The year 2008 has come to an end, and thus concludes the first year of existence for TipsFor.us. It’s been an interesting year for us, and I’ve learned a lot so far.
TipsFor.us was re-born from the ashes of a previous domain in March 2008 and is therefore a fledgling site. We’ve made some mistakes in our youth, and I’ll share what I’ve learned here.
A Few Stats and Charts
First, some numbers. We’re definitely a small site, but we managed to muster almost 500,000 pageviews in our infancy.
As you can see, we had a big spike in late March when an article on open-source Windows apps was featured on StumbleUpon and Del.ico.us. Traffic has been relatively flat (but consistent) since.
An overwhelming majority of you visited our site on the Windows operating system (almost 89%). We really need to start writing more Mac and Linux articles.
On Windows specifically, most of our visitors came here on XP. Vista didn’t even muster one-fourth of our Windows visitors. People still use Windows 95?
Within the Mac category, Intel-based Macs absolutely dominated the older PPC models. No big surprise.
Concerning web browsers, Firefox crushed the competition. No surprise again, since this is a tech site.
Opera managed to slightly best the young Google Chrome, but I’m curious to see how the stats will compare next year, especially once Chrome is released for Mac and Linux.
We’re ending the year with roughly 350 daily RSS readers, up from almost zero at the beginning of the year. Hey, upward is good.
By the end of next year, I’m aiming for a modest 1,500 RSS subscribers. Maybe more.
Mistakes and Lessons Learned
The biggest mistake we made this year was lack of consistency. The traffic spike in March and April gave us some steam, but then I left the country to live in a Greek village for a couple months this past summer and the site languished. We didn’t start gaining momentum again until September.
The old adage is that content is king, but consistent content is even better. In the earliest days of the site I settled for writing an article whenever I felt like it or found the time, and posting was sporadic at best. In the last few months I’ve settled into a much more consistent posting schedule. I’ve found WordPress’ scheduling feature quite handy, since I can write a few posts at once and then schedule them for specific days/times.
I would love to maintain a daily posting schedule, but all of us who run this site are busy people. Everett works as a programmer full time, while James and myself are full-time graduate students. Still, I resolve to create and stick to a consistent posting schedule for next year, even if it’s just 2-3 times per week. I want to see TipsFor.us grow, and consistent, quality posting is the best way that I know to grow and keep traffic.
I have several big projects scheduled for next year. My ultimate goal is to make TipsFor.us one of the premiere tech tips sites on the Internet, and while I doubt we will ever achieve national or worldwide recognition, I still aim to write useful and as high-quality articles as I can muster. The ultimate purpose of this site is to share knowledge, and we will continue on our path of writing tips, tutorials, reviews, and perhaps even an occasional rant.
Though our readership is comparatively small, I offer my thanks to those of you who are returning visitors and subscribers. It warms my heart whenever I read a thankful comment or one offering additional advice and knowledge. This site would not be what it is without you.
I also offer thanks to my co-authors, James and Everett. Thanks for your friendship and contributions!
Here’s to the past year, and to a bright 2009!
TipsFor.us editor (and Self-proclaimed Ruler of the Free World)