Going Direct

Every few months, I like to share some analytics on this blog's audience. Here's the google analytics refer logs for the past thirty days:


The thing that jumps out at me is the magnitude of the direct audience. If you add the direct category, this blog's RSS feed (Feedburner), and the avc.blogs.com domain (the original domain of this blog which still works), you get roughly 86,000 visits which is roughly half of all the visits.

That's a lot of direct visits for a website given all the distribution channels out there (Google, Twitter, Facebook, Techmeme, Hacker News, etc).

I think it reflects two things:

1) the loyalty of this blog's audience – many of you come to read this blog every day and I suspect that you come via a bookmark, the feed, or some other way you've set up to remember to do that.

2) Twitter – most of the traffic that comes from twitter clients still registers as direct traffic in google analytics. i hope Twitter and Google work out some way to fix that soon. it's been an issue for years now.

SInce I don't use a feed reader of any kind, I often forget how powerful that distribution channel is. I was one of the first users of Feedburner and was an investor in Feedburner before it was sold to Google. I don't think about Feedburner much any more. It's a set it and forget it sort of thing. But Feedburner is a huge distribution channel for this blog. Here are some stats for the past thirty days:

The reach number is the number of different feed readers that open a post from this blog per day. Feedburner tells us that an average of 11k readers per day open a post from this blog in their reader. Google Analytics says the number of web visits per day to this blog is between 5k and 10k on most days. So that means that there are more readers of this blog via the feed than the web.

It's pretty eye opening to be honest. I spend so much time thinking about internet distribution channels and the impact of search and social media on audience and traffic that I don't pay as much attention to the value of a loyal and consistent audience and yet that is exactly what we have here at AVC. Kind of ironic. 

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