Update on OneMint Stats

by Manshu on April 15, 2013

in Announcements

I share OneMint numbers with you from time to time, and usually I do that when the blog hits a milestone or some other small achievement like that.

However, today I’m going to share stats of perhaps the worst quarter OneMint has ever had. I track some numbers on OneMint quarterly, and since this is a financial blog, the last quarter of every financial year is usually the best as far as traffic is concerned.

OneMint was very close to hitting one million pageviews per quarter in 2012, and I was fairly confident that the one million a quarter mark will be hit in Q1 2013. However, this is what happened:

   2013 Jan – Mar Growth / Decline (’12 Jan – Mar)
Pageviews 447,520 -53.67%
Unique Visitors 287,693 -41.78%
Visits 336,772 -43.34%
Pages / Visit 1.42 -12.88%
Avg Time on Site 00:1:21 -17.35%
Bounce Rate 78.93% 17.44%
New Visits 82.11% 3.48%

As you can well imagine, I’m very disappointed with these numbers, and when a friend casually remarked that by next year OneMint won’t even be in existence, I got a small shock and thought that I should introspect and spend some time on why OneMint has done so badly in recent times.

I hope that writing this will also help other bloggers avoid some mistakes that I have committed.

With that in mind, here is what I think I did wrong that has led to OneMint’s recent decline.

1. Answered comments late: I have not been answering comments as regularly as I used to and this has definitely led to a decline in traffic. People don’t post as often, and the ones who were likely to post follow ups don’t do it when the comments are old, so not answering comments in a timely fashion has led to decline.

2. Did not post frequently enough: I don’t know of an easy way to calculate this but I’m pretty sure that I haven’t posted as much in 2012 as I did in 2011, and that definitely leads to decline in traffic – every new article results in traffic so it is natural that if you post less frequently your traffic will go down as well.

3. Did not strategize posts: Suggest a Topic has been a great page because of the discussion it generates but I usually don’t think about how popular that question is likely to be. Not every question interests a large segment of readers and many times I think that I haven’t used my time to the most optimal possible. Sometimes I write posts which are very narrow in scope and that takes away from writing about other things that are of interest to a wider audience and that is definitely a cause for lower traffic.

4. Did not update old posts: The main source of traffic for OneMint is Google Search, and older posts usually send more traffic. In the past I have updated older posts with more current data so that the posts still remain relevant and don’t lose their search engine rankings, but in the last year I haven’t been updating posts as regularly and as a result they are dropping out of search engine rankings, and losing their traffic.

5. Did not write difficult posts: Although I hate to admit it, I’ve been prone to write about topics that I already know about and that’s usually not good for traffic. You want to write about things that are difficult and explain them so that posts get shared, and do well in search rankings, writing easy stuff is easy but won’t generate traffic long term.

I can go on and on but I want to stop here, and hear from you on what you think might have been the reason for OneMint’s decline, and for those of you who also have blogs, I hope that you don’t commit the same mistakes that I have!

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

pattu April 15, 2013 at 8:58 am

oops. Couple of mistakes in my comment. So re-posting. Kindly delete the first one.

Is it boredom? At the end of the day personal finance boils down to a simple set of rules followed by commonsense. How long can anyone keep repeating the same thing over and over without getting at least a bit bored? Of course ‘anyone’ here refers to someone like you who blogs out of passion and not someone who blogs (or is advised to blog ) t0 ‘showcase expertise’ and attract clients.
ps. personally I would like to see more of Manshu and less of guest posts from a singular guest.

Reply

Manshu April 15, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Yes, it is a bit of boredom but not for the reasons you mention. There is a lot to discover in the world of finance and money, and my curiosity is what led me to write to begin with.

I’m constantly learning new things, and then in the process of writing, learning more about what I already knew so for example, the WPI numbers that were released today are at a 40 month low, but what’s the reality behind these numbers? Is inflation really low or is there anything else that caused this? What about gold? Gold seems to be falling like no other time, what has happened recently that’s causing this?

There is a lot for me to learn every day but in the course of writing this blog, I drifted away from what I wanted to know verse what people wanted to know that I already knew about – that is not as much fun. I need to balance between the two.

Reply

Ritz April 25, 2013 at 12:49 am

Pattu

I do not agree. Its not about more of Manshu, its about what people are looking for?

Manshu

I think the main reason for the traffic fall is less research on keywords. Your articles of Jan-Mar 12 are still coming on top while Jan-Mar 13 articles still have to found their way on google top pages.

and the repeated visits on any website are not more than 20%. You have to found new ways to get new visits.

