Wednesday, July 21, 2010

14 months of blogging on 22michaels

I realised the other day that May saw us reach the 12 month mark since our first post on this blog. So I thought I'd reflect on how useful the blog has been for us.

According to that first post we launched the blog with the aim of keeping our friends up to date with what we were doing, and we thought it might be also be of interest to other entrepreneurs. I think we've managed to keep the blog relevant to that audience over the 14 months. We've also stuck with our goal of consistently posting 2-3 times per week. The one change we've made is that we've adapted our aims for the blog to include:

Brainstorming various business problems that we face
The 72 comments with 100's of great name ideas on our Namestorming Competition post as well as the great ideas from our posts about improving our low conversion rate, were hugely valuable for our business. Thanks so much to everyone who contributed their ideas to these, and many of the other brainstorming related posts. The conversion rate posts in particular are highly relevant to what we're working on now and we're in the process of implementing many of the ideas that came from that brainstorming.

Reflecting and Planning
As we've discussed previously one of the most valuable things I get from blogging is taking the time to sit down and reflect on what I've been doing, then plan how to move forward. Even this post is a good example of this. Taking the time to reflect on what's worked with the blog will help me write better posts moving forward. Our recent post about 'Prioritising the work to do in a startup' was another valuable reflection post for me.

Learning from other entrepreneurs
I thoroughly enjoyed and took a lot from the interviews I did with Etienne Jambou and Brad Lindenberg. I hope to do more of these sorts of posts.

Promoting Shoes of Prey
We don't aim to actively promote Shoes of Prey on the blog, but our post about 'The incredible power of a 16 year old video blogger' was linked to by lots of online business articles, including the Wall Street Journal Blog and retweeted over 100 times contributing to the success of that marketing exercise. That post has been by far our most popular post making up a quarter of our total traffic for the last 14 months.

Hiring Carmen
Our post advertising our extraordinary customer service person role had an amazing response. With no advertising other than this post we interviewed 20 amazing people and hired Carmen who beat all of our expectations of the sort of person we could hire for the role. From everything we've read and experienced ourselves hiring great people is critical for any business, and particularly for a startup so the fact this blog has helped with that earns it some extra points.

Meeting other entrepreneurs
I've managed to meet a lot of other entrepreneurs via the blog. Some I've met and had great conversations with online, while others like Daniel Cheah, Brad Lindenberg and Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin I've first met through the blog and subsequently met in person which has been great.

Here are some of our blog's key statistics from Google Analytics for the past 14 months:

49,000 visits
70,000 page views
1:08 average time on site
131 Google Reader subscribers
47 email subscribers
Bounce Rate 82%

It's interesting looking at those statistics. 49,000 isn't a huge number of visits to a website for a 14 month time period, Shoes of Prey's best day saw 4 times that traffic in a 24 hour period. That said a lot of people read the blog via the RSS feed, email and from the feed I send through my personal Facebook account, so I'd estimate each post is read by around 400-500 people. As discussed above the number of people who read the blog is arguably less important than the other things we get from it like the reflecting and planning, hiring great people and the sorts of people we're meeting and brainstorming with, and it's certainly been a success from that point of view.

14 months in we're very pleased with how the blog has gone for us. That said, if you have any suggestions on the sorts of posts you'd like to see, or any categories of posts that don't really interest you we'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments so we can make it even better.

Image Credit


  1. what's a bounce rate?

  2. Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to your website who leave the site, 'bounce', after viewing only one page on your website. Our bounce rate of 82% is very high compared with the average, but for a blog it's not unreasonable because most people come to our main page, read a post or two then leave. As a comparison our bounce rate for Shoes of Prey is about 11%.

  3. Thanks for the mention, Fox..!!

    Looks like you are having fun in Europe. I was there only a month ago but I miss it already!!