The Belated One-Year Anniversary Post

This blog was a year old on Nov. 7, but at that point I was too sick to think about an anniversary post. I do need to mark the milestone, though. I pulled a few stats from here, Part Time Monster, and my personal blogs yesterday, and I’ll share them today. As always with these types of posts, I’m neither bragging nor whining. Just sharing the info because I find it helpful when other bloggers share theirs. If you don’t care about stats, it’s all good. We do an awful lot of pop culture blogging here, and I do hope we can still be friends 🙂 Here’s the kickoff post from last November, if you’re interested in reading it.

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First I will do a breakdown of various stats, then I will total them up and discuss them.

Sourcerer

Blog Followers: 954

Page Views: 27,535

Contributors Published: 9

Number of posts: 625, including this one.

Comments Generated: 4,126

Best Day: 391 page views

Best Month: June (3,434 page views)

Top Post: Is Batman a Marvel Character Trapped in the DC Universe? by Jeremy. 1,293 views. No other single post here has broken 300 views.

Top Referrers: We’re at 6,400 search engine views. The WordPress reader, Twitter, Facebook, and StumbleUpon are the only other referrers that have gotten us more than 1,000 views.

Part Time Monster

Blog Followers: 1,955

Page Views:  28,432

Contributors Published: 7

Number of posts: 460

Comments Generated: 4,945

Best Day: 266 views

Best Month: May (3,307 views)

Top Post: Finnick Odair: Hooker/Gladiator with a Heart of Gold and Feminine Masculinity (666 views; the Monster has three other posts that have more than 500 views, as does Diana’s about page).

Top Referrers: Search engines have been good for 6,188 views. The WordPress reader, Facebook, and Twitter are all worth about 1,200 views; next is Sourcerer (400 views). No other referrers have gained the Monster more than 200 views.

My Former Blog/Just Gene’O (adding the stats for these two blogs together, because they are really one blog; the follower and page view numbers in parentheses are the breakdown)pirateflag

Blog Followers: 640 (435/205)

Page Views: 7,750 (4,955/2,795)

Number of posts: 281

Comments Generated: 1,571

Best Day: 322 views

Best Month: April (1,171 views at My Former Blog, because I did the A to Z Challenge as the Writing Catalog there). Just Gene’O generated 990 views in August.

Top Post: My Saturday Coffee linkup post (301 views; this one post accounts for a third of my traffic from August).

Top Referrers: My Former blog has 380 search engine views and 275 from Twitter. Just Gene’O isn’t up to 200 views from any source yet.

Totals for all the Blogs:

Blog Followers: 3,190

Page Views: 63,717

Number of posts: 1,366

Contributors Published: 13 (this number doesn’t total because Jeremy, Diana, and I are only counted once, even though we contribute both here and at the Monster).

Comments Generated: 10,624

Discussion

One thing you can’t see from these stats is that Sourcerer and Part Time Monster are neck-in-neck for 2014. As of yesterday, we’re generating the same number of average daily views (82) and the Monster is only ahead by 100 views for the year. The difference of 900 views happened in November and December of 2013, when the Monster was running as an everyday blog with my help. At that point, I was mostly posting music videos here and only doing two or three quality pieces a week at my personal blog. And keep in mind that 400 of the Monster’s views are direct referrals from Sourcerer.

There’s a lot of follower overlap here. I have no idea how much, but we don’t actually have 3K+ unique blog followers. Our total social media following is around 10K, and almost three quarters of that is on Twitter. I put our engaged, regular following at somewhere between three dozen and sixty. But that is totally a guess. It’s hard to gauge because everyone doesn’t come around every day, and some people only visit weekly or twice a month, but I still count them as regulars because they’re consistent and sometimes they comment.

These numbers tell me that without question, Part Time Monster is our most successful blog. It’s generated the same number of views as Sourcerer, and done it with almost 200 fewer posts. And the traffic over there is more consistent. Sourcerer has higher peaks, but it also has lower valleys. This is not surprising. When we started these blogs, I set them up to work this way. The real surprise to me is that Sourcerer is keeping up and doing it with fewer than 1K followers. A year ago I did not expect Sourcerer to be this successful, nor did I expect to see the amount of engagement we’ve gotten on all three blogs, which is, I think, exceptional given the size of our overall network.

