Beautiful Fireworks

2015 Year in Review

So it’s that time of the year again, one which has ended and another which is set to begin.

Before I start I just want to point out that I actually have never done one of these types of posts before.

I guess I’m thinking it may be worth doing them from here on end, not only as a way to provide you with an inside look on how the ThemeChills brand is evolving, but also as a way to hold me accountable and keep track of my goals for the upcoming year.

With that being said, here we go…

The Stats Breakdown

I really haven’t been keeping track of my stats on an ongoing basis, some reasons are due to the fact that I simply have not had the time, but on the other hand I see it as a way to procrastinate and not get things done.

Stats are all well and good, and there’s definitely a place for them, but when it removes you from the work which you need to do, well, it’s time to get out of analytics and start producing.

Google Analytics

Overall the metrics for the site have been trending upwards. For example, there were close to 150 thousand pageviews, up from 95 thousand the previous year – that is close to a 57% increase, which is great news. It makes sense considering I managed to launch more WordPress themes this year than ever before.

Another nice little note, is that the average session duration was up by 11%, from 1:17 vs 1:10…hey, every little second counts right?

Next up referral traffic – without surprise ThemeForest was in the number one spot, which brought close to 55,000 new visitors (44,256 in 2014) to the site, not bad.

At the moment, not too sure what to make of these stats as it is my first time trying this out. That being said, I do think there is definitely more room to increase traffic in other areas…

Which leads me to my next point…social media traffic.

Facebook

For 2015 I actually was more proactive about posting more on my Facebook page. I actually tried a variety of different post types such as, short description with no image, short description with image, design quotes, video post, etc.

To be honest Facebook is an unknown for me. I really don’t understand how the reach is established. At times I would be getting almost 25-30% reach from 712 Likes (at the time of writing this post), and other times barely a dint, with only 2-5% reach.

Not too sure I will be over-analyzing things here. You’ll see below that my key goal will be on growing another area of my brand.

In terms of referral traffic to the blog, Facebook is the number 1 from a social media platform standpoint. When digging into the figures a bit deeper, that stat is a bit less impressive… 373 pageviews for the whole year, which was a 60% drop from 2014.

But, let’s end this on a good note, looking into the average session duration, these visits had a 150% increase, going from 0:57 to 2:17. I think that’s pretty good, as I would rather have a more engaged audience than a higher amount of traffic.

I think for 2016 Facebook will obviously always be on the radar, though may not be my #1 focus.

Twitter

I actually don’t do much on Twitter in terms of trying to drive traffic to the blog. Stats for 2015 aren’t anything to brag about, so in saying that, let’s not…

…ok, ok, I’ll share… a whopping 52 pageviews, you see my point?

Instagram

This is actually an experiment I am trying out, simply because I think Instagram is on the way up. I actually think Facebook, YouTube and Instagram will take more of my focus than any other social media platform.

No stats to report on for Instagram referral traffic though, which makes sense considering I’m brand new to the platform. Come 2017 we’ll see how this year went…

Goals for 2016

I really like the concept of SMART goals. If you haven’t heard of these they relate to your goals being defined with a certain criteria, these include making these:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Timely

So to that end it’s time to set my goals, these of which include the following:

  1. Design and develop 4 new WordPress themes by the end of the year.
  2. Write and publish at least 12 blog posts for the year (1 down, 11 to go…). I actually was quite slack on this front during 2015, but considering I did launch 3 new WordPress themes I’m actually ok with that. In 2016 I need to make a concerted effort to make sure this changes.
  3. Grow my email list to a minimum of 500 subscribers. Once again, I’ve let myself go on that front but know that it is extremely important to have this, not only to let my visitors know of new products, but more so to maintain a relationship with my readers, customers and anyone else who is interested in what I have to say. I guess that’s you, right? 🙂
  4. Learn JavaScript, deeply. Though not really under the SMART goal umbrella, I think it is really important to include. The JS revolution has begun and if you’re not learning it you’ll be falling behind. Below is a quick little video from Matt Mullenweg’s state of the word speech in WordCamp US which I think gets the point across a bit better than what I can…

So there you have it, my very first year in review post. I really hope you enjoy it and I’ll definitely make it my mission to make sure I hit the goals I have set for myself as I continue to push forward in my business and also do everything that I can to help you reach your goals in 2016.

Happy New Year to you, be safe and here’s to a profitable and healthy 2016!

By Leo Acosta

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