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.

It’s like waiting for an odometer to roll over.

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!

400 is a Big Number

Since today is a bit of a milestone for my blog, I thought I’d take this moment to express my amazement of the follow set of statistics.

400 Posts
This post that I’m writing right now is my 400th post. To many of the bloggers whom I follow and commerce with that won’t seem like a huge deal because some of them have thousands of posts. But to me, it’s positively amazing. I gained access to the internet sometime around the fourth grade, and in that time I’ve hopped on several bandwagons and tried dozens of times to express myself in one way or another. I’ve “designed” websites (oh…dear Geocities…) and been an active member of several forum communities; I’ve posted web-comics and even had a couple of other blogs. but I never stuck with any of them. Eventually they would get boring, or I would fail to find the time to keep up with them, or some other issue would send me wandering non-nonchalantly in the other direction. But this blog? I’ve stuck with this, even when I couldn’t think of anything to write, and even when I didn’t have the time. I’ve stuck with it for 400 posts and almost two years straight, and I have to admit that knowing that makes me very proud of myself. Maybe I am becoming a responsible adult after all.

Oftentimes I’ve found myself wondering at the lack of comments on my blog. I see that people are reading my posts, but rarely does it seem that anyone takes the time to say anything. But today I saw this number – 336 – and thought, “You know what? That’s not too shabby.” My blog, after all, is not a viral sensation. I’m not a famous person that people flock to speak to, and even 400 posts is nothing in the grand scheme of the internet, so 336 comments is actually a pretty decent collection. So thank you to everyone who took the time. 🙂

Best Ever: 208 Views
Again, to many bloggers this number is going to seem piddly, but to me it’s simply amazing. On March 18th, 2013 I wrote a post expressing my feelings about my grandfather’s death and sharing some of my favorite memories of him, and 208 people read it. For a small-time blogger like me the thought that 208 people came to my blog on a single day and, for a few moments, shared in my grief is absolutely unbelievable. Someday I hope to break that record, but for now I just say thank you for choosing that particular post to show that you’re here.

Someday I hope to have the kind of blog that gets this number of views in a month, but for the time being I’m amazed to know that my blog has gotten this many views since it’s beginnings. As mentioned earlier I’ve had several webpages since I first started being allowed to roam the internet, and I’m quite certain that this number is the highest one I’ve ever seen for views on something of mine.

103 Blog Followers
I don’t count Twitter and Facebook followers in this stat because, let’s face it, most of my Facebook followers are family members, and most of my Twitter followers are fellow writers who may or may not have the time or care to bother with my blog. But on WordPress itself, the follow specifically meant for reading blogs, I have recently surpassed 100 followers. Again, someday I hope that my blog gets that many followers in a month, but given the relative infancy of my blog I’m amazed and gratified that more than 100 people have said to themselves, “Yeah, I want to keep an eye on this blog and read what the author posts.”

And so here we are, me and my 400 posts, my personal-record-breaking views, and my followers with their comments. It’s been an excellent run so far, and I hope it continues far, far into the future. Cheers!

Hey! When did that happen?

Those who have been paying attention know that I’ve been pre-writing posts and scheduling them to pop up on the days while I’m working out West, to ensure that posts are made even if the camp internet is so awful that I can’t even load Google (i.e. always). This system is great for a number of reasons, but there’s one tiny little thing I’ve noticed…just an eetsy little thing that niggles at me. See, when writing an entry and posting it immediately, a little WordPress sidebar pops up with a progress bar on it that shows how many posts you’ve made. It’s nothing special, but it sorta urges you on by saying things like, “You’ve written 50 posts! Your next goal is 55!” or something like that. When scheduling posts in advance, you don’t get to see that little progress bar. Your post is written beforehand and pops up automatically at the time you’ve set it for, so you don’t get to see whether or not you’ve hit a goal.

Why does this matter to me at all? Well, basically, it matters to me because without it I’ve completely lost track of how many posts I’ve made. And it turns out that sometime during my work rotation, about halfway through my first batch of 101 Blog Ideas posts, I hit 100 posts. I missed it completely, and now I’m actually at 108.

Okay, so it’s not the end of the world or anything, but I am a little pouty that I missed it. Milestones are fun and motivational to me. It’s why I enjoy writing drabbles, trying to squeeze that little story into exactly 100 words. It’s why I keep going back to NaNoWriMo to see if I can pluck out another 50000 words in a month. And it’s part of what keeps me writing blog entries…so that I can say “Ooh! I’ve hit a milestone! Let’s see if I can hit another!” And really, come on…100 posts is kinda a big deal, right? Right?

So I guess what I’m trying to get at here is, someone warn me the next time I’m getting close to an important milestone!! lol