Reasons why Part Time Monster is more successful:

1. Content. Diana’s just plain better at writing to entertain than I am. You can see this clearly when we post at one another’s blogs. The Monster loves my photos, but only tolerates my written stuff. Sourcerer, on the other hand, loves Diana. In fact, if you look at the numbers, I am the least entertaining blogger we have. Our relative strengths and weaknesses are something I understood very well going in, so I am neither surprised nor dismayed by it. This is why I say that if I didn’t have a group to blog with, I’d just do it as a hobby and post a couple of times a week. I’m a fine writer with a good eye for art, but there’s a lot more to blogging than the writing. I’ll never be the guy who produces the sort of content that turns casual browsers into fans. I’m the grease in the wheels, and that is ok by me. I am good at it, and it is a role I enjoy.

2. Diana is better at maintaining relationships, she started with a better network than I had, and she’s used Twitter-icon-the-birdWordPress a lot more than I have in the last year. I spent most of last winter and the entire spring exploring nine different networks and learning to do Twitter growth. So my network on WordPress is smaller. And since we privilege network depth over breadth, which means we care more about engagement than the size of our following, dividing my time among all those networks means I’ve suffered on WordPress. Hopefully, I’ll be able to catch up in the next year because I’m focusing now on only the networks that work for me: WordPress, Twitter, and Facebook. If I add any other network to my game this year, it will be Tumblr, because Tumblr seems to like my photos, and I know quite a few people with accounts over there.

3. Part Time Monster developed its content focus and a clean look fairly quickly. Sourcerer has taken longer, and it’s still very much a work in progress. Now that we’ve settled on pop culture all the time here and I’ve committed to a redesign, we should be able to stabilize Sourcerer in the next year as long as we can keep the contributions coming.

4. If you discover either of my blogs, it is impossible to not also discover Part Time Monster if you take even a second to explore. But if you go and look at Part Time Monster, you will see that my blogs are just two more links on the blogroll. And the Monster shares a lot of my social media, but I don’t share Diana’s. At some point we may reorganize a bit and see what the Monster can do for Sourcerer, but as long as we’re neck-in-neck, it’s not worth the effort. One of us has to break out before we can do more than we are already doing to help each other.

The question I am asking myself now is this. If we’d just started one blog and posted there three times per day for a year, would we be further along in terms of traffic and network right now? I go back and forth on it, and it would take a whole other post to unpack the reasons we might or might not be.

Everyone who has contributed, read, and commented here has had a part in making this a rewarding and memorable year in the blogosphere for me. I hope this post is helpful, or at least interesting. I’m not the most successful blogger you’ll ever meet, but I am happy with the progress I’ve made since last November. This has been by far my most successful attempt at blogging, and I’ve failed many times. Thanks for making it worthwhile for me!

About my personal blog . . .

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Just so you know, I’ve got a new set of about pages and a new tagline for Just Gene’O coming soon. Posting this here because I want Suzie81’s #SundayBlogShare to spread as far as possible before the end of the week, so I’m not ready to disturb Just Gene’O’s front page yet. That’s an ultra-low-traffic blog, but every blogger counts. No telling who might see it and share it if I leave it up. The hardest part of blogging is knowing when not to post.

I’ve struggled for most of the year to figure out how my own blog fits into the scheme, and I believe I have nailed it down. It is an epiphany. It’s thanks to all you marvelous peeps who chatted with me about my Feminist Friday wrap-up at Part Time Monster and my crazy-long planning post here on Sunday, and who responded to my #SundayBlogShare tweets. I saw all those Twitter notifications yesterday after work. It was gratifying.

Just Gene’O can’t be writing-centric any more because it has to be blogger-centric to get us where we’re going. I haven’t done a serious writing piece in ages, and I need a blog for bloggers because that’s more inclusive.

I need an online space to introduce myself specifically to bloggers: geek bloggers, food bloggers, mommy bloggers, diarists, and every other type of blogger you can think of, as well as writers and book lovers. Not to worry, you writers and writing bloggers who have supported me this year. You have my gratitude, and you’re still getting the love from me. I value reading and literacy more than almost anything else, and I am a writer. Thanks for all you do.

I didn’t see the need to do this until now because I didn’t have the portfolio to make it work until recently. But now I do see it. My writing about blogging and social media is the most popular thing I’ve done this year, and it’s mostly bloggers who pay attention to me on Twitter. This change is the next logical thing. It needs to be done soon, while we’ve got things buzzing a little and before the heavy writing starts. I’m thinking I’ll make the changes live on Friday afternoon and roll them out in my coffee post on Saturday, but that is contingent on my schedule.

