2014 Year in Review

I’ve been enjoying reading various 2014 Year in Review posts, including Stephen Waddington, Nathan Barry and Patrick McKenzie, so thought I’d share my own mini review of the year, concentrating on this blog as my main source of online activity (outside of work).

Here are the main stats for this blog in 2014.

  • Number of published posts as of Dec 2014: 100
  • Total Views: 43,171
  • Unique Visitors: 29,518
  • Comments: 252

A bit of context: I started this blog in 2010, but have only been posting regularly since August 2014. As proof of this, here’s how my organic search rankings have improved over the past few months:

benrmatthews organic search keyword ranking

And how much traffic is coming through organic search:

benrmatthews google organic search traffic

What’s also changed is that rather than writing about whatever takes my fancy, I’ve been focussing around freelancing and running a consulting business. This has led to much more productive blogging and better feedback from readers, so I’ll definitely be writing more about freelancing in 2015.

This focus has also led to the publication of my first book, Freelance in 30 Days. I’ve learned a lot about self-publishing in the past few months, as well as how to optimise various parts of the blog, so I’ll be writing more about that too.

It’s been exciting producing a digital product, the first source of income outside of my consulting work and the first source of passive income. I’m looking to build on this in 2015.

A few insights into the blog in 2014:

  • The top 4 posts are from 2013, not 2014
  • Longer blog posts (1000 words+) perform better than shorter posts
  • August 2014 had 50% of the best posts from 2014, which is when I started writing Freelance in 30 Days

With all of this in mind, here are the top 10 posts for this blog from 2014 and a little about why they were popular.

Japan on a Budget for 2 Weeks

Japan was always a must-visit country in my travels. And my two weeks there was everything I’d dreamt of and more. But many people are put off from travelling to Japan because of the expense. Yes, it is expensive, but there are ways to visit Japan on a budget and still see a lot of the top attractions that this amazing country has to offer. This post looks at how we did Japan in two weeks on a budget, including tips from fellow travellers.

View Count: 10,679
Word Count: 1,756
Published: April 2013

How to Become a Freelance Consultant

Becoming a freelance consultant is a dream for many. I’ve been lucky enough to have a successful freelance career as a social media and digital PR consultant for the last few years. There’s been some bumps along the way, but advice and encouragement from a wide range of people enabled me to go it alone and have a good time while doing it. This was my first long-form post and the foundation for Freelance in 30 Days.

View Count: 7,279
Word Count: 2,294
Published: March 2013

Where To Find London Tech Events, Meetups and Hack Days

A friend asked if I knew of any upcoming London tech events, so I sent them back a list of the sites I use to keep updated with the latest Tech, Startup and Hack Day events in London. This was more me jotting down what I knew so I could refer back to it at a later date, but it clearly proved useful to others too.

View Count: 2,208
Word Count: 658
Published: September 2013

Suggestions for When That Perfect Domain Name or Twitter Username is Taken

My top list of alternative domain names (which can also be used for Twitter usernames), sparked by a question posted on Twitter. Similar to the London Tech Events post, this one was useful to me but also useful to share knowledge.

View Count: 2,096
Word Count: 510
Published: May 2013

Freelance Consultant Rates: How To Work Out Your Hourly, Daily or Project Rate

Another lengthy post and has been one of the top posts this year, despite only being published in August. Setting your freelance consultant rates is difficult. Set your day rate too low and you have to work longer and harder to make a decent income. Set your day rate too high and you risk putting off potential clients and not seeing you have a full portfolio of work. I’ve got a feeling that this post will be well read for the next year at least.

View Count: 1,732
Word Count: 2,634
Published: August 2014

29 essential freelance tools you need to be a productive freelancer

A summary of tools and services in different areas of freelancing that are worth taking a look at. To kick things off, I listed my freelance stack – the tools I use everyday as a productive freelancer. But the list grew to 29, with even more in the comments, so is a great place to find the best in breed freelancing products.

View Count: 868
Word Count: 1,486
Published: August 2014

Freelance Statistics 2014: The Freelance Economy in Numbers

I spent time on several different occasions looking for freelance stats, so I’ve pulled together freelance facts from the US, UK and further afield to get an idea of how freelancers are faring across the world.

View Count: 825
Word Count: 827
Published: September 2014

Why I learned to code

There’s plenty of posts out there on “How To Learn To Code in Just One Month!”, but not a lot for why you should learn to code. This was my why.

View Count: 662
Word Count: 1,216
Published: August 2014

How to build long-term client relationships as a freelancer

If you are consistently delivering above and beyond you’re remit, whether that’s through suggesting new ideas or delivering particularly high quality work, then your client will appreciate your consultancy and keep you as their go-to consultant. This post shows you how to do exactly that.

View Count: 561
Word Count: 1,480
Published: August 2014

8 simple steps you can take to get the confidence to go freelance

Starting your own freelance business can feel like a big risk. There are lots of unknowns and you’re going to have to rely on your own knowledge, experience, judgement and plain hard graft to make your freelance business a success. But by putting the right plans in place, taking a few steps to be prepared for whatever hits you and having an ongoing plan, you’ll be able to keep your confidence levels up as you turn freelance. This post shows you how.

View Count: 531
Word Count: 1,490
Published: August 2014

Pin It on Pinterest