Year Three

Just a few days ago marked the third birthday of this website. Once again, I didn’t give the site the attention I had planned to. Nevertheless, I’ll publish a review of the year as a whole and look at what the next year might bring.


Here’s a quick look at some details of the blog this year:

  • Blog posts: 8 (exactly the same as last year)
  • Visits: 13,896
  • Visitors: 12,693
  • Pageviews: 17,488
  • Avg. time on the site: 0:34
  • Backlinks (as measured by Open Site Explorer): 318
  • Google Pagerank: 3
  • Alexa site rank: 890,930

Just like last year, I failed to even post once a month, but visits, vistors, and pageviews grew substantially. However, the average time on site decreased by over 10 seconds and visitors finding my site through a search engine increased to almost 85%. I wrote a number of shorter posts this year, so that might be partially responsible for the change in numbers. My site also made it into the top million sites on the internet according to A million is quite a few, so I’m not sure if that’s something to be proud of or not. (more…)

  • PublishedJune 4, 2012
  • Posted InProgress

Year Two

Today marks exactly two years since I started this website. Once again, I didn’t post nearly as often as I had hoped. Life away from the keyboard keeps interrupting, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.


Here’s a quick rundown of the blog this year:

  • Blog posts: 8
  • Visits: 8,649
  • Visitors: 7,537
  • Pageviews: 11,670
  • Avg. time on the site: 0:48
  • Backlinks (as measured by Yahoo): 210
  • Google Pagerank: 3

I didn’t even post once a month, but visits, vistors, and pageviews more than doubled since last year. Average time on site decreased by about 5 seconds though. Over 75% of my visitors are finding my site through a search engine, while only 10% are coming from referring sites. It’s nice to know people are searching for topics I’ve written about, but I’d like to bring up the percentage of people who find me through other sites who have linked to me because of content that they found helpful or worthwhile. My backlink count grew by just 35 this year and my Google pagerank actually dropped from 4 to 3. I won’t be in school this year, so I might finally get back to blogging a little more often.


I set a few goals in my one year review post, and now that year two is behind me, it’s time to review them.

  1. Re-brand Sackcloth Studios (my web design and development business). Mission accomplished! The new site is live and I documented the whole process.
  2. Build the Trusty Press brand. This didn’t happen at all. In fact, I just began the process of closing down the web hosting arm of Trusty Press (and that was its only arm). However, I do have an idea or two regarding where I’d like to take it in the future.
  3. Complete another WordPress plugin. Done and done! I actually wrote two more plugins this year and they can both be found in the plugin repository.
  • Easy Embed – A simple plugin allowing anything to be embedded in the editor via a shortcode in order to keep WordPress from messing with it.
  • Simple Slide Show – Upload a batch of images via FTP. Place them all in a slide show with the ease of a simple shortcode.

Two out of three isn’t bad. Now on to a few of the things I’d like to accomplish this year:

  1. Release a commercial WordPress theme.
  2. Get Trusty Press running again, this time in a new direction.
  3. Make Theme Signal a valuable resource for locating the perfect WordPress theme.

Well, it looks like that’s all for now. See you in a year :]

  • 8,649
  • PublishedJune 2, 2011
  • Posted InProgress

One Year

Today marks exactly one year since I started this website. It has been (and I hope it continues to be) a grand experiment in blogging. This past year of blogging definitely didn’t go as planned. First, I started working for Jason Schuller over at, which has been great! Then I went back to school (which has also been great). Consequently, I didn’t post nearly as often as I had hoped. Running a business and taking an average of 20 credits per semester doesn’t leave so much time for blogging. I hope to have a lighter class load this coming year, so maybe the blog posts will be a little more frequent. Anyway, here are a few of the stats for year number one:

  • Blog posts: 30
  • Visits: 3,200
  • Visitors: 2,800
  • Pageviews: 4,500
  • Avg. time on the site: 0:53
  • Backlinks (as measured by Yahoo): 175
  • Google Pagerank: 4

These stats aren’t really that important, but I look forward to comparing them to future years. I also look forward to not comparing them to John O’Nolan, who started just six months before me 🙂

Looking back over these stats, I noticed noticed that I posted more often than I would have guessed. I think as time went on and I got busier, my posts became less frequent, so it feels like I hardly posted at all. I think for the coming year I would be happy with a similar number of posts spread out more evenly this time. Finally, I have a few goals for the future that are not directly related to this blog:

I have a few other projects up my sleeve, but I’ll just leave it at that for now.

