January 2020 Blog vs Vlog

Blog vs Vlog: January 2020 Broke Some Records

Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank

With this being the “Year of Effort,” I’m not really all that surprised that everything is picking up between the vlog and blog. After all, I’ve personally seen how being active can improve a website’s general search rank. But, I didn’t think I would break some records.

The hard part, especially for me, is to keep the momentum going. In the past, I would let up on the reigns a bit and be happy with how well everything did in January.

But not this time around. I’m going to keep pushing and put in as much effort as I can…in everything!
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January 2020 Blog vs Vlog Results

The blog vs vlog results are a little skewed this time around. While it looks like a spam referrer came across WriterSanctuary.com, it’s not behaving like other sites. Traffic appears to actually be exploring the content.

Still, even from human consumers, January turned out to be a stellar month for both mediums.

Visitor Traffic and Views, Winner: YouTube Channel

January YouTube Views

I hate it when third-party “services” send traffic to either the YouTube channel or blog. Although the traffic appears legit, the spike to the blog doesn’t show how well I am doing in terms of Google search.

Still, it looks as though someone was at least exploring the site, so I can’t complain too much. But, I’m still skeptical as to whether or not it was actual human traffic.

Blog Visits Growth: +20.5%

The blog saw a spike from something called, tafficbot4free.club. This is a spam referrer, but it seems a bit odd. This one actually has on-page time, a low bounce rate and explored a few pages. For instance, the Pages / Session under this referrer is listed at 2.12.

Usually with spam referrals, the program hits like two pages and moves on. So, you would see a flat “2.0” pages per visit. This one seems to work more randomly.

At any rate, the other systems I use recorded much higher human traffic, so that is good. In fact, the blog broke its previous record for organic visitors with 1,214! If all goes well, it will break the record again in February.

YouTube Views Growth: +22.4%

January saw a huge jump in views on the YouTube channel. The numbers went from 2,111 to 2,719 over the course of the month. A lot of the older videos saw nearly double the traffic.

I made three more videos in January as opposed to what I uploaded in December. Still, that’s quite a jump just with three videos. As the older content is getting more attention, I’m wondering if the algorithm shifted in my favor.

No matter how you slice it though, it’s more eyes on the videos than there were last month.

Audience Retention Rate, Winner: WriterSanctuary.com*

Blog On Page Time January

I’m putting the blog as the winner this time with an asterisk. This is because the traffic from the spam referrer may be interfering with actual data. But as the referrer targeted the homepage, I still saw growth in several other pages from real people.

Because the data might be skewed, I’m not 100% sure what to believe this month without doing some deeper digging.

YouTube Watch Time Growth: +25.8%

The watch time went up quite a bit in January for the YouTube channel. I think a lot of that is due to having a great live stream last time around. More people watched and interacted, so that was a bonus.

I like interacting with people, and I have to say that the last live show was quite active compared to others.

Aside from the live stream, there are a lot more people watching the videos. In January, I hit 193.7 hours of watch time. To put this into perspective, though, you need 333.33 hours of minimum watch time per month to qualify for monetizing on YouTube.

Blog On-Page Reading Time: +79.92%*

The average reading time of visitors grew from 3:14 to 5:49. Then again, this average is boosted by the referrer spam, unfortunately. Still, I do see growth on various pages from legitimate sources.

What’s probably going to happen is the same thing that happened last year. Amazon flooded the site in 2019, which skewed the results. This was followed by lower numbers the next month.

So I bet I’ll see a sharp decrease in February.

However, the other tracking system I am using for human interaction shows I’m on course to break visitor records again in February. I guess we’ll have to see what happens.

Media Click-Through Rate, Winner: YouTube Channel

YouTube CTR January

This contributes to why I’m not holding stock into the growth of the blog. But, even though the blog had a lower CTR this month, it had twice the impressions and nearly twice the clicks.

So, this tells me it wasn’t just the traffic from the spam site that exploded engagement on the blog.

Blog Search CTR: -0.8%

As I said, the CTR of the blog dropped a bit throughout January. This is kind of to be expected, though. A lot of industries have a lull at the beginning of the year. Even some of my clients had a slow beginning.

But around the 20th, traffic picked up quite a bit. So I am betting that February’s numbers will be even better. That is as long as I can continue to push out articles people want to read.

On the upside, the average position of content went up yet again. This time, by 1.2 positions, which is higher growth than last month.

YouTube CTR: +0.2%

Between 5 and 5.4% is average for the YouTube channel in terms of click-through rate. It fluctuates quite a bit, and it’s not too bad in the grand scheme of things. Though, I would like to set aside some time to see if I can improve those numbers.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to do it this month simply because I have that new video project of Building a Better Blog. But maybe I’ll experiment with new thumbnail layouts.

I definitely want to create a new welcome video on the channel’s page.
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Improvements for February

So far in 2020, I’ve been doing really well keeping up with my promise of effort. I’ve published more content and have been far more interactive on social media. And it’s been paying off.

It’s all about effort and delivering to the masses. You can’t expect millions of people to flock to your media if you have nothing interesting to read or watch.

I would like to start looking into affiliates. Not just to help others by showing how to make money, but also to monetize both WriterSanctuary.com and the YouTube channel.

The problem I’m having, though, is finding affiliates that fit my niche. Most people come to the blog and videos for Textbroker information. Textbroker doesn’t have an affiliate program for authors.

YouTube Growth

I can probably go beyond 200 hours watch time in February if I push out a few more videos that people want to watch. I have quite a few requests that I’m working on, so I hope I can get those done soon.

Although the Building a Better Blog series isn’t getting much love from viewership, I am still pretty excited about the project. I think I’ll need to make these in addition to the writing videos I normally make, though.

This means a lot more time in front of the camera and editing.

I’ll spend a bit of time and analyze the types of videos that perform the best, outside of Textbroker, and see if I can come up with some ideas from that as well.

Blog Development

I need to do a bit of research and find articles that more people will want to read. The most popular two articles get nearly three times the traffic as the third. If I can come up with a few more of those, the blog would be set!

Still, it’s all about quality. I just can’t slap anything up and cross my fingers.

I also need to figure out why the blog’s homepage is showing the excerpt from the most recent article in its header. I might just start looking for a new theme. This one has been nothing but trouble since day one. Which is sad, because I love ColorNews.

But I need to do what’s best for the blog, though. And constantly fighting with the theme is not conducive to growth.

Another thing I want to do is shift more towards blogging and publishing. I’ll still do Textbroker articles here and there. But I want to expand further than that narrow of a niche.

Keeping the Momentum of Blog and Vlog

Last month, I published more words on this blog than I have since August of 2016! It’s my goal to surpass that number yet again. It’s all about keeping the momentum when you’re doing good. And I can’t get sucked into the mentality of, “just doing enough.”

Let’s keep the ball rolling down this hill and see how far everything can go.

Michael Brockbank
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