The Fall Slump

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Bartoneus

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Sep 29, 2008, 1:47:15 PM9/29/08
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I was talking to Phil the other day (everybody knows Phil, right?) and
we briefly discussed the fall slump that can typically happen in
internet traffic, as well as the tendency of bloggers to stop writing
as much in the fall as summer is quickly whisked away! This brought
back up a thought I'd had before, and so here it is:

We, as the RPG Blogging community, should share a lot of our
information when it comes to traffic, visitors, etc. This encourages
people to share advice, ideas, and encouragement as well as gives us
all a solid metric to guage how well our blog is doing. For best
comparison, I'd say the tools to use are Feed Burner and Google
Analytics, if you're blogging and not using both of those then you
should probably start right away! (Warning: setting up Feed Burner
isn't as simple a process at is seems, I've killed at least one
person's feed by suggesting this already)

If you don't know, Dave and I write at Critical Hits, and while we've
been obscenely blessed this year with insane increases in traffic, I
can already see a bit of this Fall Slump in not only our incoming
traffic, but our writing and our comments as well. Here is some of
our data, please feel free to reply with some or all of the below from
your own blog!

Critical Hits:

days since creation: ~1,080 (3 years)
# of posts: 1,011
# of primary contributors: 2
Most comments on a single post: 72


Traffic for September 2008:

Visits: 17,570
Pageviews: 28,861
Absolute Unique Visitors: 12,813


Traffic for last 6 months (April 1st - Sept.29th):

Visits: 103,089
Pageviews: 176,941
Absolute Unique Visitors: 70,375


Traffic for 2008 so far:

Visits: 151,044
Pageviews: 267,684
Absolute Unique Visitors: 103,434

I've provided a few timeframes, so that depending on how long your
blog has been up we have a good frame for comparisons.

Feed Burner stats:

Yesterday's subscribers: 619
Highest subscriber #: 668
Avg. Subscribers over last week: 627

August peak # : 550
July peak # : 432
June peak # : 376

I tried to include stuff that might be interesting to people, and
metrics which others can pretty easily reproduce, let me know if
there's something key missing. I figure putting things like this out
in the open (at least amongst us bloggers) could be quite beneficial.

Danny
--
http://www.Critical-Hits.com/
Your source for boardgames, cardgames, rpgs, video games, comics, and
all the latest nerdy news.

Philippe-Antoine Menard

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Sep 29, 2008, 2:16:19 PM9/29/08
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Since Danny seems to intimidate us all, I'll step up next...

ChattyDM.net (Blog only):

days since creation: ~380 (1 year)
# of posts: 463
# of primary contributors: 1
Most comments on a single post: 260

Traffic for September 2008:

Visits: 17,955
Pageviews:37,057
Absolute Unique Visitors:  10,289



Traffic for last 6 months (April 1st - Sept.29th):

Visits: 99,944
Pageviews: 209,285
Absolute Unique Visitors: 49,984



Traffic for 2008 so far:

Visits: 120,169
Pageviews:254,398
Absolute Unique Visitors:  58,006

Feed Burner stats:

Yesterday's subscribers: 608
Highest subscriber #: 689
Avg. Subscribers over last week: 641

There you go...  I caught up with Critical Hits over the Summer and now we sit pretty close.

Phil

jonathan

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Sep 29, 2008, 2:18:43 PM9/29/08
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Aww .. MAN! you're making me cry over here... i think Unclebear,
Critical Hits, and Chatty are going to blow down the main sail when it
comes to these stats.. but I'll share mine anyway - if for nothing
more than just some chuckles around your office.

ok.. my itybitty little blog has the following data from Google
Analytics (by month)

Lifetime (started on July 8th)
5,278 Visits (158 peak)
2,885 Absolute Unique Visitors
8,595 Pageviews (302 peak)

JULY
326 Visits
194 Absolute Unique Visitors
716 Pageviews

AUGUST
2,048 Visits
1,131 Absolute Unique Visitors
3,251 Pageviews

SEPTEMBER (not done yet...)
2,904 Visits
1,738 Absolute Unique Visitors
4,628 Pageviews

Feedburner, last 30 days: 34 subscribers.

meh...

-- Jonathan
> --http://www.Critical-Hits.com/

Philippe-Antoine Menard

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Sep 29, 2008, 2:29:59 PM9/29/08
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Just to make things clear guys...

When I was at the point where many of you are right now in terms of Blog Life, I had much lower traffic and less commenters.

The network has helped cross pollinate and accelerate the long lonely periods that bloggers must deal with when no one knows you or care...

