2013 In Review: Blogging

As promised, I thought it would be fun to post up a review of my blogging for the year.  Most of this is covered in WordPress’s automatically-generated annual Stats Report, which you can see below.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 10,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

No surprises here, but 2013 continued the annual trend of declining page views here, from a high of around 16,000 in 2011 down to 14,000 in 2012 and 10,000 in 2013.  There seems to be a strong correlation with the number of posts I’ve written – from 189 in 2011 to 122 in 2012 and down to only 30 in 2013.

Yeah… 30 posts.  That’s all I managed to find time for in 2013.  That’s rather less than once-a-week.  This goes back to the theme that prevailed in the rest of my writing throughout this year that I discussed in my last post.  The realities of Fatherhood 2.0 (which is clearly still in beta) leave me without sufficient time to adequately maintain this blog.

It logically follows, then, that my most popular posts on this blog in 2013 were all written in prior years – mostly 2011 and 2012.  Basically, I wrote nothing of any consequence or depth in 2013.

Incidentally… does anyone out there run a WordPress.com blog but use some other mechanism to track their blog stats? There’s nothing wrong that I could definitively see in WordPress’s stats, but I don’t have any way of accessing and performing my own data manipulations to get at anything that interests me in particular… I’d love to be able to do that.  Also, after a certain amount of time, old data becomes inaccessible to me.  If there’s some other way to look at the data and/or to store that information long-term, I’d love to take it for a whirl.  Sound off in comments if you’ve got a way of working around WordPress.com’s stats limitations.

When time allows… I’ll start looking at my prognosis for 2014 in my next annual Goals, Plans, and Dreams post…

4 thoughts on “2013 In Review: Blogging

  1. Hi Stephen,

    There are a few factors that might contribute to your declining numbers. (It’s a rather harsh self-criticism to say that you’re written nothing of consequence or depth this year. Don’t be so hard on yourself.)

    I’d suggest revitalizing your SEO on posts and pages, revisit where you distribute new content (social media outlets change continuously, and it’s oftentimes worthwhile to explore new venues — for example, my Twitter numbers suck this year while my Tumblr pushes three times the traffic to my blog. It’s possibly due to the different demographics on either site too. Depends who you’re targeting). Finally, look at your engagement strategy? I know that sounds kind of feeble, but if your blog is a marketing tool, you’ve got to treat it like it.

    Lastly, there is something better than the WordPress dashboard tracker: Google Analytics. There are exceptional plugins that work with WordPress that you can use for goal-setting right on your dash, and with this Universal Tracking thing they’ve included, I’m starting to get the feel for more in-depth stats on age group and gender which help craft my content differently. (Still feeling my around this new aspect, but so far it’s been pretty good.) Metrics, baby; the numbers are cold but they often make sense when you start seeing spikes.

    Best of luck in 2014!

    • I’m sure all your SEO suggestions would make sense if, in fact, I currently treated this blog as a marketing tool. Alas, I do not. One would need to have something to market before one could do such marketing. Being essentially unpublished (except for one rather minor credit) – either in the traditional sense or in the digital self-published sense – I have no work out in the market. I currently have almost no finished work to even try to get to market (I’ve just two novelettes that I’ve no idea what to do with as yet). Professionally speaking, day-job wise and not author-wise, LinkedIn is a better marketing tool for what I do, although I’m happily employed and in no immediate need of such marketing.

      No, this blog is and has been, for me, mostly a creative outlet and, secondarily, a way to connect with other like-minded souls. Of late, it’s been a poor tool as a creative outlet, because I’ve lacked the time even for this.

      I don’t think it’s too harsh a self-criticism to say I’ve written nothing of consequence this year. Rather, I’m not even sure it counts as criticism so much as an observation of the facts. Fiction-wise I wrote almost nothing. Blog-wise, well, consider my archives for 2013: a couple posts looking back at 2012, my goals for 2013, a number of “writing updates” in which I waxed overly-verbose on my lack of writing, a mid-year review in which I did more of the same, a brief discussion of movies that interested me for the year (which I’m sure I’ll do again this year), a post that went into a little more detail about why I wasn’t writing, a link-dump of interesting (to me) things I’d collected over the year and… that’s about it. Only one or two of those things even rises to the level of somewhat interesting at all. I don’t feel bad about it, though. As I did say during one of those few posts that were almost interesting, I had good reasons for not writing. (I’d rather have been doing that and writing, but at least in 2013 the two were apparently mutually exclusive.)

      Thank you for the suggestion of Google Analytics. That’s something I’ll have to look at more closely.

  2. I only wrote about a dozen blog posts this year, but a couple of them turned out to be pretty popular. One of them hit the Reddit front page last month and made my site exceed its bandwidth limit. My views have been growing steadily. I wrote a few really popular posts last year that have been getting more and more views over time as people start linking to them. So I’m pleased about that. I didn’t write any posts since August, though. I want to get back on the bandwagon soon.

    • Yeah, I saw some of those posts you wrote. They were intermittent, but at least when you put your fingers to the keyboard you managed to be interesting, which is more than I can say for myself. (I don’t think I’ve ever in the history of ever had a post that even registered a teeny tiny bit on Reddit at all, and I’ve no idea how one would go about trying to capture such traffic.) I’m still excited about some of the ideas you hashed out in your post on RPG combat damage (as I dream of that far off day when I have enough free time both to write and pursue other creative projects like game design). Good luck getting back to the blog in 2014! I’m hoping for the same, here.

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