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Reflections on ProBlogger Summer Series

All good things must come to an end and my two week holiday is almost over. We’re back at home after a great time away and I’ll gradually be resuming my blogging activities here at ProBlogger on Monday (there will be a couple more guest posts in the next two days).

Thanks to those who submitted posts for ProBlogger’s Summer/Holiday Series. I can say that without a doubt it’s been an incredible success on a number of levels.

Traffic

Picture 3-3

My last live post was Christmas Day and the guest posts kicked in midday on 26th. You can see for yourself the results (feels kind of strange to see your blog do so well when you ignore it!). A number of the posts (some of my own advance ones, but mainly guest posters) were picked up on del.icio.us, tech.memorandum and lifehacker (among others).

The secondary benefit of the increased traffic and large link ups is that the number of other sites linking to ProBlogger.net over the past two weeks has increased also. My ranking on Technorati has moved from 110 to 87 which is a result of two factors:

  1. Increased incoming links
  2. Less linking to other sites over the Holidays (ie when other blogs are less active there are benefits of having an active one yourself).

Blog Participation



The second thing I’ve enjoyed about the past two weeks (not that I was really here to see it) is the increased participation in ProBlogger by readers. This has been on two levels.

1. Guest Posters – Obviously the main area is that readers have been given a more prominent voice. I’ve had emails from a number of guest bloggers (I’m yet to wade through all 3000+ emails/comments from the last two weeks) saying they enjoyed the extra exposure, traffic to their own blogs and dialogue. This means that 15 or so people now have a slightly larger sense of belonging and ownership here at ProBlogger – something that I love.

2. Comments – A cursory look over the blog’s recent posts shows a fairly high level of commenting. This is probably for a number of reasons, ranging from their being less posts on the blog (this always increases comments per post averages), some people disagreeing with guest posters and some, increased traffic and people just enjoying the variety of voices on the blog.

Last time I left my blog in the hands of others I got a lot of feedback that people missed my voice and felt that there was too much inconsistency having others take over. This time I controlled the flow of my own posts and guest posts (via advance posting) and think I probably got a better mix as there has been no negative feedback yet (although I’m happy to hear it).

Good Break



I love ProBlogger – it’s a blog that gives me so much in terms of energy and inspiration. Having said that it also is a blog that takes a lot of time and energy to run. I put more time into this blog than any of my others.

As a result I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the break and greatly appreciate the work of those who submitted posts.

Tell me what you Think



I’d love to hear regular readers reflections on the past couple of weeks here at ProBlogger. I’m always trying to fine tune what I do and improve my blogging and part of this is to find better ways to manage things when I’m not hear. Give your honest feedback – I know that some will not have enjoyed the period as much as others and don’t have issues with hearing so.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. I enjoyed the guest posts — it made the site feel more like a hub for probloggers… not to say that I don’t enjoy your regular posts Darren. :-)

  2. Well, I’m fairly new, I’ve only been reading for about 3 weeks. However, the first week I found your blog I read A LOT of the archives, so I got fairly familiar with “your voice”. I have to say, I missed having you post. I liked that you popped back in from time to time with a post, even though I knew it was pre-written, I liked it. It felt like the blog came back to being grounded or something, I’m not sure how to express it. Anyway, all the guests were GREAT, I loved their posts, and I know you needed a vaca, so all in all, it was good.

  3. Hi Darren -

    A bit out of context but would you tell about the application that you use to create those cool graphs :)

    J

  4. Darren Rowse says:

    that graph is just the standard sitemeter stats package graph.

    The blue text and arrow were added to it using Keynote (an Apple presentation software package – like PowerPoint).

  5. 45n5 says:

    I prefer the darren posts but there were some good ones while you were away also. Welcome back.

    Blogconentsite: His graph is the standard sitemeter graph.

    Problogger Stats

  6. It seemed to work out well for you – I wish I could have had guest web designers to come in an do my job while I went on holidays!

