This post was originally a snapshot at 8 months, but after I wrote most of the post, WordPress decided that it didn’t want to save it and I lost an hours worth of writing. I got so pissed off that I and am now just getting back to it…

So this is a follow up to my post, Blog Snaphot At 4 Months, where I will discuss the growth, successes, and failures I’ve encountered thus far on my journey to build a profitable online business and get out of my life draining job!

What started out as a part-time venture has turned into something much, much more. The world of blogging has sucked me in and there is no escaping it. Nor would I want to.

With each passing day, I become more committed to the success of this blog. It’s no longer a question of “if” I can replace my day job income and quit, but “when”.

It’s only been 9 months, but I feel like I’ve been working on this for years. I have spent almost every free moment I’ve had working on creating a valuable and helpful resource.

Things have certainly been up and down and I ‘ve experienced some emotional days, but I can honestly say that I’ve never wavered on my goal. There has been no doubt that I am building this into a hugely successful business.

I’m a stats guy. I love looking at the numbers and seeing the actual growth of this blog. With that said, here are the charts from Google Analytics to show my last 30 days of traffic as well as since I began in October.

The Stats

Traffic: Last 30 Days

Top Traffic Sources: Last 30 Days

Total Traffic Since October 11, 2010

Top Traffic Sources Since October 11, 2010

Complete Stats

  • Total visitors: 38,538
  • Absolute unique visitors: 28,914
  • Page views: 70,009
  • Average page views per visit: 1.82
  • Average time on site: 2:31
  • Bounce rate: 68.70%
  • New Visits: 74.80%
  • Twitter followers: 1,314
  • Facebook “Likes”: 100 (created Facebook page only a month ago-took me long enough!)
  • RSS subscribers: 366 (fluctuates all over the place-damn you Feedburner)
  • Total posts: 123
  • Total comments: 2,019 (thanks, Adrienne!)
  • Average hours spent blogging each week: 20-25

A Deeper Look Into The Stats

Lets look at what’s been going on in terms of growth:

  • A few days ago, I finally reached 9,000 visitors in a single month. While this is a pretty good number, it could have been much higher. When I first started in October, I began guest posting on high traffic blogs like which was the main reason my blog grew so quickly.Β  What I should have done was to continue finding similar sites to write for but instead I stopped writing guest posts altogether. My last one was published on 3/14. Bad idea…
  • I have been receiving a significant amount of organic traffic from Google basically from just a few keywords. That traffic has killed my average time on site and bounce rate, both of which are pretty poor.
  • I just noticed (today) that I am getting a bunch of traffic from StumbleUpon. I don’t think I’ve even ever used it before. As you can see by the numbers, the time on site and bounce rates are lousy. And I still don’t know what post(s) got stumbled….
  • I’m also not crazy about having a 75% of my traffic come from new visits. Apparently I am not doing enough to keep my readers coming back.

I also have received Google traffic from 4,061 different keywords. I think I tried to rank for 25 or so. Among the list, here are my favorites:

  • “7 habits trail mix” ( Hmmm… maybe I should start selling this)
  • “7 habits torture” (don’t wanna know this guy…)
  • “graveyard jobs are bad” (no shit)
  • “goodbye, I’m ending it” (hopefully this wasn’t a suicide note)
  • “drinking quotes” (do we really need quotes to drink??)
  • “jobburn” (sounds like a pretty nasty rash or something)

I’ve also realized that blogging is not about the numbers. Sure, seeing 500 visitors come to your blog in one day is awesome, but it’s not about getting a ton of people to your site. It’s about finding people who actually give a shit about what you’re saying. That’s the key, The rest is just gravy….

Β Wins/Losses

This has been a pretty wild roller coaster ride for me so far. I’ve had many nights that I was so excited that I couldn’t sleep. I’ve also had days when things were going so poorly that all I wanted to do was sleep.

