It’s amazing it’s been 2 1/2 years since I first started BuildAzure.com! Starting from zero visitors and page views, the site has had incredible growth over this time. I don’t write many “meta” style posts, except for these year in review posts; of which I started at the end of 2016. Below you will find a summary of the top posts of the year, traffic stats, and other information surrounding BuildAzure.com.
My name is Chris Pietschmann, and I’m the one who writes all these articles. I’m the one who writes and publishes the “Build Azure Weekly” blog posts and newsletter every single week. I’ve actually never missed a week in about a year and a half that I’ve been doing it! I would like to extend a HUGE “Thank You!” to all those visiting this site and especially those subscribing and sharing links across the web. It’s really amazing to see people finding so much value from the content I post here, and it’s a huge motivator to keep on going.
Top Articles of 2017
With an average of 3 posts per week, there’s been a lot of content going up on BuildAzure.com throughout the year. Although, I’m sure you may be interested in what the most popular posts are. Here’s a list of the most popular posts on BuildAzure.com that were written in 2017:
- Swagger is now the OpenAPI Specification
- Microsoft Azure gets a new Logo and a Manifesto
- Visual Studio 2017 Development using a VM in Azure
- Microsoft Azure Icon Set Download – Visio stencil, PowerPoint, PNG, SVG
- Properly Shutdown Azure VM to Save Money
- Azure Functions vs Web Jobs: How to choose?
- Programming Arduino with Visual Studio Code
- 70-535 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions Certification Exam
- New MCSA: Machine Learning Certification from Microsoft
- MCSE: Data Management and Analytics Certification
- More Affordable Azure VMs with “Burstable” B-Series
- MCSA: BI Reporting Certification from Microsoft
- Azure Region Pairs Explained
- 70-773 Analyzing Big Data with Microsoft R Certification Exam
- A Tour of Azure Messaging Services (Queues, Event Grid, IoT Hub, and More)
Most Trafficked Articles in 2017
It’s nice to see the top articles of the year, but what about the most trafficked articles / posts on BuildAzure.com thought 2017? Here’s a list of the articles that received the most traffic throughout 2017, no matter when they were originally written:
- Microsoft Certification Changes and Goodbye to MCSD Azure Solutions Architect
- Preparing for 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions Exam
- Swagger is now the OpenAPI Specification
- Microsoft Azure Certification: Where to Start? 2015 Edition
- The New MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure Certification
- Microsoft Azure Architecture Blueprints & Free Visio Symbols
- Microsoft Azure gets a new Logo and a Manifesto
- Visual Studio 2017 Development using a VM in Azure
- Free Website Hosting in Microsoft Azure
- Azure Infrastructure Exam (70-533) Gets ARM Refresh
Also, to add some further depth to the most trafficked articles / posts, here’s the single article for each month that received the most traffic:
- January – Microsoft Certification Changes and Goodbye to MCSD Azure Solutions Architect (~2,937 views)
- February – Microsoft Certification Changes and Goodbye to MCSD Azure Solutions Architect (~2,905 views)
- March – Microsoft Certification Changes and Goodbye to MCSD Azure Solutions Architect (~3,728 views)
- April – Microsoft Certification Changes and Goodbye to MCSD Azure Solutions Architect (~2,875 views)
- May – Preparing for 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions Exam (~2,679 views)
- June – Preparing for 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions Exam (~2,109 views)
- July – Microsoft Certification Changes and Goodbye to MCSD Azure Solutions Architect (~1,909 views)
- August – Programming Arduino with Visual Studio Code (~6,834 views)
- September – Microsoft Azure gets a new Logo and a Manifesto (~4,884 views)
- October – Swagger is now the OpenAPI Specification (~23,981)
- November – Microsoft Azure Icon Set Download – Visio stencil, PowerPoint, PNG, SVG (~2,857 views)
- December – Microsoft Azure Icon Set Download – Visio stencil, PowerPoint, PNG, SVG (~1,902 views)
2017 Build Azure Weekly Newsletter
I subscribe to many blogs and other great sources of content around Microsoft Azure. This is what I personally do to keep up to date with the ever changing landscape of the Microsoft Cloud. Since I was doing this anyway, I decided to start a weekly newsletter to share my findings with the community at large back in May 2016. That’s about 1 1/2 years ago, and I’ve never missed a week yet!
It’s great to see so many people interested in the Build Azure Weekly newsletter! When I first started the newsletter it didn’t get much traffic or subscribers. It’s really neat and inspiring to see so many people subscribe to the newsletter over the last year and a half. Currently, there are approximately 2,500 subscribers to Build Azure Weekly!
