A brief bit of blogwankery

Sometime this weekend– possibly today, although it would require someone or a few someones to go a’wandering through the archives for a while, or looking at cosplay pictures— the site will surpass last year’s traffic. Which would be nice! That big spike in 2015 and a good chunk of 2016’s bar is all from a single post that went nuts, but in general I’ve considered 60K a nice round number to shoot for each year, and while I didn’t get there last year I should get a decent way past that this year unless the site collapses for some reason. I’m already up on visitors from last year, but I still need about 400 more hits to catch it in traffic, and there’s a bit of a way to go for Likes and Comments.

This site doesn’t make me any money, mind you, other than second-hand by occasionally driving readers to my books; I tried to go through WordPress’ monetization application and was denied because it turns out I say too many swears, and I’m not going to stop swearing for a few extra bucks a month. But it’s definitely nice to see traffic up. That’s probably an artifact of me posting more– last year was, uh, a bit of a bust in that regard, what with every aspect of my life imploding at once, and as of right now I haven’t missed a day since April 5th.

I was about to go into more metrics, but we’re close enough to the end of the year that I’ll put that off until my end-of-2020 blogwanking post. For now, I thought I’d acknowledge the milestone and leave it at that. Now go troll through my archives and get me over the hump today. 🙂

Blogwanking, 2019

The short version of this entire post: basically everything is down slightly from last year, but not shockingly so; I’m still getting far more eyeballs on this site than actually makes any sense to me at all, so I can’t really complain about it, because Jesus, people are actually paying attention to my nonsense?

Yeah, turns out they are.

Posting frequency was up from last year, which was up from the year before it, but engagement is continuing to drop. I’d like to find a way to drive more comments, definitely, and more likes would always be nice, but I’m not sure what the best way to do that is. I keep hearing that blogs are dead; needless to say, this one ain’t going anywhere; while I’d like to more engagement, I’m not gonna shut up or anything if my numbers keep falling.

Geography’s always fun. This is 2019 specifically:

And this is the entire life of the blog:

Basically at this point I only have a few types of countries left: totalitarian dictatorships (North Korea), a few tiny islands, and places where there is either very little infrastructure or very few people or both. I keep hoping to get a hit from Svalbard Island and so far it hasn’t happened yet. That little hole in Europe is still Kosovo; I refuse to believe I have never had traffic from Kosovo in six years and am blaming something wonky about the way WordPress handles geography.

The overall top 10 posts are the same ones they always are, basically; I’m at the point where my “back catalogue,” so to speak, is definitely driving most of the site’s traffic. This is an image, and isn’t clickable:

The Snowpiercer post just refuses to die, although it did have one (1) day this year where it got zero hits, which very well might be the first time that has ever happened. Supposedly the TV show is launching soon, so this will never, ever end. I feel bad about the weird popularity of that Tana French post, too; it’s literally the only thing she ever wrote that I didn’t like and I reviewed a bunch of her other books, so it sort of feels unfair to me. I love you, Tana! I swear!

Top 10 posts written in 2019, and these are clickable if you like:

Most of those make some sense, I suppose; the “dress for success” post is a bit inexplicable but the rest of them are either all hashtagged, of inherent interest to a substantial group of other people, promoted by outside sources (the two book reviews were both posts where publicists sent me the book) or, well, kind of important (the last post).

How did your blog do last year? (If you don’t have one, start, dammit!)

Damn

At 968,927 total words, I am closing in on a million words written on this site since it started in 2013:

There will probably be a real post later, assuming I shake off this ass-poor mood I’m in, but I just decided to check on my word count and felt like it ought to be noted.

2018 blogwanking

Ah, screw it, we’ll do it today. Christmas also falls under the “nobody’s paying attention” rule, right? 🙂 You ought to be able to click on any of these for a larger view, if you’re inclined to do that.

Overall traffic: basically right around the same amount as last year for pageviews, slightly down in everything else. That huge blip in 2015 is from the Syria post, which got over 100,000 pageviews and hugely inflated absolutely everything, and I was also posting twice a day or more most days back then. I haven’t been able to keep that pace up. Hopefully next year we’ll have a visible upward trend.

Writing stats:

I wrote more here than last year, but still not close to the pace I was setting in the early years– which, let’s be fair, was insane. Still, over 100K words isn’t nothing even if it is technically my second least-productive year.