This doesn’t mean I’m going to write about blogging over there 24/7. The personal stuff will stay,  and I’m still planning to add a fun feature or two. It’s not a space to publish tons of content about blogging so much as place to do things like Social Saturdays and to pass along information (like #SundayBlogShare) that other bloggers might like to know.

Thanks, Luther, for the meme! Follow Luther on Twitter @nfinitefreetime and buy his books. You know you want to. (#JediMindTrick)  😉

– ed. If we manage to get through this next phase and come roaring back in January, there will be pirate and world-domination themed comedy aplenty!

We’re on for another Feminist Friday at The Lobster Dance

The Feminist Friday discussion went so well last week, Leah’s decided to give it another go at The Lobster Dance. Do stop in tomorrow and check out Leah’s post, especially if you enjoyed last week’s discussion or are interested in the implications of marketing for gender inequality.

Three quick notes:

  1. I haven’t been around at any of my usual hangouts this week because I’ve been busy busy offline and because I’ve been working on a couple of posts for a guest blogging gig. You might want to keep your eye on Comparative Geeks for the next few days 😉
  2. Apologies for not having a Wordless Wednesday this week. What happened was, I was loading a ton of photoblogs to several places in a short amount of time last weekend, and I accidentally loaded Sourcerer’s at Part Time Monster. That’s why Diana had two Wordless Wednesdays, both by me, run 30 minutes apart yesterday. But hey, at least I did something funny.
  3. True Blood reviews will resume next week.

Our top 5 Posts Ever

I’ve never done one of these, but I’ve seen them around. Taylor Grace does them regularly; you can find her latest one here. Typically, it’s something I’d look at monthly or quarterly, but since this is the first one, let’s look at the top five Part Time Monster/Sourcerer posts from the past eight months. These are in order, based on post views, starting from the top.

1. On Teaching Our Children: White Privilege, Ageism, and Maintaining an Open Dialogue

freshly-pressed-rectangle

This one was Freshly Pressed, and deservedly so. Nothing else touches it. Only a couple of the other posts on this list have even half the views this one has. It’s Diana’s, published at the Monster.

2. Finnick ODair: The Hooker/Gladiator with A Heart of Gold and Feminine Masculinity.

Another of Diana’s. I have no idea where all the views came from. I wasn’t paying that much attention to referrals and such at the time. She timed it perfectly to catch a Hunger Games trend if I recall correctly, though.

3. Is Batman a Marvel Character Trapped in the DC Universe?

This one is Jeremy’s. It’s Sourcerer’s most popular post ever because it gets search engine hits every single day. Sometimes 15 or more. We got lucky with the headline, the choice of media, a reblog, and a Stumble. It’s a top ten Google search for “Is Batman Marvel?” And apparently it answers the question in a way that makes people curious. I believe this video of Batman and Superman fighting has a lot to do with its success.

4. Snowmageddon 2014: A Report In Memes

Another of Diana’s. She’s just good at appealing to people, apparently. This was a spur of the moment post that turned into a perfect Facebook share at a time when the entire southeastern U.S. was snowed in, but most of us had power. We actively tagged our friend with it and got so many Facebook looks that it attracted search traffic for weeks afterward. It’s also one of my favorite posts we’ve written so far.

southernsnow

5. Penny Dreadful Seance Review.

Diana, again, at Sourcerer this time. This one is also on the list because of search traffic. Diana and I had chat at the beginning of the Penny Dreadful season and compared notes about search engine optimization. She wrote a review every week for the the whole Penny Dreadful season and tailored her posts to be searchable. It worked, and this one turned out to be the most popular of her reviews.

A few further notes:

  1. PTM’s about page, Meet the Monster, is the only page we have that’s as popular as these five posts. If I’d included pages in this list, it would be #2.
  2. The Seance review is actually tied for #5 with a post I wrote about the Phil Robertson dustup, as of this writing. I didn’t include my post because all the views I got from it came from Facebook within a few days of me writing it. The Seance review is the clear winner because it’s attracting people from searches, and I expect it to pull ahead by at least one view any minute now.
  3. My most popular post at Just Gene’O is currently sitting at about a quarter of the views that the Seance Review, #5 on the list, has.

I love posts like this. I find them helpful as a blogger and interesting as a reader. I’ll try and do them periodically.