Friday, 22 August 2014

Small Business Progress Update: August 2014

Regular readers of this blog will know that I have tried for several years to set up my own small business.  It has been far more challenging than I first imagined but then two months ago I finally got my new business up and running.  It is an Investment Banking blog (I've linked to it here) and my approach with this blog will be much more commercial (over time) than the current blog you are on which is much more personal in nature.

When I first mentioned that my new blog was running I mentioned that I would do periodic reports on how it was performing so here goes...

The first month was not what I had hoped for...

I had a plan for the blog which involved building up the readership in a slow and steady fashion and although it has had spurts of has been much slower and not as steady as I would have liked.  Here are some stats from the first full month of operation (July 2014):
  • 40 users looked at the blog in 125 separate sessions
  • There were 730 different page views
  • The bounce rate (the # of people that go to a page and leave after that page) was 44% (which is not bad actually)
  • The newsletter I set up has 7 subscribers
The problem is that I am one of those users and I'm pretty sure a fair few of those page views was me making sure that everything was looking and working as it is meant to.  It is really hard when there are only a few viewers of the blog to know what is really happening because you skew the results so much.

...I had forgotten how much effort it takes to actually get a blog going...

Blogs are hard work especially at the start...and I had forgotten this.  This blog has been running for ~3 years and I had forgotten how long it took to get off the ground.  For the first 6 months of this blog I'm pretty sure that I was the only one reading it.  

I thought that with the new blog I would be able to speed up this process a little...and I have but it has been a much slower process than I originally thought.

The biggest problem is that I'm not getting the word out

I confess one of the biggest reasons the blog hasn't picked up as much as I had hoped was that I have not marketed it as I had planned.  To market the blog I want to make sure that everything is perfect however there is quite a lot of design work that I still have to get done.  I was originally going to do this myself but realised that I was wasting time on this and I should just outsource this. Having outsourced some of the work I am hoping to start marketing it more aggressively by the end of this month.

...but I am quietly confident that it will start to pick up soon...

One of the best things about setting up a second blog is that I know that things will eventually pick up.  I am not going to give up on this idea.  Maybe if it is still lagging in 12 months I will decide to cut my losses and move on but there is a whole lot I can do before then.

So what is the plan for the next few months?
  1. Get all the design work bedded down - until I do this I'm not going to want to market it as aggressively as I would like to
  2. Start marketing the blog both to friends and on the internet
  3. Start getting more active on social media - there are some bloggers who use social media really well.  I'm not one of them and this is something I need to do more.
Have any questions about my blog?  Post below or shoot me an email and I'd be happy to chat about it with you!

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