Early Effects of My New Theme

October 31, 2007 Posted by Tyler Cruz

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:

Traffic

 

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.

Alexa 

66

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.

PageRank

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…

RSS

 

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.

Advertisements

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!]

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Posted: October 31st, 2007 under Blog Related  

16 Responses to “Early Effects of My New Theme”

  1. Martin says:

    Keep posting everyday, and I am sure you will get some sort of increase in visitors.

    I don’t really understand how a new design can change whether people visit your site or not. I mean, the content is the same. This theme is nicer to look at, but your last one wasn’t so bad that it badly influenced the content.

    It doesn’t matter to me, keep posting, and I will keep coming back.

  2. Aaron says:

    It’s nice to see your blog growing. I like the new theme a lot and it seems to be doing the trick.

  3. All of us are bent a little differently, some are graphically driven , others just want the facts/content. This design blends and balances the two perfectly in my view. So much so that Reality Hosting is doing my re-design.

  4. I like the new theme, it gives a more relaxed feel to the site and the text are seems larger and you still have a three column theme. I am working on reworking my theme a little and correcting a few mistakes. I wish I could find someone to hook me up with a theme for a little advertising. You never know, I might be able to throw in a few bucks too but there is no way I would be able to come up with a grand.

  5. yeikow says:

    Hey Tyler,

    I was reading you through RSS so I hadn’t checked the new design: awesome! That drawing totally kicks ass… dude, I bet you feel cooler now B)

    The design is easy on the eyes and upbeat.

    Well done.

  6. Matt L says:

    The PageRank penalizing is being done to all sites who sell links – even through Text Link Ads. Its a bummer because that is a great source of income… but at the same time I’d rather lose that income to keep up my PR.

    But that is just me personally.

    Great design!

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      With all due respect, that makes no sense. It would be like me offering you $50 or else I’ll give you a TylerRank of 8. TylerRank is pretty useless… at least when compared to $50.

      Anyhow, as stated in my post, the penelizing isn’t limited to sites that sell text links. Explain PublisherSpot.com’s reduction then…

    • That doesn’t make sense dude. The only way to make money off PR is to sell links, yet you’d lose that money to keep the PR?

  7. New stuff will usually drive traffic. People are curious.

  8. Dave says:

    Well, if you have a couple of sites that are penalized by Google and given a lower pagerank, it would also make sense that sites that are being linked to would suffer indirectly as well. If Tylercruz.com was a PR 10 and was linking to Publisherspot, and then Tylercruz was given a PR of 3, surely this would negatively impact Publisherspot as well when Publisherspot’s page rank was recalculated.

  9. Derek says:

    The new design looks great Tyler, defiantly gives the site a whole new feel. The advertising prices seem great here, might check those out in a few weeks. Keep up the great posts.

  10. Congratulations on the growth! the new design is fantastic…one of the best!

  11. Allen.H says:

    Love the new theme Tyler, really no comparison can be done between this and the old one.

    I looked at your new logo (which is just as nice), do you by any chance play poker regulary?

    Cheers,
    Allen

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