Next Starfish – One Month Update

Next Starfish was one month old on the 5th June ! Hip Hip !

I’m very pleased with how the first month went – everything on the site seems to be working, I found time to write regular posts, and (most amazingly) people seem to be visiting.

One of the things I wanted to do when I was planning Next Starfish, was to give occasional updates about how the site was performing and share some of the nuts-and-bolts details of running a blog that most bloggers don’t generally discuss. The theory being that behind-the-scenes info on site design and marketing etc. might be of particular interest to other bloggers and would-be bloggers.

During May Next Starfish had 1,170 unique visitors, which I’m pretty pleased with for a first month. I’m expecting visitor numbers to probably dip a little, for a month or two, before (hopefully) starting to rise again. My 12 month target is to achieve 10,000 unique visitors a month, which is ambitious, but should be do’able – I’ll keep you posted.

Next Starfish’s Facebook site had 73 site ‘likes’ by the end of May and 107 followers on Twitter, which is fantastic. The numbers for both have continued to grow well moving into June, and over the coming months I plan to further develop both the content on both platforms to include a wider range of material  - such as links to news items and other articles etc. A few posts received comments, and ‘likes’ in May, and I’m very pleased this seems to be improving more in June. Ultimately the site will live-or-die based on feedback from users, so please don’t be shy in sharing your thoughts and views.

I’ve not really done anything to highlight the Amazon backed bookstore, and unsurprisingly have yet to make a sale as a result :(  I’ll work more on this shortly. The site obviously isn’t meant to be a big money-making venture, but any income is welcome (of course). A quarter of all income will be donated directly to Oxfam and Water Aid, with the remaining 75% divided between all contributing authors.

The Next Starfish YouTube channel had over 150 visits during May, which isn’t bad, but again I probably need to improve the promotion of this section of the site.

If anyone is interested in the more techie aspects – the site is written in WordPress using the excellent Prose Theme from Studiopress, and I’m using Google Analytics to monitor traffic.

Although I run a couple of other websites, this is my first blog, and I must admit I’m currently loving the whole ‘being a blogger’ thing. Once you get over the initial nerves of writing something for the whole world to see, it’s actually quite enjoyable. I’ve no shortage of topics and issues I want to blog about, but I am finding it a challenge to find the time to write articles, manage and promote the site, along with my family life, my day job, sleep, and the zillion other things I should be doing . . . I know I’m not the only person struggling to balance competing time demands, and this is probably a topic I’ll write more about in the future. Something else I’ve noticed is that I’m too frequently thinking about the blog, or planning articles in my mind – probably not too healthy on a long term basis, so I’ll have to set some boundaries up to control that.

I hope you find these occasional updates of interest. Over time I’ll go on to talk about networking, marketing, guest-blogging and all the other aspects of running a blog.

In the meantime I hope you continue to find the site’s content interesting and inspiring – and if you’re supportive of what I’m trying to do with Next Starfish I’d like to ask two things of you – first please share your comments on the articles, or via Twitter or Facebook – all feedback is welcome, and second and most importantly, be sure to let your friends and contacts know we’re here.

The ultimate aim of Next Starfish is to challenge apathy and indifference and promote and encourage action to create positive change in the world, so the more people that wander in off the cyber street the better :)

Finally if they’re are any keen writers out there with a cracking idea for a guest post – drop me a line.

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