I am following your blog for last 3 years and was amazed by the selection of keywords you used to do. That one thing has started missing now.

Reply

Shashank April 15, 2013 at 9:01 am

Hi Manshu,
Its very rare to find people accepting their mistake before readers and followers at large. Although you have done a good introspection about your blog stats and reason for the same. But personally i feel Onemint posts in past few days have become a simple feeder posts to sometimes very naive’ topics. Exploratory part rendering depth to topics have completely gone missing !! Alas i am pinpointing here but the matter of fact here is I personally look forward your posts with a clear mind and support your cause in spreading awareness. Do look for depth in topics and would love praise your reasoning supporting it :):)

Reply

Manshu April 15, 2013 at 8:19 pm

I appreciate your criticism Shashank and I do believe it is valid. I’m going to try an do a better job of adding depth to the posts. Thank you.

Reply

Ams April 15, 2013 at 9:10 am

Manshu,
When I read this post, I felt really nice. A true introspection, that is the first thing to solving any problem. Hats off to you ! for doing it genuinly.

I feel the traffic has been slowing down because of so much uncertainty everywhere. Uncertainty in polic making, personal finance and also in the goverment. May be this has led many people to go away from other investement options and move to the older proven one’s like FD and G sec. These types of investements do not need much thinking or understanding is what I believe.
Again this is my opinion may be I am completly wrong, but I feel a poll or something of that sort would be a great idea to hear out everyone elses voice.

Thanks,
Amit

Reply

Manshu April 15, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Thank you for your feedback Amit. I do feel that the uncertainty is an opportunity to discuss policies and what should have been done, and can be done, what other countries are done, so I guess opportunities are always there to write about and talk about things.

Reply

Vivek April 15, 2013 at 9:16 am

Not sure, if it really helps but here it is. I have subscribed to onemint and can read the entire post (minus the comments) in my email, so don’t really have to visit onemint to read the post.

Reply

Manshu April 15, 2013 at 8:47 pm

That’s fine, and that is a good thing in my mind. A lot of blogs have a truncated email and Reader feed but I’m not going to do that to raise traffic.

Reply

VikasG April 27, 2013 at 2:16 pm

I just read onemint on flipboard. It delivers the entire content of the article so I don’t visit the website that often. Are you able to count the number of readers reading thru flipboard? Maybe, you should include it in your numbers.

Reply

Manshu April 27, 2013 at 9:06 pm

I don’t have that info separately – that’s great though, I’m happy that you shared it.

Reply

RAKESH KUMAR JAIN April 15, 2013 at 9:32 am

I personally want more frequent posts from OneMint on investment opportunities rather than analytical posts ananlyzing world economy.

Reply

Manshu April 15, 2013 at 8:49 pm

I’m not sure I will be able to do anything about this because there are only a very limited set of good investment opportunities, most products that come out in the market are better left alone, and unfortunately good investment opportunities are rare.

Reply

Ramamurthy April 15, 2013 at 10:05 am

I dont know about others but I look forward to One Mint every day.It has become a routine like morning coffee and my Hindu.Keep it up Manshu.
One suggestion.If you can compartmentalise the topics,perhaps the viewership may increase.eg in suggest topic feature of the blog several individual topics are included.Can you not make it topicwise.

Reply

Manshu April 15, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Wow that’s a great compliment – thank you!

I’m not sure how to implement the thing you are saying. We have a forum here too which is not as popular but I think for a lot of the Suggest a Topic things, the forum is more appropriate than the post. I guess with time the forum will start getting used more.

Reply

Paul April 15, 2013 at 10:10 am

It is nice layout, good theme, great readability and latest updates that makes onemint good. Also it is not yet blocked by corporate firewall 🙂

Reply

Manshu April 15, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Thanks! I know of one or two companies where it is blocked – unfortunately can’t do anything about that either!

Reply

Gaurav Bansal April 15, 2013 at 10:15 am

Hi Manshu
I have been coming to One Mint since couple of years now but due to my workload, the visits surely have been decreasing. So I am definitely one of the culprits in your dismal stats and it has happened in the past 4-5 months. In my case its purely a case of not getting enough time to visit, read and comment on the great work have been doing. My point is that the statistics cannot such cases so they have to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Having said that, it’s also imperative to liven up the marital life with some excitement after a few years of marriage. The same applies to some extent to your content as well. I am sure the few remedies that you mention above can bring about a change for sure. Other things you can try are
– Running quizzes
– Creating Domain specific forums with SME’s to help
– Having Doodles/Cartoons
– Creating something like a grading system which allocates points to replies and determines the stature of the blogger

