2018 blogwanking

Ah, screw it, we’ll do it today. Christmas also falls under the “nobody’s paying attention” rule, right? ūüôā 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?

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. ¬†ūüôā

Blogwanking: I Get Email edition

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This showed up in my mailbox the other day:

Yes, HOW did you get your site to appear so high in google? How many years have you been building your blog and social media? Do you have any suggestions to increase traffic? 

I have read and studied all the stuff, but didn’t know if you had any useful thoughts or insights since you have more experience.

This is interestingly timed, because while I’m currently in the midst of a post starting to go viral, 2016 has so far not been great for blog traffic for me, and book sales have been abysmal. ¬†Most months this year have been around 5500 pageviews, and an average day therefore somewhere in the 180 range. ¬†Compared to last year, even before I wrote the Syria post, that’s low.

The post about consent from Tuesday amassed 1900 views in its first 24 hours of existence, and as of right now, about 47 hours after writing it, it has 3251 pageviews and over a thousand shares on Facebook. ¬†So probably 60% of a typical month’s traffic, for this year anyway, in less than two days. ¬†It is, right now, actually growing slightly faster than the Syria post did. ¬†We’ll see if it shows the weird sine-wave behavior that that post exhibited, but for now it’s doing great and today is showing signs of being better than yesterday.

In the life of the blog, which I started in June of 2013, I’ve had one post go Freshly Pressed (which didn’t generate a lot of traffic outside of WordPress) and three that I can safely say have gone viral– the two I’ve already mentioned and the Snowpiercer post. ¬†Bewilderingly, the Snowpiercer post¬†still is consistently in the top five posts¬†every single day despite the fact that no one has watched that damn movie in months. ¬†It is still the top Google result for the words “Snowpiercer terrible.” ¬†It will probably hold that distinction forever.

How did you do it, you ask?

Hell, I dunno.

(Ducks, runs away)

Actually, no, that’s not quite true. ¬†While, again, the blog hasn’t been as successful so far this year, I know exactly why that’s been the case: because I’ve been¬†boring. ¬†I am committed to posting every day around here, and I haven’t missed a day since December of¬†2014. ¬†Now, that has advantages: regular posting is¬†critical to gaining and keeping an audience. ¬†But I’ve spent most of the past eight months sick, depressed, and unemployed, which has not made for astonishingly entertaining prose. ¬†It’s hard to have interesting things to write about when you don’t go to very many places and you don’t interact with¬†people. ¬†And while previous blogs of mine have been very current-event/news focused, I’m currently happy with the amount of political content on the blog and, while it will ramp up a bit more as the election draws closer, I’m¬†not looking to turn this into a current events blog. ¬†I could probably drive traffic up if I did, but that’s not what I want this place to be right now. ¬†I did that blog for five years during the Bush administration; it’s out of my system.

So here are some concrete suggestions for how to keep a blog running and generate traffic, with the obvious caveat that there are a lot of people who are a lot more successful than I am at it out there:

  • Write consistently. ¬†This doesn’t mean daily! ¬†But if you’re gonna post twice a week,¬†post twice a week, and try to keep them on the same days. ¬†You don’t want a situation where people pop over looking for fresh content and can’t find anything.
  • Be entertaining and write well. ¬†I like to think I’m at least¬†usually good at these things, but they’re essential one way or another. ¬†You can make a blog about whatever subject you¬†want interesting so long as you write about it well.
  • Read and comment on other blogs, or at least spread some Likes around on WP blogs if that’s what you have. ¬†People tend to follow you back when you do that, and it’s a good way to get the next thing to happen:
  • Try and build yourself a community (or join one) with other bloggers. ¬†Facebook is good for this. ¬†So is Twitter, which is like 70% writers. ¬†I had a hunch the consent post was going to blow up; one of the first things I did was post it on a couple of FB groups I’m in and ask folks for a signal boost. ¬†This needs to be done sparingly, because it can annoy people, but if the piece is good and you’re not constantly asking, it can get good results.
  • As far as making specific posts blow up? ¬†Keep writing and eventually you’ll get lucky. ¬†That’s really all I can say, unfortunately. ¬†Viral posts are frequently a result of luck, good timing, good writing, and luck. ¬†Your first one will probably surprise you. ¬†I had¬†no idea the Snowpiercer post was going to be as successful as it has been– frankly, it still amazes me. ¬†My Creepy Children’s Programming Reviews posts do better than they have any reason to. ¬†Other times you’ll get an inkling beforehand, like with the Syria post and the consent post. ¬†Sometimes you think something ought to blow up and it doesn’t. ¬†Keep writing. ¬†Something will pop sooner or later.
  • Did I say keep writing?
  • Because keep writing.

