BLOG REPORT #2, AUGUST
Our switch to WORDPRESS
What a month! We missed all our goals for August and we also didn’t make it to Machu Picchu! But there is a good reason for it! We changed the whole layout of our blog. We even changed our host and provider.
We switched our blog from Jimdo to WordPress and I have to say that we are very happy that we did this important step. If you want to become a professional travel blogger, you need a professional website! It was a lot of work to transfer all the old content from our old provider to WP but we think it was worth it.
If you are thinking about changing your layout or even building a complete new blog, I might have a few tips in this month blog report for you which help you to make the right decisions. It doesn’t matter if you like OUR blog or not, but before you start building a new one, you should have a closer look on design, usability, visibility and speed.
A great thing about WP is the hundreds of great themes which you can simply download and use to design your own blog. You have the choice between free versions and themes you can buy.
We decided to use a theme from “HB-Themes” for 49 dollars. It is NOT a typical blog theme but for us it is perfect. We like the modern design, the ultra responsive display and the many features it has included. There are at least 5,000 other travel bloggers in the world wide web. Your design has to be different or at least up to date. If your blog looks like any other blog, it will be difficult to have success.
For us it was important to we have a sticky drop down menu as it is much easier and quicker for readers to find what they want and they don’t need to scroll up again to see the menu. That means more clicks on our blog and that’s what we need. You should always think about what you like about other blogs. Most of the successful blogs have a clean design and not too much text. Users make their decision about reading something very quickly. Usually an image and a headline is enough to get their attention, so don’t overload your HOME page.
Unfortunately the times are over when you just had the screen resolution of 1024 x 768px. Nowadays you have many different resolutions.
Before you start building a new blog you should check out your Google Analytics and see which screen resolution your users mostly use. Is it a Smartphone, I-Pad, Laptop or desktop PC? We realized that most of our readers use an I-Pad or a full HD resolution. That means our site needs to look good on 1024 x 768px and 1920 x 1080px. Some features are not displayed perfectly yet on I-phones but we hope to solve these problems in the future. Check the look of your blog on different screens here. This is so important.
Most blogger say speed is the key for your bounce rate. I don’t agree hundred percent. If you don’t know what a bounce rate is, check out WIKIPEDIA first. A normal bounce rate for a blogger is 70% or higher!
Google Analytics Benchmark Averages for Bounce Rate
40-60% Content websites
30-50% Lead generation sites
20-40% Retail sites
10-30% Service sites
70-90% Landing pages
So don’t worry if your bounce rate looks similar. However it is of course important how fast your website is loading. Especially the HOME page of your blog should load quickly as most of your readers are linked to this page. But that’s not all.
I thought about myself and I have NEVER left a page because it loaded too slowly. I think it is more important to have a nice looking, modern website and killer content. A combination of speed, design and content is the key.
You can pay extra money to have a private server to make your page faster but I would not recommend it when you just started a new blog. The difference is normally just a few seconds and as long as you don’t have 100,000 clicks or more a month I think it is not worth to pay 30 dollars or more every month. If you are not sure how quick your page loads, you can check out these websites:
They also give you tips how to make your page faster.
Last month achievements and statistics
As I said before we couldn’t reach our goals for August but of course we gained a few fans on facebook and performed quiet well last month although we did not post ONE post. Unfortunately I made a big mistake with our Google analytics account and deleted our history. Therefore I don’t have any statistics for this month. In September they will be updated again.
sorry – no statistics
facebook 588 (+13)
twitter 2314 (+237)
google+ 74 (+7)instagram 454 (+45)
pinterest 17 (+9)
youtube clicks 3940 (+425)
email subscriber 20 (+2)
Google page rank 0
Alexa rank 1,14 M (-363k)
Goals for September
As we didn’t make our goals for August we will have the same for September. That means 4,000 page impressions and 700 facebook fans. Another goal is to set up AWEBER and to finally send newsletters.
Okay, that’s it for now. I hope I could give you a few tips how to improve your blog regarding design, usability, visibility and speed. If you want more information, I will write a post about these four topics in more detail. Just leave a comment or let me know!
Keep on blogging and safe travels.