BuildAzure_Logo2It’s been a year and a half since I first started BuildAzure.com. Starting from zero visitors and page views, the site has had tremendous growth over this time; both overall traffic and subscribers!. I haven’t written any “meta” posts about the site before, but in the theme of transparency I’ve decided to write up this “Year in Review” article. To summarize, Build Azure is currently getting nearly 40,000 page views per month, and 4,000+ subscribers across multiple mediums with 185 published articles.

My name is Chris Pietschmann, and am the person who’s been writing all these articles and I’d like to share a little “meta” information about the Build Azure site. I would also like to extend a huge “Thank You” to all who’ve been visiting and subscribing! It’s really amazing to see people finding so much value from the content on this site!

Top Articles of 2016

With 3 posts per week on average being written, there’s a lot of content going up on the site on a regular basis. However, what’s popular? Here’s a list of the most popular articles on BuildAzure.com that were written in 2016:

  1. Microsoft Certification Changes and Goodbye to MCSD Azure Solutions Architect
  2. Free Website Hosting in Microsoft Azure
  3. Azure Cert Exam Update: March 10, 2016
  4. Which Azure Cert Exam is Best for Me?
  5. The New MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure Certification
  6. Azure Certification: Where to Start? 2016 Edition
  7. Azure Certification: 70-473 Cloud Data Platform Solutions Specialist
  8. Azure Infrastructure Exam (70-533) Gets ARM Refresh
  9. Azure N-Series VMs and NVIDIA GPUs in the Cloud
  10. Azure Certification: 70-475 Designing and Implementing Big Data Analytics Solutions Specialist

Most Trafficked Articles in 2016

It’s nice to see the top articles of the year, but what about the most trafficked articles on the site within the year? Here’s a list of the articles that have received the most traffic over 2016:

  1. Preparing for 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions Exam
  2. Microsoft Azure Certification: Where to Start? 2015 Edition
  3. Preparing for 70-534 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions Exam
  4. Microsoft Certification Changes and Goodbye to MCSD Azure Solutions Architect
  5. Microsoft Azure Architecture Blueprints & Free Visio Symbols
  6. Free Website Hosting in Microsoft Azure
  7. Azure Cert Exam Update: March 10, 2016
  8. Which Azure Cert Exam is Best for Me?
  9. Exam 70-532 Prep Session: Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions
  10. The New MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure Certification

Also, to add some further depth to the most trafficked articles, here’s the single article for each month that received the most traffic:

Build Azure Weekly

With the increasingly common updates and changes to the Microsoft Azure platform, I decided to start a weekly link blog post in May 2016. This series is a weekly post that includes the latest service updates to Microsoft Azure from the current week, as well as links to interesting articles posted that week including other “cloud” related posts as well.

At first Build Azure Weekly didn’t receive many page views or other noticeable interest, but I stuck with it since I didn’t see anything else like it on the web yet. Since then, the page views for each of the weekly posts has been slowly increasing. In fact, this weeks post (at the time of writing this) has had 160+ page views on the site.

If you’re interested in receiving an email notification of the latest Build Azure Weekly, then please Subscribe.

2016 Growth

When BuildAzure.com was launched in June 2015, I was pretty random when I would write articles and post. Growth was really slow as a result to this and the fact that it was a brand new site that never existed before. After all, if a site / blog doesn’t have any content, then it won’t get any traffic or subscribers!

As a result, I decided early in 2016 to start posting on average 3 articles per week. Yeah, 3 articles per week!! That seemed like a crazy goal at first, and I even faltered quite bit almost right away in the month of April. You can see the progress of this goal in the below graphic.


I’ve been using the above report to hold myself accountable, and it’s really amazing to get to the end of 2016 and see so many blue squares!

The traffic growth over 2016 has been quite amazing too! In January 2016 the site received 6,644 page views with 3.493 visitors. And, with steady growth through persistence of posting, the site has grown to an amazing 35,300+ page views and 18,700+ visitors in December 2016.


This is just phenomenal growth, and I really appreciate everyones interest, retweets, likes, comments, links, referrals, and all other interest that BuildAzure.com has received! This site wouldn’t be anything without the visitors and subscribers it receives. Thanks you!!

Overall, my goal is to reach 100,000+ page views per month, and I’m positive that in 2017 I will be able to make that a reality!