  • PublishedJune 1, 2010
  • Posted InProgress

Week Three


I got a pleasant surprise today when I looked up my Google pagerank. It appears they’ve updated their ranks and this site went from a 0 to a 3. Not bad for 3 weeks. It looks like putting in the time and effort actually leads to some visible results. The results are not stunning by any stretch of the imagination, but at least I can see them. Eventually I would like to find clients through this site though, not just check my pagerank and look at pretty Google Analytics graphs.

Anyway, I’ve started submitting some of my posts to various social media outlets, but none of them bring in the traffic like Twitter, that’s for sure (at least not yet). The number of visitors grew from 12 last week to 82 this week, which was pretty substantial, at least if you look at it in percentage form (583%). I don’t think I’ll be able to keep that up :] My Feedburner subscriber count went up as well (to 9), and this time it looks like some of them are actually humans, not bots.

That’s it for now. I’ll try to give a little more in depth look at traffic sources etc. at the one month mark next week.

  • PublishedJune 23, 2009
  • Posted InProgress

Two Weeks

It looks like my traffic has more than doubled since the first week! From 5 visitors to 12 isn’t too much to get excited over though. I’ve gotten a little traffic from social media sites like Twitter and StumbleUpon, and the rest is from people typeing “Alex Mansfield” into Google (probably just other people named Alex Mansfield, there are a bunch of us). I also had my first iPhone visitor this week, which was sort of cool. Also, according to the Hubspot Website Grader, which grades website SEO/marketing effectiveness, I improved my score from 45/100 to 57/100. So to keep you up to date on what I’ve been doing with this blog, it looks like I’ll need to be writing a post on social media and link building in the near future. Good stuff.

  • PublishedJune 16, 2009
  • Posted InProgress

One Week

I started this blog one week ago and promised to write about everything I did in my attempt to build a successful blog. Well it’s a lot of work setting up a blog for success and so there was quite a bit going on. Consequently, I had a lot of writing to do in order to explain everything. That resulted in 9 posts this week, which is not a posting schedule I plan sticking with. According to Google Analytics (which I haven’t written about yet, sorry) I ended the week with 5 visitors and 1 spam comment. It’s only the first week though, so I’m not concerned. Google crawled my site on the second day, but hasn’t been back since, so not many of my posts are indexed yet. Looking on the bright side though, after only one week, my blog is in the 3rd position for the Google search “Alex Mansfield” (although that doesn’t say much, since I don’t share my name with anyone famous). Also, according to the Hubspot Website Grader, which grades website SEO/marketing effectiveness, I have a score of 45/100. Looks like I’ve got lot’s of room for improvement. Now that lots of the groundwork has been laid, I’ll start to focus a little more on search optimization and bringing traffic.

  • PublishedJune 8, 2009
  • Posted InProgress

Day Two

This is the second day of my blog experiment. I have chosen to use WordPress as my publishing platform due to it’s combination of functionality and ease of use. As of this writing, I have just finished installing WordPress and importing yesterday’s post. I’m still using the default WordPress theme and I haven’t even changed the default tagline. As I update, modify, and improve this site I’ll explain everything that’s happening and how you can do the same to your site. The most important aspect of blogging is quality content and I’ll do my best to provide just that. So now I’ll wrap up this post and write another about how to install WordPress.

  • PublishedJune 2, 2009
  • Posted InProgress

My Name is Alex Mansfield

Today is June first. No one knows I am writing this here. It will probably be a few days before anyone reads this at all. It will probably be quite a few more days before anyone cares.

I am a web designer and developer and this is my personal experiment. There are so many blogs floating around with instructions on creating a successful blog. I plan to test their theories and write about what happens. I will share the steps I’m taking, why I’m taking them, and how it turns out.

I want this to be a helpful place. Please ask questions (as soon as I create a contact form). I’d love to help you find the answer. On the other hand, if you have a successful blog of your own, I’d love to hear how you did it.

That’s all for tonight. More to come tomorrow…