Buffer blog stats and ideas for December 2013: 493,253 Uniques, 16,518 Email Subscribers

It’s been a very interesting month for the Buffer blog in December, 2013. We’ve  made a few changes to the content we publish, how we work as a team and are hiring a new content crafter right now.

Let’s dig into some of the most exciting things happening:

Quick Summary

In December we had 493,253 unique visitors, a little less than in November. Overall, that’s been an interesting trend to observe, which we’ve documented a bit more further down under “ideas”.

How did the blog do overall?

  • Total uniques: 493,253 (-7% from Nov)
  • Total posts published: 13 (-2 posts from November) (8 in-house, 4  posts from Joel, 1 guest post)
  • Total posts republished: 13 (TheNextWeb, Lifehacker, Fast Company, Huffington Post, Business Insider)
  • Top 3 referral sites: Facebook (58,471 uniques), Reddit (25,349), StumbleUpon (15,819). Here’re all top 10:

Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 3.35.39 PM

 

  • Top 3 keywords: “how to make yourself happy,” “best time to post on Instagram,” “best time to post on Facebook,”
  • New email subscribers1,532 (-17% from Nov)

Here is our traffic graph from December. What’s interesting here, is that towards the later 2 weeks of December, with Christmas and New Year approaching, we saw a natural dip in traffic, as well as less published articles from our end, which helps understand the decline in traffic for December:

Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 3.39.04 PM

 

Which 3 posts performed the best?

10 Simple Things You Can Do Today That Will Make You Happier, Backed By Science

70,334 uniqes, published in August

Why We’re More Creative When We’re Tired and 9 Other Surprising Facts About How Our Brains Work

55,900 uniques, published in November

8 Surprising New Instagram Statistics to Get the Most out of the Picture Social Network

40,160 uniques, published in October

Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 3.42.24 PM

Ideas and thoughts from December

  • Our traffic overall was lower this month, which, coinciding with Christmas and the holidays was partially expected, as can be seen in the last two weeks.
  • We started a series with articles from Joel, CEO here at Buffer, which has had some great success, grabbing more than 30,000 uniques combined. It’ll be interesting to continue with business and lifehacking advice from Joel.

Ideas for looking ahead to January

  • Focusing less on visits, more on conversions: We’ve had a terrific brainstorming session with one of our most valuable advisors, Hiten Shah. One of the things Hiten mentioned to us is to focus slightly more on getting better conversions from our blog to signup. We’re going to make this more of a focus, instead of general hits to the blog
  • Focusing less on lifehacking, more on social media, blogging, email marketing content: About 1 year ago, we made a big change to the blog’s direction with more lifehacking content. Whilst this still works really well for us we’re starting to double down more on social media and other marketing content. I envision a split of 70% social media and other marketing content and 30% business advice, lifehacking content, etc. Of course, this is all subject to our results from tracking conversions better, especially with the new Buffer for Business we have in place.
  • Hiring more team members for the content marketing team: We’re currently looking for the next Content Crafter at Buffer, which will be a key focus in January, to get Belle some help with cranking out awesome content.

I think this’ll be an exciting time for the Buffer blog in 2014, with tons of new things coming up and a new, closer social media focus.

Oh and the last thing, a big highlight for us was Google Analytics retweeting our article about Google analytics:

 

  • sivanco

    As usual you guys rock sharing what intuitively makes sense not to! Quick question regarding Reddit and StumbleUpon. I see that they are bringing you a lot of traffic. Do you submit the posts yourselves or do your readers do?

    • LeoWid

      Hi Sivan, great question, we actually don’t do anything there, luckily a lot of our readers submit these articles! :)

      • sivanco

        Amazing! I’m in awe by how what you’re doing is totally setting a new industry standard. Come back soon to visit us in Tel Aviv!

  • http://tomgibson.eu/ Tom Gibson

    Quick heads-up: You’ve put “best time to post on Instagram,” twice in the keywords section :-)

    • LeoWid

      Thanks a bunch Tom, just updated that! :)

  • http://www.wpcurve.com/ Alex McClafferty

    Love the transparency!

    • LeoWid

      thanks Alex! Hope some of the other posts here on the Open blog are interesting too! :)

      • http://www.wpcurve.com/ Alex McClafferty

        You bet! Belle Beth joined us at Content Club to talk about what it’s like to work as part of the Buffer team – it was very useful and actionable. We try to keep it real as well, I’d love you to check out http://thedannorris.com/december-monthly-report/ to see what I mean :)

  • http://workado.com/ Justin McGill @ Workado

    Great insights as usual from you guys. Always good to see a roadmap like this!

  • http://www.antavo.com/ Zsuzsa Szabo

    I love to read about your progress. Great inspiration Leo.

  • http://www.patricksearle.com/ Patrick Searle

    Great post, love how your doubling down on the social media led content given your new strategic direction + focusing on Conversions vs. Visits.

    One area however which you don’t talk about (and which given Buffer’s thoughts on transparency means I guess you don’t have) is Paid Media.

    Right now the majority of your traffic comes from owned media (i.e. Website, FB/Twitter/G+ Followers) and earned media (i.e. republished posts), but so as to ramp up revenue growth (which you can also find in the previous post ;)) have you thought about experimenting with highly targeted paid media on Google, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin & other sites?

    Could perhaps be a fun monthly experiment, ramp up conversions and lead to more owned media i.e. Example title being: Buffer Paid Media Experiment: The results are in US$XXX gives you a XXX% bump in ROI ;)

    • LeoWid

      Hi Patrick, great idea and you’re certainly a mind-reader! We’re starting to double down on paid acquisition for sure these next few months.