This article was first published on 2009-08-21. Due to the age of this article, it is included here for archive purposes only.
When you are a community oriented website like MFM, it’s a good feeling when you know you are helping lots of people. This month MFM hit the milestone of 1,000,000 unique visitors which is something I had never thought about hitting when MFM was started little over 2 years ago. In fact for better or for worse, we didn’t really start MFM with any traffic goals in mind. We just wanted to help new Mac owners get over the hump and start enjoying their Macs instead of being frustrated.
You Can Be a Part of It
My First Mac runs on the helpful content contributions by readers like yourself. There are no paid writers here, just volunteers. When you have discovered how to turn a frustrating problem into an elegant solution, we hope you will write a post about what you’ve done so others may learn from it. It’s a great way to spread the karma around. Contact me if you are interested in helping others this way. You may end up helping tens of thousands of people. Some already have. Thank you to those who have written for MFM.
The Magic of the World Wide Web
I never really think about what the "www" means on the web, but it is truly world-wide. This is another aspect that I never imagined when we started MFM. Usually, I look at MFMs stats using Mint, but every once in a while I’ll bring up Google Analytics and be amazed at the amount of people all across the world who read MFM. GA has this awesome Map Overlay view that shows how many people in what cities around the world are visiting MFM.
I’m surprised by the fact there are very few countries on the planet where MFM hasn’t been read. It looks to be less than a dozen. Sure, we always envisioned people in Great Britain and Canada reading MFM, but Mongolia, Zambia and Guyana too? It’s great to know that something you contribute to our community can help people as far away as Kyrgyzstan (13 visits so far).
What Are People Reading?
Of course the MFM home page is the most viewed page, but also the most popular content categories in order are Switching from Windows, Mastering the Mac, Getting Started and Before You Buy. The top 5 MFM articles of all time are:
Other Interesting Statistics
One stat that is intriguing is our browser and OS breakdown. In particular, Windows brings 35% of our traffic and IE is 16% of it. I had expected it to slant heavier to Mac users and Safari in particular because that is the default Mac browser. Here are the numbers:
Safari / Macintosh 585,962 39.05%
Firefox / Macintosh 293,289 18.56%
Firefox / Windows 236,163 17.51%
Internet Explorer / Windows 229,133 18.68%
Also, Google is by far (91%) the dominant search engine that refers to MFM. It’s a landslide. Google refers 45% of ALL the traffic MFM gets. Interestingly, Bing seems to show up in Mint stats more than MSN ever did.
The top referring websites are:
- digg.com 100,613
- macsurfer.com 46,608
- stumbleupon.com 39,360
- google.com 10,915
- switchingtomac.com 10,166
The Story of Our Traffic
We started in June 2007 with a soft launch with friends to kick the tires and then moved on letting people know on other websites that MFM was here. Some other Mac and tech sites noted MFM in their news sections and that gave us our first real traffic. For the first month we averaged about 200 visits a day. Then on July 13th, someone posted MFM to Digg and the traffic spiked through the roof. We got 2,600 hits that day, then 50,000 the next, then a few days in the 7Ks, then a few more in 3Ks. Traffic eventually settled down in the 400-1K range for a few months until another Digg post linked to our What We Like to Buy From Dell post and we got 55K hits over 2 days.
Those were our 2 big spikes in traffic. After those days we settled into about 3K hits per day which have trended up to 4.5K today. Currently our average uniques/pageviews are at 2.2K/4.5K per day, 13.5K/30K per week and 50K/120K per month.
But Does It Pay?
No, not really. We never expected either this amount of traffic or for it to pay out for that matter. One reason is that we decided to keep ads out of the way of our readers. We consciously chose to give you a good experience rather than be obnoxious about ad placement and type. So MFM brings in about a $1 and change a day, and it hasn’t even paid for its startup costs yet. But that is really beside the point since it never was our goal.
So, one MEEEIIL-YUN viewers from almost every country on the planet have visited MFM. Pretty cool. We all hope it has been helpful and want to encourage you, the viewer, to give back to our community by posting your tips, tricks amd insight. And our most heartfelt thanks goes out to the dozens of people who have already contributed to MFM with their expertise both in writing articles and in following up in comments. Thank you – Thank you – Thank you!