Ahh, it’s that time of the year again where I reminisce about my blog and highlight my best articles from each month and my top referrers of the year (check out 2007 Carnival of Clever Dude). Let’s get right to it!
2008 Traffic Numbers
I officially doubled my traffic since 2007. In 2008, I acquired over 300,000 new unique visitors and over 500,000 unique page views. I just missed my goals of 500,000 visitors (by about 3,000) and 1 million pageviews (by about 170k), but I expect to hit both targets very soon!
In 2007, 63% of my traffic was from referring sites while 21% came from search engines. My goal was to flip those numbers. That didn’t quite work, but I did average 38% from referrals and 44% from search engines, with the year-end search traffic percentage over 50%.
As far as subscribers, I lost the history from prior to Oct 2008, so I don’t know how many I had in Dec 2007, but I’ve consistently had over 2,100 subscribers in December 2008.
Top 2008 Traffic Referrers
Here are my top 15 traffic referrers for all of 2008:
- Google search
- Direct (user goes directly to cleverdude.com)
- MSN Money Smartspending blog
- Google homepage and Google reader
- Yahoo search
- My Money Blog
- Five Cent Nickel
- MSN search
- The Simple Dollar
- No Credit Needed
- Aol search
- Canadian Capitalist
- Live search
- Ask search
Thanks to my fellow finance blogs and all those search engines! And of course thanks to my readers, whether you come back every day or just once!
2008 Top Articles by Traffic
Iâ€™m placing the % of total pageview traffic in () after the rank. I noticed that % are less on the top articles this year, but that’s because I’m spreading my search results across many more articles (over 1010 now!):
- (4.64%) How to Value Clothing Donations – This was #6 last year but has been a consistent performer on the search engines this year.
- (3.54%) How I Get Laptops and Plasma TVs for Free – Still a classic article from early 2007. This article, along with Frugal Lunch, really brought Clever Dude to the forefront.
- (3.50%) How to Find Technical Service Bulletins for Your Car – An article picked up by Lifehacker, but now pulling in the searches too.
- (2.94%) Frugal Lunch by Clever Dudette – Also, this is the most-commented article on my site (currently 108 comments).
- (2.28%) 50 Ways to Save Money by Not Wasting – Most of the traffic has come from MSN Smartspending, but a number of other sites have picked it up, such as The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
2008 Best Articles on Clever Dude
Of course the following selections are based on my own opinion, either because I think they’re very informative or I just liked writing them:
- Rehabilitate Your Finances – While going through rehab for my back, I drew and great comparison between medical and financial rehabilitation.
- Stupid Dude and the Dryer of Death – Almost killed myself fixing my dryer. I eventually had to take the dryer to the recycler.
- My Superpower Wish: Regaining Cash – I still dream of having this power, and even find myself touching unwanted objects to see if they turn into money. No, Stacie is still here (LOL! just seeing if she’s reading this).
- Fun with Celebrities and Money – Just a fun read.
- Writing your Autobiography through Spending – An interesting way at looking at life and finances.
- Ways to Save Money Series – This is actually an index page to about 20 articles about saving money.
- An Illustrated Frugal Lunch – This was definitely a fun article to write, especially since I got to eat the results!
- Every Day is Valentine’s Day – A great gift for your wife is to always…oh, you have to read the article.
- Don’t Let Your Finances Overwhelm You – My own financial ruin was killing me for years until I finally said ENOUGH!
- Who Do You Blame for Your Financial Problems? – I’m tired of hearing people blame others such as parents, teachers or politicians for their money troubles. Take some responsibility for your own actions!
- Creating New Opportunities Out of Old Ones – I was in a slump at work and realized I could create new, more interesting work for myself while improving employee morale.
- Free Laptop Nation: How Free Is It? – After hearing their radio commercials, I decided to try out their site and provide a detailed breakdown of the minimum costs you would expect. This took a lot of work!
- 50 Ways to Save Money by Not Wasting – Already mentioned as a top 5 article in terms of traffic, I enjoyed writing this article and plan on expanding on these ideas in 2009.
