2001: A WordPress Odyssey

This blog started on January 1, 2015, with the simple goal of trying to blog for 31 straight days. I remember how challenging it was to come up with something to write about during those 31 days.

When I successfully made it to 31 days, I thought I would try for 100 straight days of blogging.

Well, today marks 2,001 straight days of blogging without having missed a day.

I’ll admit it probably takes a little bit of OCD to have done something like this.

But I’ve enjoyed (almost) every minute of it. It’s been a wonderful way for me to share my thoughts and opinions and things I like and don’t like. I’ve met many wonderful people from around the globe as a result of my decision to become part of the blogging community. But I will admit there have been a few nights where it was a struggle to come up with a topic (thank heaven for six-word stories and haikus…)

The best way for me to celebrate this milestone is to thank all of you who have made the journey so enjoyable. It has been a pleasure to read and comment on your posts, and to read the comments you have left on my posts. While some people may call Starbucks their third place, I consider WordPress to be my third place. A special thank you to my family who has been incredibly supportive of my efforts over the years.

The next best way for me to celebrate, and this should come as no surprise to many of you, is to share some statistics that summarize the past five and a half years.

The first stats below are a summary of all the countries from which someone has read my blog. While the vast majority of my readers are based in the U.S., I have had at least one reader in nearly every country. I’m not sure what the people of Greenland, Svalbard, or some of the countries of Africa have against my blog… :). Perhaps a goal for the second half of this year is to fill in the rest of this map.

The second set of stats shows the growth in the blog over the years. In 2015 I had 18,000 views, in 2016 there were 23,000 views, in 2017 there were 32,000 views, in 2018 there were 61,000 views, in 2019 there were 125,000 views, and so far in 2020, there are slightly more 79,000 views. The big jump, to me, happened last year and I think it was the direct result of moving my blog from WordPress.org to WordPress.com. I was not really sure of the difference when I first chose WordPress.org, and it was a fine platform, but as another set of stats will show, there was very little engagement with my blog. Once I switched to WordPRess.com, I immediately felt like I was part of the blogging community, and my number of views started to grow.

The third, and final, set of stats show the number of likes and comments I have had over the years. As you can see, early on, there was no one actively engaging with my blog. If you look at 2016 and 2017, the average number of comments per post was less than 1, and the average number of likes was essentially 0. It’s a good thing that getting likes and comments were not my major goals for blogging, otherwise, I would have quit a few years ago. You can see those numbers start to change in 2019, and now I receive an average of 34 comments per post (of course half of those are mine since I reply to every comment that someone posts), and my average number of likes per post is now at 28.

I also notice a slight drop in the average number of words per post this year. That has not been a conscious decision, and I will be curious if by the end of the year that average number will get back over 500 words (this current post is over 850 words).

One other stat of note, but one that does not seem to be available in chart form, is the number of my followers. Up until about March of 2019 (that’s over four years of blogging), I had about 50 followers. As one of the charts above indicates, I now have over 700 (which includes a handful of email subscribers). Again I think the reason for the jump in followers over the past 15 months was my switch to WordPress.com and becoming more a part of the blogging community.

As for some blogging goals, my most immediate goal is to reach 1,000 engaged followers within the next few months.

Some longer-term goals include breaking Cal Ripken’s consecutive streak of 2,632 baseball games (that’s one goal I have direct control over; should happen March 17, 2002 – how perfect – St. Patty’s Day!) and reaching a total of 1 million lifetime views within the next 2-3 years.

Eventually, the goal is to monetize the blog so that I can afford to buy this house which I featured a few weeks ago.

So at some point, a few years down the road, don’t be surprised to start seeing some really annoying ads on my blog posts. The house will probably cost more than $200 million by then; that’s a lot of Google ads… 🙂

*image from Curzon

79 thoughts on “2001: A WordPress Odyssey

  1. You started around the same time I did and it took me this long to find you! I am impressed with your dedication to not missing a day! I usually miss 1 or 2 days a week.
    You are right the blogging community is my “Starbucks!” They keep me smiling and my sanity intact…..well mostly! 🙂
    Good luck in reaching your goals. Oh, I have readers from Africa. 🙂 LOL!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks. I am laughing for I believe that keepijng my followers engaged has a lot to do with how many times my stories have those “emerald blue” moments in them! LOL!
        You know the “emerald blue ” story, right? You weren’t following me at the time but I think I have mentioned it before in my posts. “Emerald blue” equals goofs, like one still not saying a word when their mouth is shut! ☺

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I don’t think I’ve heard about “emerald blue”, I’ll give it a search. But a person’s ability to laugh their your own mistakes is a favorite trait of mine!

