Tuesday, February 1, 2011

State of the Blog 2011

I can't believe another year - my fourth - of blogging is complete.  It seems like a long time ago that I moved down to DC and started this blog as an outlet for my homebrewing. I'd like to thank everyone who commented, emailed, linked, tweeted, facebooked, or just read the blog over the last 12 months.   

Here is a review of 2010 with some interesting trends that Google Analytics lets me tease out of the data. 

Posts: 135 (3rd year: 103, 2nd year: 84, 1st year: 80)
Posts about beer 124 (3rd: 95, 2nd 53, 1st 53)

Total Visits: 170,523 - 467/day (3rd: 80,516 - 224/day, 2nd: 39,861 - 109/day, 1st: 11,712 - 32/day)

Page Views: 374,601 (3rd: 141,229, 2nd: 71,63, 1st: 22,435)
Unique Visitors: 65,443 (3rd: 34,538, 2nd: 21,219, 1st: 6,110)
Average Time on Site: 3:02 (3rd: 2:11, 2nd: 2:10, 1st: 2:19)

So taking the average time on the site multiplied by the number of visits, it turns out that people spent a total of 359 days reading the blog this year (coincidentally nearly a year). That underestimates the true amount though because it doesn't include the last page of each visit (for example if you only visit one page on the blog it counts the visit as 0 min).

Traffic Sources:
Direct Traffic (2:14 average visit time): 39,256 (3rd: 18,233, 2nd: 9,042, 1st: 2,908)

Search Engines (3:18 average visit time): 74,425 (3rd: 38,020, 2nd: 16,030, 1st: 3,373)
12,205 of the searches that ended up at my blog were for "mad fermentationist" or "the mad fermentationist" only two of the 21,943 different search terms used, but they accounted for 16.4% of the traffic.

Interestingly the average number of page views for readers who came via the top three search engines: Google, Yahoo, and Bing were 2.34, 2.34, 2.35 pages per visit respectively (amazingly consistent).  Google accounted for 94% of all search traffic, I'm not sure if they favor their blogger platform, or if they are just the most efficient at sending users to the highest quality sites...

Referring Sites (3:29 average vist time): 43,328 (3rd: 24,605, 2nd: 14,779, 1st: 5,431)
1st Homebrew Talk (2nd, 4th, 7th)
2nd Beer Advocate (1st, 2nd, 2nd)
3rd Babble Belt (7th, 17th, NA)
With Reddit coming on strong the last 6 months.

From 137 (3rd: 129, 2nd: 109, 1st: 68) countries total.

1st USA (1st, 1st, 1st)
2nd Canada (2nd. 2nd, 2nd)
3rd Australia (4th, 4th, 3rd)
4th UK (3rd, 3rd, 4th)
5th Sweden (5th, 6th, 6th)
6th Italy (9th, 8th, 17th)
7th Norway (7th, 9th, 8th)
8th New Zealand (8th, 7th, 5th)
9th Iceland (21st, 17th, 13th)
10th Denmark (6th, 5th, 7th)

The top 10 countries list has become pretty settled with only Italy and Denmark making moves of more than one spot.  Not sure why Iceland had such a large jump, maybe craft beer or homebrewing is really taking off there?

1st California (1st, 1st, 1st)
2nd Pennsylvania (2nd, 2nd, 3rd)
3rd New York (4th, 3rd, 6th)
4th Washington (6th, 10th, 12th)
5th Illinois (3rd, 4th, 7th)
6th Texas (8th, 6th, 13th)
7th Massachusetts (5th, 7th, 10th)
8th Virginia (7th, 6th, 4th)
9th Oregon (11th, 16th, 10th)
10th Colorado (9th, 11th, 11th)

Some minor shuffling, but most of the states with established craft/homebrewing scenes are well represented.  I'm actually a little surprised that the north-Midwestern states don't have a greater presence in the top 10 with Michigan/Wisconsin/Minnesota all hanging around just off the list.

Despite having some of the fewest readers, Wyoming and New Mexico had the longest averages visit of any states at more than 5 minutes per.

In the browser wars Internet Explorer lost more ground down to 21% about half of what it started at my first year (3rd: 28%, 2nd: 36%,1st: 40%).  The bigger surprise was the tumble Firefox took, dropping to 43% after a couple years right around 50%, on Chrome's vault from 4.7% to 14.8%.

Operating System:
69% Windows (3rd: 72%, 2nd: 76%, 1st: 79%)
24% Mac (3rd 23%, 2nd: 19%, 1st: 17%)
3% Linux (3rd: 4%, 2nd: 4%, 1st: 5%)
2% iPhone (3rd, .2%, 2nd: .5%, 1st: .05%)
.8% Android (3rd: .11%)
.6% iPad (NA)

How are you mobile readers enjoying the new "upgraded" look of the site?

Besides the homepage, the most viewed pages/posts were my beer recipes indexsour beer guide, and Big IPA recipe.

The number of subscribers to the feed has more than doubled over the past year, growing from 1,600 to over 3,300. The total number of feed views was 246,524 this year, compared to 148,508 last year.

I guess I should also mention that in the last year I joined Twitter and setup a Facebook page (that now has more friends than I do); just two more ways to send me questions, or hear updates on my fermentations. 

Things in the pipeline for year five of the Mad Fermentationist Blog:
More visits to interesting craft breweries (Cambridge Brewing? Jester King?)
Second solera barrel
Vinegar (wine, cider, sake)
My first batch of wine
A spontaneously fermented beer
More writing (BYO articles, maybe even a book)

Also please post a comment if you have any suggestions for something you'd like to see me ferment, or changes to the blog that would would make it better.


burtonist said...

Checking in from Iceland!

The homebrewing community has really been growing here in the last couple of years.

Great blog, keep it up!

Regards, Gunnar.

Matt Hendry said...

Iceland had that huge recession and during recession years the homebrew industry worldwide has always seen a uptick in sales .

Marco Aurélio Piacentini said...


Writing for four years in a row is quite an accomplishment. Congrats!!!

I´ll take care of Brazil region, so you can receive more visits from here....

Oh... before I forget, the Saison Cold conditioning is going well. I took a smaple yesterday, and the warm / harshness due to high alcohols is completely gone. Tomorrow I shall prime and bottle it.

JW said...

Congrats Mike!


unholymess said...

What methods do you use to publicize your blog/feed ?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I really don't do anything intentional to publicize the feed or the blog. What helps is that I post on homebrew forums, do podcasts, write etc... I also try my best to optimize my blog for search: relevant post titles, alt/title tags on photos, meta tags on important pages etc...

In the end though I'd like to think that writing about what I'm passionate about is the most important factor in the blog's growth. Content is king, worry about it and the publicity takes care of itself.