At the end of each year I like to take a moment and look back at how each of my blogs have performed over the year.
ExchangeServerPro.com has had a strong year. I entered into 2009 with a blog that mirrored my career, fairly broad in scope and lacking in the kind of direction it needed to go to the next level. Fortunately I found myself focussing more and more on Microsoft Exchange Server which soon became the main topic of both blog and career.
The year was not without its challenges though, such as:
- Running around like mad as the building of our new family home reached completion
- Moving into the new house in March, and the subsequent million things that appear on your To Do list
- A new arrival in our family in May
- My employer went bust and my colleagues and I all lost our jobs
Despite all those challenges I am very happy with how things went this past year.
Last year I grew my monthly traffic from less than 2000 visitors to just over 5000 visitors by the end of the year. This year I opened strong and quickly jumped to around 8000 visitors, but stagnated there for much of the year.
Around September I rebranded and relaunched the site as ExchangeServerPro.com complete with a new logo, design and promotional effort. This boosted traffic to over 10000 visitors for a few months before it dropped off again at the end of the year for a few reasons:
- My posting frequency dropped off as our company went through weeks of turmoil resulting in the loss of my job
- Exchange Server 2010 was released which reduced search traffic for Exchange Server 2007 topics
- Traffic usually slows down at the end of the year as IT departments wind down a bit for Christmas
Overall just over 100000 unique visitors came to this site in 2009, up from 42000 the year before.
Adobe Acrobat Reader 9 Silent Install – still my most popular post for the year despite being over 18 months old now. I expect this to start dying off soon though. It would be nice to see something Exchange Server related at the top of the list next year.
How to move WSUS 3.0 to a new server – not just a lot of visitors but also a lot of comments as people shared their own tips and bugs for various migration scenarios, which is great to see.
Exchange 2007 OWA stops working with “reason=0” error – finally something Exchange related! This post was just good timing as I managed to get it published quickly resulting in good search rankings when people look up the error in Google. Again it has been great to see lots of comments on the post.
How to calculate your hourly rate as an IT contractor – maybe something to do with the global economic crisis, it would seem a lot of people are looking for advice on setting contract rates.
Goals Reached in 2009
I set some goals for the year in my last roundup. Here they are again and how well I did at each.
Keep doing what I’m doing – how do you measure this? Well at the start of the year I assumed that “what I'm doing” had resulted in the previous year's traffic growth. It would appear I've succeeded at continuing to do “what I'm doing” by more than doubling my traffic for 2009.
Design and SEO improvements – the SEO improvements were immediate when I installed Thesis theme for WordPress, which caused a jump in search engine traffic (that I can't attribute to anything else at the time). The site also got a design overhaul when I relaunched as ExchangeServerPro.com. I'm continuing minor tweaks and changes but the site is mostly how I want it for now and has drawn some flattering compliments from people I look up to in the Exchange community.
More guest writing – I started the year writing for All Spammed Up and later joined the writing team for The Email Admin as well. Writing for these sites each once per week has been difficult at times but also very rewarding.
Flagship content – I released my popular migration guide for Exchange 2007. Over 1600 people have downloaded it so far and dozens of those have been kind enough to give me feedback. This has given me the confidence to plan further guides as well as a training course for Exchange 2010 to be released this year.
Goals for 2010
Keep doing what I'm doing – more specifically, posting at least twice per week and helping to solve people's Exchange Server problems.
Release Exchange 2010 Guide – by the end of the year I want to have an Exchange 2010 migration guide released, similar to the Exchange 2007 guide I released in 2009.
Launch Exchange Boot Camp – I ran a survey for Exchange Boot Camp and the results were very informative. I'm working on introductory training materials now and want to have those released in the first 3 months of the year.
I think that is plenty to aim for this year. I hope you all have an exciting 2010 and look forward to connecting more as the year goes on.