Next Starfish – Three Month Update

Next Starfish was three months old on the 5th August – woo hoo :)

Thanks to all my visitors and readers from around the globe. All your feedback and emails are very much appreciated. It’s both reassuring and inspiring to know there are so many people out there passionate about trying to make a positive difference in the world.

As I’ve mentioned before, one of the things I want to do is give occasional ‘behind the scenes’ insights into the process of setting-up and running a blog. Most sites don’t seem to discuss these issues very much, and I thought it might be of interest to other social justice, environment and non-profit bloggers, writers and website managers. If anyone wants more information than I can provide in these short summaries – from the basics of putting together a website, through to using social networking, just drop me a line and I’ll try to help out as best I can (not that I’m any kind of expert).

Since going live in May, Next Starfish has had over 4,300 visits, from more than 2,750 visitors, which I’m very pleased with. I’m particularly pleased with how often people are coming back to read the latest articles. During July the site averaged 41 visits a day, and I’m very pleased that Next Starfish now has over 450 Facebook fans, and 530 Twitter followers !

Most of Next Starfish’s visitors find the site from Google (no surprise), but Facebook and Twitter are also increasingly significant. I also get perhaps 10% via social recommendation sites like Stumble Upon and Reddit, which I didn’t expect. The only advertising I’ve paid for so far is a low level Facebook campaign, which cost around $50, and actually has been quite successful in attracting visitors, particularly from around the world. I’ve been amazed with the range of countries visitors have come from, 89 different countries in total with significant numbers coming from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Mexico and India, as well as the more obvious English speaking world. I’m especially pleased with this, as many of the problems I cover on Next Starfish are global in nature, and views and opinions from around the world are particularly important.

In terms of popularity the Foto Friday posts seem to attract the most direct visitors, with Wisdom vs Intelligence, Cleaning Out My Closet, and Sixty Seconds Worth of Distance Run also having been popular. The most ‘liked’ article on Facebook was The Greatest Gift that I Possess. I’d like to say thank you again to all my guest bloggers who have written some excellent articles for me, and I’m always very happy to receive proposals or suggestions for other guest articles – having a range of voices and subjects makes things more interesting . . . and will also allow me to find a bit more time away from the keyboard :)

So what next ? I intend to continue taking it easy over the rest of the school holidays, but in September I’ll do a bit of tweaking to the site layout and look . . . nothing too major. Like all websites I get quite a few spam emails asking ‘if I want to double my blogging income’ – but as so far I haven’t made a penny, twice as much still doesn’t sound too tempting. I’ll look again at the financial side before the end of the year.

In the meantime I hope you continue to find the site interesting – and if you like what Next Starfish is about – please share your thoughts and feedback, either in the article comments or via Twitter or Facebook – and second and most importantly, be sure to let your friends know we’re here.

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