On milestones

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This is the fifth anniversary of the beginning of this blog.  Starting tomorrow, it will be my longest-lived Web presence.  My very last post at my original blog site at Xanga, of blessed memory, was also a fifth anniversary post, but by that point the blog was all but abandoned anyway and I just happened to notice and post on the right day.

Amazingly, this is also a milestone for the number of posts I have made on the blog.  It is, believe it or not, post number two thousand and five hundred.  I have somehow averaged five hundred posts a year over the last five years, a number that don’t even believe, except that I’ve checked it half a dozen ways and WordPress is insisting that it’s true.

I did have a two-year run of posting every day at one point, and I had over 700 posts in 2014.  It’s ridiculous, but it’s true.

It is rather difficult to express just how important writing for this site has been for me over the past five years.  I can’t really say that it’s brought me fame or fortune, but seeing as how this is the site that has launched my writing career (such as it is) it has genuinely changed my life.  I’ve written six books during that five years, started a company, and started going to conventions to promote my books.  With the help of my new Patreon site, I’m going to be experimenting with new ways to promote the site and my work, so the remainder of 2018 has a chance to be really big for me.   If I ever do gain fame and fortune– and, to be honest, I’ll gladly settle for “moderately well known” and “don’t have to worry about my bills”– the work I’ve done here will be the foundation for it.

Genuinely, to everyone who has ever commented, linked, Liked, shared, forwarded, followed, anything around here:  thank you.  Thank you so very, very much.

Onward.

#2017 blogwanking

It’s that time of year again, where I pretend that people care about my site metrics even the teeniest little bit and waste time posting about them anyway!  You’re excited, right?

Okay, there’s a reason I’m posting this on Christmas Eve, nobody’s on the blog today anyway.  🙂 Onward!

Here’s overall traffic for the blog, organized by year:

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That’s… not super encouraging, obviously, and I’m pretty sure that if I hadn’t written a monster post at the end of 2015 (more on that later) we’d be seeing a steady decline since 2014.  Now, a lot of this year is my fault– I’ve not been engaging with other bloggers and I haven’t been posting as often, so traffic was bound to be down.  That 575 comments number is definitely something I’d like to see go up in the future; that’s not even two a day.  But hey!  Sixty-one thousand pageviews ain’t bad.  It’s not like I’m a celebrity or anything; I’m an idiot with a website.

The top ten posts written in 2017 were:

  1. Creepy Children’s Programming Reviews: MINI FORCE, 6,413 pageviews.
  2. #REVIEW: SLEEPING BEAUTIES, by Stephen King & Owen King, 276 pageviews.
  3. Betsy DeVos is a fucking worthless hack and so is her scumbag boss, 249 pageviews.
  4. KOKOMO-CON: The Cosplay, 236 pageviews, plus hundreds on the pictures.
  5. RIP, Sonya Craig, 186 pageviews.
  6. On refugees and Christianity, again, 174 pageviews.
  7. On “assassination porn” and stupid, stupid people, 169 pageviews.
  8. #metoo and me, 149 pageviews.
  9. May as well tell the whole world, 123 pageviews.
  10. On letting idiots make decisions for me, 118 pageviews.

…so, yeah.  Nothing that really set the world on fire, other than that MINI FORCE piece, and… well, prepare for a pattern on that.  I have no idea who the hell is reading the Creepy Children’s Programming Reviews series, but holy shit are those posts popular, except when they’re not.  The one on Pokémon that I wrote this year got nowhere, the one on Mini Force got six thousand pageviews.  Hell if I know.

