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How Our Traffic Grew by 59% in 1 month: The July Stats From the Buffer blog

Screen Shot 2013-08-12 at 9.17.49 AMThe below was originally an email that was sent out to the whole Buffer team

So, powered by one of our 9 Buffer values – “Default to transparency”, we wanted to do the same here and be 100% transparent about our blog traffic in July

Quick summary

In July we published 16 posts on the blog, 4 of which were guest posts. Our blog traffic jumped by 59% from June, and our top post hit almost 30,000 unique views.

How did the blog do overall?

Total uniques: 341, 470 (compared to 213, 832 in June = 59% increase)
Email subscribers: 10, 369 (compared to 10, 472 in June = 0.9% decrease)

Note: I’m not entirely convinced these numbers are right, as there seems to be a lot of wavering in the subscribers report from day to day. Will need to do some digging into this with Leo (Note from Leo: Yep, we should probably move to Mailchimp or similar soon!)

  • Total posts: 16
  • Total posts republished: 3 (all on Lifehacker) 
  • Total in-house posts: 12
  • Total guest posts: 4

 

Top 3 referring sites: Facebook, Twitter, Lifehacker
Top 3 keywords: “body language,” “twitter symbols,” “twitter jail”

Which 3 posts performed best?

Ranked by number of unique visits, these are the three top posts from July. Note that the sharing stats are cumulative, so they include the first week of August as well, but the uniques are from July only.

The science of time perception: stop it slipping away by doing new things
780 tweets, 1.3k fb likes, almost 1k g+, 29k uniques

10 of the most counterintuitive pieces of advice from famous entrepreneurs
1500 tweets, 1.9k fb likes, 25k uniques

10 Surprising social media statistics that might make you rethink your social strategy 
2700 tweets, 1.7k fb likes, 900 buffers, 22k uniques

Experiments from July

1.) We added a text-based CTA at the bottom of each post that includes a link to email hello@bufferapp and my personal Twitter handle. This seemed to work well: I’ve noticed lots of people reaching out via Twitter and a couple via email:

post

2.) We added CTAs for readers to fill out the Wufoo form for Buffer for Business plans. 20% of the Wufoo entries in July came from the blog (20/75):

Screen Shot 2013-08-12 at 9.48.43 AM

3.) We added notifications for new blog comments into the Crafters room in HipChat:

Screen Shot 2013-08-12 at 9.49.39 AM

Questions and ideas that came up in July

1.) We might look into adding the email and Twitter CTAs into a more standard part of the blog, rather than as part of the text.

2.) The large volume of content we’re producing (5/week) isn’t working so well with our current layout. In the future we want to look at implementing a new style that helps readers continue reading and discovering our content, to build up the blog as a whole resource of knowledge and information.

Going forward

– Managing product/support-based comments on the blog. To start with, I’m going to mention Carolyn in the Crafters room whenever I notice one of these, and we’ll see how that works.

– Working on metrics for the blog with Michelle. Hoping to uncover some solid trends in terms of topics/keywords that lead to conversions, email signups, high social sharing, etc.

– Focusing on social media and business-based posts to convert Buffer for Business customers and life hacking, productivity and science-based posts for spreading the Buffer brand.

  • Amadi Bethel

    wow, this is great, how i wish i can gt a glimpse of how you did it.

    • LeoWid

      Hi Amadi, great point, we didn’t really go into detail there. The key change for us was that Belle came onboard as Content Crafter and she produced 3-5 posts a week in July (compared to 1-2 in June), so really it was amount of content that drove the extra traffic for us!

      • chexton

        So a ~2.5x increase in the content output led to a 59% increase in traffic (and is going beyond in the future reports). This is really great as it’s something we’ve been tackling at the moment: whether to double output or not. These sorts of breakdowns make great content in themselves.

  • Hahaha! Wow, you’re good. I actually clicked on the screenshot of the CTA :-D

    • LeoWid

      Haha, that is awesome Douglas – that reminds me, maybe we should link that to Buffer for Business actually!

      • Yes, yes you should.

        • LeoWid

          haha, done, thanks for the nudge here Dharmesh! :)

  • Mind sharing how you connected Disqus and HipChat?

    • LeoWid

      Ah good one Mike! I think we might actually be using Zapier from this, funnily enough @WadeFoster:disqus is the Co-founder and commented above! http://zapier.com

      • Rob Stretch

        Haha @WadeFoster:disqus is a good guy.

        Good post guys.

  • Great post! Would love to hear more about how the blog funnels into conversions/upgrades for Buffer itself. :-)

    • LeoWid

      Hi Wade, great point! That’s actually something we’re nailing down right now, keep an eye out for the August update on this! :)

  • James Clear

    Clarification: did you add 10,369 new email subscribers in June from 341k uniques? Or is your total list size at 10,369 now?

    • LeoWid

      Hi James, great point, so this is the overall email subscriber count we have right now!

      • James Clear

        Awesome. Thanks for sharing so openly Leo!

  • Native American Tea

    Buffer has easily become our favorite new tool for social media.

  • Super helpful hearing the specifics of what ya’ll are trying. I’m convinced there is no “magic sauce” but rather a steady stream of try and fail identifying what works best for your readership. Really appreciate your blog though. I have instructed my intern to read it this month :-)

  • Victor

    Thanks for sharing this. Can you also clarify what percentage of your traffic that came from the Lifehacker guest posts?

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