Maybe there’s a good reason why people like to be cagey about their blog traffic. Maybe one day I’ll discover it, and then look back with horror at how much info I’ve given away. Maybe. In the meantime, however, I figure it’s just one of those weird cultural quirks, like the way Americans don’t like for people to know how much money they make. Did you know that’s not a universal thing? It’s cultural. In Scandinavian countries, for example, personal income tax information is public and it’s no big deal. I first learned about that when studying the economics of taxation in grad school, but here’s a quick USA Today article from 2008 along the same lines: How much do you make? It’d be no secret in Scandinavia:
Every year, Sweden publishes everyone’s income tax returns. So do Finland and Norway. And nobody really cares.
So consider me just the Scandinavia of blog traffic, I guess. I’ve got no qualms about publishing my WordPress traffic stats.1 So let’s talk about those stats, briefly, and the plans for Difficult Run in 2015.
We started out really strong in early 2014, but then in May I reduced the posting and promoting I did of Difficult Run.2 As a result, the growth from early in the year wasn’t sustained. Well, 2015 is the year when we fix that. You can probably see that January 2015 is already one of the biggest months since May 2014, and we’re less than half way through. We’ve had really great content from all the DR Editors and people have responded by reading and commentings. That is the plan for the entire year of 2015: more great content that will make it worth your while to come by our site. Hey, nobody ever said that a good plan had to be complicated, right?
Speaking of great DR Editors, by the way, we brought on board Bryan Maack in November 2014, and he’s already proved to be a great addition to the team. Check out all his posts and view the current roster of DR Editors here.
Last order of business is the 2014 advertising revenue report. That’s something I promised to do in our advertising policy. In the policy I wrote that “DR will publicize the total amount of revenue gained from advertising at the end of every year because transparency is cool.” So here we go. Total ad revenue from 2014? $0.663
Now, on the bright side, I did a minor overhaul of the site already this month and added a bunch of additional Amazon ads. We’ve already pulled in a few dollars since then, which is a definite improvement but still not enough to pay for the hosting of this site. So let me just say that if you’re interested in helping support Difficult Run, please click our Amazon ads now and then and buy something. You don’t have to buy the thing we advertise4, you just have to buy anything from the site at all after clicking on one of the Difficult Run links. Like this one. Do that, and Amazon sends me a small percentage of the price of whatever you buy, and I get to use that to offset the costs of hosting this site.
So, that’s our 2014 recap and our 2015 preview. I think this is really going to be a good year for DR. I’m excited about all the articles I know are already in the pipeline, and look forward to sharing them with all of you.
[Added After Publication:] Also, if you’d like to see a neat summary of how 2014 went for Difficult Run, WordPress puts out an annual page that I’ve made public. You can view it here.