:)

Dave Chalker

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Sep 29, 2008, 2:31:43 PM9/29/08
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I'm not a guy who is terribly great with statistics, but I wonder if
there's anything we'll be able to infer from all these figures as a
before/after comparison from creation of rpgbloggers.com. Reports are
that it's boosted traffic, but I wonder if it has some other effects
(either positive or negative) on feed subscribers and google traffic.

--
Critical-hits.com


Your source for boardgames, cardgames, rpgs, video games, comics, and
all the latest nerdy news.

davechalker.com
For everything else about me.

"Q: Where do you get your ideas?
A: K-Mart Idea Sales. "

--Jack L. Chalker

Alex VP

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Sep 29, 2008, 2:32:53 PM9/29/08
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I'm trying to get Google Analytics set up now so I don't have the same stat blocks you folks do yet, but Jonathan, you're blowing ME outta the water based on my StatPress wordpress plugin. :) Fear not.
-Czar

On Mon, Sep 29, 2008 at 2:29 PM, Philippe-Antoine Menard <phil.a...@gmail.com> wrote:

Philippe-Antoine Menard

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Sep 29, 2008, 2:33:19 PM9/29/08
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I think it acted as a Catalyst in helping bloggers (the usual 1st crowd to discover a blog) find other promising blogs.

It's a short cut to the months a blogger spends making noise on other people's blogs and linking to other blogs.

My 2 cents

Robert Sandlan

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Sep 29, 2008, 2:33:40 PM9/29/08
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The Dice Bag

days since creation: 41 days
# of posts: 28

# of primary contributors: 1
Most comments on a single post: 16


Traffic for September 2008:

Visits: 1,760
Pageviews: 2,537
Absolute Unique Visitors:  1,302


Traffic for 2008 so far:
(My analytics didnt kick in until the 30 August so you'll have to make do with wordpress stats ;))

Visits: 3,762

Feed Burner stats:

Yesterday's subscribers: 15
Highest subscriber #: 17
Avg. Subscribers over last week: 14


I feel small :(

I don't expect to ever have the big stats though so I'm quite happy with my lot.

Bartoneus

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Sep 29, 2008, 2:34:45 PM9/29/08
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Yea, I won't even get into the stats CH had in its first year but
suffice to say most of our growth has been in 2008, and that was after
two years of doing it.

This wasn't mean to be an intimidating or competitive post, sorry that
it came off that way! One of the biggest things I'm interested in
seeing is how the RPG network has helped people's numbers, and you can
see a bit of the difference in Jonathan's numbers between July and
August.

The world that I come from (Architecture, and Arch. school) it's good
to know where you stand, where others stand, and see what you can
learn from each other.

The CH numbers shouldn't be impressive, considering Phil has
accomplished just as much in a 1/3 of the time!

-Danny



On Sep 29, 2:29 pm, "Philippe-Antoine Menard"
<phil.a.men...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Just to make things clear guys...
>
> When I was at the point where many of you are right now in terms of Blog
> Life, I had much lower traffic and less commenters.
>
> The network has helped cross pollinate and accelerate the long lonely
> periods that bloggers must deal with when no one knows you or care...
>
> :)
>

Philippe-Antoine Menard

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Sep 29, 2008, 2:36:10 PM9/29/08
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But that's because I'm actually a Clone Army of Type A personality and not thsis father of 2 guy with a day job I pretend to be.

:)

Bartoneus

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Sep 29, 2008, 2:40:32 PM9/29/08
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Here's a little bit better of a number for some of you:

CH Sept. 2007 Feed Burner # : 76

That was right at the end of our second year, and we'd just started
feedburner. End of 2007 we had 121 feed subscribers, so most of our
growth has been in the last couple of months.

-Danny

On Sep 29, 2:36 pm, "Philippe-Antoine Menard"
<phil.a.men...@gmail.com> wrote:
> But that's because I'm actually a Clone Army of Type A personality and not
> thsis father of 2 guy with a day job I pretend to be.
>
> :)
>

Bartoneus

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Sep 29, 2008, 2:45:57 PM9/29/08
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Also, if you haven't heard of this it's a great tool:

http://www.blogperfume.com/feed-analysis/

You have to have Feed Burner, and set the publicize options of your
feed to be enabled so that it can grab the info, but it lets you look
at your growth over time in feed subscribers. Again, it just feeds
the blogger obsession with pretty graphs, but it's helpful too!

-Danny

Ken Newquist

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Sep 29, 2008, 3:24:46 PM9/29/08
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Here's where Nuketown stands. Clearly my RSS feed could use a little love :) I switched it over to Feedburner at the start of the summer, which helped, but I think I need to add something more than the cryptic little RSS radar icon to my home page. Participation in the RPG Bloggers hasn't caused there to be a huge surge in traffic to Nuketown, but there's been a nice uptick, and there's been a similar increase in the number of comments.