  7. I liked the guest posts. I love reading your posts, Darren, but it was good to get exposed to some other bloggers I was not familiar with, and I got some good ideas from the guest posts too.

    Pat

  8. Thank you both. Appreciate the info.

    J

  9. For my part, I enjoyed writing for you, and maybe we’ll all get to do this again sometime. :)

  10. Tom says:

    Probloggers is the site we can visit during our holiday lull to get re-energized. You created a win win situation for you and your guest bloggers.

    Good on ya…

  11. Victor says:

    Welcome back Darren. I hope the time off finds you rested and ready to get back to writing some great content.

    I enjoyed the opportunity to write for Problogger. I also enjoyed reading the other guests’ posts as well; they were very informative and were interesting reads.

    Keep up the good work!

    Vic

  12. RC says:

    Nice stats graph, mine has about 500x smaller numbers, otherwise they look similar.. :)

  13. Welcome back, Darren. A rest is as good as a feast, I always say. Looking forward to more great problogging stuff in 2006.

  14. Dave says:

    Hi Darren, and welcome back. As one of the guest bloggers, I must say I enjoyed the extra exposure it gave, along with a general warm feeling of being part of a community.

    I also enjoyed the variety of posts, and the differing writing styles encountered, its always interesting to be able to compare styles when all the posts are centered around one topic (even one that can be as broad as problogging).

  15. Niranjan says:

    I enjoyed the guest bloggers and also went through many of your excellent archives.

  16. Lyndon says:

    Thanks for publishing my post Darren. Although I do not want to run a blog on Blogging. I like writing about it occasionally and sharing some of the knowledge I have collected.

    I would be very interested in more regular contributions. Something like they have at Performancing perhaps.

    I have an article on mind maps brewing and it needs to go somewhere.

    Anyway, welcome back and may 2006 be twice as profitable as 2005, lol.

  17. Alex says:

    The guest posters provided a good series of tutorials on topics you might not ordinarily write about (or at least I wouldn’t notice you writing about). But I definitely missed your posting frequency and the blog-related news.

    Also, I wonder if some of the traffic spike was due to picking up new readers when some guest posters linked to their posts. (Along with a general post-Christmas bump.)

  18. Nicole Simon says:

    I finally figured what bugged as wong me the whole time when reading your holiday posts – it is winter here, not summer! :o))

  19. Joe says:

    Welcome back Darren,

    Hope you had a good SUMMER vacation (I agree with Nicole).

    I enjoyed the guest bloggers, and the variety of their posts. You may want to continue this periodically, especially when you get writers block. LOL.

    Anyway, stay cool and welcome back.

  20. Christina says:

    Welcome back Darren. I too enjoyed all of the guest posts, there was something to be gained out of all of them. I was especially fond of Aarons, http://www.problogger.net/archives/2005/12/26/10-things-you-should-know-about-wordpress-20/ , very helpful stuff!

  21. Aaron says:

    Hey Darren– Welcome back to the land of the living. Brush off that suntan-induced peeling skin and get back to work. :) Thanks for letting me write for you. It’s been great. :)

    Aaron

  22. Thanks for letting me post! Glad to do it anytime.

    It was nice being exposed to some similar minded material by others

  23. Croak says:

    Ditto on the thanks. I didn’t do it for the exposure, just for the karma (which is a whole lot more valuable!).

  24. miscblogger says:

    It was great writting for you Darren! I enjoyed the increased traffic and the link (for SEO). II also loved to read other ProBloggers’ opinions, tips, and tricks. If there will be another guest post series, I am definately up for it! Welcome back!

  25. Russ says:

    I quite enjoyed the guest bloggers, as they revisited the ‘basic’ ideas of blogging, as well as some more advanced methods. It really made me try to be simpler in my ways, and not cramp my blog with additional gimmiks.

  26. adamsb says:

    I believe a thanks is in order!

    Much appreciation for you giving us the opportunity to contribute here while you were away.
    Glad to have you back-