State of the Blog: October, 2007

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It’s time for another one of those updates on Theme Playground’s activity and successes/failures. I started this last month, and had a pretty good reception. Time to do it again!

Kickin’ the Habit

One thing I tried heavily to avoid this month was: checking statistics. I didn’t look at my Analytics reports, my Feedburner number, or my Crazy Egg tracking statistics. For this month, I told myself I would concentrate on (when I could) blogging and only blogging. Whether or not this had a success or not (sometimes life doesn&rsqou;t allow me the time to stick with it) is to be determined, but it definitely gave me a certain ease of mind to not have to check them every day.

One advantage of only looking at statistics at the end of the month is that the statistics actually show some very valuable information. I think, oftentimes, we get too close to some information and lose touch with the importance of said information. In this case, I think taking a couple of steps back shows me a trend that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Consider that looking at your numbers everyday shows you the status from one day to the next, but not from one month to the next. I think I’ll be sticking to this method.

Subscribers and Visitors

Feed Subscriber Chart for October of 07

I broke the 400 subscriber mark in October, and am now sitting comfortably in the 440 range. This is very exciting, especially considering that Theme Playground is only a few months old.

Analytics Chart for October of 07

Theme Playground felt a jolt around the beginning of October, pulling in over 12,000 visits in a week’s time. Wow! This was in response to a particular post, which I talk about below. I couldn’t be happier, and I definitely saw a certain number stay after the pulse. I have a couple of plans in the mixer that I think might help draw some of that same crowd in and keep them here, which I will also talk about below.

Shakin’ My Numbers

I saw a huge number of hits when I posted a series of posts about WordPress magazine themes a week or so into the month. I saw quite a bit of traffic from this, and am very grateful.

This interest in theme reviews brings me back to the original reason this blog was created: to review WordPress themes. I feel the urge to share, oftentimes, more than only theme reviews with my readers. At the same time, there still isn’t a great place to find WordPress theme reviews on a consistent basis. And apparently my model hit a nerve–people liked it.

Plans for the Future

I am implementing a couple of new things at Theme Playground, and have my eyes set on the future more than ever. First of all, there is now a section on the home page (in the middle) where you can sign up for the Theme Playground WordPress Newsletter if you are so inclined.

New Email Newsletter

I will be using this to keep in touch with readers, allow them to really shape what I do around here, as well as host what I think will be some really cool WordPress discussions. I’m also inclined to release really cool things only to those readers. So check it out if you are interested (again, on the home page).

I hear what you are thinking: a newsletter? That’s pretty old school Ryan. Come on, give us something big. Okay, okay, I hear ya.

Video Blogging

In response to an awesome blog review from Michael Martine earlier this month, I am going to begin video blogging. Believe it or not I have had the camera set up and have known what I am going to talk about for more than two weeks now. I just haven’t done it! So that’s coming up soon, and will hopefully be a regular thing at Theme Playground.

Daily (Gasp!) Theme Reviews

Anytime I commit to something like the above, I can almost feel the eyes being rolled. But after seeing the feedback and the return on my magazine theme reviews earlier in the month, I know there is a place for me to be doing this. My goal for November, then, is to post a daily review of a WordPress theme. I will only review themes which deserve to be reviewed, since one of my mistakes early on was to think I should review every single theme out there. This time only the themes which deserve a review will be considered.

In Closing

Here ends another State of the Blog. Things are carrying on really well, and I look forward to where this little site will be in a month. Thanks for reading, and as always I appreciate any feedback on the blog in general or the ideas I discussed above.