Let’s start with the wins…

  • My Podcast, which I started in May, has been an awesome experience. I’ve gotten to interview some amazing people, including Jonathan Mead, Johnny B Truant, and Seth Godin! I love the fact that I can pick the brains of these folks and share their knowledge with you all! By the way, don’t forget to subscribe to my Podcast in iTunes.
  • Allowing guest posts. This has been huge! As incredible as my writing is :-), it’s still inspiring to hear from others who are going through or have gone through dealing with the daily grind. I’ve read some amazing posts and feel fortunate to have so many people willing to share their stories with us all. I plan to keep em’ coming….
  • My Blog Review Service. It’s been great for the fact that I am offering a very helpful service which can really help bloggers who are stuck in a rut. On the other hand, it has not done well in terms of actual sales. The truth is that it doesn’t matter how incredible my service is if nobody is using it. The problem is that I assumed that people wanted this service. Apparently, I was wrong. I really feel like it can help new bloggers immensely and am working on marketing it better.
  • My comments. I’ve been pretty happy with the number of comments each post is getting. I feel like the community here is growing nicely and I’m getting to meet new people every day.
  • My Mastermind Group. Back in March, I started this group as a way to share ideas and get different perspectives from bloggers with varying levels of experience. There were 7 of us and it was very helpful. We used a free conference calling service aptly named to handle our weekly meetings. It lasted for several months but our schedules got busy and it dissolved. If you’re thinking of doing a mastermind group, just do it, it’s SO worthwhile! Oh, and try to get Tim Ferriss, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Seth Godin to be in yours….
  • Google love..finally. A few weeks back, my blog was upgraded from a Page Rank 0 to a PR 2. If nothing else, it makes me feel like I’m on the right track.
  • Niche sites. Well, future niche sites. I have decided to start one after I began reading Pat Flynn’s Niche Site Duel series. I’ve used Market Samurai and Google’s Free Keyword Tool to find the keywords, now I just need to start the site. It will be in the fitness niche, an area I am experienced in and very much enjoy. By the way, if you’re thinking of starting a niche site, you NEED to read Pat’s stuff.
  • The survey I posted yesterday. I wanted to add this in because the survey I published yesterday has provided me with some great insights into what you are thinking and what you want. This is invaluable for me and will allow me to provide you with the content and resources you are looking for. Thanks to everyone who has participated so far, I really appreciate it!

And now the losses…

  • My RSS subscriber count has been growing at an incredibly slow pace for 5 months now. This is not good. Here is a great article from Glen at Viperchill which discusses how to increase RSS subscribers. I think I need to read it again…
  • My guest posting strategy (and by strategy, I mean writing them) that I was using for the first 5 months has fallen by the wayside. I haven’t submitted a new guest post in months. I smell a guest posting bender coming up…..
  • My lack of writing. I’ve gotten so busy working on other things that my writing slowed to a crawl. I’ve been relying on guest posts too much, running two each week. Earlier this week, I recommitted myself to writing more articles and using fewer guest posts. I kicked this off by writing what I feel was my best post ever, Take Your Life Back. Or Don’t.
  • Time management. As most of you know, when things start taking off for you, there are a lot more things to do each day. I’m still working away from 9-5, teaching fitness boot camps, training clients, and spending 20+ hours each week on here. Oh yea, I also have a family that needs attention….
  • Twitter. I went from doing a 30 day Twitter experiment, to basically dropping out of the Twitterverse and using it solely to promote my posts. This is NOT the way to build followers or relationships. I know this yet I’m still doing it…stupid I know. Time to reconnect…..
  • Facebook. I still haven’t taken the time to learn how to effectively use it. I put off actually creating a page for months and even then, I paid someone to set it up for me because I didn’t want to put in the effort. Even with Pat Flynn’s awesome guide to Facebook, IΒ  just can’t seem to get interested in Facebook. Am I missing something here???

My Favorite Places Online

I spend a great deal of time online and have visited tons of blogs. I’ve found a number of excellent ones, but find myself going back to the same few over and over.

If you’re in a similar situation as I am, then you really should take some time to check out these blogs. They all have played a huge role in the growth of my blog and I’m soooo glad I have them as a resource.

  • Pat from Did I give it away with all the links to his posts already??? Pat is THE MAN when it comes to helping people get started with blogging. He is killing it and there is a very good reason for it! His posts are awesome, his Podcast is fantastic, and his video tutorials are incredibly helpful. Bloggers, you have to read this blog, period.
  • Ashley from Ashley is one of the most compelling writers I’ve found online. She’s witty, smart, and kicks some serious blogging ass. She has an incredibly loyal fan base and she deserves it. I had the chance to chat with her a few weeks ago and it was the best 90 minutes I’ve spent in a long time. My interview with her will be posted on Friday, so look for it.
  • Glen from Glen is an Internet marketing whiz. He’s a young guy but has had some incredible successes already. His posts are epic and if you’re not reading them, you are missing out big time.
  • Nick from Nick has created a great blog (and business) by building relationships. What I like most about him is his honesty and sincere desire to help others. He is truly one of the good guys out there.
  • Srini from I’ve learned so much from Srini’s Podcast interviews that I’m not sure I would be at the point I am right now if it hadn’t been for him. If you are looking to build an online business, you need to start listening to these Podcasts today!

My Favorite Free eBooks

I also happen to like reading eBooks about blogging/Internet marketing (especially free ones!). I’ve got dozens of them on my hard drive but unfortunately, most are just average. Here are the standouts:

  • The Zero Hour Workweek by Jonathan Mead. No opt-in

The Future of the Grinder

I can say with all honesty that I feel like the future holds unlimited potential for me and this blog. I’ve got some wonderfully supportive readers and online friends and absolutely LOVE what I’m doing!

My goal going forward is to continue to provide excellent content, creating new products/services, and keep you all inspired to take action on living your dreams.

Believe in yourself, you can do it. Seriously, you can.

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