This past weekend saw the close of the first half of 2014. I'm proud to say that every day thus far has seen a new article published on this site.
Is it worth it, though?
By the numbers
A few months ago, I published the stats that my site has seen since I began my journey into daily blogging. It was interesting to see how 2 months of publishing compared to an entire year, but I wanted to take some time to compare apples to apples instead.
In the first half of 2013, my site published a total of 16 posts containing 11k words. The site received 19k total visits - 21.1% from repeat visitors. For a hobby site, this is fairly respectable. Though I'm incredibly disappointed that I published less than two dozen articles in 6 months.
In the first half of 2014, things are looking up spectacularly. My site has published a total of 181 posts containing 107k words. The site received 43k total visits - 25.8% from repeat visitors. The output of the site has increased tenfold, and even though the traffic hasn't gone up by nearly the same percentage, it's still gone up considerably.
Is it worth the effort?
On the one hand, increasing my output significantly has definitely helped my traffic. But is the traffic meaningful?
Seeing the raw visitor number increase as much as they have definitely appeases my ego. But the fact that the traffic is mostly new visitors (the percentage of repeat traffic has gone up, but not by much) makes me question the quality of that traffic.
Do people visit the site once and never come back? If they visit and enjoy the content, why don't they return later? With the high number of visitors, why aren't more people engaging with the content?
Law of diminishing returns
I've increased my output tenfold - 16 posts to 181 is a significant investment of effort - but not seen a similar increase on return. My site traffic has just more than doubled with that change in productivity. It makes me wonder how much more effort I would need to personally invest in this site to double my traffic again.
Honestly, I feel this site has evolved to a point where my effort alone can't continue to grow its reach. I will continue to write, but need to also invest some time in refining other elements of the site - like the way readers consume and interact with content - to make it more appealing. I also need to invest time in refactoring the way comments interact with and influence the content on the site.
I have a few ideas in mind already, but I'm curious what steps you would take to increase the reach and appeal of a site beyond where I've landed thus far.