It’s been a little over a year since launching Lessons Learned from Less*.
Despite the efforts to avoid this blog becoming a time suck I’ve found that, well, it still takes a not insignificant time each week. This makes it worth asking myself if it’s worth it to keep going.
Results To Date
Here’s what I’ve accomplished in the past year. Disclaimer, this is not an analytics deep dive, just a quick & dirty to get a state of the state.
Total Posts = 46
My goal is to write a post a week so that’s hitting the mark nearly 80% of the time. Not perfect, but I’m happy with that metric.
Avg Time on Site = 2:13
On other projects I’ve worked on I’ve seen this metric often below 60 seconds. This tells me the content here is being read.
Subscribers = 2
I’ve tried to increase this number with tools like Outbrain, AppSumo and Mailchimp and have struggled to get any traction.
Even though this is only email subscribers and doesn’t take into account RSS, I’d still like this to be higher.
Aside from search and direct (aka unknown) links, Twitter has been the biggest traffic driver. Unsurprisingly this is also where I’ve done the most promotion.
I think I could drive more Referrals by spending time reaching out to sites, but I’m not sure the effort is worth it for me at this point.
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A natural next step would be to look at these posts to see what commonalities they had. For example:
- Are they all of a similar length, or depth of analysis…?
- Were they published around the same time…?
- Do they have similar traffic sources…?
So here’s what has worked well over the past year:
- Writing regularly and enjoying it
- Creating a regular writing routine, or cadence (buzz word du jour)
- Staying relatively on topic – have kept to a consistent set of site categories
From an unmeasurable perspective, I’ve also had a number of notable offline conversations about posts that have come from friends, family and others in my network, most of whom I didn’t realize were even reading my posts.
To that point, from a personal brand building perspective the blog has been very successful.
Going back to my goals in Building a Blog MVP, the one goal that I’ve distinctly not met yet is building a consistent audience.
I’ve tried various tests throughout the year with little success. Most of the things I tried were passive/low effort, So big surprise, low effort = low results.
It’s clear that I’ll need to put real time into this if I really want to create an audience of any significance.
I have some ideas of new things to try such as:
- Targeting twitter users with related tweets
- Writing long-form posts
- Creating sharable guides
- Reaching out to related audiences to get shared content, links, etc
But all of these require multiple hours of effort and I’m not sure yet how important having a large audience is to me.
Are these all just a bunch of vanity metrics? What other stats do you want to see?