Now, to step back a little bit, let’s look at the Countries visitors to the site are from. The countries originating the most traffic are: United States, India, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Netherlands, Germany, Brazil, France, and Spain. Keep in mind that this isn’t the complete list, the site receives visitors from ALL over the world. The global reach is quite amazing!


Now to summarize the year, at the time of writing this, the site has received a total of 254,324 page views and 136,402 visitors within 2016.


As articles come up in search results, or links are shared on social media, traffic comes to the site through Referrers. I appreciate all the shares and links everyone shares, and try to share link where appropriate on this site as well. The most referrals come from Search Engines, but there are many other sources as well. Here’s some statistics on the Referrers to BuildAzure.com over the year.

Social Media

Here’s the top social media referrers to BuildAzure.com:

  1. Twitter
  2. Facebook
  3. LinkedIn
  4. Disqus
  5. Yammer
  6. Reddit
  7. Google+

Other Referrers

Here’s the top referrers from other sites that aren’t search engines or social media:

  1. http://pietschsoft.com <- yeah this is my personal blog
  2. http://alvinashcraft.com
  3. http://blog.cwa.me.uk
  4. http://themorningbrew.net
  5. http://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com
  6. http://dotnetkicks.com
  7. http://virtualrouter.codeplex.com
  8. http://codeproject.com
  9. http://tomsitpro.com
  10. http://inoreader.com


There are many sites that articles on BuildAzure.com links to. Here’s a list of sites with the most outgoing traffic from BuildAzure.com referring:

  1. http://microsoft.com
  2. http://azure.microsoft.com
  3. http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com
  4. http://pietschsoft.com
  5. http://download.microsoft.com
  6. http://www.measureup.com
  7. http://www.microsoftpressstore.com
  8. http://channel9.msdn.com
  9. http://mva.microsoft.com
  10. http://msdn.microsoft.com
  11. http://www.mindhub.com
  12. http://blogs.msdn.com
  13. http://borntolearn.mslearn.net

Monthly Sponsorship Opportunities

When the site first started I didn’t do any advertising. No banner ads, No sponsors, No affiliate links. in the middle of the year, I started displaying banner ads, and didn’t really receive much revenue at all. It didn’t even pay for the hosting costs. So I decided to start including Amazon Affiliate links in posts that I write (where relevant and tasteful), that did result is some success to help pay the hosting cost. As a result I removed the banner ads that were very generic, distracting and not very well targeted.

This past October, Build Azure was able to sign up it’s first Monthly Sponsor; Datadog. I really appreciate their sponsorship! Due to this I was able to make a little more money that helps pay for the hosting costs for the entire year, with a little left over for me to invest into the site.

If you’re interested in sponsoring Build Azure, the Monthly Sponsorship includes the following benefits:

  • Exclusive advertising during the month sponsored
  • Top placement with an Advertisement Image or Company Logo that links to a URL of your choice located at the top of the website sidebar on every page.
  • Mention as the Monthly Sponsor in every “Build Azure Weekly” blog post providing additional exposure to email and RSS subscribers in addition to further exposure on the site.
  • A “Monthly Sponsor Announcement” post that will go live at the beginning of the month to announce your sponsorship, along with description of what product / services you offer.

Please contact me for further details and to discuss the sponsorship fee.

2017 Goals

I have a few goals set for Build Azure in 2017 as I continue to work on growing the content and value available on the BuildAzure.com site. Here’s a short list of the goals I currently have in mind for the site:

  1. Keep publishing 3 articles per week to reach over 300 total articles published on the site.
  2. Work on writing more longer form articles with more depth and detail in an effort to provide more value to readers / subscribers.
  3. Grow the traffic of the site to reach 100,000+ page views per month!

2016 was a great year, and I’ll see you all in 2017! I hope you enjoyed this peek of transparency into BuildAzure.com.

And, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to receive email notifications of new posts and the Build Azure Weekly post as well!

Microsoft MVP

Chris Pietschmann is a Microsoft MVP, HashiCorp Ambassador, and Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) with 20+ years of experience designing and building Cloud & Enterprise systems. He has worked with companies of all sizes from startups to large enterprises. He has a passion for technology and sharing what he learns with others to help enable them to learn faster and be more productive.
HashiCorp Ambassador Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect