Thursday, January 01, 2009

Blog Performance - December 2008

Navel gazing time again, this time including full year data.

The Statistics

Total visitor numbers on my various blogs to end December follow. No particular surprises. In relative terms, the two best performers were New England Australia and Management Perspectives.

As you might expect with a large number of blogs, I face a battle keeping them up to date. I remain reluctant to cut any because each occupies a niche in my mind.

BlogEnd NovemberEnd DecemberDecember Visitors
Personal Reflections43,77045,9972,227
Managing the Professional Services Firm 19,17419,739565
New England, Australia17,91518,9361,021
Regional Living Australia11,38311,676293
Management Perspectives 7,2907,867577
New England's History 2,9873,199212
History of Australian and New Zealand Thought (joint)1,3821,43654
Belshaw sans words 41547762

Total visitor numbers follow. December was down, but by no where near as much as in the previous year.

Month Visitor Numbers
July (average June/July)3,962
June (average June/July)3,962
December 20072,844

Full year figures for each blog follow.

BlogEnd December 07End December 082008 Visitors
Personal Reflections22,13645,99723,861
Managing the Professional Services Firm 12,28219,7397,457
New England, Australia9,92318,9369,013
Regional Living Australia6,20711,6765,469
Management Perspectives 4,3757,8673,492
New England's History 7393,1992,460
History of Australian and New Zealand Thought (joint)3591,4361,077
Belshaw sans words 0477477

Finally, the following table shows total page views. I will add December later.

MonthPage Views


Looking first at aggregate numbers, the 53,306 visits during the year was not bad given that the cumulative total of all visits at the start of the year was 56,021.

The 2008 numbers for this blog were especially good, with 2008 numbers exceeding total visitor numbers at the start of the year, a period covering March 2006 to end December 2007.

I maintained regular posting throughout the year (384 posts as compared to 377 in the previous year), while I was also fortunate in my regular readers. I think of this blog as my flag ship because of its greater span and frequency of posting. I try for quality as best I can, if with sometimes variable results.

New England Australia (first post April 2006) has not done quite as well, but has now opened up a clear lead as the number two blog in visits terms. I do not post as often (141 posts in 2008, 134 in 2007), but feel that the blog is settling down well in its particular niche.

One thing I have found with New England Australia is that it is now starting to be tracked, if still to a limited degree, by the local media.

Its sister blog, New England's History (first post November 2006), is a specialist blog and was never intended to be high traffic. There were 75 posts during the year (52 in 2007), but they came in fits and starts.

At 2,460, 2008 visits represented a more than three fold total increase over the previous cumulative total. Technically this makes it the best performing blog, but it was coming off a very low base. It is taking time for this blog to settle properly because I struggle to find the time to do the research I want.

My two professional blogs had divergent results.

While Managing the Professional Services Firm (first post July 2007) is still just hanging on to second place in aggregate visit numbers, its traffic has been in decline.

With just 46 2008 posts to this point (there are a few posts that I have still to bring up), posting has been both irregular and down from the previous year's 104 posts. Posting was especially bad in the early part of the year, with no posts at all in four out of six months.

By contrast, traffic on Management Perspectives (first post November 2006) has shown an upward trend in recent months because of its new economics focus. Its not that the number of posts has increased (there were 65 posts in 2008 as compared to 81 in the previous year), simply that the posts are attracting more interest.

I am quite happy with the way Management Perspectives has evolved. I have enjoyed the writing because it is upgrading my own professional skills, while the blog has a greater coherence and is starting to attract return visitors.

I did think of merging the two professional blogs, but my feeling is that this would be a mistake because it would blur focus. So I need to think more about the proper way to redevelop Managing the Professional Services Firm.

Like Managing the Professional Services Firm, Regional Living Australia (first post July 2006) has struggled. With 5,469 visits over 2008, it still ranks as the fourth most popular blog. However, traffic has been trending down.

This reflects sometimes irregular posting. While there are still some posts to come up, the present last post was in October. To this point there have been 63 2008 posts as compared to 101 in 2007.

Regional Living represents one important stream in my interests, presenting the diversity of Australia outside the metros. The blog suffers to some degree because material that might go onto it ends up on New England Australia or Personal Reflections.

Of my last two blogs, Belshaw sans words remains in suspended animation, while the History of Australian and New Zealand Thought, my joint blog with Rafe, has been close to that state.

There were no posts at all on HANZT from the end of March until October. Posting then resumed, but on an irregular basis.

Clearly I have too many blogs, especially taking into account that I am now doing other writing as well.

I am happy with the evolution of this blog, the two New England blogs and Management Perspectives. Of course there is scope for improvement, but my feeling is just keep on doing what I am already doing.

The three blogs that need thought are Managing the Professional Services Firm, Regional Living Australia and HANZT.

In thinking about them, I also need to take into account my other writing and the growing volume of emails and comments, as well as my personal and professional interests and the communities that each is meant to serve.

I have various ideas here, but will not bore you with them for the present.

To the regular readers of this blog, my thanks for your support over 2008. I hope that 2009 will be a great year for all of us.


I have corrected the typo in the heading that Neil pointed me to. I was half tempted to leave it. I wonder if Bog as toilet has the same meaning in other countries?

You should see Neil's 2008 stats; they are in the above link. Quite put mine into the shade!

The stats for Floating Life, the equivalent to this blog, are very good - 78,786 visits as compared to 23,861 for Personal Reflections.

Neil's English/ESL blog at 118,671 dwarfs Floating Life.

This blog illustrates the weakness of the Tecnnorati ranking system in a very clear way. There the blog has an authority at today's date of just 9. Neil's many visitors to this blog come because of its usefulness to those studying English. However, they are not the type of people who the write posts and provide the links on which the T. ranking depends.

I agree with Neil in liking Thomas's annual review of life and posts. The posts so far are, with the time after August still to come.


Thomas said...

Thanks for the link Jim. Glad to hear that you and Neil are enjoying them. Hope you have a great 2009.

Jim Belshaw said...

Thank you, Thomas. Happy new year, Mate. May it be a good one.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jim, I nominated one of your posts for Best Blog Posts of 2008 (at Club Troppo here). I started to go back through Neil's to identify his best post, and got exhausted. You and Neil are so prodigious that I think you should both go and nominate your personal bests. :) Seriously.

Jim Belshaw said...

Thanks, LE. I don't think that Neil will. But I might try for both of us!