Just Creative

I’m Jacob Cass, the founder of JUST™ Creative. I’m a multi-disciplinary graphic designer, working with clients all around the world. My specialty is logo & brand identity design. JUST™ Get in touch.

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Goals, Achievements & Pit Falls of Just Creative Design

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Blogging Achievements

Today I am going to share with you my achievements, goals and pitfalls of my first 3 months of blogging, basically a follow up post on the Blogging Goals of JCD which I wrote at the start of January.

Please note that in these 3 months of Just Creative Design being online, I have only been actively blogging for about a 1.5 months as I was on holidays and my blog was down for about 16 days in total due to hosting problems… but it is all sorted now :D.

Goals & Achievements

In short at the start of January my goals were to:

1. Post Consistent Quality Posts

2. Do more Guest Posting

3. Build & Develop My Social Communities & Make Good Friends

4. Have Reoccurring Posts

5. Know and Practice all these tips

6. Get 1500+ Subscribers by the end of the year. Or for those of us mathematically challenged… 125 new subscribers each month, or about 18 a week or about 2.5 per day.

In short I have achieved most of these (and more) except number 2 and 5 … I will expand and categorise them by the topics below.

Most Popular Pages To Date

I have delivered quality consistent posts averaging a post every 2.5 days. Every post has received on average at least 7 comments. I was quite happy with this as I still have a small number of subscribers (in the hundreds) compared to other blogs in my niche.

Popular

My most popular pages to date according to Google Analytics are:

  1. Just Creative Design Home Page (No Surprise)
  2. 22 Graphic Design Plagarism Ripoffs
  3. My Portfolio (33% of people click here first. I suppose people want to check out my stuff ;)
  4. 101 Places To Get Design Inspiration
  5. $5000 Prize Giveaway Graphic Design Group Project
  6. How To Boost Your Creativity
  7. 13 Signs Your A Bad Graphic Designer
  8. About Page
  9. Logo Design Process of Top Graphic Designers
  10. What is Graphic Design?
  11. How To Be Creative
  12. Top 5 Typography Resources
  13. How Much Does A Graphic Designer earn?
  14. For more check my featured articles page.

Guest Articles

Since January I haven’t written one guest article at all, which was pretty bad on my part but this was mainly due to me losing inspiration when my blog went down for 10 days however this week I set out to change that, so look out for these Guest Articles coming soon… I will link the links up when they have been posted.

  • How to get paid freelance work while you are design student – on Freelance Folder – Thanks Jon.
  • Must Know Shortcut Keys for Bloggers & Designers – on YouTheDesigner – Thanks Gino.
  • How to Design your own Unique Photoshop Brushes. – on Creative Curio – Thanks Lauren.
  • Is Your Blog C.R.A.P? – on DailyBlogTips – Thanks Daniel.
  • Top 10 Places to work in the USA as a graphic designer – on Outlaw Design Blog (Danny hasn’t posted or replied for days so not sure about this one)
  • Find out why people subscribe to your blog. – still awaiting confrimation from blog.
  • FREE: 5 Reasons To Offer Your Services For Free – still awaiting confirmation from blog.

Want a guest article on Just Creative Design? Email me.

Social Communities

I joined many social communities when I first started blogging however I wasn’t very active in them so I tried to aim on a select few and they are below. Add me if you like ;)

  • StumbleUpon – My stumble profile. I’m very active here now. I learnt the hard way that you cant do ‘stumble exchanges’ and someone did a bad review of my stumble account. Stumble exchanging is pretty much like saying ill stumble yours if you do mine. Do not do this! Just a warning.
  • Digg – Websites I find useful and great. I’m Very active here now. Vivien from InspirationBit is running a social media group writing project on Digg and Reddit and I wrote an article for her project: How to get onto Diggs front page in 8 steps.
  • Technorati – The Blogosphere – I have added a button on my side bar asking you to Add Just Creative Design to your Technorati Favorites.
  • MyBlogLog – Blogging Community, I am #4 in search results for graphic design.
  • BlogCatalog – Blogging Community, not so active here but I do occasionally log in to check up on messages.
  • FaceBook – Add me to your facebook friends. I check this regularly.
  • DesignFloat – A digg like website but only on design. Active here.
  • Del.icio.us – My bookmarks, way to many here!
  • LinkedIn – A business networking website. Not so active.
  • SpicyPage – Share your favorite sites or blogs. Not so active here.

Only in the past week have I been gearing some posts towards Social Media sites and it has been working quite effeciently (in particular StumbleUpon and DesignFloat ) so I may continue to do some more.

Traffic & Stats

My traffic is probably my most disappointing bit, as I know that if my sites hadn’t gone down for 16 days and if I was not on holidays for a month, I would have double or more the amount of traffic that I have now.

Anyway, I have compiled this little graph of what my rollercoaster-ride-of-traffic has looked like over the past 3 months.

Stats

Update: I did this screenshot yesterday but the line goes even higher than that.

You can see how good having a competition on your blog is.

My main traffic sources are outlined below:

Traffic

You can see that I got a lot of traffic from being listed in How Designs Top 10 Design Websites last month as well as being on Social Media Sites, Forums and by writing guest articles. These are where I am going to focus some of my posts for in the future.

