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Monday
Feb222010

Looking at Stats

It has been a year since I re-started posting articles here; as most of you know I had quit just six months earlier.

The graph above shows the activity one week before I quit at the end of August, 2008. Readership always drops off Saturday and Sunday, but Monday through Friday I had between 1,200 and 1,500 visitors per day. (Shown in Blue.)

The Green bar shows the number of page views, and the short Orange bar is the returning visitors. It is the regular visitors that come back over and again that are most important to me. As you can see this was holding steady at over 300 a day, Monday through Friday.

This next chart (Above.) from a year ago, shows what happened after six months with no new updates. Daily visitors dropped to a steady number just over 500 per weekday, and return visits had dropped to less than 50 a day.

It seems had I never posted again, hits probably would have held at around 500 a day from Google searches alone. I have over 300 articles here, so ask almost any bicycle related question on Google or one of the other search engines, and my blog is likely to appear. 

Finally a look at the stats for last week. (Above.) As you can see even after a year of posting on a regular basis, readership is down to about half the number I had before I quit.

It is obvious many of the previous regulars either do not know I am back, or they have decided not to return. I know since coming back a year ago I have picked up a lot of new readers, so where did all the old guard go?

One reason is more competition. When I started this blog in 2005 there were probably around 5 million blogs; now the number is at least 150 Million (133 million in 2008.)

The other reason is bloggers today are swimming in an ocean of mediocrity. On an overwhelming number of blogs, the content is not that good or they are infrequently updated; people tend to give up reading them altogether.

I feel fortunate to have the following I do have given the competition. My readership grows steadily, and as long as the trend doesn’t reverse I will keep plugging on.

In retrospect it was a huge mistake to quit blogging, however, it would have been an even bigger mistake if I had not resumed when I did.

At the time I quit I felt under immense pressure to come up with new ideas all the time. When I returned I told myself if I had nothing, I would post nothing and not worry about it. The strange thing is I have managed to post at least two new articles every week for the last year.

It is necessary I keep up with the latest trends; videos and YouTube seems to be the next direction I should explore. This will mean purchasing extra equipment and learning new skills. I feel I have set myself a high standard, if there are to be videos they will have to be of an acceptable level.

I thank all my regular followers, your comments are always welcome and add a great deal to the original article. Looking forward to the coming year, and wondering where the stats will be this time next year
 

Reader Comments (26)

I think the other thing you're missing is that people have found new ways to consume websites.

I read your site but I haven't visited it in well over 18 months (today being the exception as I thought I'd add a comment).

I'm using Google Reader, it consumes your RSS feed once, and then it makes it available with all of the content to anyone else using Google Reader. So unless you're looking at stats from nearly all of the major RSS feed aggregators you're only seeing part of the picture.

February 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavidK

I came here to talk about RSS, but DavidK got to it first. If I'm going to comment, then obviously I visit the page, but quite often I read the articles in my RSS aggregator.

I'm quite happy that you continue to post. I follow numerous cycling blogs and I have to say that your's is often the most thought provoking.

February 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterToddBS

I use Google Reader too sometimes, although I usually visit here after seeing a link on Twitter to a new post.

February 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterstephen_mc

Dave, as soon as I started reading this entry, I was going to mention Google Reader, which takes me right here when there's something new, instead of having to check in every day or two. Obviously, that's old news, going by the replies you've already received. And, yes, you're right, there's more competition. Everybody and his dog are blogging now. Just keep up the good work, whatever comes into your mind, it's all interesting!

February 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJohn B

Ditto on the Google Reader comments. According to Reader, there are about 400 people who subscribe to your feed through that service alone, and most of them probably don't click through to read your posts so they are not registering on your site's stats.

I believe there are stat trackers that will track the number of readers through RSS. Try Google Analytics (http://analytics.google.com).

Thanks for blogging - I'll try to remember to click through to the site when I read your posts.

February 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterhnc

Color me Orange and like a good old friend I wanted to see again, so I kept coming back to read more (you did leave behind a treasure of info). So pleased that you decided to remain so generous.

In Your Art of Doing Nothing entry, you emphasize the role of positive thinking and the need to divert idle chatter. Problem for me though as a cyclist I often ride with my young sons and must be on constant guard for the irresponsible driver that could hurt or destroy my greatest joys (I've witnessed close calls too many times).

Relaxing on our roads has become increasingly more difficult, more than ever before in my 50+ years of cycling. That is just one more reason why I want to hear and share your presentation with others. We need to make our streets more civil and livable... the pendulum has swung too far in the wrong direction. Bikes remain one of the best but largely ignored solutions.

February 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJack

I am one of your new readers who has just come along in the last 6 months.

A buddy rides a Fuso, which led to him telling me about you, which led to Google pointing me to your blog.

I want to thank you for your blog and all the time you put into it.

I love the history and culture of cycling and I appreciate the way you bring it to life.

Thanks very much.

