Site Progress Report – January 2011

A little late this month on account of all the madness with Random Acts of Courage and the manifesto release, but howsever…

These monthly site progress reports are a way to keep myself motivated and accountable. I’m hoping I can build my audience significantly over time and share what works for me.

If you’re not interested in website traffic or building an audience online, you may want to skip these posts. No worries. I post them on weekends so they don’t much get in the way of my regular articles.

Here are the numbers for for December 25 to January 24.

Raw numbers

  • 13 published posts (+2 compared to last month)
  • 117 comments (+58)
  • 5,521 visits (+1,380)
  • 9,066 pageviews (+2,076)
  • 2:03 average time on site (-39s)
  • 1.64 pages/visit (-0.05)
  • 339 total followers on Twitter (+16)
  • 257 total rss/e-mail subscribers (+35)

Most popular posts

  1. The Stockdale Paradox (886 views, +141 compared to last month)
  2. My biggest secret (362 views)
  3. Circle of Influence, Circle of Concern (286 views, +11)
  4. Extreme minimalism: How to fit everything you own into carry on luggage (271 views, -50)
  5. How to make serious money doing what you love (and without quitting your day job): An interview with Emmett Cooke (220 views)

Top traffic sources

  1. google / organic (2,157 visits, +525 compared to last month)
  2. direct (1,085 visits, +256)
  3. (712 visits, +304)
  4. (121 visits)
  5. (117 visits, -12)

Top search terms

  1. stockdale paradox (441 visits, -16 compared to last month)
  2. the stockdale paradox (80 visits, +12)
  3. (61 visits, +58)
  4. niall doherty (59 visits, -29)
  5. ndoherty (34 visits, +18)

Goal conversions

See Karol Gadja’s excellent post on Think Traffic for an explanation of this stuff.

  • Goal 1: Long Visitor (4 mins) – 668 conversions, +161 compared to last month
  • Goal 2: Rabid Fan (5 pages) – 156 conversions, +46
  • Goal 3: Rabid Fan (10 pages) – 42 conversions, +21
  • Goal 4: Rabid Fan (20 pages) – 13 conversions, +9

What to make of it all

Almost all the numbers are headed in the right direction, so I’m very pleased with the progress of the site in January. Visits increased 33% over the previous month, comments doubled, and it was the first time I saw at least one new subscriber per day. And all this was before things really started taking off with Random Acts of Courage last week, so I expect next month’s numbers to be even better.

The only downside to January was the decrease in average time spent on the site, which dropped almost 40 seconds. As I mentioned in the last progress report, a few qualified visitors are better than lots of unqualified visitors. By that I mean that I’d rather my writing resonate deeply with 100 readers than barely resonate with 1000. Time on site is usually a good indicator of how much visitors are engaging with the content. Hopefully that will jump back up again next month.

Odds and ends

A few things to mention…

Manifesto feedback

As of this writing, the Disrupting the Rabblement manifesto has been downloaded more than 300 times. Thanks to everyone who’s read it and helped spread the word. I really appreciate it.

I’d love to hear more feedback on the manifesto (whether positive or negative), so contact me via this page and let me know your thoughts. I’ll be releasing my first paid product at the end of February in mid-March, and I need to hear from you to make it as good as it can possibly be.

Guest post on TourAbsurd!

Earlier this week I guest posted on my friend Katrina’s site, TourAbsurd. The title of the post is Travel even a little, learn a whole lot. Jump on over and read about some of my most memorable travel experiences, and browse around there for more lighthearted vagabond blogging.

Facebook fan page

I’ve set up a Facebook fan page for Disrupting the Rabblement. Please click through and hit the like button if you’re digging my message here. I’ll no longer be accepting friend requests on my Facebook profile for people I haven’t met in real life (although all my settings are as public as can be on there, so you can still stalk me if you want to ;-)).

Talking minimalism on Today FM

I managed to get on national radio again this week, chatting with Ray D’Arcy about minimalism for a few minutes. Some girl texted in to ask if I was single (why yes, yes I am) while another texter referred to me as “the Jesus of minimalism” and asked if he could be my disciple (depends, can you make a good falafel sandwich?).

I also got in a great plug for the blog and have already gotten some positive feedback from listeners. Here’s the audio in case you missed it (mp3 format, right click to download).

Oh, and for anyone who agrees with the texter who suggested minimalism is only for single people with no kids, I refer you to Leo Babuata, a married minimalist with six sprogs. Like I’ve said before, minimalism is not so much about getting rid of your possessions as it is about prioritizing your life and making more room for what’s most important to you.

In case you missed ’em

Here are the posts I published in the last month:

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to check out my work here. We all have a limited supply of attention, so I very much appreciate that you’ve trusted me with some of yours. I sincerely hope that what you get from this site is worth your investment.

I also appreciate all the feedback I get from readers and respond to every e-mail and comment I receive, so please keep those coming. You can contact me via this page, or leave a comment on any post.

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    1. Hi Niall,

      I’m a french blogger and a friend of mine gave me the link to your manifesto today, I read it and I found it REALLY good. The story of that average-guy-who-doesn’t-like his-job you portrayed was really strong and funny at the same time. Plus the rest of the manifesto was filled with clever thoughts, you’ve got a strong personnality and this is what you need to run a successful blog.

      So I’ve been really surprised when I read your blog statistics, you should do much, much better. The explanation for the short average time on the blog is that your blog lacks of trafic from partners, you should set up some link exchanges with other bloggers to get more trafic. Also, you should offer your manifesto in exchange of the subscribtion to your list, because your mailing list is the best way to increase your trafic as well as your earnings.

      To make a long story short, in march 2010 I decided to decline a job offer in Paris to start working full time on my blog and go traveling around the world, I’ve been in Colombia (great place) for three months and I’m doing allright so far. I’d be pleased to exchange with you, feel free to shoot me an email anytime.



      • Thanks, Aurelien! I appreciate you checking out the manifesto and my posts, and many thanks for your suggestions. I’ve actually been thinking about mailing lists and such things recently. My next post may actually be along those lines 😉

        Thanks again!