Quick Summary

We didn’t publish any content for an entire week after we were hacked at the end of October. This affected our traffic numbers, which dropped 2% compared to September. On the upside, we got 55% more email subscribers than we did in September.

How did the blog do overall?

  • Total uniques: 547,339 (-2% from Sep)
  • Total posts published: 15 (9 in-house, 6 guest posts)
  • Total posts republished: 4 (TheNextWeb, Lifehacker, Fast Company)
  • Top 3 referral sites: Facebook (84,374 uniques), Twitter (36,761), Fast Company (15,127)
  • Top 3 keywords: “sunday – best of the web,” “how to make yourself happy,” “habits of successful people”
  • New email subscribers: 2,249 (+55% from Sep)

Read full September update

Which 3 posts performed the best?

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

137,260 uniqes, published in August

8 Common Thinking Mistakes Our Brains Make Every Day and How to Prevent Them

42,300 uniques, published in September

A scientific guide to posting Tweets, Facebook posts, Emails and Blog posts at the best time

28,040 uniques, published in August

Notes from October

  • The week after we were hacked, we didn’t publish any new content on the Buffer blog. It was interesting to see the impact of this on our traffic: our weekly average of unique visitors in September was 112,470. The week we didn’t publish any content overlapped with the end of October and the start of November, but for the last week of October our unique visitors dropped to 69,870. I’d say this points to the importance of consistently publishing new content, though it could also have to do with everyone’s attention being drawn to the hack and how we were dealing with that.

attack

  • I started following the official blogs of Twitter and Facebook, where they announce new features. It turns out these offered great content this month, as both networks had added several minor updates that a lot of users didn’t know about.
  • As Google makes more and more keywords “not provided”, it’s proving more complicated to dig out our most popular keyword phrases. I imagine that eventually we’ll stop adding these to the report at all.
  • Since moving our email subscribers to MailChimp, finding out our stats for each monthly content report is much easier. This has been a really good move for us.
  • 5 out of the top 9 posts were list-based roundup-style posts, including the top three mentioned above.

Looking ahead to November

We set two major goals for the blog a couple of months ago: 25,000 email subscribers and 1 million unique visitors per month. We didn’t hit either of these—current numbers are 14,000 email subscribers and ~550,000 uniques per month. This week Leo and I will set some new goals for the end of the year.

Something we’ve talked about often is how we test multiple headlines for each post on the blog. This is something we want to refocus on, testing at least two headlines for each post, and brainstorming at least five options before we choose which ones to test.