Statistics & Thoughts for the First Month of Sofa Moolah

By Mat

3 days ago Sofa Moolah turned 1 month old – strange as I also received an email from my domain registrar that the domain I purchased 1 year ago expires in a month. So in terms of website launches, it’s one of the worst traffic wise I’ve been involved in. Compared to my last blog which received close to 200,000 visitors in a few days, Sofa Moolah has underperformed. In the month it’s been live, Sofa Moolah has received 30,000 page views and 18,000 unique visitors. This isn’t all bad though, we had a few glimmers of hope. Let me explain.

Our bounce rate was extremely low and our time on site was extremely high. For anyone that doesn’t know what the bounce rate shows, it’s basically a percentage that shows how many of your site visitors come and look around opposed to people who arrive, read a single page and leave. Sofa Moolah’s bounce rate for the first month was 28%. This means that 72% of you guys are checking out the rest of the site. This might come down to the fact the website is new so people are curious so I’ll keep an eye on it to make sure it stays down.

One of the other saving graces was the time on site. If you look at this screenshot you can see that the time on site is around the 5 minute mark. Leaving out the fact it could be a search engine bot (I doubt it as our page load time is low) that’s a long time to have your readers attention for. I’m personally really happy that we can keep you here for longer than 5 minutes and I think it shows we’re heading in the right direction. Something else I want to touch on is the eBook downloads and email subscribers.

Alright, so as you’re aware I wrote an eBook which you can download for free in the sidebar called “How I Launched, Marketed and Promoted a High-Traffic Blog in Under 15 Days”. I didn’t end up promoting the eBook as well as I would have liked so downloads for the month was stagnant at 116. The original idea promotional idea was to have an affiliate contest where the person who refers the most people to download the eBook wins a prize – very similar to what Jonathan Volk did back in 2010, seemed to work well for him receiving thousands of referrals. Of course, time got in the way and we didn’t get a chance to set things up.

Moving on to email subscribers and subscribing in general. I’ve had a few emails and tweets from people about the lack of a RSS feed or any social media sharing buttons on the website. This was done for several reasons and was sort of an experiment. The idea was to cement our website name and URL into your head without the help of third party sources. We want you coming back to the site without being asked or reminded. Did this work? Direct traffic accounts for 26.55% of our overall visits so I’d say it… sort of worked. I haven’t talked to Dan yet about an RSS feed, but I think we’ll get one up soon. We might also chuck on some social media icons; who knows.

Back to email subscribers. We’re currently sitting on 586 subscribers and we’ve only ever sent out 1 email to them. I’m sure a lot of you would prefer subscribing via RSS opposed to giving out your email but I honestly think I’ll be in touch more with the email subscribers. I want to eventually do competitions exclusively for subscribers and get more involved with them; this doesn’t involve spam by the way. I don’t have much experience with email lists, this is the first time I’ve had a list with hundreds of subscribers so any tips would be great!

I also wanted to touch back on comparing my old blog to Sofa Moolah. While Sofa Moolah didn’t receive hundreds of thousands of visitors, I think the thing to point out is quantity versus quality. While the traffic was good, I think the visitors of Sofa Moolah are worth more. It is incredibly easy to gain traffic to a web design blog, which is probably why there are shitloads of them out there. While there are a lot of make money online blogs, getting decent traffic to them is a challenge. 30,000 page views in my opinion is a good starting number and I hope to increase that in the 2nd month to something along the lines of 50,000 page views.

In the attempt to boost our readership, we’ll be posting more articles and I’ll personally commit more time to the blog. I’ve already got 2 more lined up one of which is a personal story of how making money online got me into gambling and ultimately losing a lot of money. I’ll also be looking to conduct some interviews and giveaways. Stay tuned for that.

In the meantime I want to plug our Twitter profiles. Follow me on Twitter here, Dan on Twitter here & Sofa Moolah on Twitter here. Thanks for reading and let us know what you think.

 



17 Responses to Statistics & Thoughts for the First Month of Sofa Moolah

  1. Anonymous says:

    I think you should edit the explanation of the bounce rate.