Here are links to ALL the Azure Weekly posts from 2017:
- Azure Weekly: Jan 2, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Jan 9, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Jan 16, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Jan 23, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Jan 30, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Feb 6, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Feb 13, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Feb 20, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Feb 27, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Mar 6, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Mar 13, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Mar 20, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Mar 27, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Apr 3, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Apr 10, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Apr 17, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Apr 24, 2017
- Azure Weekly: May 1, 2017
- Azure Weekly: May 8, 2017
- Azure Weekly: May 15, 2017 – Build 2017 Edition
- Azure Weekly: May 22, 2017
- Azure Weekly: May 29, 2017
- Azure Weekly: June 5, 2017
- Azure Weekly: June 12, 2017
- Azure Weekly: June 19, 2017
- Azure Weekly: June 26, 2017
- Azure Weekly: July 3, 2017
- Azure Weekly: July 10, 2017
- Azure Weekly: July 17, 2017
- Azure Weekly: July 24, 2017
- Azure Weekly: July 31, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Aug 7, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Aug 14, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Aug 21, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Aug 28, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Sept 4, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Sept 11, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Sept 18, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Sept 25, 2017
- #MSIgnite 2017 Day 1: Announcements Recap and Links
- Azure Weekly: Oct 2, 2017 – Ignite 2017 Wrap-up / Summary Edition
- Azure Weekly: Oct 9, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Oct 16, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Oct 23, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Oct 30, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Nov 6, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Nov 13, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Nov 20, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Nov 27, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Dec 4, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Dec 11, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Dec 18, 2017
- Azure Weekly: Dec 25, 2018
At the beginning of 2017, the way you could subscribe to Build Azure was to just subscribe using the WordPress Subscribe feature. This would subscribe you so the site would send you an email each time an article was posted. This worked some, but it was hard for me to manage the subscriber list.
In May 2017, I decided to start a serious email list using Mailchimp. I exported the approximately 1,000 emails subscribed through WordPress, and imported them into Mailchimp, and started sending out a newly formatted Build Azure Weekly newsletter. This has allowed me to better keep track of the subscriber count, as well as see some basic stats for the newsletter. I can see how many times the newsletter email is opened, and if links are being clicked. It’s really nice to see if people are reading it rather than blindly hoping they got the email.
I also added a popup asking new visitors to the site to subscribe to the Build Azure Weekly newsletter. It’s amazing how much progress you can make if you just ask people directly, instead of expecting them to click the Subscribe menu. As a result, the newsletter was getting about 100 new subscribers per week for awhile. Although, the last few months the new subscriber rate as declined a bit, I still feel there are many more people subscribed and getting benefit from the newsletter than there otherwise would be if I didn’t start actively asking new visitors to subscribe.
Here’s a screenshot of some of the other stats I can see for subscribers:
Over the course of 2017 I’ve been pretty disciplined to post at least 3 posts per week. There have certainly been times where I’ve posted less, but there’s also been times when I’ve posted more. When I started posting 3 times per week back in 2016, it was a little difficult. As time has progressed and I’ve been writing and posting more, it’s been getting easier. It also helps when there’s an incredible amount of stuff going on in the Microsoft Azure space. That really helps give me ideas of things to write about.
It’s really great to see the WordPress Posting Activity show so many blue squares. I know it’s a little grey for the month of December, but the rest of the year looks awesome!
The traffic growth over 2017 has been really amazing too! In January 2017 the site received 45,152 page views with 22,394 visitors. This is up from 6,644 page views and 3,493 visitors in January 2016. With steady growth throughout the year, the site has grown to approximately 60,000 page views and 37,000 visitors every month!
In the month of October 2017, the traffic of BuildAzure.com spiked a bit to 94,624 page views, with 64,110 visitors! This spike in traffic was due to the “Swagger is now the OpenAPI Specification” post getting picked up on Hacker News. That was an amazing spike in traffic! It’s too bad I’m not able to engineer posts to go viral like that every time! haha 🙂
The overall growth of the site has been phenomenal! It’s amazing to see everyones interest, retweets, likes, comments, links, referrals, and all other interest that BuildAzure.com receives every month! This site wouldn’t be anything without the visitors and subscribers it receives. Thank you!!
Overall, my goal to reach 100,000+ page views per month is getting closer and closer to reality. At approximately a range of 60,000+ page views currently, I’m about 60% of the way there, and way closer than I was 1 year ago. I know the month of December 2017 is a bit of a slump, but that’s likely due to the fact that I haven’t kept up the 3 posts per week over the last couple weeks of the year. I guess I have some writing and catching up to do! lol
It’s really amazing to look at where the visitors of BuildAzure.com are coming from. The countries originating the most traffic are: United States, India, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Netherlands, Germany, France, Brazil, and Spain. Keep in mind this isn’t the complete list. It’s just the top 10 countries where the most visitors are coming from. This global reach is really quite amazing!
