Line25 just passed its sixth month of operation, and has seen awesome growth since the first post in March 09. I’d like to put out a big thanks to all subscribers and readers, as you’re the ones who have helped the site grow so quickly in such a short period of time! Let’s take a look behind the scenes at some stats and figures, which will hopefully provide handy hints or tips to anyone growing their own design blog.
A little history
As many of you know, Line25 is my second design blog. I originally set out developing Blog.SpoonGraphics in April 2007, which has grown to an amazing level. Between late 2008 and early 2009 I planned on increasing my blogging activities to include more postings and a further look into the world of web design. I was in two minds whether to simply post more stuff on Blog.SpoonGraphics, or set up a second website. With Blog.SpoonGraphics gaining quite a reputation for Illustrator tutorials, I decided that setting up a blog specifically for web design was the way forward.
After a couple of months of designing, brainstorming and building, Line25 was ready for launch. It went live on March 9th 2009 as has since amassed 58 blog posts through a mix of weekly articles, tutorials and sites of the week roundups.
Traffic stats have been slowly rising since launch, with a couple of peaks from popular posts. The highest peak of traffic between March and August was 11,906 visitors following the 10 HTML Tag Crimes You Really Shouldn’t Commit article. Lately the figure is averaging around 3400 per day.
The growth in RSS subscribers has been the greatest achievement in my eyes, quickly rocketing to 12,667! No doubt the already established audience from Blog.SpoonGraphics has helped out here.
Line25 has had its own Twitter profile from the start, where web design links and resources are posted on a semi-daily basis. These links obviously come in handy with the Line25 profile gaining a following of 3644. The Twitter profile has also been a handy place to pump new articles when they go live each week.
Most popular articles
Every now and again an article hits the spotlight and brings in an influx of visitors. The general trend is that after each peak the level of average daily visitors then increases due to the increased exposure. The most popular articles on Line25 are:
- 30 Awesome Design Enhancing jQuery Plugins
- Create a Clean Modern Website Design in Photoshop
- How to Convert a Photoshop Mockup to XHTML/CSS
- 15 Must Read Articles for CSS Beginners
- 10 HTML Tag Crimes You Really Shouldn’t Commit
- 50 Inspiring Examples of Minimalism in Web Design
Main traffic sources
The main sources of referring traffic are:
- Direct Traffic
- jQuery Lightbox
- Web Design Blog
- CSS Menu
- jQuery Plugins
My tips for launching a new blog
After learning various tips and gaining the experience from developing Blog.SpoonGraphics I had a good idea of how to go about launching Line25. Plus, the already established audience will have no doubt have helped in developing a core subscriber base. I have also tried out some new techniques. Here’s my top five tips for launching your own site:
Schedule a bunch of posts beforehand
It’s no good using all your energy building the site, then not having any content. Remember to schedule a collection of quality topics to launch the site with.
Launch with a bang!
During the very first week of Line25 it gathered plenty of traffic from the Line25 Launch Party, where a range of companies kindly offered prizes that were given away on the site. The contest cunningly asked readers to enter by posting out a tweet, or writing a post about Line25 on their site. The result was an amazing level of exposure which no doubt put the site in front of the right audience.
One high quality post is better than 3 average topics
I’ve always stuck to my one-post-per-week schedule with both my blogs, with each week’s topic being either an extensive roundup or a tutorial. Always try to create a post that covers everything the reader is likely to want to know. Additional filler posts such as weekly favourites or sites of the week are pretty easy to put together, and can help give exposure to other blog and website owners.
Stick a few social media buttons at the end of your posts
When I browse other blogs, I’ll always click all the voting buttons at the end of the article if it was a good read, but if there isn’t any, oftentimes the post might go without any votes other than the built in StumbleUpon button in my browser. Traffic is the life source of any website, so make sure you make it easy for readers to promote your content.
Optimise your website for search traffic
Search engines can provide consistent traffic once a site has become established. Setting up your WordPress permalinks and using plugins such the All in One SEO pack can seriously transform your blog into a spider magnet.
Finally, a huge thankyou to everyone who has stopped by and subscribed, and of course the advertisers who help keep the site active. Be sure to call back soon, hopefully some of the future posts will come in handy!