The top ten posts of the year, regardless of when they were written, are:

  1. Creepy Children’s Programming Reviews: MINI FORCE, 6,413 pageviews, 6,413 pageviews overall.
  2. Creepy Children’s Programming Reviews: BOB ZOOM, 5,262 pageviews, 15,799 pageviews overall.
  3. Creepy Children’s Programming Reviews: OCTONAUTS, 3,045 pageviews, 9,068 pageviews overall.
  4. SNOWPIERCER: I hated, hated, hated, hated, HATED this movie.,  3,013 pageviews, 27,152 pageviews overall.
  5. Creepy Children’s Programming Reviews: SARAH & DUCK, 2,791 pageviews, 3,206 pageviews overall.
  6. In which I tell you how your religion works, 2,118 pageviews, 109,692 pageviews overall.
  7. Creepy Children’s Programming Reviews: COLOR CREW, 1,958 pageviews, 6,977 pageviews overall.
  8. Creepy Children’s Programming Reviews: CURIOUS GEORGE, 1,423 pageviews, 5,781 pageviews overall.
  9. In which I am still a bad student (pt. 2 of 3), 1,243 pageviews, 2,014 pageviews overall.
  10. Creepy Children’s Programming Reviews: Peg + Cat, 958 pageviews, 3,694 pageviews overall.

…I assume you may have noticed a theme.  Be aware that the next six highest posts for the year are also CCPR posts.  I don’t understand any of this, really; that Goddamn Snowpiercer post should not be still getting views but still does every single day (and remains the #1 Google result for the words “Snowpiercer stupid,”) and I’ve never understood the popularity of specifically #2 in that “Bad Student” series.  For comparative purposes, part one got 59 views this year, and part 3 got 67.  I think it has something to do with being a high Google result for searches that include the image at the top of the page, but why the hell that led to twelve hundred pageviews?  I dunno.

Clearly I need to just review kids’ shows all the time.  That’s obviously my niche.

OH I ALMOST FORGOT EDIT:  Geography!  Geography is fun.  Here are countries that have visited my blog this year:

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And here is the lifetime-of-the-blog chart.  Both are clickable to make ’em a bit bigger if you care to do so:

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Still missing: North Korea, Cuba, Turkmenistan, Western Sahara, Guinea, Liberia, Niger, Chad, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, Gabon, Svalbard Island, and… Kosovo.  I have always suspected that for some unclear technological reason whatever software WordPress is using interprets hits from Kosovo as being from the neighboring countries, as they’re fairly well-represented, and none of the rest are especially surprising, as they’re either Communist dictatorships, tremendously poor, have essentially no people, or some combination of the three.

It is very cool to say that my stupid little blog has had visits from damn near every country on Earth, guys.

Whoopsie (on 2000 posts)

7952218146_06c93a8339.jpgI really meant to eventually write a “real” blog post after my brief ode to a good morning yesterday, but events got away from me in the morning (in other words, I laid around reading and then took a nap) and then we spent the entire evening at my parents’ house.  If I hadn’t gotten that post up early, I’d have entirely forgotten about the blog yesterday.  Which would have broken a streak that’s nearing two years long now, but otherwise wouldn’t have been any kind of big deal.

I wrote my 2000th post on this thing a week or two ago.  This is actually probably post 2010 or so, because the milestone slipped past me at the time.  I noted it on Twitter, but haven’t mentioned it here yet.  The post itself wasn’t exactly earth-shattering, but I’m entertained about the song I chose.

Some random facts:

  • I’ve had, so far, 377,623 pageviews and 204,501 unique visitors to the site.
  • The first post was June 4, 2013.
  • My best day had 12,451 pageviews.  Today will probably have around 150; traffic’s been a bit down this year.
  • My most popular post, by far, is “In which I tell you how your religion works,” with 106,900 pageviews.  The next most popular is the Goddamned Snowpiercer review, which has 22,872 and still is regularly in my top 5 posts every single fucking day.
  • I’ve had traffic from 195 countries, or at least what WordPress calls countries, which occasionally seems a little odd.
  • The top 10:  The US, Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, India, France, Brazil, and Norway, in that order.
  • There’s been exactly one pageview from 14 places: the Cook Islands, Equitorial Guinea, the Faroe Islands, French Guiana, Iran, the Marshall Islands, Martinique, San Marino, the Seychelles, Sint Maarten, St. Martin (apparently a different place?), Syria, Tajikistan, and Togo.