Update: Reddit sent me a heap of visits on my 22 Graphic Design Plagarism Ripoffs post after I did the screengrab yesterday.

Some other random figures (as of 21stFeb) :

  • We receive an average of 450 daily regular unique visitors.
  • We receive huge weekly spikes in traffic from Social Media Sites (ie. 1000′s of unique visitors)
  • We receive an average of 4 page views, per visitor.
  • We have a page rank of 4 with Google.
  • We are ranked 89,301 on Technorati.
  • We have a weekly traffic rank of 192,066 on Alexia.
  • We have a traffic rank of 25,382 in Australia.

I think it is pretty impressive for coming NEW into the blog world only 3 months ago. You may want to advertise?

I have also been using Google AdWords as well (Well I kind of didn’t pay for the ads as I received a $50 Google AdWords voucher from a magazine). I have received 34 click throughs, out of 4,012 impressions (0.84%) with an average cost per click being $0.81 making a total of $27.45 spent on AdWords so far.

Google SEO Tip: Ever since I installed Adwords and Adsense my rankings in search results got majorly boosted (about x5), if that has anything to do with it I do not know, but I sure did notice the huge influx in search engine traffic. I am now also ranked #1 for the search term ‘logo designer newcastle’ and on the front page for ‘graphic design newcastle’.

Lauren also wrote an article on how to use squidoo, drive traffic and make money so I am going to give Squidoo a shot too.

Money, Job Offers & Advertising

Goals

Well this bit I am quite satisfied in as I only set out monetising my website about 3 weeks ago (I wasn’t ever actually planning to monetise until a private advertiser contacted me), adding an sponsor menu sidebar seen to your right. I exchanged links with DesignFlavr (a design inspiration gallery) and we have both been getting good traffic in and out. I have also started a friends blogroll, so contact me if your interested.

You may want to know that all money made from advertising goes straight back into Just Creative Design and is not profit. This will help JCD grow.

I have also received $70 from a private advertiser who I am hoping to build a good relationship with. (This will cover my hosting and domain costs for 3 months or so). I recently changed hosts from $4/m with UltraSurge to $20/m with an Australian/US/Uk company called Solid Internet, who have been pretty good so far except for a small misfortune at the start. Solid Internet are a lot faster, have better support and at the moment only have 35 people hosted on the same server… unlike UltraSurge who had 350+ people on one server!

I have also just received a request for three 16×16 squares to be placed on my site which will be up soon.

I have also received about 6 job offers in the past month, only of which I believe 2 are going ahead, but hey, still cheering. :) You may be interested in how to get paid freelance work while you are design student.

I have also put Googles Adsense on last week and so far have made about $8, which is more than I expected to be honest. Only $92 more till I can get my first cheque. Keep clicking away my friends. See those little white and pink Google ads? Click on em I tell you :P A click a day keeps JCD healthy, wealthy and wise.

Friends

By actively commenting on other blogs you can develop friendships and contacts which is vital to any blog. I have tried my best in the time I have to comment on other peoples blogs and read as many articles as I can but like everyone else, we only have so many hours in a day… no one can ever have enough friends. Befriend me on facebook.

Some blogs I pay a lot of attention to and have regular discussions on include the following:

However I regularly visit many others and have plenty more in my RSS subscriber.

You may be interested in being added to my friends blogroll list if your site is relevant and has good quality. Email Me.

The Pitfalls of Web Hosts

My older readers will know about the problems I have had with Just Creative Design over the past month, when my old host suspended me for going over their limit once and then terminated me when I did it a second time (and that was when I was only receiving 200 uniques a day – what a joke!). You can read about the problems here: BE AWARE OF: Your Host, WordPress Plugins, CPU Load and being BANNED from your own website! and Just Creative Design is Back Online.

Tip: It’s good to get onto the good side of your hosting provider. See the email conversation I had recently with my new hosts.

Hi,

I just wanted to check up on my CPU usage on my site www.justcreativedesign.com – I have been receiving about triple the traffic that I was getting on my old hosts (and that was when they banned me) so I just want to see how it is going.

Also if I get a ‘digg effect’ what do you do? Do you put the server temporarily onto another one? I can’t afford for a website to go down and not be accessible at all.

Anyway please let me know. Thanks for all your support so far.

Their reply…

Hi Jacob,

Thanks for your enquiry and it’s great to hear from customers when they believe they might impact the service for other users. While you are the highest CPU usage site on the server it’s far from impacting other users nor is the figure high. Over the period of 24 hours your particular username is using just 3% of the cpu of the system on average.

If your site does get “dugg” we can quickly move your site to an offsite server that runs a seperate SQL/Frontend system ensuring stability during which time your site appears on Digg. Sometimes the cut over during this time results in some service interruption (that’s digg for you) but we won’t simply suspend your account if you are listed on Digg.

Hope that helps

Jeff

Design Galleries

I have also been featured in a number of design inspiration galleries out on the web.

Anyway that is a sum up of my three months of blogging. Hopefully didn’t put you to sleep. What are your thoughts?


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