In the spirit of improving my performance on my Forbes blog, I'll be posting my monthly traffic stats here.
I'm required to post a minimum of five times a month, which I did in May. In June, I'm aiming to post five times a week, as a way of building my traffic.
In May, two posts have proved to be traffic duds thus far: "This Champagne Gun Will Make You Feel Rich" with 411 views and "Is This the Most Expensive Gun in the World?" with 208 views. The latter was only published yesterday. At the very least, both suffer from weak headlines.
The top performing post of the month was "Absolut Vodka Gets Provocative with Transgender Ad" with 28,115 views. This post was also the most interesting post of the month, because the comments on it generated debate. Some people loved the ad: "Bravo Absolut! This was great!" Some people hated the ad: "I find it offensive." And one reader said my choice of title was "disingenuous and rabble rousing," adding, "Kudos for guising your transphobia." While I disagree with the "transphobia" accusation, I was open to changing the headline to, per their suggestion, "Absolut Vodka Releases Transgender-Positive Ad." I emailed an editor about making that change, but haven't heard back yet. The commenter was pleased with that idea, but noted that I was engaged in "linguistic terrorism." So I guess I'm a terrorist.
My favorite post of the month was "This Dancer Is Turning Strip Club Conversations into Art" with 17,883 views. I interviewed this post's stripper subject through email, and I included several examples of her terrific art. I was careful with this post to not make it so racy that someone at Forbes would get annoyed, and I thought I did a good job of that.
Of course, blogging on Forbes provides its own set of challenges, the most egregious being that it pushes readers to dismantle their ad blocker. Obviously, from a market standpoint, I understand that the company needs to make money and readers must pay in some way. At the same time, Forbes page loading times are simply horrendous and make it more difficult for contributors to the site whose readers most tolerate impossibly slow load times ... or leave. I don't understand why the page must be encumbered with more ads than an overloaded burro descending into the Grand Canyon, but I suppose there isn't much I can do in that regard. Other challenges particular and not particular to me regarding posting at Forbes include the fact that there are so many damn contributors -- it would've been nice to have capped that number before it went over, say, 1,000, or, you know, long before that, in order to maintain quality levels -- and I surmise the current channel I'm in, Lifestyle, is not one of its strongest in terms of traffic (I'm not entirely sure about that). Regardless, there are contributors on the site who get an absolute shit ton of traffic -- mostly writing about technology, games, and movies, it seems -- and I've been remiss in being on the ball as a contributor as of late. That's part of why I'm writing this post -- to locate the strengths and weaknesses of this process.
Final monthly stats:
Total Monthly Visitors: 98,340
One-time Visitors: 94,837
Repeat Visitors: 3,503
Current Recency Score: 64
The Recency score is something newer to the Forbes contributor pay model. Instead of allowing contributors to coast on highly-trafficked evergreen posts from the past -- for me, it was "The Hardest Thing About Being a Male Porn Star" with 1,923,289 views -- more recent posts are given a score that gives greater pay weight to newer posts. In other words, more recent posts make you more money.
In the past my traffic has been as high as 500,000 views a month, so that is my goal for June: 500,000 views. I'll report back on that in a month, if all goes as planned.