State of the Blog: 2 Year Anniversary

Wow.  This blog has now been chugging for 2 years.  I never thought I’d be able to stick with it this long, or even have as much to talk about as I have.  It’s become something that I have just integrated into my daily life.

I previously had a reflection on this blog during my half and full year anniversaries.  I’d like to take a look at similar topics and compare them back to what I was thinking a year ago.

As I have said many times previously, I would not be as engaged in this blog, or certainly still be posting, if it wasn’t for the great community I have followed throughout here on WordPress.  Everyone that leaves comments, posts great content, it all is something uniquely special.  Thanks again everyone.

Traffic Levels

2 Year Stats - Traffic Levels

This chart shows total views over the past two years.  As you can see I started fairly strong up till March in the first year, before a massive drop-off.  Things held steady until the following winter, which dipped back down in the spring.  I guess the Spring is a weaker viewing season for whatever reason.

An encouraging sign is that this month is one of my best of all time!  Again, the stats lean heavily on the success of my Magic guide.  I wonder how next Spring will turn out if I get to three years.

Most Popular Post Stats

2 Year All Time Popular Posts

I’ve written over 116 posts as of the time of this writing, so now my screenshot list is just what will fit on the screen.  I’m still a bit astounded that the post count is over 100.  Here’s to 200!

It appears we have a new champion as most popular post of all time – my guide to playing Empire in Total War: Warhammer.  I’d noticed that it was often getting spikes in viewers.  I have no idea what has made it so popular.  I did try to go fairly in depth in some of the points, and it was a longer post.

Total War Warhammer Karl Franz

The most expensive N64 games post from way, way back still sits up near the top.  Despite being dethroned, that post continues to get continuous visitors.  I need to add to that “series” by including SNES and maybe Game Boy games.

Another new comer to the list is last weeks post – my guide to the competitive Magic: The Gathering scene.  That post had an explosion of visitors via Reddit, and I really did try to make that a comprehensive guide on the subject (having not seen something similar elsewhere).  We will see if it can hang with the consistent view-getters up top.

Hour of Devastation Nicol Bolas Art

Overall, it appears that the triumvirate of rarest N64 games, upcoming VR sets, and the Binding of Isaac guide are probably my most consistent posts of all time.  All of them took we awhile to draft and revise so I am glad those particular posts got recognition.

2 Year Stats - Most Popular Posts Last Year

This list is the most popular posts of the previous year from today.  The list remains pretty much the same, with the Magic Primer and the FF6 guide a little higher.

It was encouraging to see my good buddy Nick’s guest post make it near the top of the list.  I hope he decides to take the plunge on his own blog, and obviously I think we may see more of his Pokemon thoughts on this blog.

The Witcher 3 King

Reviews often get some of the least views.  I think that my Witcher 3 review has become the all-time leader in views.  I find that a bit funny since I thought it was one of my weaker writing efforts, but the popularity of the game may have boosted its exposure on search engines.

Top Referrers

  1. Search Engines (Google -> Bing -> Yahoo!)
  2. Reddit
  3. Reader
  4. Facebook/Twitter

This list had no changes from the previous look backs.

Snoo Reddit

Reddit is tough to judge.  Putting up a post over there is hit or miss and is dependent on time of day as well as chosen subreddit. Not to mention the guaranteed criticism you’ll find in the comments.

I’m still surprised that Facebook brings anything in (or Twitter for that matter).  I have completely neglected my Facebook page, but try to remain somewhat active on Twitter.

The discrepancy between the groups is huge.  Search engines are by far the biggest referrer, with Reddit a distant second.  Reddit is a massive margin above the rest on the list.

I’d like to try and be more active on Twitter and perhaps see if it can move up the list.

Where Visitors Are Coming From

2 Year Stats - Location of Visitors

In my previous posts, I’ve only looked at the top five countries that have logged visitors, but for today I took a screenshot of a larger portion.

The top five countries of origin remain the same, and I think the previous analysis still holds true: this blog is in English, hence the English-speaking countries are more likely to come by.

Community-chatting1

I am quite surprised to see Gibraltar so high, and I’d be interested in trying to figure out why the various European mainland countries are ranked as they are.  Germans must like Total War or expensive N64 games I guess.

Going Forward

I’m still thinking up some improvements I would like to implement in the next year.

One big thing is to reorganize my drop down menus and tagging/categories. Now that I have so many posts and have found some more specific focus, I think an overhaul is overdue.

Magic: The Gathering Ponder Art

I would also like to create a page that ranks all of my review scores.  I have no idea what that list would have as the top or lowest scores, but I’m interested in finding out.  Now that I have quite a few reviews, I think that list maybe worthwhile.

I’d also like to continue to be more involved in commenting on others posts.  I do always try to read through the reader for all those I follow, but often don’t have time to comment or just forget to.

I would also like to go through and find a slew of new blogs to follow.  I use to do that fairly often, making new blogging buddies in the process.  Nowadays its normally just a new one here or there.  Always nice to see some fresh takes.

