I want to talk about this blog. Yes, it has been said Meta Is Murder, and I generally agree with that post. However, I originally started this blog to motivate myself in my personal software development and learn about internet publishing. This post will be about the latter (in the form of this blog) and a later post will deal with the former.
Since the first post 20 months ago on February 5th 2008, there have been 71 posts on this blog. An average of 3.5 per month. There has been a single comment and a single trackback (although there have been many spam versions of both, but I deleted them). I also set up Google Analytics and Adsense to track visits. At first very few people visited the blog - 20 visitors in the first months, 3 of whom were me! Since then the number of visitors has slowly increased. As of midnight yesterday there have been a total of 14,000 unique vistors resulting in 19,000 page views. The below statistics are for the last month.
The most popular blog posts are the technical ones. Around 55% of the traffic comes to 3 pages: Installing Sphinx & Ultrasphinx on Windows; Multiple Attachments with Validations In Rails with Paperclip with-vali.html; and, the Prototype Tooltip Library. The rest of the top ten are also all technically based. People mainly find these pages through Google - a full 76% of visitors originate from a Google search. Note my specification of Google, all other search engines combined account for 1% of visits.
One month stands out as particularly exceptional. After publishing Multiple Attachments with Validations In Rails with Paperclip I sent an email to the Ruby Envy guys and they made a positive mention of the article (that was a real buzz). The result was immediate, noticeable and unfortunately short lived. The blog went from around 40 visits a day to over 300 in a single day. This is the only promotion of the blog I have done.
So how much money does advertising on the blog generate? Not much. I have made a total of £3.09 through 20 clicks on ads. This is a Click Through Rate of 0.11, which is about right as I’m told one should expect a rate around 0.1. Last month was the best month ever - making £0.81. Long may that continue. At that rate I will be able to cash out the money earned in just under 6 years (minimum balance of £60 before actually being paid any money).
The short lesson is write technical articles that are easily found through Google and self-promote.