I’ve recently hit a magic number of 10,000 views on this blog since its inception in September 2012, and as I have also been tinkering with the design and functionality of the site itself (still under construction), I thought it a good time to do a little meta-analysis as well as a launch of new features of this blog/site/future-material-that-will-be-used-to-demonise-me-in-the-Daily-Mail. Firstly, getting the new features out of the way, an admission: I am no web designer, and therefore don’t expect much. My revisions of this site have been mostly cosmetic. I changed my WordPress theme a few months ago and realised the new theme required feature images for each individual post. I decided to take this opportunity and began systematically designing (caveat: I am no graphic designer either) title images for each of my 60+ (I know, I am fond of myself) blog posts. I also took this opportunity to go back and edit my back posts for grammar, content, and to include wild predictions about what might happen in the future, that actually came true. As well as this, you may have noticed there are now clickable buttons at the top of the page that will bring you all I have ever written about the subject, be it Movies, TV Shows, The Internet, or those times I tried to teach you all Economic Theory. There’s also one collating all I have had to say, so far, about my home city, Vienna. As far as new stuff goes, that’s about it, so on to the navel gazing.
The first thing you need to know about starting a blog is that platforms such as WordPress and Blogger exist primarily to serve small businesses, and therefore the analysis of views/hits/traffic is rigorously measured using the metrics of the site. The most important of these metrics is page views, and the chart below shows the progression of my views-per-months since I started this site.
As you can see, I was/am no immediate/current success, but there are some small victories to be had if you stick around and publish consistently. You will see in the chart that I started out relatively strongly, at over 200 views in September 2012. For over a year this was my benchmark figure for a good month, and it took me until january 2014 to beat it, yet once I did, the fact that I had kept consistently publishing posts every month for the previous 15 months came into play. Getting 400, 600 hits a month increases your chances of coming up in internet searches, as well as an extensive, consistently refreshed back catalogue. This is what you see in the above trend during 2014, where I graduated to a different level in Googles hierarchy of acceptable search results. I had been going for over a year, and had a healthy stock of content. In the first quarter of 2014 I saw my main driver for page views were directed from search engines rather than simply my facebook friends clicking on a link I post about a new blog post (thanks, you guys, by the way!). This continued, and expanded, and now 600 views per month is a standard, even if I only publish one or two new blog entries in that month.
Where do these ‘views’ come from?
Also given in the metrics is where each visitor comes from, which means I can truthfully, verifiably say that at least one person from 131 different countries has visited here and attempted to read my inane musings on such things as South Park and Togolese banking scams. I know you would love to see it, so below ranks the top 20 countries that give me the most hits.
The US total is driven mostly by hits from search engines, but the rest correlates pretty well with the amount of facebook friends I have in each of those countries, so once again I thank all of you who take the time to read whatever it is I am ranting about once or twice a month. I don’t know anyone in Malaysia, but thanks a bunch anyway!
What do people read?
If you ever wondered which ones, of my 60 plus blog posts, are the most popular, wonder no more, for below they are listed, and clickable.
Togo, or not Togo? 783
“¡Tierra! ¡Tierra!”(Or: Why Christopher Columbus Was One of History’s Biggest Dickheads) 650
Science, and Interstellar 555
Did South Park Lower The Bar? 512
What Country Is Best At Boozing? 478
The Eurovision Drinking Game 2014 434
In Defence of Ignorance: Greetings From Mount Stupid 395
On Optimal Strategies in Drink Promotions: Towards a Happier Happy Hour 295
Democracy and the Death of Decent Standards of Heraldry 219
Restricting the Cosmos 189
Together, these 10 blog entries account for 44% of my total page views, and it’s not hard to see why. Internet scams, TV, Movies and Drinking dominate the list, and anyone who writes about these topics will always have people stumbling upon their site. One that I am proud of is the second entry on the list, a story about how much of a dickhead Christopher Columbus was. I attest that this is still the definitive online version of this story.
One thing I can tell you if you are starting a blog, and I assume any other product that is developed for an audience, is that it’s not up to you what is popular or not. I put equal effort (around 4 hours) into each blog entry, and by the time of publication, I usually hate everything I have written, but once it is out there I am always surprised by which ones people like, or don’t like.
How Do People Find You?
I mentioned previously that for the past year most people visit here from Google searches, so what exactly are they searching for that I can help with? Thankfully, WordPress helps with this too, by providing a small amount of key search terms. Here is a word cloud of the terms people land on my site from. The bigger the word, the greater the frequency of page views.
Of course, it’s highly correlated with my top 10 viewd blog posts, but also includes a lot of people searching for information about what Indifference Curves really are (I will explain one day, and this sentence shall be a hyperlink, and contain information about what happened in mid-2015.).
This was just some information that I thought might be interesting to some of the people who have been following my blog since the start, back in September 2012. Maybe a few of you reading were freaked out by how everytime you visit here, you are added to the WordPress Analytics database, but you should know that something similar happens with every page you visit on the internet. And those who have been here since the beginning may know that this has been a theme in the blog since the start. This was my attempt at transparency in this aspect: I don’t know who you are, but I know which country you are in. To me, it doesn’t mean much, but I guess to certain businesses this is important for advertising purposes. Anyway, one of the undercurrents of this blog post was to show a little bit of what it takes to do the whole blogging thing and maybe encourage some of you to take it up as a hobby or even as a release. For me, what I started here, these rants of around 1200 words each are the best way that I have found to communicate my thoughts with the world, so anyone who takes the time to read any of it, I thank you, and hope that I have provided some kind of entertainment for you, and not just myself.