Conclusion

Overall, I am very happy I decided to make this blog and that its been consistent over two years.  I’ve mentioned before that I’ve had other stabs at blogs but none lasted longer than a couple months at the most.  Particlebit has set a new personal standard.

If you have any comments or thoughts please write it out in the comments!  Especially for those that frequently come by, I’d really like to hear your feedback.  I am always trying to improve.

23 thoughts on “State of the Blog: 2 Year Anniversary

  1. Pingback: State of the Blog: 3 Year Anniversary | Particlebit

  2. Congratulations on making it to two years! It’s not easy but as you know, consistency and getting in the habit of blogging is key. It’s always fun getting an insight into someone else’s stats, what works for them and what doesn’t.

    I’ve always found what brings in views to be unpredictable and sometimes baffling. Like, for instance, I had a random post a while ago about the original Half-Life that is one of my most viewed posts of all time. Why? I mean, yeah, sure Half-Life is popular but these are general impressions of a game that is nearly 20 years old now and has had so much written about it. It’s weird.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is interesting to see what catches on views-wise vs what doesnt. Most of my traffic comes from Google, so I guess whatever algorithm Google uses, I’ve magically lined up with that at times.

      And I would not have suspected any current discussion of Half Life, outside of maybe discussing the never coming third installment, to gain any popularity. I wonder what bumped your post?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great stuff here. Always important to check yourself to see if the motivation is still there to keep going in a blog. It seems you have a bit of a formula down in getting good titles for your highest blogs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it’s kinda funny that typically, the only real “SEO” thoughts I normally have when actually writing a post are the pictures, namely the feature picture. I’m always drawn to a well chosen title picture so I make sure to do the same with mine.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I find the discussion of the blog’s progress quite interesting. The number of views seem quite high, I suppose one reason why the amount of views for Spring and Summer decreases was because people wanted to enjoy the better weather and spend the darker Winter months reading the blog posts. I have also noticed bloggers have a much lower output in Summer than Winter. I noticed that some of the more popular posts provide tips to completing games, rather than reviews, so it seems like an audience is attracted to the helpful posts. This might help create a gap in a market. The post about expensive Nintendo 64 game probably contains some revelation that loads of people want to find out. The countries seem to be mostly European and it seems strange that a small country like Gibraltar has such a lot of people reading the blog. I would be interested to see what other games are the most expensive on other consoles. I liked that you included another blogger on your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think I will definitely explore more of the most expensive games on other platforms. I think those lists always turn up something interesting. And perhaps your analysis on summer v winter views is correct. Guess we will see what happens next year!

      Like

  5. Interesting piece, the trends you describe remind me of my own blog experience. It’s good to reflect on how we blog, what works and what doesn’t. Reddit can drive a bit of traffic but the communities there can be so toxic that it’s often a soul-crushing experience.

    I’ve also considered doing a reviews index. Like you, I have so much content on my blog now that it seems sensible to provide a helpful way to organise some of it for people. And I remember the reviews index was one of my favourite ways of navigating the old Edge magazine site, when that was a thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your reply. And yea, I think an index would be interesting, and also a way to showcase the reviews that are now several pages deep. I’m also interested to see just how many reviews I’ve done and how my review scores compare across all the posts. Definitely something I’m going to try and implement.

      Like

  6. Someone posted a link to a review of mine on Reddit, and I was surprised that most of the people commenting liked it. Guess it’s kind of hit or miss as you say.

    Anyway, congratulations on having made it this far! I hope you’re proud of the work you’ve done. It’s great to have been producing content for such a long time, isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not surprised, I’ve always enjoyed your well thought out reviews myself.

      And thanks, it does feel satisfying to look back and see how far the blog has come over the two years. It’ll be fun to look back (hopefully) at the three mark and see it all then.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Congrats on the anniversary—and the consistency. It’s hard to keep this kind of thing going for a full year, and it’s really interesting to see what your most successful blogs have been. The Total War: Warhammer guide isn’t too much of a surprise; it’s a solid piece, and definitely something that a lot of people are going to look for.

    I dropped out of my own blog until about four months ago, deciding to get back into it and trying to do the Reddit thing, so it’s interesting to see your experiences with it. I totally agree; it can be a total hit and miss.

    For example, my most successful blog post of all time, Is an XCOM 2 expansion pack on the way?, absolutely blew up on Reddit and actually ended up putting me at the top of Google rankings for the search of “xcom 2 expansion”.

    But then you get other pieces that you put just as much work into, throw it up on Reddit, and for one reason or another it falls flat.

    Anyway, glad to see you’re still kicking! Hope the next year is just as productive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your reply! It’s very interesting to see what ends up with views and what doesn’t. While some posts might make sense, others that fit the mold seem to fall by the wayside. I’m sure there’s some seo professionals out there who know why, but I’m just confused a lot of the time.

      Like

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