Any other suggestions, guys?

Blogwanking 2015

Fun thing about Macs that I didn’t realize until a few days ago: ¬†most of us know about using control-shift-3 to take a screenshot. ¬†Did you know that if you use control-shift-4 you can then draw a rectangle on the screen and it just screencaps that part? ¬†No need to crop!

Anyway, here’s how this year went:

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 8.06.24 AM.png

That’s with 636 posts published. ¬†Here’s 2014’s details:

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 8.09.03 AM.png

Now, that’s all skewed to hell by the Syria post, which, again, got over 100,000 pageviews and who knows how many viewers; it’s currently sitting at 38,000 FB shares, so… a lot? ¬†What I find interesting: I didn’t miss a single day of posting in 2015, and I’ll be damned if I miss tomorrow or Thursday. ¬†But I had¬†fewer posts, since 2014 had 779 of them, and a¬†lot¬†less engagement– 1000 fewer comments and 3000 fewer Likes. ¬†I would not have expected that. ¬†Tons more unique viewers, though; I was way up on that (nearly double) before the Syria thing hit. ¬†In other words: I reached a lot more people this year, even before the viral post, but they aren’t spending as much time on the blog or talking/communicating nearly as much as the 2014 people did. ¬†My ratio of views to visitors in 2014 was¬†insane. ¬†That went away in 2015.

Geography! ¬†Here’s my top 10 countries:

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 8.14.21 AM.png

I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that with maybe a bit of fiddling toward the bottom these are probably just about everyone’s top countries. I see no reason why my blog would be more popular in, say, France than anyone else’s. ¬†Maybe I’m wrong.

Full global reach, 2015:

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 8.16.24 AM.png

Just about everywhere, basically. ¬†Here’s the lifetime of the blog:

…oh, god damn it, they’re screwing with this again. ¬†Well: Greenland fills in, and all of South America, and another country or two in Africa, and a few tiny islands. ¬† ¬†I’ll upload the image if I can find it. ¬†Shit. ¬†I NEED MY LIFETIME GEOGRAPHY, WORDPRESS.

Grrrrrrr.

Referrers?  Sure, why not, although this is skewed by the Syria post again:

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 8.26.03 AM.png

Not much to say here, I guess, other than to wonder what exactly is causing the 127.0.0.1 referrals. ¬†I tend to get a handful¬†a week but not many more than that; if they ever spike I’ll look into them more closely.

So, that’s my 2015. ¬†How was yours? ¬†Saleswanking tomorrow or the day after.

It continues (morning blogwanking)

Yesterday was the highest-traffic day in the history of the blog, including the time where I was Freshly Pressed:

Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 8.11.55 AM.png

You’ll note that I had more individual visitors than I had pageviews the day before, and I’m pretty sure the day before was the 2nd or 3rd best day I’ve ever had. ¬†That’s pretty impressive. ¬†As of now, 8:17, I’ve already got 160 views, so thus far the pace hasn’t slowed down any. ¬†And check this out:

Screen_Shot_2015-11-20_at_8_13_56_AM.jpg

That’s all time ranked posts, using the old stats editor. ¬†Leaving out the home page and the “About” page, which aren’t posts, that means that a post I wrote less than 48 hours ago is now the 7th highest-traffic post I’ve ever written.

Dag.

I don’t think it’s going to catch the Snowpiercer post, which has five times as many hits as its closest competitor, but it’ll be really interesting to see how far it gets before interest fizzles out. ¬†Another interesting detail: right now, traffic appears to be driven almost¬†exclusively by Facebook referrals. ¬†As of this second the page has been shared on FB 759 times and 31 on Twitter, but I got 671 referrals from FB yesterday and only 13 from Twitter. Not one click through StumbleUpon, Reddit, Tumblr, or any of the other usual suspects. ¬†My autoshare on FB has reached 907 people and the Tumblr share doesn’t have a single note on it. ¬†Less than ten from Google +, which I think is¬†funny, since those might be my first G+ referrals ever.

I’m actually kind of scared to see what will happen if Reddit gets ahold of the post. ¬†Which I suppose you can take as an invitation if you’re a Redditor.

Still no trolls, either.  Amazing.

Now (again) if I can¬†just get these people to buy books. ¬†ūüôā