What to Expect in 2008
Retaining visitors is a challenge for all sites, but is made especially difficult when the primary content is animation. The problem is that you have only a few seconds to grab that random visitor by the eyes and convince them that your content is worthy enough to stick around.
Numbers Don't Lie
Upon review of last years statistics, it is increasingly apparent that visitor retention means smaller file sizes and using a broader subject matter to attract a wider audience. This will improve your chances to become viral, which will then allow you to explore more artistic ventures.
Here's a chart detailing page views (green), unique visitors (blue) and returning visitors (orange) for Calico Monkey in all of 2007. The key events were in January when the Wii cartoon was appreciated by the StumbleUpon community and in February when wired.com linked to the site.
What can we learn from this? Visitors want to watch something that they care about. 2008 will contain fewer personal story cartoons in an effort to build an audience.
You Got Words All Over my Cartoons
Notice how in July the tutorial-writing efforts really began to build natural search engine traffic. That has been great, but has slightly muddied what Calico Monkey is supposed to be about.
There will be a new tutorial site announced in the coming weeks that will just be about tutorials. There will also be a redesign of Calico Monkey to let visitors know that this site is all about animation and cartoons, something the current homepage does not make abundantly clear.
The goal in 2008 is all about retaining visitors, building an audience, and continuing to make some kick-ass cartoons.
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Calico Monkey discusses animation programs, cartoon software and the art of making your own cartoons. Occasionally I release a new cartoon that has inadvertently made somebody chuckle. Such an outburst is purely accidental, I assure you. All animations were created with Toon Boom.
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