You know what’s awesome? Milestones. Milestones are pretty awesome, and today is a pretty big one on the blog. I usually miss these kinds of things because I’m not really paying attention, but a few days ago I just happened to be looking at the stats page for this blog and noticed that I was approaching a pretty awesome number.
This – this post right here – is my 1000th blog post. One-thousandth. I have posted on this blog one thousand times. That’s awesome, that’s amazing.
So, just for the heck of it, let’s look at a few stats, shall we?
I started the blog in February of 2012. That year I published 178 posts and got 3536 views for my trouble. A modest start, but that’s to be expected. My most popular post was “A Day at Kearl Lake“, in which I basically explained what it’s like to work on the oil sands. It was a post intended for my closest friends and family, to let them know how I was doing on my new job, but since then it has been on my stats page every single day…at least one person stumbles onto it daily, and I still occasionally get comments on it.
In 2013 my published posts went up significantly, to a total of 250. For my trouble I got a total of 11,030 views, which still isn’t fly-of-the-handle amazing, but was definitely a huge improvement over the previous year. My most popular post continued to be “A Day at Kearl Lake“, with over 2000 of those views to its name, but the next on the list was “Goodbye Poppy…Love You Forever“, in which I bid farewell to the patriarch of our family. I got a lot of lovely, sympathetic comments on that post.
2014 was, by far, my biggest year, but for very bittersweet reasons. I published 297 posts that year – another big improvement over the previous – and settled out at the end of the year with 35,035 views, over three times what I got in 2013. Unfortunately the main reason for all those views was tragedy. “An Inspiration, Lost” racked up 17,465 of those views when my cousin – a young man who had recovered from a drug problem, with an incredible zest and love for life – passed away in a car accident. I received a lot of wonderful words for him on that post, and people still stumble upon it today, which is, of course, more saddening than anything.
In 2015 my published posts dropped back down to 258, and along with that drop came a drop in views, which ended the year at 10,777; not the lowest number yet, but very nearly. Although I knew that most of my views from 2014 had come as the result of tragedy, it was still fairly depressing to watch the numbers drop so dramatically. The most popular post was once again “A Day at Kearl Lake“, with the runner up being “Tickle Trunk for a New Generation“, in which I described the process I used to create a “tickle trunk” (dress-up trunk) for my daughter out of cardboard boxes, bristol board, and sticky-backed craft foam.
And then we come to 2016. There doesn’t seem much point in discussing the stats of the year thus far, since we’re not even quite a month in, so let’s take a look at some overall stats instead. We’re nearly into February, which means that I’ve been posting to this blog for a full four years now. I have 1000 posts with 61,123 views dispersed among 39,015 unique visitors. My highest views in one day (which, I’m fairly certain will never be repeated) was the day I posted “An Inspiration, Lost“; it garnered 13,992 views. I have 411 blog-specific followers. My most popular day of the week is Monday, with 18% of the views, and on average the most people stumble onto the blog at around 11 am. The majority of my views consistently come from Canada, the USA, and the UK, in that order, although this year so far Australia has usurped the UK for that third position. My top referrer is Google, with Facebook coming in second, and the WordPress Reader in third. Some of the most popular search terms that have brought people to my page? ‘Tickle trunk for kids’, ‘donair pizza recipe’, and ‘kearl’.
So there you go: a few insights on “No Page Left Blank”‘s lifeline. And now the question becomes, with this information how do I go on to improve the blog? Some of my highest-viewed posts arose from grief, so of course I’d rather not continue that trend, but surely there are some gems to glean from this information. What do you guys think?
As a final note: ‘clicks’ are also recorded in the WordPress stats, and what that stat shows is a record of how many times viewers ‘clicked’ an outside link that was shared in a post or on the main website itself. The top-runner for this particular stat is the link to my book, “Nowhere to Hide” on Amazon, and I’d love to keep it that way, so I’d like to remind everyone that if you click on that link (look! There’s a picture of the book right on the sidebar of this page!) you’ll have the option to actually read about a chapter and a half of the book to get a feel for whether or not you might like it. I really encourage everyone to take a moment out of your day to check that out because the most common comment I’ve gotten in reviews of the book is that people who weren’t previously fans of zombies loved it. So why not check it out for yourself?
Thanks for celebrating 1000 posts with me, everyone! Here’s to 1000 more!