Posted by: Jim Adcock | June 27, 2011

A Little Analysis Is Good For The Soul

I’ve been focused more recently on my main blog, Working It Out, and a few side projects, including helping my daughter get her blog up and running.

It has been a rewarding time.  My side projects have been going well, Emilia’s blog is doing well and she’s all fired up about writing, and Working It Out has been doing very well.

In the vein of “write what you know”, I’ve been writing about my current project, a governance plan for the SharePoint 2010 implementation that we are preparing for.  Unsurprisingly, given the impact that SharePoint has had on businesses (and how easy it is to get SharePoint wrong), governance has been a hot topic recently, and that has translated into quite a few page views, and a few lessons as well.

There were two past sets of postings that produced similar spikes.  A year ago, at the end of June 2010, I published my “most controversial post ever“, It’s No Secret – Optimism In the Job Search.  The promotional push gave me my biggest day to that date, as well as making June and July the two biggest months to that date.

In October 2010, I did a daily series for a week about the Secrets of the Successful Jobseeker.  That series blew the doors off my previous records, moving my biggest day of No Secret to the number three spot, and also taking fourth, fifth and sixth, too.  October was more than the page views of June and July combined.  This, too, was heavily promoted, and benefitted from being a multi-day, multi-post push – there was new promotion every day for a week, readers who read the first post and liked it came back again, and again, and again (and again, and again, and again) during that week.

Lessons learned – provocative sells, as does promotion + frequency.

At the same time I was quietly (and not-so-quietly) building up my inventory of other posts, mostly about SharePoint, tackling issues that I hadn’t seen posted anywhere else, or combining solutions found elsewhere with other ideas to create something functional.  This inventory of content provided a growing baseline of daily hits, page views from people searching for the content I provide.

So this month I started to tackle the governance posts.  I had no idea it would turn out into five posts – my original thinking was maybe two or three.  This series, like my series on a solution to provide automated site creation and provisioning, was posted as I completed each post.  By contrast, my series on Secrets was preplanned as a seven day series, with everything mostly written before I started posting, and the weekend dip taken into account.

Because the posts weren’t clustered as closely together as the Secrets series, the intensity of the page views was lower, but the overall effect was just as strong, or stronger. 

(Lots of geeky stats plus some conclusions after the break!)

Comparison of October 2010 to June 2011

  October 2010 June 2011
  New Posts Page Views New Posts Page Views
New Non-SharePoint 7 1597 0
New SharePoint 3 214 5 1628
Older Non-SharePoint   365   762
Older SharePoint   968   1264

Top 10 Biggest Days

Rank Count Date Run
1 469 10/11/2010 Secrets
2 355 10/7/2010 Secrets
3 343 6/23/2011 Governance
4 291 6/15/2011 Governance
5 273 6/9/2011 Governance
6 247 6/29/2011 Governance
7 229 6/28/2011 Governance
8 221  6/29/2010 No Secret 
9 213 10/6/2010 Secrets 
10 211 10/12/2010 Secrets

Stats last updated 7/1/2011, reflecting data through 6/30/2011.

So, some conclusions:

  • Content still matters.  Check!  (Interesting content got my post retweeted quite a bit)
  • Having an inventory of content matters. Check!  (Gives other readers a reason to be on your site)
  • Promotion matters. Check!  (If you build it, they won’t know what exit to get off the highway at unless you have a billboard)
  • Posting frequency matters. Check!  (The more, the merrier)
  • Having a defined audience matters. Check!  (Shooting accuracy is helped by having a target)
  • Provocative… hmm, here is something interesting… (coming tomorrow!)

Jim Adcock is a SharePoint Administrator, and blogs about SharePoint at his main blog, Working It Out. He is also Vice President of Launch Pad Job Club, an organization in Austin, Texas, whose mission is help people who have lost their jobs to get the skills they need to land their next job, and to help them cope with the interim between jobs. Consequently, Jim also blogs about career management. He also serves as Secretary on the Austin Software Process Improvement Network Board of Directors. He also wants to know why everyone keeps asking him about sleep…

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