This is my once a year looking back and seeing how the blog did. I try to set out a few goals each year for what I want for the blog and then check back to see how I did.
Last year I set a few modest traffic goals for the blog. I wanted 85,000 page loads, 69,000 unique visitors and 35,000 returning visitors. How did I do with my predictions?
I exceeded my expectations, which I thought were a touch optimistic. After the traffic surge in 2008 because of the American and Canadian elections, I figured I might be hard pressed to top those numbers. However, I managed to dredge new readers from somewhere.
But just like last year, the traffic spike occurred right around the middle of August. Back then I attributed it to traffic from my Levi Johnson post and interest in the elections. However, I did nothing unusual in August and September, yet my numbers went through the roof. That includes the first time I've ever cracked 10,000 page loads in a month, which I did in October.
I really am a touch confused about why the numbers spike then. Back to school, maybe, a few new people discovering the blogs? That tends to be when people move to Nunavut, but I'm not sure if that accounts for so many people reading the blog then. It's a bit of a mystery to me, but if anyone out there has a theory, feel free to share it.
Oh, and as always, these numbers to not include people who read the blog from feeds or who read it on Facebook. So the actual number of readers is higher.
As for the look of the blog, I think I've streamlined the sidebar a bit, which was suggested to me. It's holding up pretty good. I brought in the walruses which get changed every month (and yes, I know, I need to do it for January. I'm still trying to come up with a theme). I'm still batting around the idea of moving the blog off of blogger and onto its own site, but that strikes me as being a lot of work, so we'll see if that happens. And I managed to post 356 times, which is not the 365 I was aiming for, but still better than the 330 I managed in 2008.
So a very good year for the blog. I'm pretty happy with it. Plus I think there is some decent writing in there as well. Hopefully if you've been swinging by, you've been entertained.
So what's going to happen in 2010? Well, we'll see if I keep up the blog a day pace. I can do it, but one of the problems with me finishing the goddamn book is that I tend to get distracted by blogging. I also had a good chat with my friend Seamus while home, who gave me a small kick in the pants to get it finished. So if the blog goes quiet for a few days at a time in 2010, it's not that I've abandoned you, it's that I'm trying to get some other kinds of writing done.
One of the more shocking changes might be the appearance of some advertising. My friend Dups is currently planning on taking over the world with his new company - Empire Avenue. So if he asks, and if it is a good fit with the blog, I might give it a trial run. I've never done advertising on this blog before because it made the blog ugly and would have provided literally pennies in revenue. So why bother. But if Dups mad scheme works, putting some ads on the blog might not be such a bad idea. We will see.
(By the way, if this idea works, and I see him on the cover of "Wired" in a few years time with the headline "Dups revolutionizes the internet" I may have to shoot myself in the head. Just sayin'...)
And, as always, I am open to any suggestions people out there might have to make the blog look better.
As for my predictions for 2010, I'm choosing to keep them modest. As I said, I might be posting a little less, plus with people using Facebook and feed services, I'm not sure if the current growth rate for the blog is sustainable. So for 2010 I'm predicting 105,000 page loads, 85,000 unique visitors and 42,000 return visitors. That's still up a lot from 2009, but not the usual 20-30% traffic growth I've usually been seeing.
It's not a huge traffic blog. There are certainly ones in Newfoundland, like Ed's, who draw a lot more traffic than I do. But it's nice to see those numbers. Thanks for swinging by in 2009 and I hope most of you show up in 2010 and drag a few new ones along for the ride.
1. Get back change - Ron Hynes*
2. Peace of mind - Grapes of Wrath
3. Born to run - Bruce Springsteen
4. Black heart - Hey Rosetta!
5. You like me too much - The Beatles