3 min read

The Reddit Impact

The impact of Reddit and what I learned from that.
Graph showing visitor count peak in the middle because of sharing on Reddit
The impact of social media to traffic

So I have created a post about my DIY smart bed heater and shared this on Reddit as well.

I was really curious what kind of impact this will have on my website statistics. Intentionally, I did not do any other social sharing for another post to check what the impact would be a few days later.

Here is the view for the month of October 2021:

A graph showing a peak for visitors and page views on the 13.10.2021
Visitors and page-views on my blog

I shared the post on the Home Assistant subreddit on the evening of 11.10.2021. Additionally, I shared the post on Twitter as well on 13.10.2021.

Before sharing I had up to 10ish visitors daily to my blog. Almost everything was coming from search engines organically.

After sharing I hit 768 visitors with 935 page views on the 13.10.2021. That is just a crazy peak I must say! It felt pretty good. 😎

After a peak, there always comes a fall. But after the peak, there are now around 10-20 visitors on my blog on a daily basis. That is about double. I guess it will fall down a little more if I stop adding content.

What did I learn?

A few things!

Captain obvious: Social media is a huge impact on visitor counts

And the cool part is, that people will come to this particular post at a later time. Weeks or months later. And still, they might get some value, insight from this. Maybe they check out other posts and pages. Maybe they share.

Publish on 80% done

I have a problem with getting things done. It never feels good enough. In this specific example, I created a smart bed heater with Home Assistant. The timer and logic were in Home Assistant. I wanted to have that logic in the switch itself and did not find time to figure that out myself for years.

Instead of not publishing because this is missing I decided to publish the current state. That brought two benefits.

  1. I could just ask people how to do that. And hell that worked. I really like the Home Assistant community. They just showed me how it is done. Just awesome.  👏
  2. I could write a small update because of that hint from the community. Now there are two solutions to the same problem available. People can use whatever solutions fits their use case. The first approach is generic and works with almost every device. The second approach is specific, for devices with ESPHome only.

You do not have unique ideas

When I came up with the idea of a smart bed heater a few years ago I felt genius. It must have been unique.

Nope. Just nope.

Source

Even simple ideas can inspire other people

On this specific post, I put a button on the backside of my bed frame. Pretty simple. Nothing, really nothing genius about that.

And still, someone found that useful!

Source

Analytics make you feel good

It is weird but it felt pretty good to see the real-time dashboard of my analytics tool. Kind of proud and curious about what people are reading. Did they enjoy the content? From where is this person? How long will they stay on the site? Did they read more than the linked post? And many more.

There was a little childish spark of joy when the real-time dashboard showed a new visitor during the peak time.😀

People are spending a lot of time on your site

Up to this point, ~ 1380 views had the post about the bed heater. People spend on average 2 minutes and 24 seconds on this post.

That is 1380 x 144s = 198720 s = 3312 minutes = 138 days

In 19 days people spend 138 days on this post. This is just crazy!

Conclusion

I will now start sharing non-perfect ideas, my work in progress for some projects. I love reading other people's progress.

For some reason, I have the feeling only to show the polished things. That is the typical content we see these days on social media. But the content where you share flaws, room for improvement, the way how you got where you are is way more valuable for people who try to accomplish something similar.


I hope that was interesting. I will drop more of these personal updates on how this blog is going every now and then. Subscribe if you do not want to miss any updates on my journey.