February 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLanceOldstrong

Thanks for everyone's input. I have RSS feed stats on my SquareSpace Management; it seems to remain steady at around 600 a day. I guess people subscribing to the RSS feed would be considered regular readers. This is much higher than the 150 or so return visits per day shown on my Satcounter Stats.
Dave

February 22, 2010 | Registered CommenterDave Moulton

Dave, I have you saved in my favorites and until recently checked out your blog two or three times weekly. I recently was layed off so I'm trying to get my job scene going again and haven't been visiting as much as I would like. I find your thoughts and insights inspiring and look forward to taking them in. Keep up the good work. If you draw a blank on ideas for a spell, say so and take a break. Everyone deserves one. Thanks Dave.

February 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

I am another regular RSS reader.

February 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

Dave, I'm another RSS Feed/Google Reader user. In fact, that's how I found that you returned to blogging: the entries just came up automatically because I still subscribed to your feed in Reader.

If you're looking for Reader people to click through to the site, I know there's a way to send out just part of your post, then the user has to click through to see the rest. Technically, I don't know how to do it, just seen it done. Personally, I find it a little annoying not to see the whole post in Reader but it's worth the hassle for a good blog.

I look forward to your articles, especially the historical ones. Yours is a cut above the average blog.

Regards, Rob

February 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRob

Dave,

I am a newer reader. I enjoy your post very much.
Thank you very much for visiting with us--

February 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGabe

I also follow your blog with an RSS reader (Google Reader).

February 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJeff H

Oh, and I'm a new reader.

February 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJeff H

Long time fan.
What are these RSS feeds that I'm hearing about? Is it something you eat when you're constipated?

Don't pull another Shane.

February 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGrump

Dave, I found you when I was a reverse expat cycling in the UK. I'm now back in the states and enjoy your posts even more. I had several other cycle blogs in my Google feed, but weeded them out. Your blog is truly focused and your passion and sincerity come across clearly. Don't worry about adding high tech stuff unless you feel that's where your focused passion takes you. The competition will always be there, but you don't need to worry about them.

Enjoying the ride!

February 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick

I am a relatively new reader and I visit once per week to read your entries.

Keep on blogging Dave, you have more readers than you know

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDale

Additionally, more folks routinely flush and block cookies.
I'm certain I'm seen as a 'unique user" every time I come back, which is several times a week.

At least I'm unique somewhere.
Keep up the good work

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnon

I thank you all for your input. I have just figured out how to show just a short excerpt in RSS and click through to read the whole article. It is important for me to have an accurate count of people reading my articles; also I feel the Blog itself is laid out in an easier reading format than the RSS feed, with the text in a narrow column on the left. I hope this meets with most people’s approval. I would like to try it for a while and see how it works out. Also, could someone tell me how this looks in Google Reader?
Dave

February 23, 2010 | Registered CommenterDave Moulton

Yup - I read through RSS too unless I'm at work and you twitter a link, in which case I'll nip on over!

Keep it up.

February 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoby

Since I retired I visit maybe once a week. I used to have your blog as part of my regular weekday routine when I was attached to a CAD machine 8+ hours a day. Thanks for all your words be they bike history, rant, or philosophy.
-Rob

February 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRedtaildd

I stumbled across your website a year or so ago, probably after following a link from Google. I immediately recognized your name because back when I first started cycling, I wanted a Moulton bike.
I first saw one in the GB pit area near the finish line at the Montreal Olympics road race (in 1976) and out of all the bikes there, it was the one that caught my eye. As I recall, it was a beautiful metallic green with yellow decals: I believe it belonged to Paul Carbutt?
Who knows, maybe he would have sold it to me if I'd actually had any money, (and been a bit shorter) but I was actually there to buy a few jerseys from Phil Griffiths with the meager amount of cash I could muster at the time, being 17 and working part time in a local bike shop. (After the race, riders from everywhere seemed to be selling everything, esp. the eastern europeans and all kinds of stuff turned up at local races afterwards: I think Barum tubulars were the most popular item).
My current frame is 30 years old and is painted in a similar manner to the Moulton I saw.
I check your site every couple of weeks and have enjoyed all your articles, especially those on bike design, frame building and the great riders of the past: please keep up the great work!
Andrew

February 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew M

Dave,

I too am a relatively new reader of your site but in one way I feel as though I have known you much longer. It is enjoyable to both learn of this sport's history and to gain insight into the mind of the builder. Please don't ask me how I found this site, all I can say is it is bookmarked. I am not cuurent on technology, instead living life pedaling a machine whose origins are over one hundred years old. Heck, my freewheel only has seven cogs! Still enjoying Fuso # 985.

February 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJim

I am one of your new readers since I only discovered your blog about two months after you started re-posting.

Keep up the good work.

February 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMatt M

Dave,

I'm a regular reader of your blog and enjoy it - great stuff.

Interesting look at your blog stats, since I'm a blogger myself - bike related also - and have been working at it for about a year now. I totally dig it and usually write a few posts per week.

Your numbers are much higher then mine, but considering I'm not exactly famous - mine aren't that bad. I get almost 1000 visits per month and 2000+ page views. I had nothing really to compare that to until now. I'm flattered that anyone reads my fluff.

You're a much better writer then I am, but by posting your numbers, I feel pretty good about mine - cool. Thanks for posting that info.

Your blog is one of my favorites for sure.

Dan

February 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDan O

Love that you came back. Don't leave us....

March 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLance Hull

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