Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Making A Mark achieves 5 MILLION visits!

Making A Mark recently received its 5 millionth visit!

When you've spent most of the last year noting the the number of visitors to your blog is edging ever close to 5 million visitors, you feel pretty stupid when it zips past the 5 million mark and you didn't even notice!!

Making A Mark is also coming up to 15 MILLION PAGEVIEWS and I'm now determined not to miss that one!

5 Million unique visits between January 2006 and January 2020

So this is the chart of how Making A Mark achieved 5 million visits from both first-time and returning visitors.

It took five years to get the millionth visitor in April 2011 - see Making A Mark notches up 1 million visits.  

At that time these were the most popular blog posts
Here are ten of the most popular posts those million visits have been to:
  1. 10 Tips for How to Sketch People
  2. Van Gogh: Drawing media and techniques
  3. Composition - Principles of Design
  4. Composition - The Elements of Design
  5. Colour Schemes: Split Complementaries, Triads and Tetrads
  6. What is a still life?
  7. The influence of Japanese Art
  8. Which sketchbook?
  9. Flowers in Art... and Charles Rennie Mackintosh
  10. Major Art Competitions in the UK 2011 - a timetable
Back in April last year I wrote a blog post about how I managed to get to 1 million visitors a lot faster with my new website Botanical Art and Artists.

See 11 tips for how to get 1 million website visitors quickly for the explanation of how. It's my belief that traffic has arrived much faster because the site is a lot more focused and 'niche' compared to Making A Mark.

The 11 Tips (explained in the post) were:
1. Make your website very focused
2. Make every webpage very specific - make it a niche within a niche
3. Make every title very specific in terms of its topic
4. Provide a short summary of what each page contains at the top.
5. Make navigation very easy
6. Have a plan for how your website will develop
7. Use statistics to guide development
8. People look at images and read words - but really they scan both!
9. Write about what you know
10. Refresh and update a website regularly (use a blog)
11. Do link to relevant other websites - and encourage them to link back

The Making A Mark Story

Below are the number of blog Posts I wrote while triggering 5 million visits. Apparently I've written nearly 4,400 blog posts!  That's a lot of words - but I'm not going to start counting those!
► 2019 (174)
► 2018 (206)
► 2017 (191)
► 2016 (180)
► 2015 (218)
► 2014 (221)
► 2013 (275)
► 2012 (304)
► 2011 (288)
► 2010 (307)
► 2009 (310)
► 2008 (358)
► 2007 (393)
► 2006 (348)
I started out writing virtually every day - for three years.

Then started having one day a week off. I producing around about 300 posts each year or very nearly 6 blog posts a week. This continued (apart from when I was on holiday) until I started to write my book in 2014. 

Output dropped off while I wrote the book

It continued at the lower level of around 200 blog posts a year. Now I aim for between 3-4 blog posts a week on Making A Mark - but it's sometimes less and sometimes more.

So about half the output - but retaining about two thirds of the traffic. 

The lovely thing about having a very old blog - people come back for your archives as much as your new content. (You can access any of the old posts via the side column - using archives or keywords)

The reason for the reduced output on Making A Mark is because, after finishing my book, I developed two new "spinoff" websites in 2015 - which covered topics previously featured on Making A Mark 
So the blog posts related to those topics tended to go to the new sites and the traffic went with them - and then grew again on the new sites!  

In total, the visits I now get each year are as follows
  • Making A Mark - nudges towards 400k visitors a year.  
  • Botanical Art and Artists - over 500k visits a year
  • Art Business Info for Artists - approx. 200 k visits a year
Which means I'm now generating more than 1 million visits each year on all my sites!  Which I like to think requires rather more effort and is a little more meaningful than showing people pics on Instagram!

However I had no idea I was busting through the 1,000,000 visits a year benchmark until I sat down to write this post!  I'm feeling quite overcome!

I've still not got used to being recognised as I walk around London and visit art galleries - with the frequent exclamation of "You're Making A Mark!!!" - but it's always lovely to meet readers so please continue to say Hello if you spot me!

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