Wednesday, February 15, 2012

State Of The Blog Address

Before I really dig down into the garden this year, I thought it would be fun to do a little state of blog post.  I think it's always fun to see the numbers and comings and goings behind things and blogs are no different. Statistics and trends can be fascinating I think, and I'm often surprised at what turns out popular and what does not.


The majority of my site traffic comes from Google.  No shock there. Because Charleston is a tourist town I get a decent amount of traffic from that word alone.  Charleston, Charleston, Charleston.  Just adding it a few more times for the Googlebot!  It works too.  Many times I've seen visitors come by looking for "Charleston Gardens" and stay long enough to check out half the pages on my site.  These types of visits are very obvious to the blogger and make us feel so good!

So starting with the basics, Children of the Corm, on an average non-post day gets about 50 visits, if you don't count the mad bombing hits from Pakistan and the like.  On a post day, and the day after, it can vary dramatically from 100-250 visits.  Nothing stupendous, but not terrible either, considering my very first month of blogging Jan 2010, I had an entire 9 visits. Also I only post 2-3 times a month on average.  I have noticed that if I post 4-6 times a month my traffic increases dramatically, about 3 fold.  But realistically, I'm really not capable of keeping that up on an every month basis.   The very best day on my blog statistically speaking was the day it was linked in Apartment Therapy, also not surprisingly.  I was famous for a day!

Besides from not posting on a Friday, I have given up trying to figure out when 'best' to post a blog to maximize readership.  Because it is a garden blog it can be extremely weather dependent.  If the weather is clement in the USA, UK, Australia, and Canada its going to be crickets on the blog, particularly on a weekend.  If the weather is crappy over most of those land masses, its going to be a high traffic Saturday and Sunday.  I have also noticed that posting the day before a holiday or the holiday itself will ensure light visits, however, the day after a holiday seems to be a high traffic day.  I guess all that turkey in the belly is keeping people on the couch 'surfing.'

I don't mind people downloading my photos, and as I have yet to have someone hijack my blog content, at this point I take it as a sort of compliment.  That said it is very surprising what people really are interested in saving. Despite that this picture was posted in reference to its ugly side, this is the #1 currently downloaded picture, and #2 overall:

In 2012 alone, 21 people have decided they needed to keep
 a permanent copy!
The current #2 (and #1 overall):

Followed closely by another from the same post:

Next up are a pair of my cat, Siggy:


So it basically takes til pictures #s 6 and 7 to get to something mildly garden related, also both from the same post:


And just a quick jump back to Geography, about 50% of my visitors come from the USA, 10% from the UK, 5% each from Australia, Canada, and Germany, and the other 25% from everywhere else in the world.  Except for China.  I have only had one lone visit from non-Hong Kong China. Apparently I must be blacklisted over there. In the USA state-wise, Texas leads the way with a whopping 11%, followed by North Carolina at 8%, South Carolina at 7%, Georgia at 4% and with New York at 3% rounding out the top 5.  Come on home State!  Texas is beating you!

My top 5 posts are:
1)"You Might Be A Weed If..."
2)"10 Shade Tolerant Roses"
3)"Brugmania Mania" 
4)"How To Age A Brand New Cement Statue"
5)"When Wildlife Won't Stay Put"

My least popular post was my very first one :( which I thought pretty good.  Check it out sometime if you want to make me feel better about it :)!
For The Love Of 4 O'clock

My top Google search terms are: "shade tolerant roses", "how to build a trellis", "white garden", "brugmansia" "Charleston gardens" and the persistent "ballerina rose" coming in at #1.

On the live and learn column, one thing I wish I hadn't done was put the word naked in a post along with lady in the same post, as well as children in the name of the blog.  Some of these searches that I get are amusing, i.e. "Naked neighbor lady in my garden", but others are downright sicko. I don't want those people even looking at my blog!  I'll just say that there are bad people out there.

I am very fortunate to average about 15 individual comments on each of my posts, and I am very very grateful for them.  I have quite a few frequent commenters, Grace, Masha, Holley, Kyna, Deb, Marguerite, Casa M, Phillip, Clare, Catmint, Ursula, Donna, Gina, Daracia, Carolyn, Jim, Heidi, Christine, Jean, and I'm sure more, plus I've had some new commenters recently that I hope will continue to stop by! Thank you all very much.

Also, in the thanks giving, my top referrers are:
"The Idiot Gardener"
"Charleston Daily Photo"
"Compost In My Shoe"

...but I get so many referrals from so many of you, so again, thanks so much.

Well, that about sums it up! One housekeeping issue: I finally got around to creating myself a blog facebook page, so for those that prefer to follow on facebook, you now can.  There's a link in the sidebar.

Cheers to another year of fun blogging, blog reading, and gardening adventures (with plenty of mishaps by you all because those make amusing post!)  I have made it into the beginning of my 3rd year, so maybe I'll be a long-timer after all!

Jess

32 comments:

  1. Ok, forgot to ask, and don't know the answer, where in earth did Children of the Corm ( instead of Corn-play of words I'm sure), but what does it mean to you ( or us) or Siggy ? take care ! Gina

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    1. Children of the Corm is just a wordplay on that movie, using the idea that corms (and other bulbs as well as lots of other plants etc) multiple and multiply hence the children of the corm! It just represents telling the tale of the plants that are growing in my garden and their generations.

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  2. i enjoy hearing you talk blog, jess. it's surprisingly rare that anyone does, given so many of us reading are bloggers, too! i wish i knew how you checked some of those things. i only know how to find out some of that info! btw, more stats: i posted one of your pics on pinterest (the live oak with tire swing) and it had 3 likes and 41 repins last time i checked. i hope you get a visit or two from that.

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    1. Thanks! I don't quite understand pinterest yet exactly... though I have noticed some traffic from it. 41 repins huh? Cool!

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  3. I'm impressed! I have no idea how to get 1/2 of that much information from my stats. Can you find all this on Blogger or do you use some other stat counter? For instance, I had no idea you could figure out that your pictures were being downloaded!

    Congrats on going into your third year! I love Charleston and your garden has that beautiful, classic, romantic air of the south.

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    1. Holley - You can't get all those statistics from blogger... I use several to get a big picture. Statcounter is free and can track your photos for instance, though you have to feel comfie enough to go into the html of your blog to get it to work correctly and count things as I recall. Before I did this blog, I was a travel blogger from 2003-2009. Whole different ball game there with much more site traffic so I use some of my knowledge there for this little ol' blog where it really isn't necessary. Still fun though.

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    2. Thanks. I'm curious, but I'm not very tech savvy. I've often wondered, though, how some bloggers seem to know so much about their stats. Appreciate the info!

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  4. I think your post title was great. Very catchy and an interesting idea. I thought you might be using stat counter too. I find some very interesting things from there. Why I joined was I was getting hits from that site and it made me link back. Then I found out where hits come from and 'who' they are. It was kind of a little demoralizing finding people you know only popping in for a second or two, or even 0 seconds. It made me feel much differently about going to their posts and spending time reading and commenting. I find it best not to look into these type of stats after that. Posting regularly does increase traffic, but it changes from day to day, post to post.

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    1. Donna I think I might make your day. That statistic is a junk one because it can only measure a visits length if you go to more than one page on a site. Therefore if someone pulls up your main page and reads it and them goes to amazon.com it's going to look like a 1 sec visit. :)!

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    2. You did make my day Jess. I did read on Stat Counter's site that you have to put the code on each page and that may have something to do with those one second visits. I really was kinda sad and thought people where just stopping in and leaving immediately. Glad you knew this not to be true. Plus the stats are way off from WP stats. It made no sense to have that many visits in comparison.

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  5. Jess, Thanks for the blogging tips. I am a new blogger. I get few hits. I am in the process of trying to figure out what makes people stop by. I don't think it's necessarily title of a post. Does it have to be funny? Do you need lots of pics? Does it just take time? By the way, I love the road picture with the trees it's very pretty.

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    1. It does take time: you need to read and comment on others blogs and get your name out there in the garden blogosphere. Join blotanical too.

      As far as what your content is it can be whatever works for you. There are successful blogs that are mostly words and some that are mostly photos. It just needs to be good content and consistent. Something I'm not good at but it does pay to post at least once a week if not more on the beginning.

      And once you get a few readers yes I do think blog titles help. Google is your friend. Make sure people who are looking for the topics that you are writing about can google them. Use words in your titles and posts that YOU would use to search for something. Hope all this helps!

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  6. Great post, Jess girl! I should check out my analytics sometime. This is very interesting. Have you "discovered" Pinterest yet? I think there is and will be a lot more passing around of photos with this site. I know some people really don't like sharing their photos but I'm like you and don't mind. I can understand people liking the "ball" photo. It's cute. I "LIKED" your Facebook page. See you there!

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    1. I have seen pinterest but not sure I get it exactly. I would be interest to see how far my pictures travel!

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  7. My favorite post was the "two posts" about stealing the rose bush in your Prius. Keep up the good work.

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    1. Thanks! That random stuff makes for the best material huh?

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  8. It is fun reading all the statistics. I just read your first post and left a comment there! My own first ever post was very under-read also. I had to bribe a friend to read it and post a comment.

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  9. I love the posts about the rose cuttings, too. They really cracked me up. :o) How can you tell if people are downloading your pictures? As for the yard with the shrub balls, I think someone should stick a fake hand in one of them with a sign that says "Help Me!"

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    1. Statcounter.com can track your pictures. It's not as user friendly as blogger tools but has a lot of things you can track.

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  10. Hi, Jess! As I was reading I wondered how you were tracking photo downloads, too.

    Thank you for the information about Statcounter. I was able to successfully load it for Gardens Inspired, as well. ~Debra

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  11. Great post and reminder that I should take a look at statcounter one of these days. I don't check it as often as I used to and there's some interesting information to be seen there. The key word searches are always my favourite because they make me laugh.

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    1. They do! I often wonder if people know that those searches are seen by other people.

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    2. Ah but we know everything about them ... except their name! What do you have against posting on Friday? I always post on Friday ;~) Blogger stats say the peak time for publishing posts from my Google Reader list is Tuesday at 9PM (South African time, say GMT)
      Diana via Marguerite

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    3. PS 'someone' in Prince Edward Island has downloaded a picture of my cats in the sun. I wonder who that was?

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  12. Congratulations on running such a high traffic blog! I have always enjoyed it. How do you get all these detailed statistics, such as the breakdown by state, and also your most downloaded pictures?

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    1. Lol not sure it's exactly high traffic but the nicest things aren't the overall numbers but the number of longtime readers I have. Even those that don't comment you can tell that they visit every so often and it's such as nice feeling.

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  13. Great Blog and beautiful pictures....no wonder you get so much traffic. Already looking forward to your next post.

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  14. I never grew silene in SC. The first silene I grew here, Ragged Robin, I killed with soggy soil. My luck with silene has been rather recent. :o)

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  15. Yeah! I am glad you get link hits from me. That is cool!

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