On to the next 2000, I guess.  🙂

Whoopsie

At some point– specifically, on June 4th– I failed to note that this blog is three years old.    So… uh… Happy Birthday, a few weeks belated?

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Blogwanking with numbers, just because

So, this post is gonna be full of graphs.  I feel like people have expressed some interest when I’ve done stuff like this in the past, so a blogwanking/mathy type of post every few months might start to be a more regular thing around here.

Disclaimer:  I’m not bragging and I’m not whining.  Some of you will not be doing this well and some of you will be doing WAY better.  I don’t know that I have useful advice, but I’m good at taking it.  🙂

First, let’s look at daily hits over the last few weeks:

daily

The interesting thing about my traffic is that without actually feeding everything into a spreadsheet (I’m not that far gone yet, but I keep almost doing it) is that I can’t really figure out when my good days are.  Good times to post seem to be roughly every three hours– around 9, around noon, around 3, and around 7-9, which sort of breaks the pattern– but I don’t seem to have a single day or couple of days where traffic is better than others.  Let’s look at weekly traffic:

Weekly

Note two things: one, the huge jump in December, that stuck around for a few months and then went away, the enormous (and inexplicable) spike in April (I wasn’t Freshly Pressed or anything like that; I still have no idea where those views came from or why) and the steady build in traffic since the crash after that.  I’m right about at the point where I was where traffic spiked in December again; it’ll be interesting to see if it happens again.

Here’s monthly, showing the same phenomenon, basically:

Monthly

This month will edge May by a few hundred hits, I think, meaning I’ve had increasing traffic three months in a row, which is good.  Still not up to December’s numbers but I feel like they’re coming.

Now the (mildly) depressing part– but, again, I’m not whining, I swear.  Let’s look at book sales.  The Benevolence Archives, Vol. 1 went on sale on May 10 and has had two free days.  One I went to some trouble to promote, the other I deliberately did virtually nothing for.  Sales are the red line and free copies are the green:

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It has not escaped my notice that you can barely see the red line for most of the graph.  Incidentally, I think the book’s going free again around my birthday in about a week and a half.  Unless I decide that putting the book free on 4th of July weekend is as bad of an idea as making it free on Memorial Day weekend was.

Let’s take a closer look at sales:

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Shit ain’t making me rich, obviously.  I’ve never had a day of double-digit sales, and haven’t had a day with multiple sales since the week the book was released.  Two days in a row with sales since then have been rare, too, and that dry spell for the first half of June was discouraging.  Now, again, the goal for this book has not been to make me rich, and as soon as Skylights is out, it’s probably going to go permanently free.  I’m also probably not going to go with the Kindle Select program again, because… well, you see the results of letting Amazon have the book exclusively.  If they’re promoting it, I don’t see the results.

Not that I’m promoting it as much as I could be.  I know you guys see a lot of it around here, and there’s Facebook and Twitter, but I’d be willing to bet good money that nearly every single copy has either gone to someone who already reads the blog or knows me personally or both.  Maybe 95%.  Thing is, that means that free or otherwise I’ve moved over 100 copies of my book to my readers on a blog that gets 200 hits a day; I can’t feel bad about that.

I still need to find some promotion methods that reach beyond my immediate audience, though.  I’m working on some possibilities and am way open to hearing about more.  And since I’ve got the grant I’ve got some room for paid advertising, too, if I can find anything that I think will convincingly work.

Meanwhile, I gotta keep working on the next book, and the book after that.

Oh, Twitter, right.  See if you can pick out exactly when I started working on increasing my Twitter followers:

Twitter

It’ll be interesting to see how long I’m able to keep up spending time on babysitting my Twitter presence and whether it’s going to prove useful in the long-term.  My theory that no one ever clicks on links on Twitter appears to still be true; even with a couple hundred new people who haven’t seen previous promotional opportunities for Benevolence Archives, blog links and book links regularly go without being clicked on at all.  Right now Twitter is still slotted in my brain under “fun” and not necessarily “useful,” but we’ll see what I can do to change that.

The Facebook page has 67 Likes, I think.  There’s no graph for that.