The blog is reaching the end of its third year online. I wrote my 2007 roundup at about this time last year and now its time to take a look at what happened in 2008.
In 2007 I was relying on Awstats provided by my web host for visitor statistics. Those stats showed that I went from only 23 visitors in January 2007 up to 1552 visitors for December 2007.
In January I started using Google Analytics for more detailed statistics. The figures from each are different (Google shows a lower number than Awstats) but more important than raw numbers is the overall trend.
In January 2008 I had 1779 visitors and in November I had my highest month with 5133 visitors. December is typically a little quieter with fewer posts and the holidays slowing things down but it looks like it will come in around 4500 visitors by the time Google Analytics processes the full month of stats.
Overall nearly 42000 visitors came to this site in 2008 which is a big jump from 2007 and I hope most of them found something useful when they visited.
Last year’s growth was thanks to some specific blog posts that were very popular and received good search engine rankings.
Adobe Acrobat 9 Silent Install – this was a quick post thrown together when I was out working on a client’s desktop deployment. I knocked up a basic ADM file and made that available for download.
Over 5000 people have visited this post since I wrote it in July, and the ADM file downloaded more than 1500 times. Aside from being my most popular post even though it was only online for 6 months of the year it also ranks #1 on Google pretty consistently.
What is funny is that it was thrown together so quickly it barely covers the topic and the ADM file is very basic. After a while I updated the post with links to Aaron’s much better blog posts on the topic, but thanks to my search engine rankings I still get a lot of traffic to it. Aaron tells me this post is one of the highest referrers for visitors to his blog.
Event ID 2095 – this was last year’s most popular post and still drives a lot of traffic thanks to good search rankings for the event ID. More than 3000 people visisted this post in 2008.
It is my most heavily commented post and that discussion lead to another blog post on how to recover the USN rollback condition for a single domain controller.
Email Address Policies in mixed Exchange orgs – this must be such a common problem encountered by people during Exchange transitions because nearly 2500 people visited this post.
VMWare ESX 3.5 – the success and the good search rankings for this post baffle me as I’m no VMWare expert and my solution is pretty poor in the context of proper production environments. Dan tells me that a lot of people resort to this kind of slack host security in real world VMWare deployments though.
Thanks to this blog I was asked to write some articles at AllSpammedUp.com on the topics of Exchange Server and anti-spam. This experience has been good both in terms of the discipline required when writing to deadlines and also the depth of research into some of the topics has taught me a few of the more obscure details on some things that I hadn’t had the chance to uncover in my daily work.
Plans for 2009
My plans for this blog and 2009 include (in no particular order):
- Keep doing what I’m doing, since that has lead to visitor numbers nearly tripling over the previous year. The best growth was in months where I took the time to write detailed posts on more complex problems and also kept up my posting frequency, so that will be two areas I try to improve on this year.
- Design and SEO improvements. I’m not looking for a radical overhaul but the blog design needs more work as it is looking very dated now. SEO has been an afterthought most of the time so I also need to pay a little more attention to writing proper excerpts for search results and doing the little things like tagging images properly.
- More guest writing. It hadn’t occured to me before I started writing for AllSpammedUp.com that there might be other sites out there that I could write some guest articles for. I’ll be looking for these opportunities this year.
- Flagship content. I read Chris Garrett’s “Killer Flagship Content” report back in 2007 and only just recently had a “light bulb” moment as to how I could apply that to this blog.
Happy new year!