Another comment from my side is in the form of an example. Infact its a live example.
Today I visited OneMint after a few months I think. Why? Well I happened to be checking a stock price where I got attracted to a news item about NPS. Although I know a little about NPS, I decided to explore it further and read some content on Google following which I thought of checking it up here at OneMint. First of all, its absolutely a mess trying to search for something. Being in software for 18 odd years, I believe structure is very important for any content delivering portal. The search yielded me a list of links, none of which from the headlines was clear to the content it was talking about. Hence I would really need to look at least 4-5 links. Asking me to do that in a busy world is bit too much. The 2 links I read finally did not tell me in so many words whether NPS is for me or not, which was the main reason I came to OneMint.
Also a lot of the content is actually embedded in the comments following the blog.

You will find that indirectly there are at least 3-4 points in the above exercise which can be taken care to improve readability and effectiveness.

Cheers
Gaurav

Reply

Manshu April 15, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Thanks Gaurav – this is very useful feedback and I appreciate that you took the time to write it down.

Over the years I’ve tried several things to make these type of things happen more easily but unfortunately haven’t succeeded. I’ll think more about this and try to implement it. I know it is a problem, just not sure what to do about it.

Reply

Aditya April 15, 2013 at 10:58 am

As someone has already commented above, many of us get the your OneMint posts via email, and unless one wants to comment (like now), I rarely ever visit the website itself. I hope you aren’t ignoring your regular subscribed readers (and the increase in email subscriptions) when you analyze your numbers.

Reply

Manshu April 15, 2013 at 9:11 pm

There is a slowdown in the number of additional subscribers also….I don’t track that every quarter, maybe I should track that as well.

Reply

austere April 15, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Ditto Vivek and Aditya.

Reply

Manshu April 15, 2013 at 9:13 pm

And that is fine, I think regular readers should continue to get the emails without the need to visit the website and I’m heartened to see that you left this comment, as it is good to get a reminder that people are silently reading the site.

Reply

Anup Shah April 15, 2013 at 12:27 pm

I agree with Vivek’s point. Many people have subscribed to RSS feed like Google Reader. I am not sure how this analytics considers such scenarios. Also, below things will help.

1. Focus more on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) this is very important especially when there are tons of personal financing blogging site.
2. Another way is to have social presence and posting and advertising through there. Facebook, twitter etc.
3. do some ‘portfolio makeover’ kind of posts. People like when real case studies are put together.
4. Once in a while change the UI appearance. Even though current UI is very much clean, few tweaks here and there helps people sustain their interest.
5. Think of having some guest writers and promote voluntary contribution.

Reply

Manshu April 15, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Thank you Anup, I’m getting more liberal on the guest post front as time goes and that’s the biggest change from what I used to do earlier.

Reply

Mark April 15, 2013 at 12:33 pm

I read your articles only via RSS – not sure they get tracked

Reply

Manshu April 15, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Thanks Mark – I forgot about email while writing this post and usually don’t track email subscriber numbers but will add that to my list.

Reply

vipul April 15, 2013 at 1:48 pm

i am agree with vivek i never visit website as i get all info on my email.

Reply

Manshu April 15, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Thanks for our comment Vipul.

Reply

Bhaskar April 15, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Dear Manshu,

I agree with what Amit has said above. The recent high rate of inflation does not leave much free capital for most of the people i guess. With a possible correction in gold, property prices – people will get more attracted towards the blog and different financial products, so the future is bright. Keep up the good work.

Reply

Manshu April 15, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Thank you Bhaskar.

Reply

Shiv Kukreja April 15, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Hi Manshu… I think the fall is due to a wide-spread disappointment and a sharp decline of interest in the Indian financial markets and the products/services being offered. In the January-March quarter of the preceding years, the investors/tax-payers used to get a lot of assistance from your posts about tax-saving options like Infra Bonds or ELSS or tax-free bonds etc.

But this year, nothing of that sort was there to be googled about. Only RGESS was there but the response was very very poor and it is clearly visible in its subscription figures and the number of comments which are there on your RGESS posts. In this busy world, people get time only for minting money and personal fun & entertainment like IPL, weekend movies, shopping etc. thats it. People invest in stock markets, gold, real estates etc. at their peaks, simply beacuse they dont have enough time to analyse all these things or to visit your posts.

Reply

Manshu April 15, 2013 at 9:21 pm

That’s one part of the story and I definitely agree with that, but then the question is and this is the only thing that matters – what can we do to overcome that?