Visits: 10,110
Pageviews: 29,378
Absolute Unique Visitors: 8,787 

Traffic for last 6 months (April 1st - Sept.29th):

Visits: 70,193 
Pageviews: 179,738
Absolute Unique Visitors:  61,679

Traffic for 2008 so far:

Visits: 108,953
Pageviews: 230,378 
Absolute Unique Visitors: 97,272

Feedburner statistics:

podcast: 143

jonathan

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Sep 29, 2008, 3:28:01 PM9/29/08
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Things I've done that may have help my 1000% increase in traffic since
july -- all of them I did about a week or two before RPG bloggers
network went live - so I'm not sure (without digging more into google
analytics) which is helped me more in the long run

1. joined feedburner

2. joined technorati

3. joined bloggers central

4. joined socialspark

5, joined feedburner

6. made the "World Longest RPG Blog Roll" on my site - which I later
took down becuase it made my site load slowwww

7. Made a pledge to myself: a) read at least three other blogs
everytime I posted something at The Core Mechanic, and 2) leave a
comment on at least one of them.

8. ALWAYS posted a comment whenever someone links to me from their own
blog (google blog search, via the "link:yourblogname" syntax; search
results can be saved as an RSS feed - very handy.. oh.. i just got an
idea...

be right back...

Philippe-Antoine Menard

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Sep 29, 2008, 3:28:44 PM9/29/08
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The big ass RSS icons are all the rage.

Have a Look at Dave and Danny's here.

I also put a big one on Chattystudios while I await my new banner. 

It's kinda hard to miss.

:)

Dave Chalker

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Sep 29, 2008, 4:15:39 PM9/29/08
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Our big-ass RSS icon may not stay, it was just a prototype I put
together quickly for use in testing for our new theme...

And for everyone who is lamenting their lack of traffic compared to
someone else, well, probably all of us combined are a drop in the
bucket compared to ENWorld. :)

--
Critical-hits.com


Your source for boardgames, cardgames, rpgs, video games, comics, and
all the latest nerdy news.

davechalker.com

David A. Miller

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Sep 29, 2008, 6:03:49 PM9/29/08
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I don't handle the technical side of Purple Pawn and am way behind on how
much of it works-though I'm hoping to learn. So there's these numbers are
incomplete. I believe we have Google Analytics running, but I've never
accessed it, and the person who has is unavailable for a few days. Also, we
don't use Feedburner. I don't know how to find out the number of
subscribers. But we are using something called Performancing Metrics. The
number of unique visitors below are from that service.

Also, you should note our different format. We're a news blog with generally
shorter posts covering all variety of tabletop games.

Purple Pawn:

days since creation: 235 (almost 8 months)
# of posts: 963
# of contributors: 3
Total comments: 442
Most comments on a single post: definitely less than 10


Traffic for September 2008:

Visits: 13,683
Pageviews: 19,819
Unique Visitors: 12,532

edi...@thegeekemporium.com

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Sep 29, 2008, 7:38:31 PM9/29/08
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Well, my blog numbers are kind of screwy because of the switch from a free wordpress account to self-hosted, and I didn't have Google Analytics for most of that time.  Here are my numbers from September 14-28 (as the 29th isn't over yet).

Total Visits: 1,676
Total Pageviews:  3011
Absolute Unique Visitors: 627

The Geek Emporium launched on July 14, 2008 and I have to admit that I'm pretty happy with how my growth has gone.  Without having had the Google Analytics before 9-14 though, I'll never really know how good that growth as been up to then, but I'm happy :)

As for the fall slump, I noticed over the last few days my numbers had dropped a bit, but they picked right up today and everything looks to be back on track.  I chalked the lack of traffic up to poor content though.

Sincerely,
Tom Knighton
Editor
The Geek Emporium
http://thegeekemporium.com

madbr...@gmail.com

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Sep 30, 2008, 4:44:56 PM9/30/08
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The other day I was wondering exactly how much traffiic the big dogs
got. Thanks for providing some numbers! For the most part, I view
the Labs as a modest venture and I haven't really nailed down any
expectations. I figure if I get a dozen regular readers I'd be
ecstatic.

I started my blog on July 26th and joined the RPG Bloggers Network on
August 6th, so my blog has almost spent its entire existence as a
member. I can't use Google Analytics because I use a free
Wordpress.com account and my Feedburner is too new (which reminds me I
should submit it to RPG Bloggers).

Some folks have "Stumbled" me and I notice a fair amount of traffic
from there as well as Facebook.

Here are some numbers:

Totals
Posts: 49
Comments: 131
Views: 4,903
Most Views in Day: 235 (9/24)
Views so far Today: 201

July
Posts: 9
Views: 14
Comments: 0

August
Posts: 17
Views: 2,065
Comments: 59 (34% of 'em from me)

September
Posts: 23
Views: 2,828
Comments: 72 (36% of 'em from me)

Top Referrers (That I can see and total from my Stats)
RPGBloggers.com: 660 (Around 800 with members combined)
StumbleUpon.com: 294
Google Reader: 151
The Core Mechanic: 63 <--- Thanks Jonathan!
Facebook: 52
Geek Related: 50 <--- Thanks mxyzplk
Trollsmyth Blog: 39
iGoogle: 25

It is interesting to note that I have 5 Google Reader subscribers so I
am nearly half way to my goal of 12!

Now I need to answer the question, "Should I get a real host and
domain name?"
I'll see how things look after the New Year.

Zachary Houghton

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Oct 1, 2008, 12:11:54 AM10/1/08
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This was a neat idea. Some really new blogs are doing amazingly well
out of the gate!

Here's what I have as of now:

RPG Blog II:

days since creation: 429 (1 year, 2 months)
# of posts: 160
# of contributors: 1
Total comments: Unsure (is there an easy way to check this?)
Most comments on a single post: 27

Traffic for September 2008:

Visits: 2984
Pageviews: 3,990
Feedburner Subscribers (Current): 95

On Technorati, I have 0 fans and an Authority of 16 :)

My PageRank on Google is a 4, which isn't awful. I had a 6 with
rpgblog.org at its zenith, but all good things...

My posting when with the ENnies was pretty erratic; now that I've
settled down into a more regular pattern of late, my numbers are
creeping up (after the nice post they received when I joined the
network). I'm curious if my switch to a .com soon (through Blogger,
so I'll have the auto-redirect) will change anything.

-Zachary
RPG Blog II
http://rpgblog2.blogspot.com/

Zachary Houghton

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Oct 1, 2008, 12:17:20 AM10/1/08
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P.S.--Wow! September really has been a down month! I'm off almost
22% from August's Visits! (Though my Feedburner subscribers are around
5-6 more this month).

-Zachary

Ken Newquist

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Oct 1, 2008, 8:01:39 AM10/1/08
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Historically I haven't seen much of a drop off for Nuketown. It maybe that I'm not hitting the August heights that the rest of you are (and thus, don't have a fall off) but even last year when I was blogging about GenCon I didn't see a huge difference between August and September. This could be because I've got a bunch of non-RPG content that generates traffic constantly (like the hoax debunkings) as well as stuff like my Mac RPG page that sees steady, if not spectacular, traffic (and which I really, really need to update).  

Ken
--
Nuketown

Bartoneus

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Oct 2, 2008, 7:25:54 AM10/2/08
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I assume a lot of our traffic came from ENworld links.

WP blog stats - August: 35,926
WP blog stats - September: 28,060

I'm still quite happy with that, but it's the first decrease in
monthly traffic we've had since April of this year.

It's good to hear that people enjoy all of this information being out
there, I felt like there was some "I'd really like to know what their
numbers are, but I don't feel like I can ask".

It also appears like CH has jumped back up to Google PR 3. Hopefully
we can get back up to 4 without too much hassle.

-Danny

Ravyn

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Oct 14, 2008, 3:25:52 PM10/14/08
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September worked decently for me; it's October where I seemed to start
dropping. I don't think I've ever been ENworld-linked; I've had a few
links from Giant in the Playground, mostly my signature or my own "I
could fill this page with information but I posted on this once so I'm
just going to link it instead as shorthand" links, and I have a
couple friends who have pushed my site on plothook.net and rpg.net.
And I've been stumbled once, as far as I can tell; every now and then
someone picks it up again.

Posts: 119
UVs August: 1202
UVs September: 1976

Zachary Houghton

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Oct 14, 2008, 6:13:41 PM10/14/08
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I don't have October finals yet, but my hits are up at least 50% for
this month so far. I think it may be due to some of the networking
and more regular posting as much as anything

-Zachary
rpgblog2.com

Jonathan Jacobs

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Oct 14, 2008, 6:20:36 PM10/14/08
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one post a day is my goal - and I know it helps page views - but depth and duration are also important factors. There's a google analytics article about "visitor loyalty" in their help files somewhere, but basically its a function of how many people visit and _stay_ for a while.

I think, by focusing on quality posts you can keep your readership and expand it over the long haul. - but one post per day keeps me obsessively focused as well - and keeps all my normal friends and family at bay (Oh... i'm thinking about my older brother's reaction when I mentioned Gygaxian Naturalism to him... bwhahhaha.. friggen priceless...)

Jonathan Jacobs, Ph.D.
lab: (301) 402-1155
cell: (240) 447-4039
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