The First Month
Starting a web niche blog was always a project Sam and I put aside because of client work with Cazzu Media. Now finally during our Winter Break from the lovely UHartford we got a chance to get one up and running.
The original plan was to name the blog Build the Internet, but the domain was taken so we ended up with the much shorter Build Internet. Looking back now, I’m not disappointed with the name change.
It’s been an excellent first month for Build Internet. December was the first full month we had since launching and it’s been absolutely encouraging to see the response so far.
Penny by Penny
It was a good first step for advertising. We sold our first ad with BuySellAds for an upcoming book from the guys at Freelance Folder. We’ve had moderate success with Adsense, with (slightly) bigger numbers every week. I have no hopes of retiring anytime soon, but it’s nice to see that we could potentially upgrade our VPS hosting on MediaTemple if things continue improving.
Traffic and Stats
I’ve always found it interesting when blogs posted their numbers, so I’ve attached some screenshots below from our Google Analytics for the month for both the overview and traffic sources. You can also download the overview for December here if you’d like to see more.
Just as we were about to close out the month we had three straight days of record breaking traffic. On December 30th we had our first over 1K day with 1032 visits, breaking out previous record of 670.
Our traffic was primarily referring sites for this month. We were fortunate enough to be featured on great community sites like CSSGlobe, Creattica Daily and Script&Style. These traffic boosts were fantastic in building a base of readers in our first month.
The search engines also started to give us some results, especially for Flex XML and PHP form validation.
Towards the end of the month Build Internet started getting a good number of stumbles. I’ll admit, I hadn’t gotten into StumbleUpon or Delicious bookmarks before this, but now I think it will have to be a new year’s resolution.
This is Build’s Internet 20th post. The top posts for the month of December were:
- Below the Fold: Why Scrolling isn’t a Bad Thing
- Branding the United States – The 50 State Tourism Logos
- How to Validate a Form Using PHP Part 1: Complete with Error Messages!
- How to Make Charts with Flex 3
- XML Basics with Flex 3
First Month Milestones
Build Internet dropped down from a Technorati ranking of over 3 million to just under 400,000 by the close of the month.
In the past couple days we were upgraded to a Google PageRank of 2. I never really followed PageRank before, but once you have it you wear each point with pride.
It was great seeing all of the contacts through the blog. We’ve already received several offers for contributions from some great bloggers, and hopefully they will be up soon. We were reviewed by the talented Corey Freeman over at her new screencast review site BlogByDesign.
Twitter has been a great networking tool for this month. At the time of this post build internet has 55 followers, each of which gets backstage immediate access to things like new post announcements, questions, and occasional link to a surprisingly good Disturbia cover. You’re more than welcome to join the party.
The RSS numbers have had a slow but steady climb. We finish out this month with an estimated 59 subscribers via Feedburner. So to those of you reading this through our RSS feed, thank you! If you aren’t, join us! You’ll encourage the growth of this blog that much more.
Our plans for the coming year? Keep posting on a regular basis. Fix up the blog design, and get more people involved in the conversation. We’ve had a great response with all of the Flex 3 introductions, so I’ll be putting together some more advanced demonstrations. I also have a love interest with Photoshop that I haven’t shared yet, and it would be a good break from many of the development themed tutorials we’ve been doing.
Sam has been hard at work keeping up with the latest PHP standards, and will be adding a PHP Validation cookbook into the form validation series he started.
I’ve also started to explore guest post opportunities, so hopefully you’ll be reading some of our articles in a variety of other blogs. Hopefully this will help bring in some new readers and opinions to the posts.
We’re always open to suggestions, questions, or off the cuff comments. We love that type of stuff. Get in touch with us by email, comments, or follow us on twitter. I’ve met all sorts of phenomenal people through each of these contacts, and you should be next.
With that, Sam and I are looking forward to the start of 2009, and where it will take this blog. The first month has been a day by day adventure. So I’ll end with a sincere thank you to all of you who have been regular, semi-regular, or even casual visitors in our first month. You’ve motivated us to make January, and the new year, even better.
Happy New Year,
Zach & Sam Dunn