I put off writing one of these for some time, but after Theme Playground’s site stats surprised me just the other day, I thought a little update for the readers would be cool. I’ve noticed other bloggers doing this, that is, sharing growth rates and blog achievements with readers on a monthly basis, and it’s been a tempting idea. Then, Daniel from Daily Blog Tips encouraged bloggers to share their achievements, in a sense saying that readers want to read about this stuff. At some point you have to throw up your hands and do what the people demand, right?
From the Beginning…
Since I haven’t given out any information since this blog began in May of this year, this is more of an autobiography than it is a monthly update (as future State of the Blogs will be). Theme Playground began when a good friend Cory Miller handed the idea (and the domain) over to me because he claimed I would do well with it. He justified it with some crap about my writing well or something, who knows—the guy’s obviously off his rocker.
The first spurt of posts were all centered on reviewing WordPress themes. I reviewed a lot of WordPress themes those first few weeks. And it helped to bring initial readership to the Playground, which I’m very grateful for.
Theme Playground also began with a theme that I created in about a day, probably the same day the blog launched. I would later release this theme, which I dubbed The Box, to a mild response from the readers. Actually, I would be interested to know if anyone actually ever used that theme, in some form or another.
Achievements from Month One
- Gathered about 40–50 solid subscribers
- Received encouragement from a giant, Daniel of DBT in the comments of a review of his theme
- Saw a big spike in traffic on May 17th when I was published on ProBlogger for a WordPress Plugin review
All in all it was a great launch for a blog.
Theme Playground in June and July
The niche of this site definitely developed in those days, with the focus turning from mere theme reviews to full on tutorials and advice for WordPress users, developers, and designers. There was also a nice spike in traffic at this point, as I began writing for Daily Blog Tips on a regular basis and began creating a little name for myself beyond the Theme Playground walls.
- Finally reached the 100–subscriber barrier
- Saw some awesome returns from Google for well–worded posts like How to Set Up and Use Google Sitemaps Generator for WordPress
Theme Playground in August
August brought a theme change, to a slightly more elegant attempt at a magazine–style design. It worked fairly well, and received some nice comments from visitors.
Oh, and I also felt the disappointment of forgetting (only for a few days) to move Google Analytics code from one theme’s code to the next. Don’t do that.
- Subscribers—saw the 200 mark and touched it
- I began writing for CopyBlogger, which I am still writing for today
- Saw a couple of really high traffic days
Theme Playground in September
In September I sort of…took a break from blogging. Overall I think it was a good decision, since I returned in the last few weeks with even more excitement than I’ve had in the past. I enjoy developing my knowledge of WordPress, as well as helping others along the process. Now that I’m focusing on this blog specifically, I think it will really begin to grow.
- Subscribers approached the 250 mark (very exciting!)
- Readership stayed consistent despite my infrequent postings
- New logo by Logo Design Works
- Began using The Morning After magazine style theme from The Masterplan and never looked back!
On the Horizon
I’m real excited about what I have prepared for October. I have a bunch of really high profile interviews to post, some awesome features, and a couple of surprises with each. I’m looking forward to seeing the response from you guys, the readers, more than anything. Thanks for reading!