I put my new theme up just a few days ago, and already I’ve been seeing some significant growth as a result.
Now, before I show all the pretty stats and charts, I want to talk a bit about where all this growth came from.
While your gut reaction may be to assume that the increase in traffic is due to my new theme and that more people are visiting my blog now just because it looks nicer, I actually think that that is only part of it. Instead, I think that most of the traffic came from blogs such as JohnChow.ca mentioning my new skin.
But my stats show that there has also been an increase in direct type-in traffic as well. I think part of these resulted from some webmasters talking on instant messenger, with one of them asking the other “Have you seen Tyler’s new theme yet?”.
Apart from the ‘buzz’ of my new theme, I think that the rest of the increase in traffic are new members who became aware of my blog from the aforementioned group, and existing members who may now be revitalized with the new theme and sparked a newfound interest in my blog.
The real question is: will this increase in traffic and popularity stick?
Unfortunately, the realist in me says no. Most of this really is most likely due to the buzz that surrounded a big change and improvement.
However, I think that part of the increase will stay, just not at the level it currently is at right now. But I hope I’m wrong.
Anyhow, without further adieu, here are the effects of my new theme:
As seen in the graph above, my new design doubled my blog’s traffic instantly. However, the growth is already showing signs of declination. I blame part of this due to my lack of posts lately, but I just bought a Wii earlier this week… and… well… Super Paper Mario has been usurping my time…I’ll be getting back to posting more frequently now though. I don’t want to waste this opportunity of growth for my blog.
Now, I know that not everyone likes Alexa, but I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for it. The trick is to not take it too seriously, understand that it’s inflated towards the webmaster and technical niche, and realize that the lower you go, the more realistic the stats are.I personally think that Alexa is very good at spotting trends and spikes.
My current rank is at 10,000, but this is obviously very temporary and will probably drop back down to 20,000 – 28,000 soon. But my 1-week average is also very good at 20,000. If I can increase my average from 28,000 to 20,000, that would be a great jump for my blog.
We’ll have to keep an eye on this and see how things pan out.
This occurred before my blog redesign, and obviously isn’t linked to the the new theme, but I thought I’d mention it here since I’m listing all the other metrics as well.
My PR dropped from 5 to 3. Does this suck? Yes. Am I sad or angry? No. If it were only my blog’s PR that dropped, then I would be angry, but as most of you know by now, Google has been going on a PR penalizing spree. JohnChow.ca is PR4, and up to this morning, YouTube was even a PR3 until ‘fixed’ it.
PageRank has now lost most of it’s value as it can’t really be trusted anymore. In fact, nearly all of my sites have dropped to a PR3, even PublisherSpot.com which doesn’t have a single paid link on it and is nearly flawless in terms of SEO.
So unless Google redeems itself by working harder on PageRank, I really think it will lose nearly all of its value and will fall into the pit of other metric systems such as Alexa.
So the fact that I’m a PR3 doesn’t bother me at all. And, I doubt that Google will change their SERP’s on sites that sell paid links because then their search engine will start to become unreliable and return not the best or relevant results. And the day that this happens, I can promise you that the Google giant will fall, mark my words.
But they will not do that. However, I can certainly see them effecting the SERP’s of the sites purchasing the paid links. This opens up a whole new possible problem of competitors linking to their competition, trying to reduce their SERP’s! Who would have thought that scenario could ever occur? (They would do this on 3rd-rate scraper sites obviously and not on their own site, otherwise they’d be sending them free traffic themselves).
Oops, starting to get a bit carried away here. Okay, back to the effects of my new theme…
Last night my RSS increased to 864, giving me a new RSS record! My previous record was 843, so the +21 record increase is certainly welcome.As always, we will have to see how this fares in the future. I’ve been ‘stuck’ at 800-830 for the past couple weeks, and am eager to increase my average to 900. Well.. first I guess I have to actually hit 900… but once I do, I want to average 900 🙂
Increasing my RSS count means so much to me because the higher it goes, the more I can make with my blog. But it’s not a simple INCOME = CURRENTINCOME + (newRSS x $1) equation. Because as you reach certain milestones like 1,000, 1,500, 3,000, etc., the much more you can charge for ads. Just look at John Chow who is making over $20,000 a month. I mean come on, that’s just crazy.
Since putting up my new design I’ve sold an additional 3 links from TLA on the side. This is fairly interesting since I’m now a PR3. On the other hand, they do have improved exposure as they appear higher up on the left side now since the page navigation is located at the top of the page.
My New 125×125 Slot
In My New Blog Post, I unveiled a new advertising slot: the sitewide side 125×125 banners. Since I usually like to price advertising based on demand, I started them out at a very low $15 a month.
I’ve already sold three slots, and have two more pending. If I sell 3 more, I’ll raise the price to $20 next month. Six at the current price would be $90 a month, and a small increase to $20 would jump the total to $120.
Anyhow, they’re very cheap still so consider buying one if you advertise on other sites.
[Update: I just sold another 125×125 (to John Chow actually) and only have 2 more slots available. Let’s see if I can sell them all!]
[Update #2: I just sold another 125×125 banner. Only one spot left… they’re selling like hotcakes!]