Monthly Reports: February 2014

Monthly Reports is a series where I share site stats and results from the previous month. I’ll also talk about where things are going in the future.

February is behind us and it definitely had it’s highs, lows and in-betweens. Traffic took an expected dip from last month – mainly because January had two insanely popular posts. Also in February I decided to write more about dealing with depression than affiliate marketing and apparently it doesn’t have the same appeal.

February was still a good month. There were a few big posts and organic traffic is growing strong. I launched amy first eBook, added a ton of new people to the newsletter and picked up some links from a few industry sites. I was also embarrassed in public by a fairly gigantic blogger on twitter. More on that below.

Let’s get into the details.

What Happened

Writing:
February was my most active month on the blog with total of nine posts, beating out January by one. The most popular (based on comments) was The Death of A/B Split Testing where I introduced my method called ‘A/A/B Progressive Split Testing’.

One of the funnier posts was based on a Twitter conversation I had with Shawn Blanc after he pointed out that my site looked awful on his mobile device. It was an embarrassing moment, but it also made for a funny blog post – so who cares.

I also launched a series of posts on Depression that go into things that I do to deal with it. There was a noticeable dip in traffic which says to me that I should probably steer the conversation back towards affiliate marketing. It’s all good. I know a little about that too.

Then there was the launch of my eBook ‘10 Decisions That Probably Saved My Life’ which is an extension of the popular post of the same name, which still holds the record for most Facebook likes (399) of any post on the site.

I added the eBook as a free gift for newsletter subscribers. That offer helped grow the newsletter faster than ever.

If you’re not on the newsletter, click here to subscribe.

Design:
I made some design tweaks to the site. My goal was to clean it up a bit. I was previously running on the default Genesis Framework theme. The new design was made with Dynamik website builder. A really sick child theme creator that allows me to create different looks on top of Genesis on the fly.

I’m also experimenting with the opt-in forms. Trying to find a way to have them on the site without getting in the way. What’s funny is that when I removed a few of the most hideous opt-in boxes my subscribe rate took a dive. Ugly works.

Website and Newsletter Stats

Overall:
February’s traffic was pretty steady. There was a small decline in overall numbers from last month – mainly because January had those two huge posts I mentioned earlier that each received more than double the traffic of other posts. (left side of the graph below)

jan-feb-growth

Organic:
Organic traffic is growing steadily. As I pointed out in other posts Google seems to love the WordPress + Genesis Framework + Yoast SEO combo.

organic

Referrers:
Here’s are the top 10 referrers. Really glad to see the new links coming in from affposts.com and ppc.bz. Thank you guys.

referrers

Newsletter:
I tested a new plugin called Autochimp that was supposed to automatically send new posts to my newsletter group. Unfortunately it also sent a new email out every time I updated an old post (which I did 3 times). It also sent blank emails due to an excerpt issue.

Sorry for the blank emails. It’s deactivated and dead.

Personal Notes

  • Bought a Kindle
  • Started using Hazel
    • The guys at @asianefficiency turned me on to Hazel, a great Mac app that organizes your files and folders for you on autopilot. Right now I’m using it to keep my desktop clean. I tell Hazel to move any desktop files that haven’t been touched in 3 hours to a folder. If I don’t touch them for 5 days they are deleted. It’s the coolest thing ever.
  • Hit 225 lbs on deadlift
    • As most of you know I’ve been experimenting with strength training 3x per week. I initially added weight as fast as possible which resulted in a severely sore back after every deadlift session. I decided to drop the weight down to 165 lbs, focus on perfect form and then slowly add weight from there. I’m happy to say that 4 weeks later I’m deadlifting 225 lbs for 8 reps with zero pain.
  • Campaigns are steadily growing
    • As I said in my $50/week post I switched focus this year from chasing giant, short-term campaigns to building smaller, long term and low maintenance campaigns. This experiment is going very well, the profits are steady and I’m a lot calmer this year than ever before. Which at this point in my career is almost more important than the money. (almost)
  • Live campaigns Facebook
    • In February I started posting screenshots of live campaigns and split tests on the Facebook page. If you’re a split-test geek like me these posts are for you.

What’s Next?

I’m excited about the future of the site. I’m only a few months into it and have a long way to go. I’m not thrilled with the design right now and will be updating it again soon. I’m going to start tracking how design effects performance (subscribes, shares, etc) and making decisions that seem to improve your experience.

I’m working on my writing skills and trying to focus on a more simplified style. My goal is to write shorter, more useful articles that give you specific ideas and instructions you can use right away in your online business and affiliate marketing campaigns.

I also have another eBook planned for release this year but it’s a little further down on the priority list.

Thank You

Running the site is a lot of work and a lot of fun. Thank you for coming to the site each week and interacting with the posts. Every comment, like, share and subscribe gives me the inspiration to keep writing.

I will share information here as long as there is interest. So when you stop by to read, let me know you’re here.

See you next month,
Malan

QUESTION: Do you have any suggestions for the site?

  • http://www.ppc.bz/ barman

    oh wow, ppc bz still has some clout?

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      Another interesting thing. Visitors from your site have one of the lowest bounce rates of all my referrers, right up their with my own newsletter clicks. Thanks again.

    • http://www.leanvertising.com/ Jason Brown

      Hey, PPC bz is also my 8th largest traffic source as well.

      • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

        it’s an epidemic 😉

  • lukepeerfly

    Happy to see you’re getting some affposts traffic! Keep up the great work man. Really enjoying your articles 🙂

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      Hey Luke – is affposts your site?

      • lukepeerfly

        I just logged into Disqus on another blog and saw your reply. Affposts was my site. I sold it earlier this year.

  • tee

    keep it going Malan, love your blog ! Thanks for sharing 🙂