A look back on my first 100 blog posts

I have been writing this blog on and off for nearly four years now. I noticed last week I had broken the 100 published posts barrier which got me thinking about the past four years.

I started this blog pretty much as a direct response to another marketing blog that continues to frustrate the hell out of me. I won’t name the blog because I’ve no interest in making anything personal, but it wraps up vague, generic thoughts in to claims he is providing helpful, practical advice.

There is literally nothing you can take away from the blog other than hollow statements such as “Customers are important, so make sure you treat them as being important”. I can feel myself getting worked up as I write this!

This gave me the motivation to start a blog with the complete opposite values. I wanted to write practical blog posts, with specific ideas and tips that small businesses could apply straight away.

I think I have achieved this.

 

Peaks and troughs

As is the case with a lot of personal blogs, during these four years I have gone through periods of not writing a great deal (or not at all), and other periods where I’ve been writing almost every day.

This is where the advice of writing about what you love really comes true. Finding the energy and time to write takes a lot of effort sometimes.

It makes is much easier if you are writing about a topic you already have a passion for.

About 18 months ago I settled in to a nice routine of targeting at least 2 new posts per month. This regularity and consistency led to an almost instant boost in page views and subscribers.

Each year I break the previous year’s record for number of visits to the site. In 2014 traffic was up 228% on 2013, which was up 139% on 2012.

So far this year I’m on course to break it again. In the first 3 months of 2015 I have already has as many visitors as all of 2013.

The evolution of the themes

This is the fourth version of the blog. I was never terribly happy with the first two WordPress themes I chose, and I felt there must be better.

When I came across the theme that was to become version 3 I knew it was a big improvement and loved how my blog looked.

This would remain my theme for a couple of years, and I was more than happy with it. That was until I came across this current theme, which is version 4.

I fancied a change, simply for changes sake, so one evening I bit the bullet and bought this new theme. It took a few hours to make the necessary changes to images etc. but it wasn’t as time consuming as I had thought.

Almost immediately my bounce rate halved, the amount of time people spent on the blog doubled and the average number of pages viewed went up by 10%.

Clearly V3 wasn’t as good as I thought it was!

My top posts so far

In order, here are the most read posts so far. I think a few of these have benefited from just that fact they’ve been around for a long time:

Writing a marketing strap line that means something
5 lessons to learn from McDonalds’ marketing
30 online marketing quick wins you can do right now
Why sponsoring local events should be in your marketing plan
Tips on how to create effective remarketing banners
How to run a survey & get data you can use
Why I love using BuySellAds
As an advertiser, why I dislike cash back websites
A career in marketing
7 questions to ask a web designer pitching for your business

When I look back at the content I was publishing in 2011 compared to now I think this blog has come on by leaps and bounds.

I’m not a huge fan of a lot of the early stuff, but I am very confident and happy with most of the posts from the past couple of years.

Thank you for reading!

If you are a regular reader, if you have subscribed to my newsletter or this is the first time you’ve come here, I would like to say thank you for taking the time to do so. I honestly appreciate it.

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