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Status report, month 1

One reason I started Breaking Copy was to keep track on the evolving world of blogging. Here’s a look back on what I’ve learned in the first month of running this blog.

Overall stats for www.breakingcopy.com from February 1 to 28:

  • Unique visitors: 2,979
  • Google AdSense page views delivered: 4,841
  • Google AdSense page RPM: $1.28
  • Twitter followers: 67
  • Facebook followers: 53
  • RSS subscribers: 63

 

Posts with more than 100 pageviews in February:

Learnings:

  • Facebook > Google > RSS > Twitter.
  • Optimizing the site for Facebook paid off.
  • Optimizing the site for Twitter was a waste of time.
  • Google search referrals are still a puzzle. Overall I’m not displeased with how Google has indexed this site, but it can seem… totally random. Right now Google seems to be placing an extraordinarily high priority on words that appear in the URL of a post.
  • It seemed like a minor detail, but I saw an increase in traffic after I switched from publishing full posts on the RSS feed to publishing excerpts. I wasn’t sure you would click through to read a full story—you will.
  • You don’t leave comments.
  • I have a long way to go before hitting my goal of 10,000 uniques a month, which is the point where I consider this blog worth doing. (Unofficially, the blog is a success as long as I’m still having fun and learning.)
  • Page RPMs are very low. There’s no point in the foreseeable future this blog will be a significant revenue generator through Google AdSense.
  • The header on the blog needs to be redesigned, for several reasons.
  • Overall, not bad for a hobby blog with no budget and no real marketing effort. All things considered, it’s doing better than Patch.com.

— By Daryl Lang. Filed under Social Media, Technology

4 comments

  1. Erica says:

    I’ll bite. What is the difference between Optimizing the site for Facebook and for Twitter? And why is 10,000 uniques a month your magic number?

  2. David says:

    Congratulations. I’m not a copy writer, but I find your observations interesting enough to keep reading. I’m sure your readership will grow.

    Here’s the thing about those partial RSS feeds: they are really annoying, and page impressions from your RSS subscribers may not be as important as you think. The theory, as I understand it, is this:

    – People who found you through search are more likely than your regular readers to click on (context-aware) ads because the ads are relavent to the reason they landed there to begin with.
    – People who find you that way never know or care if you have a full or partial feed.
    – You just punish your regular readers by making them take an extra step to read your content.
    – You can always have ads in your RSS feed.

    TechDirt says that a full feed has actually led to more page views, but they may be an anomaly: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20070813/014338.shtml

    Of course, your reasoning may not involve page views. You may just prefer people read your writing with the formatting and context that you envisioned. In that case, the above may not be applicable.

    For my own blogs, my reasoning boils down to: I prefer reading full feeds, so I provide full feeds.

  3. Daryl Lang says:

    Hi Erica – 10,000 uniques is totally arbitrary, but I like the way it sounds. From what I’ve read, a more important number is 100,000 monthly pageviews, which is the point where ads start to pay off. But that’s a long way up.

    Hi David – Thanks for reading, and for the good information on RSS feeds. It’s a trade off any way you do it, but for now I prefer to err on the side of keeping people on my site. It gives me more control over the experience and better measurements of what people read. Of course it reduces the value of the feed. I worry a little about what this means for people who use reader programs on tablets, but I’m saving that concern for the future.

  4. Daryl Lang says:

    Oh, and about optimizing for Twitter: That just involved setting up the Tweet button you see on every post, which is pretty simple. The Facebook Like button can also be simple, but to get the most out of it requires setting up a Facebook developer account and adding a bunch of Facebook-specific tags in the header of your pages — a chore, but worth it.

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