Note from Leo: The below is an email Belle sent to the whole Buffer team on the 1st of September. It features our latest thoughts, ideas and questions about content and the Buffer blog. Since we default to transparency with our culture, we thought making this public could be useful for others too.
In August we published 18 posts on the blog, 6 of which were guest posts. After July’s 59% increase in traffic, August blew that away with a 118% increase. Our top post for the month hit 531,000 views, which is 1670% higher than our most-visited post in July. Wow.
How did the blog do overall?
Total uniques: 745,811 (compared to 341, 470 in July = 118% increase)
Email subscribers: Since moving to MailChimp on August 23, we added 766 subscribers. Hopefully by next month we’ll have our Feedburner subscribers imported into MailChimp and we’ll be able to track solid stats on this for the future.
Total posts: 18 (2 more than July)
Total posts republished: 3 (Lifehacker, FastCompany, news.com.au)
Total in-house posts: 12 (same as July)
Total guest posts: 6 (2 more than July)
Top 3 referring sites: Facebook, Twitter, Lifehacker (same as July)
Top 3 keywords: “body language,” “how to make yourself happy” “twitter symbols”
Which 3 posts performed best?
Ranked by number of unique visits, these are the three top posts from August.10 Simple Things You Can Do Today That Will Make You Happier, Backed By Science
3,470 tweets, 113k fb likes, 850 g+, 531,000 uniques
595 tweets, 2k fb likes, 3.4k g+, 21,000 uniques
568 tweets, 700 fb likes, 1k g+, 18,000 uniques
*Note: this post was written and published in July, but was one of the highest trafficked posts during August
Experiments from August
- We switched to MailChimp for managing our email subscribers (thanks for the help here, Andy!).
- We added a slide-in form to capture email addresses that triggers as you scroll down the blog (850 new subscribers so far).
- Used HipChat to call out Carolyn whenever a product-related question was posted in the blog comments so she could handle those.
Questions and ideas that came up in August
- Our top three posts this month were life-hacking topics, and 2 out of the 3 top posts last month were also life-hacking posts. This could be because our social media-related posts aren’t as high quality as the life-hacking posts, we’re not promoting the social media posts in the right ways, or our audience is heavily skewed towards life-hacking at the moment.
- It would be great to have a better system for tracking which posts are picked up for republishing, and any other stats we can track from those posts that are outside the Buffer blog (we could possibly add specific buff.ly links into republished posts?). Would be good to chat to Michelle about what options we have here.
- I got quite a few requests in August to republish posts. It might be good for me and Leo to work out a solid way of measuring which of these requests are worth our time (I know Leo has a good gut feel for this, but as we grow the content team, the more solid (if rough) structures we can put in place, the more consistency we can achieve).
Looking ahead to September
- We had 2 more guest posts this month but the number of in-house posts stayed the same. I’d really like to increase this number next month to at least 15. This could be a combination of just pushing myself to be more productive and working on aggregation-style posts over several weeks in-between research-based posts.
- Leo and I set some big goals for the blog, which we want to reach by the end of October: 25,000 email subscribers and 1 million uniques/month. These are our two biggest things to keep in mind when planning, writing and publishing content in September.
- We’re going to experiment with adding some more of the Buffer team’s personality to the blog in various ways. One we’ve done already is a “note from Leo” at the bottom of my meditation post. I’m working on writing up the story of how I changed my name this week, and have a couple of other ideas for how to inject some of our personality into the blog.
Note from Leo: Let us know any more stats that we could share with you guys in the comments below!