The Second Month

We’ve just wrapped up our second month of blogging, and the growth since last month has been nothing short of amazing. January was a great step forward, here’s the the full analysis and happenings.

Traffic and Stats

This month we experienced our first taste of social media traffic surges. We’ve hit the Delicious front page with three different articles, two of which held the spot for an upwards of 10 hours. How to Make a Smooth Animated Menu with jQuery was the record holder; the resulting traffic was just shy of the elusive 10k with 9659 pageviews on January 22nd.

For those interested, you can download the full Analytics overview for January 2009 for a more in depth look at the month’s numbers.

January Dashboard Overview

We also got a fair share of search engine results this month, which was a wonderful addition to our traffic. The big search terms focused on “jQuery navigation” and “Flex XML”. For a short while we were even the 4th result on Google for the word “smooth” which is a pretty cool, albeit odd, thing to be proud of.
January 2009 Traffic Sources

Towards the latter half of the month traffic began averaging at about 1700-2000 views a day. At the current rate, Build Internet could be on track to break the 100K view mark in February. Celebration will ensue. Meet back here in a month for the official word.

Subscribers

Like most people, our Feedburner was not the most reliable over this past month. Fortunately it seems that in the last week of the month things got pretty close to fixed. We’ve moved from 59 subscribers at the end of December to a high of 382 on January 30th. That’s a big jump, and we’re glad to have each and every one of you on board. Your commitment continues to motivate the growth of Build Internet!

Reading this and still not a subscriber yet? What are you waiting for? Why not come join the regulars? There’s plenty of great content planned and we’re all generally cool people here. We’d be honored to have you join up!

Posts and Publicity

We received some pretty neat links back this month. Logo Design Love included our 50 state tourism article in a post on identity. DesignM.ag put “How to Make a Smooth Animated Menu with jQuery” in a roundup for jQuery navigation tutorial.

Sam’s post on state tourism logos inspired many to do the same for their countries.

We also had a large surge of predominately Spanish blogs linking back to our articles. While I can’t really explain the cause, gracias por la ayuda!

The top posts for the month of January:

  1. 8 Sites With Excellent jQuery Navigation
  2. How to Make a Smooth Animated Menu with jQuery
  3. Changing Form Input Styles on Focus with jQuery
  4. Branding the United States – The 50 State Tourism Logos
  5. 22 Well Done State Tourism Websites

Dollar by Dollar

As you can see, we’ve managed to fill up our BuySellAds spots a lot more since last month. Our impressions have jumped up significantly, so we’ve started to receive some more attention from potential advertisers. It’s been encouraging to see Build Internet start to pay for itself.

AdSense has also been on a slow but steady increase. This month’s increase in traffic brought an increase in ad clicks, but it’s still nothing we’ll be buying islands from. At the current rate, we’ll count it a victory if we can fund the site’s hosting on AdSense income in the next few months.

Milestones

Our Technorati ranking has taken a plummet from 400,000 to about 44,000.

Build Internet’s twitter base has grown up to 170.

As a result of attention to some of our Flex tutorials, we received review copies for some Flex books from Addison Wesley. I’ve found the one on visual interface design in Flex 3 to be particularly inspiring. I’ll be writing a few related Flex tutorials soon to share some of the concepts I’ve learned as a result. More on this later!

Perhaps the most memorable milestone was something completely unexpected this early in the game…

Our First Hate Mail

In a sign of true growth, we were particularly flattered to get our very first hate mail this month. Unfortunately the return email was a dud, so I’m posting the original email and my response below in the hopes that it reaches the necessary people.

The original email from “Johnny”:

Why does your website look just like the Freelance Switch website? In fact, the right side “Advertise Here” buttons are the exact same? I don’t see Envato’s name anywhere on this website. OH, and why can’t you build your own contact form? cforms contact form my delicious days url under YOUR contact box isn’t very professional, so how am I supposed to take your site seriously about web design, development, & business? Just my two cents.

My response:

Johnny,

Thank you for taking the time to send your feedback. I appreciate your concern, but there are a few points you seem to be confused about that  I wanted to take time to clear up.

  1. Our site may keep a similar structure to Freelance Switch among others because of the nature of blogs. I assure you, it is not our intention to have a mirrored version of someone else’s work, but it is important that you realize how most WordPress blogs are arranged. There is a header zone which contains a menu, a content column for posts, and then a sidebar by default.This has proven to be a successful layout for many large blogs, so you will see it quite often. I follow and greatly respect Collis, Jeff Way, and the rest of Envato. None of these are attempts to steal others work. Here are a couple other sites offhand that use similar layouts as well:
  2. The reason I have the same “Advertise Here” section is simple. Both of our sites sell ads through the BuySellAds service, and the gray box is a default placeholder for unsold spaces. As you can see on some of the sites listed above, this is a widely used service.
  3. CForms again, is a commonly used (see http://www.thedesigncubicle.com/contact/) and  form plugin for WordPress. While many of these components can be built from scratch, sometimes it is best to not reinvent the wheel when starting out. We do hope to replace the form with one of our own someday, but in the meantime CForms provides us plenty of service.

While it’s unfortunate you seem to think we are unqualified to keep a blog, hopefully you can see that we do try to publish helpful articles and tutorials.

Best,
Zach Dunn
Build Internet! Blog

I’ll let everyone make their own judgments. In the mean time, I may have to ax the typical blog format for something completely new to prevent future accusations of plagiarism.

What’s Up Next?

We’ve got a few exciting things in the pipeline at the moment. We’re in the early stages of developing a new theme for the blog. Sam and I have learned an incredible amount in the past 60 days, and the new theme should help fill the current shortcomings and neaten things up a little bit.

As I’ve posted about before, I helped to launch another blog this month into the arts, film, and music community. The Nonsense Society is picking up steam fast, and is definitely worth a look. Chris Collins is always looking for new and exciting content to post so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’ve got work to share.

So once again the only thing I can really say is a very sincere thank you to all visitors, casual and otherwise, for helping to give Build Internet a great start to the year. Now Sam and I will give back by continuing to put up the quick tips, articles, and tutorials that we think you’d love.

If you have any suggestions or comments for us, we’d love to hear your feedback! Comment below or send us an email.

Best,

Sam & Zach

Posted Sunday, February 1st, 2009 · Back to Top

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6 Comments 0 Mentions

  1. James Author Editor

    I found the hate mail quite funny actually – I’m not sure you can really classify it as “hate maill” though, it seems more light-hearted than what I’d expect.

    Anyway, some awesome looking stats! Great work!

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  2. Vadim P. Author Editor

    I agree with James. That’s some pretty crappy hate mail.

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  3. Andrew Houle Author Editor

    Congrats on the good stats! I look forward to more great stuff from this blog. And thanks for sharing the email… I was entertained :)

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  4. Zach Dunn Author Editor

    @James & Vadim

    Haha OK! Perhaps labeling it “hate” mail is a little too strong for the content of the email. Let’s leave it as an “extremely baffling complaint letter” instead! Either way, my take on it was the same as Andrews; I was wildly entertained.

    Thanks for the feedback everyone!

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  5. David Airey Author Editor

    Hi Zach,

    It was my pleasure featuring your post on Logo Design Love, and well done on some great stats for your first two months. It took me A LOT longer to understand what blogging was about!

    Here’s to many more successful months.

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  6. Tom Sinclair Author Editor

    Just found this site via twitter and I’m liking it so far :) Will be subscribing for the future and hope you have a great future with the website!

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