        Like

      3. Haha! You might get several posts tbat come up with that saying. 🙂
        I do agree! When one can laugh at t themselves, they are always entertained, even if it means ….smacking their head!

        Like

  2. Wow…that’s some dedication you have Jim! Truly impressive and I can’t believe you actually made me read every word of this post even if I’m not busy with stats and all that 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That is a nice journey, and good to know that it ain’t over yet! I, for one, am cheering you on your daily blogging journey. If you plan to go anywhere that might have some internet issues – I hope you have a crap-ton of content scheduled to post! hahaha…

    Also, Google adsense is not the only way to monetize your website. There’s also sponsorship. Although I don’t know how websites manage that, and what are the requirements to get this.

    When you do manage to get that house, I hope I can drop by to visit! 😀

    Have a nice day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jomz. I have zero blog posts in the pipeline. I wake up every day wondering what I’ll write that day…
      Maybe Bruce Springsteen can sponsor me…
      And I’ll have a big WordPress party if I hit all my gosld.

      Like

    2. Thanks, Jomz. I have zero blog posts in the pipeline. I wake up every day wondering what I’ll write that day…
      Maybe Bruce Springsteen can sponsor me…
      And I’ll have a big WordPress party wt that house if I hit all my goals :).

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been with you for the last year, and your longevity streak blows me away. Equally impressive is that you find a way to write about interesting topics. Some are a little more off the beaten path, but I think that is part of the allure for me. The past couple of weeks I’ve focused on my current work in progress, and I’ve forced myself not to blog more than fifteen minutes per day because I don’t want to be that guy who takes ten years to write a book, but this post alone will fill up my allotted time for the day. Thanks, Jim. 🤣

    I started a blog because someone suggested to me it was an excellent way to connect with readers. It seems presumptuous to think I have “readers” after writing one book about my career. A little more than a year later, I still feel like I don’t know what I’m doing with blogging. For me, it is as simple as an opportunity to engage with others respectfully. Since I’ve never written much until retirement, another side benefit is it allows me to practice (albeit once every 7-10 days rather than daily.) I’m finally getting around to doing what I thought I was going to do when I retired, and I’m trying my hand at writing children’s novels. If this never gets off the ground, it will be okay. I’m having a good time trying something new, and writing fiction is a whole new ballgame.

    I’m fascinated by the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. I thought that I might change to WordPress.org at some point, as I was under the impression that it was better. Perhaps it’s the idea of paying more for something that created the illusion that it was superior. After a year, I can see that I still don’t have a clear handle on the two. I don’t pay as close attention to my stats as you do, but I’m a bit of a math nerd, and I find statistics interesting. I just passed 200 followers, but there are plenty of those that I don’t consider “followers,” as some people sign on without any intention of reading anything. What will the next year hold? Part of the excitement is in the uncertainty.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Pete, for being such a loyal supporter. It’s been fun getting to know people from around the country and the world. And since I am in awe of writers, I feel so honored to be able to interact with you via WordPress. I hope you are making good progress on your book.

      And it took me almost 5 years to get 200 followers!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Perhaps I’m just easily impressed, but isn’t it remarkable that we can communicate with people around the world in real-time? I frequently hear people complain about WordPress, but I think technology (when it works) is incredible.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s a hellava streak. I’ve never heard of WordPress.org, but it sounds like a dead-end to no readers. I’m glad you switched over or I might not have ever found you.
    Keep it up. Since you’re a Villanova professor, I’m counting the time I spend reading your posts as credits toward finishing my educashun.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Just paraphrasing from Billy Madison:

        “Mr. Borden what you’ve just written is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone Who reads this is now dumber for having read it. I’m taking away all your likes, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

        My credits might b worthless…

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Congrats on your milestone!
    Engaged followers. Engaged is the operative word. I’ve been blogging for 10 years and have just over 2700 followers. I think maybe 50 of them are still actively visiting my blog. Many of the rest only ‘follow’ in hopes that I will ‘follow’ them and read their blog; or disappeared from the blogging universe a long time ago; or are promoting a business like ‘The Only Place Where you can Find Extraordinary Jewelry and Fashion’.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Margy!