Geography. This is this year:

And this, slightly more filled-in, is all-time:

I still prefer the way they used to do things, where that heatmap was a lot more useful, but basically I’m still looking at traffic from all over the world except for kleptocracies, hardcore Communist countries, bits of Africa, and Svalbard island. Top 10 countries for 2018 are the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, India, Germany, Brazil, Malaysia, Norway and Indonesia. All-time is a little different: the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, India, Germany, Brazil, New Zealand, France and Norway. I’d love to know what caused me to get more popular in Malaysia, which has had 40% of its all-time traffic just in 2018. And this little bit of weirdness still persists:

I have still never gotten a single hit from Kosovo. There has GOT to be something going on with the way WordPress calculates traffic that makes it impossible. I just don’t know what. Have ANY of you ever gotten any traffic from there?

(I do have 28 hits from the “European Union,” which is kinda weird, and I wonder if those are the Kosovo ones and are just tabulated strangely. 28 would be roughly in line with the rest of the countries in the area.)

The top 10 individual posts for 2018 will not surprise anyone who has been around here for a while:

The popularity of the Creepy Children’s Programming Reviews series continues to inexplicably endure; the Mini Force post is the #1 Google result for “Mini Force review” and was, all by itself, responsible for nearly 20% of my site traffic. The Snowpiercer review had a single day this year where it didn’t get any traffic, which is the first time that has ever happened. And I have no idea what the deal is with the “bad student” post. None of these make any sense to me at all.

And, for the record, after the top 10 posts (I’m ignoring the home page,) six of the next seven top posts are also CCPR posts.

Top 10 individual posts actually written in 2018:

  1. Na na naaa na, na na naa na, hey hey hey
  2. In which @amazonhelp doesn’t help
  3. KOKOMO-CON 2018: The Cosplay
  4. Snarf, 2004-2018
  5. Creepy Children’s Programming Reviews: THE AMAZING WORLD OF GUMBALL
  6. Creepy Children’s Programming Reviews: #SHERA AND THE PRINCESSES OF POWER
  7. Well that escalated quickly
  8. AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, the spoiler #review
  9. Fuck Mel Hall, part 3 of an endless series
  10. VENTING: In which I’m going to vote for assholes

Nothing I wrote this year really blew up; the difference between #1 and #10 up there is only about 40 pageviews, which isn’t much, and there’s still two CCPR posts up there. I wrote three of them this year; the post for THE DAY MY BUTT WENT PSYCHO doesn’t appear to have benefited from whatever dark sorcery is driving traffic to the rest of them for some reason and is right in the middle, traffic-wise, of posts written this year.

Finally, just for the hell of it, referrers:

All of those Fark referrals are to the Snowpiercer post. I assume the lion’s share of the search engine posts go to the top 10 one way or another, and then there’s the 3000 referrals from Facebook that are keeping me from shutting my Facebook page down for good. Nothing too surprising here, one way or another.

How did you do this year?

In which I discover a new WordPress feature that I probably won’t use very often

Wait, I can put words here?

Several times in the last five or six years I’ve done the year-end blogwanking roundup on Christmas Eve, with the justification that no one is on the internets today so it’s a great day to write a completely irrelevant damn post. The problem is that right now I’m about 1750 pageviews away from passing last year’s traffic, which would be the first traffic gain in several years. I’m a few thousand back on individual visitors, but views have a chance of being up. And I kinda don’t want to write that post until I know?

What I need for Christmas is for one or two of you to take an hour and go through the archives.(*) 1750 pageviews in 7 days is an unlikely week under the best of circumstances, and the week of Christmas and New Year’s? I may as well go ahead and write the blogwanking post. But it’s possible. Highly unlikely. But possible.

In other news: I took the boy to get a much-needed haircut today, which marks the last time that I ought to need to leave the house between now and going to the comic shop on Wednesday, which suits me right down to the ground. We’ll have family in tomorrow, and I’m pretty sure we have every single thing we could possibly need here, and the shopping’s all done, so barring some sort of surprise I ought to have a couple of days where I don’t technically need to wear pants if I don’t want to. Which, hey, that’s what the Christmas season is all about, right? Jesus didn’t wear pants. That’s in the Bible somewhere. I have an MA in Biblical studies, I know these things.

Anyway. I hope you’re happy and with family for the next couple of days, unless your family makes you unhappy, in which case I hope you’re happy and literally anywhere else.

(* ETA: I just remembered I actually did this once. Randomly came across a WordPress blog at OtherJob back when I still worked at OtherJob, and the guy needed X number of hits to reach some amount of traffic for the year. I was alone and at work and bored and I literally went through every post on his blog twice just for the sheer hell of it to put him over the top. I’m mostly not serious when I suggest someone do this, for the record, but I HAVE actually done it once. 🙂 )