To summarize, at the time of writing this, BuildAzure.com has received a total of 658,776 page views, and 391,491 visitors over the course of 2017 alone. Additionally, of the 350 posts on the site, the lifetime traffic of BuildAzure.com has seen approximately 536,480 total visitors and 929,364 page views since the site was first launched in June 2015.
The above graphic compares each year of BuildAzure.com. This site started at zero in June 2015, and has gone to grow more and more each month. It’s truly been amazing to see the traffic stats grow into what the site is today at nearly 700,000 page views in 2017 alone. I really can’t wait to see what awaits in 2018!
As posts / 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 I try to share links 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 course of 2017.
Here’s the top social media referrers to BuilAzure.com for 2017:
- Hacker News
Here’s the top referrers from other sites that aren’t search engines or social media:
- Pietschsoft.com <- this is my personal blog 🙂
Top Click Throughs
There are many sites that articles on BuildAzure.com link to. Here’s a list of sites that receive the most of BuildAzure.com outgoing traffic:
New Build Azure Logo
In 2017, it also seemed appropriate to get a new logo designed for Build Azure. The old logo was something I created quickly just to have a logo to display on the website. Now that the site has grown a lot since the early days, it seemed to be a good idea to get a better logo designed that represents the Build Azure brand more appropriately.
Here’s the new Build Azure logo as seen on the website and in the newsletter:
This new logo for Build Azure better represents what Build Azure is. There’s a cloud to represent Cloud Computing, and papers to represent articles and learning. Also, the blue color is representative of “Azure” since BuildAzure.com is focused around Microsoft Azure and related services.
For reference, here’s the old logo:
Can you see the easter egg in both the old and new logos? Here’s a hint: I originally took inspiration from the Microsoft Build conference when designing the logo and naming BuildAzure.com. Please post in the comments on this post if you can spot the easter egg and describe what it is. 🙂
When I first launched BuildAzure.com, there were no advertisements. No banner ads. No sponsors. No affiliate links. In the middle of 2016 I decided to add some banner ads, but they didn’t really generate much revenue at all. This was due to both the poor performance of banner ads, as well as the low traffic the site was getting back in 2016. As a result I decided to include Amazon Affiliate links in articles where appropriate (relevant and tasteful) with some success to help pay the hosting cost; which it has been covering since that time. At that time, I removed all banner ads from the site.
In October 2016, I launched the “Build Azure Monthly Sponsorship” opportunity. This opportunity offers a single Sponsor to pay a nominal fee for the ability to be the sole advertiser on the entire BuildAzure.com website, and in the Build Azure Weekly newsletter. At the end of 2016, I was fortunate to have Datadog sponsor the site, but come January 2017 I had no sponsors.
At the beginning of 2017, I had no sponsors for the first couple months. Then in March 2017, Opsgility became the Monthly Sponsor of BuildAzure.com and the Build Azure Weekly newsletter. And, Opsgility has continued to sponsor Build Azure all of 2017, and will be into 2018!
For those that are not aware, my day job is as a Senior Cloud Solutions Architect at Opsgility. Full disclosure, Opsgility is my employer, but that only make me happier that they’ve decided to sponsor the site. The Azure and Cloud Training services from Opsgility fit extremely well with the overall audience of Build Azure. You come here to learn about Azure, and Opsgility offers training services that can take you to the next level, land you a promotion, or help you find the next job offer by “Leveling up your skills” with Microsoft Azure and the Cloud.
I encourage you to check out the product offerings from Opsgility, and show you’re support for their sponsorship of BuildAzure.com!
I set some goals for myself back at the beginning of the year. These goals were aimed at continuing to grow the content and value of BuildAzure.com. Since i’m still working towards some of these goals, I’ll just keep on pushing towards them. And, I’m modifying a couple to keep pushing forward!
Here are my goals for BuildAzure.com as we go into 2018:
- Keep publishing 3 articles per week to reach over 500 total articles published on the site.
- Work on writing more longer form articles with more depth and detail in an effort to provide more value to readers and subscribers.
- Grow the traffic of BuildAzure.com to reach 100,000+ page views and 60,000+ visitors per month!
2017 was an amazing year, and I’ll see you all in 2018! I hope you enjoyed this peek of transparency into what I’m doing with BuildAzure.com.
And, don’t forget to subscribe to the Build Azure Weekly newsletter, if you haven’t already!