    I think is wrong (or at least confusing :P)

    I had to read it a few times to understand that the LOWER the number the better and it measures how many people DON’T come back (that is “bounce” away :P)

    I should also say I haven’t heard that term before, so /I/ may be wrong/ not your target audience

    • Mat says:

      Re-reading it now I can see why you could get confused by my explanation. Just to confirm, the lower your bounce rate the better. If you want to learn more about it, check out the Wikipedia page. Also, don’t be afraid to comment with your real name – you’re not going to get flamed for having an opinion.

  2. Dean says:

    Regarding your lack of an RSS feed, inputting your URL into Google Reader worked a treat on your first post, and continues to work absolutely fine.

    The RSS feed is there (http://www.sofamoolah.com/feed/), you just haven’t linked to it in your theme.

  3. Zac says:

    So first, about the article. As I said on my message to you on Twitter, I definitely can’t wait for your next articles to come out–especially the story of “how making money online got me into gambling and ultimately losing a lot of money.” Looking forward to that one.

    In response to Anonymous’s comment, I already know what the bounce rate is, but I can see how the explanation could be confusing to someone who didn’t. Hope you don’t mind, but here’s a tip: when writing an explanation, imagine that you’re explaining it to your grandma. Seriously, I’m not kidding. You might feel like you don’t need to go into that much detail because your “target” audience should already know, but let me tell you from years of blogging experience: it’s worth it. The more experienced among us won’t complain, and the ones that don’t know will appreciate the explanation.

    Finally, about email lists. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to the blog ProBlogger, but once upon a time I was subscribed to their mailing list. This was back in its hay-day when it was earning attention from the big technology news sites like Lifehacker and, if memory serves, maybe even PC World/Mag. Anyways. I was subscribed and eventually unsubscribed because of a few reasons:
    -The emails weren’t written like the blog posts were. Even though it was the same writer, the style and voice was different in the emails. I subscribed to the mailing list to hear more from this blogger whom I admired as someone that “made it”, so to speak, so when that wasn’t happening I ended up unsubscribing.
    -Money. I’m going to keep picking on ProBlogger’s mailing list. It seemed as if every single email received from ProBlogger was one asking for money. Another blog that used to be (or might still be today) pretty popular, PC Mech–another site I subscribed to once upon a time–was seemingly always emailing to tell everyone how great their premium service was, and that everyone who wasn’t paying was missing out. I eventually got tired of that and unsubscribed.
    -Try to be consistent. There was one website that had a mailing list… Let me go check my email and see if I still have some old copies…Yep, it was a site called hackspc.com. hackspc.com emailed when new articles were published, but the emails were few and far between. I realize asking for consistent email updates from a blog is a difficult task to achieve, but even if it’s on the first day of the month, every month, that you send out some regular email to all your subscribers. What it would be, I don’t know, but just a thought. The more consistent you can make yourself, the more people will build you into your lives. If you do it hit-and-run style, it will be a bit more difficult.
    I’m not saying not to email when new articles are released though, just that those emails should be in addition to the regular email, if possible.

    So I think that’s all I’ve got. Hope this helps some and that I didn’t ramble on for too long!

    • Mat says:

      Hi Zac, thanks a lot for the detailed response. Your insight as a reader and as an email subscriber is great and I’ll definitely take it on board. We might work out some sort of schedule for our emails to make it more consistent and see how that goes.

      Thanks again for the comment, it was really helpful.

  4. Ed says:

    I’ve already been watching your posts through RSS.
    http://www.sofamoolah.com/feed/rss/

  5. Chad Thomas says:

    Great numbers for a first month.

  6. Design 311 says:

    I’d be quite happy if my blog had 18.000 unique visitors in its first month. Obviously it’s not as good as your previous blog, but the visitors here really are interested in the blog. Last time you tricked them into going to your blog. Which is why I also believe that these visitors you have now are must more valuable than last time.

  7. Shane says:

    Well written Matt- great and insightful!

    Any chance of making the text a fraction bigger? I might sound old (which I’m not :D) but it’s pretty strenuous on the eyes!

    Cheers, Shane.

    • Mat says:

      Thanks Shane. I’ll have a chat with Dan and see what we can do about the text size. I agree that it’s pretty small so you should see a change soon.

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