over N220,000 between January and July 2015. That’s not spectacular, but it’s still significant.
From the sales of my various information packages (E-books on freelance writing and mailing list setup + Affiliate Cash Academy), I’ve earned over N150,000 between January and July 2015. Again, that’s not particularly impressive.
From the above, I deduced that this blog currently earns at least N50,000 per month. That’s a fraction of my monthly income, as I also earn — even more — from Google Adsense as well as my good old freelance writing business.
The major lesson you should learn from this report
Don’t ever be in a hurry to monetize your blog.
Take your time to gather a loyal audience and establish your reputation as an expert in your chosen topic. Take your time to build trust and credibility by offering volumes of valuable, problem-solving information for free.
Truth is, people won’t buy whatever you promote to them until they deem you credible. And sadly, you can’t build credibility overnight. It takes months to years!
I found myself in a niche where scammers and con artists abound. But I was still able to gain the trust of thousands of people because I started out by focusing on what matters most: building trust. I dedicated close to two years to that. And now, I make money consistently with this blog.
If you think one year and half is too long to blog for no income, then online business isn’t for you. Try your luck with some fast-moving brick-and-mortar business!
While there are other lessons you can learn, I have already discussed them in the end-of-first-year report post. Click here to read it.
Now, your turn…
What do you think about this post? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.