This article gives an overview of how the first month of the blog went with insight in statistics from behind the scenes. It is mainly interested for people that read this blog or that are thinking of starting their blog.
Data & statistics
Post & page visits (what people viewed):
Referrers (where people come from):
Clicks (from the posts):
Monthly views and visitors:
I am quite happy with the visitors in the first month. The first article was listed on the curated blog list of Docker and appeared in the weekly newsletter. Furthermore, there are some comments on the article which was part of the intent to start a discussion on how to use Docker in Symfony. Unfortunately, it was not picked up on the list of the week of Symfony blogs.
The API platform article was a hit, and the primary traffic for this came from Hacker News and Twitter. Thanks for all the retweets and likes, this boost the number of times the article gets displayed in the timeline of people. In total, the tweet has 6.362 views with 379 interactions on Twitter. Traffic on this article continued during the month. It appears it has a decent page rank on search engines and people click on it from the search of Hacker News. I expect this article continues to get traffic over the coming months. Furthermore, I see that people engage with the material by clicking on the GitHub links, so I expect people to get some value out of it.
Other articles did not get a lot of exposure, but I expected that to happen as they are mainly valuable to me as a reference.
How this blog was created
I choose a self-hosted WordPress solution over SaaS alternatives like Medium. The main argument was to have the freedom to do whatever I want with the blog. Furthermore, it is not possible to be censored, and the blog will be easier to monetize.
The installed WordPress theme is Hestia. At the moment it suffices, but in the future, I might switch to a paid theme or create my own. Comments have to be approved by me before they are displayed but I am only censoring for spam which stopped around 20 spam comments. In the future, I might allow for account creation.
Monetizing the blog
I started to experience in ways I can monetize the blog. As a freelancer, I have to divide my time between writing articles and doing paid work. Therefore, it would be easier for me to justify writing articles when there is a potential for getting an income out of it.
The best method would be to get a somewhat steady stream of income from Patreon. However, it will require some work as people seem not to become a Patreon when it does not provide any added value. In the future, I could potentially give this value in the form of access to a closed community where I could give some technical support or advise. However, the blog should become more popular first before that would be worth the effort to think it through.
Another potential form is the Amazon affiliate program. When I want to refer to a book, and people buy it, I will get a small cut. I am planning to do some book reviews articles so it would be a potential source of income.
It surprised me how much I like to write these articles. I get a lot out of it, e.g., by discovering what a great community API Platform has. I am planning to continue writing articles on my day-to-day tasks (e.g., writing an API application), but I am also planning to discuss my views on some philosophical and political areas. For example:
- On frugality and investments
- On free will, religion and nihilismn
- On an universal basic income
- On a world of abundance
- On open source
Furthermore, I have some articles about previous work I did:
- About my master thesis on sentiment analysis in communities (2014)
- About setting up a mail server on Docker swarm with Mailu
- About multi-language in Drupal 8
- About working on Open Social
Please let me know if you have advice on how to move the blog forward or if you know of other topics on which I should write an article.