Reply

Ramanji April 15, 2013 at 3:17 pm

I have been going through your post regularly but on my email. Seldom I visit site unless need arises to comment like today. May be one of the reason many reasons.
Secondly the market is so unpredictable for quite sometime now that investing in stocks has become like Luxury for almost all income group and hence no need to look for updates etc and visit financial blog.
My sincere congratulations for real and honest introspection and that too making it public. Sure, it will be rewarding but perhaps once the market become stable and enough money will be in hand of individuals to make risky investments.
All the best, God bless !!!

Reply

Manshu April 15, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Thank you very much 🙂

Reply

Paresh April 15, 2013 at 3:23 pm

The way Google is updating its search algorithm time to time,ups & downs in ranking are inevitable for any blog.The page , ranking on first page today can’t guarantee same fortune tomorrow.As any blog get most of the hits through search engine ,Google updates is the important reason for reduced visits for number of blogs.

But its not reason for disappointment.Results may stable further as time passes.

Conditions in this year also much more different from last year & as when searches are less , visits will also in same proportion.

Finally, best solution is as said in Bhagvat-Geeta,Focus on the work & not on the Fruits.

Reply

Manshu April 15, 2013 at 9:22 pm

Thanks Paresh – I believe it is not Google’s updates because the posts that have taken OneMint’s place for the results truly are better for those topics so I believe there is scope for improvement as far as depth of content is concerned.

Reply

siddhant April 15, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Hi Manshu,

I think it is just the reader fatigue, the returning visitors will keep reducing, if you are doing this for reader enlightenment, you have all ready achieved that, this could be the other side of the coin, Now the regular readers have reached a level beyond the beginners but the Macro economic is a subject which bore out even the most active readers .
In any case how much can you write on personal finance beyond a level, this platue will happen & I think is part of life of Blog, unless you converting the leads into clients…..

Reply

Manshu April 15, 2013 at 9:27 pm

But at the same time there are many new people who get interested in finance, and also the content should be fresh and exciting enough to keep readers engaged, and reader fatigue is really the problem of the blog, not the reader 🙂

Reply

Yash April 15, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Hey u r doin an awesome job. Just keep going. But yeah a bit of frequent posting would surely be appreciated.

Reply

Manshu April 15, 2013 at 9:27 pm

Thank you Yash.

Reply

Velusamy April 15, 2013 at 9:48 pm

I think people are following you through RSS / email subscription as i do. I have never visited the website after subscribing to your RSS feeds.

Reply

Ramamurthy April 15, 2013 at 10:10 pm

I find many comments here that readers use Onemint only for investment purposes.This is totally wrong. What is special about Onemint is the broad economic and finance info it talks about and the easy simple explanations of complex issues.. eg Printing money and Prosperity,Budget,GDP etc.I dont know whether there are any sites or blogs which are comparable. Let it not become a me too product.

Reply

Patrick April 16, 2013 at 4:54 am

I read all of my blogs I follow in my google reader and often don’t visit the actual websites. Is this something that could be reducing your numbers?

Another point is that people like following others who have goals and like you said, have a “strategic vision.” Ask yourself, what are you trying to achieve through blogging and how can it help others.

Best wishes moving forward.

Reply

Manshu April 16, 2013 at 8:57 pm

Thanks for your feedback Patrick.

Reply

Abhishek Pandey April 16, 2013 at 9:22 am

Hey Manshu,

It is fine, man! You write good, it is learning curve. Things like this happen. Good that you are asking people and gauging your reader’s nerve. But, but just write what you think you should write. Don’t pay much attentions to criticisms. Many times, criticisms come from people who have never written a single line or can’t think anything but to criticize other work. Just follow your heart, man! You know what to do.

Reply

Manshu April 16, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Hey Abhishek – Thanks for the encouragement, I feel that so far the criticism has been quite fair and is really useful for me. It is up to me to make it actionable, and do something about it.

Reply

Anmol Gupta April 21, 2013 at 12:53 am

Hi I believe you are doing your fair job. The problem is with the readers. As a reader we are fond of Tadakati bhadkati. We always have the flaovor of saas bahu serials. So my advise keep your simple advise continue. As an investor, people need be realistic and think like a patient who actually need a finacial doctor

Reply

Manshu April 21, 2013 at 10:46 pm

Thanks Anmol! I’ve always felt that OneMint is different from others in the sense that it will never cater to sensationalism, and I will always preserve that. No shortcuts or stock tips will ever be handed out on OneMint.

Reply

Kritika May 28, 2013 at 7:13 am

This is such a great post 🙂 Thanks so much for writing it. Its full of useful pointers for newbies like me. And I am already guilty of your 5th point about ‘not writing difficult posts’. Your post has inspired and helped me get on right track. Thanks a bunch for doing this analysis of One Mint.

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: