Over the years, as I have progressed in my online journey, one of the things that has always been an issue for me is the difficulty of correlating cause and effect in my online activity. In promoting my site, I have engaged in many diverse activities and I am convinced that they all have an effect. The problem is that it can take time for the effect to show up, in terms of increased visitors, and, since I am always working at improving things, it can be difficult to see exactly what effort has been most productive.
For some time now, I have been wondering about the effect that post count has on increasing visitors to the site. At present, I am getting around 150K visitors per month. That’s a fairly big number and although it does vary a little, it has been fairly stable for the past four month period. Actually there is a slight decrease over that time, but nothing too significant and that, I think illustrates another aspect of the problem of correlating cause and effect. By comparison to my traffic figures, my monthly post count is a fairly low figure so any variation in traffic that might be caused by an increase in post count is hardly noticeable for me.
So, I finally realised that, somewhat paradoxically, it is not my traffic stats that I need to be looking at. What I should be studying is something that is more sensitive to traffic fluctuations and I believe that (for me) the site Adsense revenue provides me with quite a good, if not ideal, metric. Now, Adsense is not my main income stream (actually it is my second largest) but the figure is very sensitive to traffic fluctuation. There are a lot of other factors that affect it, so it needs to be read with care, however, I believe that comparing my post count stats with my Adsense revenue may help to answer the above question.Above is my post count stats for the past 9 months. You can see that I put a mammoth effort in during September and if you look at the Adsense revenue for September (next graph below) you will see that it was a record month. On the face of it, you might argue that there is a correlation. But at the time, I was not convinced because if you compare the July post count and Adsense revenue stats, you can see the revenue was almost identical despite the fact that the post count was much lower. It was partly for this reason that I relaxed my posting schedule a little during October and November.However, as I completed my stats for the month today, I was struck, not by the figures but the overall shape of those two graphs. Ignoring April for a moment, look at the trends. You have to ignore absolute numbers because of other Adsense factors, besides post count, that can and do influence them but can you see it? It took a while for it to sink in for me, but from May to December, my post count goes like this: up, up, down, up, down, down, down. And, what do you know, my Adsense revenue for that period does exactly the same thing! It’s too early to be absolutely sure, but I think the apostrophe may be warranted.
So, this month, I intend to conduct a little test. I intend to produce around 60 posts in January. This would only be the second time that I will have posted so frequently and, I can tell you, it takes a bit of doing if you are also committed to producing quality (which I am). For now, it seems to me that post count does indeed affect traffic and therefore revenue, but, I think the only way for me to definitively answer the question is to test the proposition, so watch out for my follow-up report at the end of the month.