GrowthBadger just turned nine months old, so it’s time for its third progress update!

If you’re new here, I post these updates every 90 days to show my progress toward turning this side-project of a blog into a million-dollar business.

This is where I lift the curtain on the numbers behind GrowthBadger’s traffic sources, email subscribers, and more.

First, quick recap of the first two updates:

3-Month Update (December 2018)

  • 5 blog posts
  • 2,447 total site visits
  • 47 email subscribers
  • $0 revenue (hadn’t monetized yet)
  • 24 total backlinks, Ahrefs domain rating of 9

6-Month Update (March 2019)

  • 0 new blog posts
  • 7,688 additional visits (3x increase)
  • 515 more email subscribers (11x increase)
  • $0 revenue (hadn’t monetized yet)
  • 127 total backlinks from 65 sites, Ahrefs domain rating of 24

Now let’s see how these last three months went.

Drumroll, please…

9-Month Update (June 2019)

  • 3 new blog posts
  • 20,262 additional visits (2.6x increase)
  • 527 more email subscribers (102% increase; 1,089 total)
  • $0 revenue (still haven’t monetized yet!)
  • 6,760 total backlinks from 179 sites, Ahrefs domain rating of 41 (nice!)

Let’s take a closer look.

Traffic

Here’s a screenshot of GrowthBadger’s traffic over the past six months: on the right (green) is the most recent quarter and on the left (red) is the previous one.

Analytics traffic chart Dec 2018 - June 2019

The spikes on the left side were from the big blogging survey I ran back in February, which included a giveaway with over $1K in prizes. That was a nice traffic boost, but it isn’t something I can count on happening repeatedly in the future. Though I think I will run more giveaways at some point.

The more recent spikes (on the right side) were from the two major new blog posts I published. What’s nice is that both of those spikes were even bigger than the “bribed” traffic spike from the giveaway…

Which itself was bigger than any previous spike I’d gotten at that point.

But what gets me even more excited is the growth in “baseline” traffic: the consistent, day-to-day traffic that comes in between the spikes.

Most of that baseline traffic is coming from organic search, while social media is driving most of the traffic during the spikes.

Here are my top traffic sources from the past three months:

Top traffic sources by sessions March - Jun 2019

You can see that even though organic search is #1, social media is bringing in a lot of my traffic.

A higher percentage of my traffic over the most recent quarter came from social than it did in the previous one. That makes sense, since I published three new articles over the past few months but didn’t publish a single new article in the quarter before that.

It turns out that people like to share new content (duh).

But even though social has been going great for me lately, I’m biased toward organic search (SEO) because the traffic tends to be more consistent.

So I’m pretty pumped that GrowthBadger got 3.8x the organic search traffic during the most recent quarter, with 7,248 organic search visits compared to 1,918 in the previous quarter.

SEO & Backlinks

Here are the top pages that are bringing in that organic search traffic:

Top pages by organic search traffic March - Jun 2019

The ultimate remarketing guide is still my top performer, now with nearly 4x the search traffic as the previous quarter .

#2 is one of my newest posts: Blog Statistics: What We Learned from 1,117 Bloggers (2019 Study).

That post has been performing really well on social, too, with over 1,000 shares so far — that’s over 7x as many shares as all the posts I published before it, combined.

#3 above is the homepage, which is also nice to see. 143 search visits isn’t much, but that page doesn’t rank for anything except the GrowthBadger brand and my name. So seeing its search traffic grow means I’m starting to get a little brand awareness.

The Blog Names guide (#5 above) is one of my oldest and best articles, but it still isn’t doing much. I may need to re-focus it on less competitive keywords (and/or get serious about trying to build links to it).

And my most recent post, Domain Extensions Study: Is “.com” Still the Best TLD? (2019 Data), has only gotten a handful of search visits so far (though it’s gotten more action on social).

As I continue to get more links to my articles and to this site in general, their rankings and search traffic will continue to improve. Which is already happening: GrowthBadger’s Ahrefs Domain Rating jumped from 24 to 41 over the past few months, as the number of sites linking to it more than doubled.

How did I get so many more links over the past few months?

Mostly with the Blog Statistics article. It’s been a smash hit, thanks to a new technique I used to create and promote it.

I’ll be publishing a case study about it very soon where I’ll show exactly how I did it, so if you haven’t subscribed to get email updates yet be sure to do that right now — just click here.

Which brings us to my near-future plans for this blog.

Plan for the Next 90 Days

Over the next three months, I plan to:

  • Test using exit-intent and time-based email subscription popups. I just made these live a few days ago, so you may have already noticed them. If so, let me know what you think. I expect them to increase my email subscriptions but am worried about hurting user experience, which may make people less likely to share and link to this site.
  • Publish an awesome case study article about how I made my last two posts successful (coming very soon). The case study is one of the best-performing types of content you can create, as study after study has shown. This will be my first, and it’s something people keep asking me for. 
  • Run a new experiment/study. I’m thinking this will be either about outsourced content writing services or about blog design; not sure which yet.
  • Start making money! For real this time. I’m going to develop a product (or service) to sell, and I’m excited to share how it goes.

What do you think? Any questions?

Let me know in the comments below!