- Growing Your Own Mini-Garden – Just a quick article that explains you don’t need a yard to grow a garden
- 10 Ways to Live Green and Save Money Indoors – A classic article for any homeowner or renter
- Break the Cycle of Financial Bondage – Wow, I forgot about this one. It’s short, but inspirational
May proved to be my second highest article production month ever with 54 articles posted. The highest was August 2007 with 58. However, many of the articles were guest posts by fellow bloggers as I took the month to install new flooring in our home. You can scroll through the whole month of May here:
- Look for the Positives of Your Job and Life – Because my current job is so slow, I’ve been hit with a bunch of self-hate and depression this year, but I keep looking for the positives to remind myself how good things are.
- Is Welfare Unconstitutional AND Bad for Society? – My answer is still YES, it’s bad. It makes people dependent, regardless of the short-term benefits. However, I do think that changes such as one-time aid rather than life-long dependence would improve the system (since it’s never going away).
- 10 Tips for My Fellow Mass-Transit Riders and 10 Tips for My Fellow Rush-Hour Drivers (by Stacie) – A two-for-one deal on comedic, yet serious, rules we think our fellow commuters should follow to make everyone’s life a bit easier. Definitely two of the more enjoyable posts to write this year.
- Save Money Mailing Books through the Post Office – It’s called Media Mail. Learn it, use it, save with it.
- You Hear that Ringing? Maybe It’s… – Just a PSA about listening to music too loudly and how it’s impacted my own life.
- Wanting Too Much – My own personal story of my greed and how it got me into financial trouble.
- “Saving Money” versus “Avoiding Spending” – We all use the “save money” term incorrectly. Here’s an explanation.
- How I Saved $1,400 Per Year on Insurance – See how I saved mucho money on switching my insurance (and I didn’t switch to Geico).
- Can Webkinz Teach Kids Personal Finance? – I performed a very lengthy analysis of the Webkinz online site (which is geared towards kids) and whether it really teaches kids anything about money.
- Lower Your Cleaning Costs by 2000%! – Ok, I exaggerated a bit, but many people enjoyed this article about how your carpet could be killing your finances AND your health.
- No, I don’t want your boogers. Thank you – It was a slow month, but I found some humor in an nose-picking commuter. Not for the weak-stomach readers.
- Babies Will Help You Ignore Your Problems – A comment from a coworker sparked a rant about using kids, spending or bad habits to ignore your financial problems.
- Can You Be a Personal Finance Rock Star? – I really liked writing this article about how you, the reader, can take control of your finances by emulating personal finance bloggers like me.
- How to Change Your Car’s Oil – A detailed guide using my own methods for changing oil in our cars through the years. Very good resource!
- Managing Work, Life and School for Graduate Students – When you work full-time AND go to school, you need to plan your time well or else all parts of your life will suffer.
- We finished our retaining walls! – It took months of work, blood, sweat and tears (especially when I fell of my truck onto the wheelbarrow), but I got 4 major retaining walls done.
- Have You Committed Financial Infidelity? – A book review AND guide on recognizing and correcting financial infidelity
- Appreciating What You Have is Hard! – Teaching myself how to appreciate what I have.
- Battling the Pay-per-pound Buffets – My attempts at a clever strategy for getting the most out of those grocery store buffets.
- I Don’t Dream Anymore – I used to lie awake dreaming about winning the lottery. Now I don’t. See why.
- Stop Complaining for 7 Days – Need a New Year’s resolution? Try to stop complaining for just 7 days. See if you can drag it out for a whole year. I made it about 2 months…ok, maybe a month.
- Should We Abolish Marriage? – Read for yourself
- 50 Prosperity Classics – Need a good library reading list? Try out any one of these classic books about prosperity.
This month was another one full of guest posts because we were in Israel for half of the month! But I did write a few decent articles this month:
- Being More Thankful than those Little Brats – A fun Thanksgiving post reflecting the difficulty growing up without the technology the kids today have.
- My Prosperity was More Than Good Luck – I thought my current success couldn’t possibly be attributed to my own efforts, but looking back you’d be surprised at what drives you to succeed.
- Securing Your Email When Using Public Computers – A clever method I devised for securing our main email accounts when checking email at overseas internet cafes.
- Preparing Our House for a Long Trip Away – A useful checklist for when you leave for a long trip
- What is Frugality? – No one here knows, but I tried to start up a frugality blog, but shut it down after just 8 posts (I’ll repost them here). This was my first post at that site, telling my readers what I think Frugality is.
- Why You Should Get Renter’s Insurance – Self-explanatory title I guess, but important for you renters out there!