State of the Blog Report

As this will be the last post of 2007, I will take the opportunity to indulge in some shameless navel gazing about how The Examined Life  has done since its relaunch on August 14

  • We have been averaging about 20 posts a month, which is about right if one is talking of long posts, but not enough short posts.
  • I am happy with the quality of the posts. If you guys don’t like it, why are you sticking around?
  • I haven’t covered the variety of subjects I intended to write on.
  • I haven’t launched the sub-blogs I wanted to.
  • I have been too lackadaisical about starting new series and not following up on them. 

I seem to have collected a good number of readers. My posts are commented upon, and people seem to argue over them, which I suppose is as much as one can hope for. 

  • My Google Analytics account tells me that I get over 200 visitors on a typical weekday.
  • But over half of them come from search engines searching for terms that I don’t wish to repeat here for fear of reinforcing those search results.
  • Around 20% of my visitors come to my site directly and around 7% visit from either Google Reader or Bloglines.
  • Around 18% come from various referring sites. 
  • I have around 180 subscribers on Google Reader. I don’t use feedburner, which means that I have no way of knowing how many subscribe to my feed from Bloglines or other feedreaders.  But my Google Reader-Bloglines split on visits is 60:40. If I can extrapolate, I should be having 120 Bloglines readers and 300 people who subscribe to my feeds, assuming that I can ignore other feedreaders – and I am sure that assumption is only partly right.
  • I wish there was some way of knowing how many subscribers actually read my posts.  I myself have a huge subscription list on my Google Reader, but read very few of them and my only interaction with most of my subscriptions is to mark them as read periodically.

In general, it seems to me that while there is a lot of data on page views and visitors, all of which is useful to anyone interested in page views, visitors and google adsense revenues,  it is difficult to extract from these information of the kind I want – how many engaged readers I have, and how they read my blog, how regularly, etc.  But I think that it is fair to draw some inferences:

  • Most people read my blog from feedreaders.
  • A visitor from a search engine is generally not a prospect to be converted into a regular reader. Most people who come to this site from search engines end up wasting their time and my bandwidth.
  • A visitor from a referring site is a better prospect. I have no way of knowing how many get converted to regular readers.
  • Old posts rarely get read. The decay rate is very high. Most posts get all their readers within two days of being posted.

All these give me some interesting ideas about what to do about my blog’s design, layout and style. All of these will be unveiled over the next few days.  In the mean time, thanks for writing and please come again!

4 thoughts on “State of the Blog Report

  1. I got converted into a reader from Sandeep’s referral a couple years back, before your hiatus.

    Oh and can’t wait for the next banking article.


  2. You are truly liberal in the way you treat your critics. I can’t say that for most self-professed liberals. Hats off to you.

    Have a happy new year!

  3. Don’t. Don’t screw with the kind, style, tone or anything of your posts. The layout doesn’t bother me in the least. Your style does, in as much as it applies to your writing.

    FYI, I read all your old posts. At least once a month.

  4. The number of regular commenters gives you a lower bound for the number of engaged readers, no? Revealed preferences.

    But this is likely to be an underestimate. And the size of the underestimate is proportional to the seriousness of the topics you discuss, and the seriousness of the commenters you draw.

    Btw, on navel gazing. Has yours become deeper and more hairy this year?

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