State of the Blog: 3 Year Anniversary

I am continually astounded to think that this little blog is still going after all this time.  What started as a simple outlet to share my thoughts on games of all types has steadily become a normal part of my everyday life.  I guess that’s pretty neat.

As I have in the past, both at the first and second year marks, I like to take a second to reflect on the current state of the blog, as well as what I want to accomplish going forward.

Traffic Levels

3 Year Anniversary - Month to Month Stats

In general, I think my stats have been down compared to previous years.  Even though it isn’t the end of 2018 yet, I don’t think it will surpass either 2016 or 2017.

You can tell from last year, when I noted that I thought August 2017 would mark an all time high, that its bottomed out in comparison.  December and the end of the year continues to be a time of uptick.  Noticeably different from last year is that spike in June.  I’m not sure what caused that this year.

In general, traffic seems to have slowed as I analyze a bit below.  Basically, I’ve moved focus from more “useful” content to more content that’s sharing my ongoing experiences.  Doesn’t get as many clicks, especially given I haven’t been on top of the newest releases of late.

Most Popular Post Stats

3 Year Stats - Top Posts All Time

Top Posts of All Time as of August 2018

This is the list I really like to chronicle so far over the years – my current most visited posts.  While the top of the list remained fairly stationary from 2017, my tips for Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 article moved up a couple slots.  My Kingdom Hearts guide also made some moves up the list.  Again, a broad observation is that these guide-style posts tend to generate the most traffic.

3 Year Stats - Top Posts for Year

Top Posts from August 2017 to August 2018

For the year, the Empire guide continues to dominate the traffic.  I’m still a bit confused on exactly what I hit on with that guide that keeps it high in the traffic lists.  I’ve wanted to do another for a different faction but have not prioritized getting that together.

As to be expected, both the Rollercoaster Tycoon and Kingdom Hearts posts were big traffic generators over the last year.

Rollercoaster Tycoon Design

The only 2018 posts to really threaten the yearly list are a guest post and a battle involving said guest poster.  My friend’s post concerning his return to tabletop gaming, specifically X-Wing, brought in some traffic despite a relatively short word length and no connection to some hot news item or new game.  I suppose people just enjoy hearing certain anecdotes of other’s revived interest in what they like.

I am happy to see that the battle report I did got some exposure.  I would really like to do more battle reports, namely because I think they are a great way to memorialize that point in time with both pictures and words.  I’ve done battle reports elsewhere and its always interesting to return to them years later. They function as a bit of a time capsule. I think this particular report will do just that, mostly because both of the battlers in question have already built up a lot more X-Wing experience.

Top Referrers

Fallout Thumbs Up

I wrote about this section before, so I guess I can speak to it again for continuity sake.  Basically things have broken down pretty much the same way in terms of top referral sources:

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

Search engines make up a huge portion of the overall referral traffic.  Reddit and Reader clicks have been fairly even so far this year.

The only real surprises in comparison to last year are the number of Facebook referrals overtaking Twitter clicks.  I simply do not use my Facebook and yet it gets at least a trickle of clicks. It’s also strange that DuckDuckGo has any presence.  Again, it’s a small slice, but its showing up now.

Thoughts and Reflections

As I noted in the introduction paragraph, I don’t think I really expected that I would be posting every week for over 3 years on this blog.  I’ve had blogs in the past that withered rather quickly. I think it has a lot to do with the community of bloggers that I’ve found here on WordPress who have been a source of inspiration, encouragement, and thoughtful ideas.

I also think the past year has been a departure in some of the content and strategy I originally started with.  This year, I have integrated more gaming activities into the blog outside the realm of traditional video games. From posts on Magic: The Gathering to X-Wing, I’ve broadened what may have been my original focus.  It all falls under the umbrella of “gaming” in my book, and it’s fun to share the variety of experiences.

Board Game Pieces

I think I have also moved more toward simply sharing my own experiences in contrast to posts that might have a stronger usefulness, and thus more clicks.  For instance, my most popular posts continue to be guides or hints or tips for games. I enjoy doing those when I feel confident and well versed in said games, and these generally get the most traffic due to their usefulness.  This year, my focus has shifted more on a more reporting-what-I-am-doing style. Here are the games I am playing, here’s the board games I’ve just started collecting, etc. I don’t think one is better than the other, but I did notice the tone shift.

I’ve also tried to get more people I know into the blogosphere.  I’ve had friends start several blogs throughout the last year. A couple of them were guest posters here.  I really like being able to host a guest post (and am usually very open to them) especially when it can give a potential blogger a taste of what it’s like.

Charlie X-Wing Red 5 Painting

Taking a quick look back at what I wanted to accomplish in my last anniversary post, it appears I have been quite lazy in getting around to those things.  I haven’t updated the menu’s fully, haven’t put together my full review list, and I have fallen WAY behind on commenting and finding new blogs. That leads me right into…

Going Forward

Those things from last year I said I’d do?  Yea, let’s start the list with those. With 3 years under the belt, I think I have a much better understanding of how I’d like to layout the different styles of articles I produce.  Fixing the menus should be easy. Getting the review page together will be some work initially, but then will be easy enough to add new pages as they come along. Commenting just requires a little more time.

Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door Mario with Map

With my full-time job requiring more and more of my time, I’ve come close a couple times to rethinking the weekly publishing rate.  However, I’ve managed to at least get something out there every week for 156 weeks straight, so I don’t want to break my streak. Even with the streak, I don’t want content to suffer as a result of me simply trying to keep up appearances.  If I feel like I can’t get something half decent together in time, then maybe I will switch to a twice-a-month schedule.

When I do get some time, I would like to take a specific post and really work some SEO strategy into it, just to see what I can get.  At this point, I think my traffic levels are what they are, but I find it interesting to try to pull the levers on what search engines and keywords do, and then observe the results.  I’ll need to go back and see what kind of guide I think I would feel confident in putting together.

Conclusion

As long as I have time and desire, Particlebit will continue to put out my little bits of gaming knowledge.  Again, I really think the persistence this blog has maintained in my own life is due in large part to the fantastic community that surrounds the gaming blog arena here on WordPress.  Thanks to everyone that has commented, liked, or shared in the 3 years Particlebit has been around. Hopefully I’ll be looking back at this post next year.

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5 thoughts on “State of the Blog: 3 Year Anniversary

  1. Congratulations on reaching this milestone. I am sorry to see that the views for the blog have decreased, but it is good that you still enjoy belonging to the blogging community and have ideas to improve the site in the future. Despite the low viewing figures, I do enjoy the posts about your initial impressions playing a game you have started, although I prefer the actual reviews as they are more in-depth and have a more complete overlook of the game. I personally enjoyed the reviews and the posts about your trip to Japan, I found the reviews interesting and well-written and enjoyed the anecdotes about how different the gaming culture was in Japan. I do sympathise with trying to improving the menu, I have been trying to make some aesthetic changes to my blog, but have been unsuccessful so far. I hope the blog remains successful in the future.
    What posts have you planned to create in the future? What improvements do you need to make to the menu? What kind of search words have let to your blog?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats on another successful year! I look forward to reading more of your posts for years to come. Posting weekly for the better part of three straight years is no small achievement. I only hope that I can achieve half as much.

    Like

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