It’s now New Years Eve here in Australia so I thought it appropriate for a few reflections on the year gone by here at ProBlogger and a brief look forward at 2006 (with a few hints at what’s in store for me).
2005 was a year that went beyond many of the expectations that I had for it on many levels. I remember writing some goals for the year back in January and feeling the potential that lay ahead for us – but what I wrote was nothing in comparison to what actually came to be.
On a personal level the year included many highlights including a wonderful trip through parts of Europe, buying our first home, growing our church community from 1 to 3 groups and marrying 8 couples.
In terms of business and blogging things were just as massive. Many of the highlights (and a few low lights) have focussed around ProBlogger which has become the blog that I own which I’m most proud of (and addicted to).
In terms of performance it’s been a great year. Here are a few stats that I’ve just found as part of my annual review:
Unique Visitors (over last 15 months) – 670,000+
Page Views (over last 15 months) – 1,540,000+
Total Posts – 1814 with around 1500 written this year (although there will be a few more by the time this goes live)
Comments – 14263 (and counting)
Lattes Drunk – 730 (estimate for 2005)
There’s also been a lot of kind recognition from around the blogosphere with many kind links from bloggers (too many to mention) and even a few award nominations. Following are some of the current rankings of ProBlogger on a variety of Blog Services and Tools:
Feedster Top 500 Blogs – 129th
Blog Pulse – consistently in top 100 (69th today)
Technorati – hovering just outside their top 100 (today at 102)
Pub Sub – regularly in their top 1%
Alexa – ranked 7327th (3 month average) or 4305th today
Truth Laid Bear – ranked 242 for traffic and 663 in ecosystem
Statistics, awards and rankings are not what blogging is about though and are secondary to the two things that I’m most proud of at ProBlogger. Firstly I’m proud of the community and shared learning that goes on here. I’m constantly being told by readers that they appreciate the discussion that happens in comments. I’ve toyed for months with the idea of forums to enhance this but to this point have left it happen in comments (perhaps if there were two of me forums would eventuate). Thanks to each person who has contributed to the increased knowledge bank of ProBlogger by leaving a comment or submitting a link or tip.
Secondly I’m proud of the growing levels of content in ProBlogger’s archives. As I mention above we’re closing in the the magical 2000 posts level. While a lot of it is newsy and quite time related there are also a lot of posts that are making a contribution to helping many bloggers find ways to improve their blogs and even earn a living from blogging.
I always find it difficult to know how to showcase the posts in my archives – I’ve previously ranked some of my favorite posts in my ProBlogger Turns 1 post but today thought I’d put the ranking in the hand of you the reader and report which posts were the most read this year. The following list is the 40 most read posts on ProBlogger for 2005.
- Earning Milestones
- Chitika eMiniMalls – How much do they Earn Me?
- Adsense Tips for Bloggers 1
- How Much do I earn from Blogging?
- How Bloggers Make Money from Blogs
- What is a Blog?
- I’m a Six Figure Blogger
- Shoe Blogs Six Figure Blogger
- Earning a Six Figure Income from Blogging
- ProBlogger Slashdotted
- Adsense Tips for Bloggers 2 – Is Your Blog Suitable for Adsense?
- Chitika eMiniMalls Review
- Look What Blogging Bought Me
- 11 Tips to Increase Page Views of your Blog
- Adsense Tips for Bloggers 4 – Increasing Traffic
- Adsense Tips for Bloggers 5 – High Paying Ads
- 31 Days to Building a Better Blog
- Chitika eMiniMall Tips
- Converting one off readers to your blog to Regular Readers
- ProBlogger Turns 1
- How the Most highly visited blogs earn money
- Adsense Tips for Bloggers 7 – Well Placed and Designed Ads
- 20 Types of Blog Posts – Battling Bloggers Block
- Blog Case Study – Is it Time to Quit?
- Adsense Tips for Bloggers 6 – Relevant Ads
- Adsense Tips for Bloggers 8 – Miscellaneous Tips
- Adsense Developing Fully Customizable Ad blocks
- Principles of Choosing a Profitable Blog Topic
- Network Blogging vs Individual Blogging
- Positioning Your Adsense Ads
- The Importance of Title Tags in SEO
- Adsense Optimization Tips – BuzzMachine
- Monkey Bar Blogging
- Blogging Stories – How Blogs Change Lives
- A list of Business Blogs
- Social Bookmarking – Getting your Blog Noticed
- WordPress Plugins for ProBloggers
- 10 Tips for Using Affiliate Programs on your Blog
- Search Engine Optimization for Blogs
- Lessons from a Goose
In addition to these posts – the following three categories also got significant levels of traffic this year.
I quite often talk about how ProBlogger.net is nowhere near the most lucrative blog in my stable of blogs in terms of advertising dollars. This is still true – but there is increasingly some wonderful (and potentially lucrative) opportunities coming from writing this blog. A number of great parterships and friendships have emerged from ProBlogger this year including:
- b5media – the initial partnership with Jeremy and Duncan (added to by Shai in more recent times) has been quite an amazing journey.
- six figure blogging – Andy and I discovered each other in the middle of this year and quickly developed our first course together. I suspect it won’t be our last.
On the Flip Side – I won’t pretend it’s been a completely wonderful year this year. In the midst of the many reasons to celebrate have been a number of real challenges for me and for ProBlogger. There have been a few times where I felt like giving up and moments of wondering what the point was. I learned this year that while blogging can be a wonderfully community minded endeavor that it can also at times be a place of attack, bitchiness and selfishness. I’ve not always been just the victim of this and hope I’ve come out of it as a better person.
2006 and Beyond - Someone asked me today what 2006 holds in store for me in terms of business and I had great difficulty in answering them. This is for a number of reasons. In part it is because there are a few projects that I’m working on (a couple in collaboration with others) that are not ready for public announcement. The other part of it is that I’m about to embark on a two week break (I’ll be on it by the time you read this) where I’m going to be spending some time (at the end of it) working out some goals and plans for the year ahead.
Sometimes it takes getting out of the craziness of life to be able to see it with perspective. It is my hope that the next few weeks will bring some clarity to the next steps.
Lastly 2006 looks like it’s going to be the year that my life changes considerably on a personal front as in June we’re expecting our first child. I am so excited about this news on many fronts (and also a little fearful)! I’m certain it’s going to change every aspect of my life in ways that I’m sure I’ve not even thought of yet – but it’s a journey I’m looking forward to immensely.
Happy New Year – I hope this post hasn’t been too cheesy or arrogant. I’ve actually found it quite therapeutic to write. Sometimes at this end of a year it’s easy to be a little glum in the midst of one’s tiredness but I realize that I’m in an incredibly fortunate and lucky position and have much to be thankful for.
So I’d like to finish this post with thanks – thank you to my family (V especially), to my partners in blogging, to readers of all my blogs, to partners in advertising and affiliate programs and to the many of you who have gone out of your way this year to drop me an email or comment (and a few of you even a card) of encouragement. I do appreciate you and hope that you all have a great celebration tonight and happy and safe new year.