      That is an impressive number of followers! I have also noticed that it is usually a small group of people who actively read and comment on my posts.

      Could you let me know where I can buy such jewelry and fashion? 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  7. it just wouldn’t be you without the stats and they show some interesting trends as you’ve pointed out. isn’t if fun, thinking back on how it all began? don’t worry about having a brilliant idea popping into your head each day, I’m guessing Shakespeare had this same issue. glad I found your blog, I’ve enjoyed your take on life.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jim, you deserve every ounce of recognition you have received, and much more. Your dedication to your writing is inspirational. You have sent me on my own journey of completing my first year of daily posts. But, more importantly, you have entertained and educated me along the way. I have always enjoyed your blog and much appreciate your friendship. Best of luck with your new goals, and know I will be here for the rest of the journey too!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Congratulations on your milestone and your persistence. I have only twice posted every day for a month and I felt it came with a lowering in quality: given my starting point I could ill afford that! Your stats are very impressive: how the heck do you get 80 times more visitors than you have followers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Clive!

      I have never been too concerned about the quality gf my posts, I just put it up there and see what happens 🙂

      I guess people must find my blog from Google, check it out, then quickly leave, never to come back again…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You did: it’s been through several iterations, most recently about four weeks ago, and you commented on it then. I hate to think what some people are looking for. Hopefully they will delete their search history!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow, that’s a lot of days in a row. I’m just trying to get something on everyday but haven’t given myself a goal. Guess I should check my stats and get in the game. Congrats on all your accomplishments! That house doesn’t look like it is in Sarasota??? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Well, I think I get credit for being an early adopter … you were the ONLY one on the internet who, like me, was obsessed enough about the wisdom distilled in those United Technologies ads to blog about them. I love how the internet helps us find our obvious tribes, but also our obscure ones 🙂

    I enjoy your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Susan. Yes, you were an early supporter and I am grateful. How have you been doing? I hope you and your son have been able to stay healthy during COVID-19.

      And I still get comments about those United Technologies ads – although they are no longer a standalone company – they were bought by Raytheon…

      Like

      1. It’s been really hard on Luke, but he celebrates every new old thing we can do again as things slowly open back up. Today was his first day being able to jump off the high dive at our pool where we can swim by reservation. He was so joyous jumping off.

        Hope you all are staying well and no second big wave comes to your area as sadly, scarily, has been predicted…. [it is so maddening that after all the sacrifices anyone would think a political rally of 6,000 people (much less a million) would be a good idea. omg… we have to give up SCHOOL and SPORTS but people go to listen to a 90 minute one man rant?? ugh.]

        Hope you and yours can stay healthy , mentally and physically. I admire your streak … I’m too unsettled w/ my son out of school all day to participate in my writing class (it’s on zoom now and I can’t get excited about zoom) so I have not posted any blogs since lock down. At some point I hope to figure out a way to get it back in my schedule.
        What you’ve done is not just a streak but a real achievement.
        My husband blogs too, not every day but every few days …but I just don’t have that ability to tune out all the “to dos” around the house. I think it’s a mother thing (“a woman’s work is never done”) but I will put blogging back on my to do list … just afraid I won’t actually get to it until Luke goes back to school! Praying they figure out a way to do that safely.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m sure this has been tough on Luke, but glad to hear he was able to jump off the high dive. Let’s hope that slowly but surely things start to return to normal.

        However, like you, I am not confident in our current leadership to get us there.

        I am sure you miss your writing group, and your writing, but I can see how that is not a priority right now.

        Villanova just announced plans for the Fall, we will be going back to in-person instruction and students will be living in campus. I’m a little nervous about how it will all work out, because I think that’s a tough age group to keep within all the guidelines.

        We have all managed to stay healthy; let’s hope we all can until a vaccine comes along…

        Like

  12. I find wordpress.com to be the best blogging platform, Jim. I have two free blogs on this platform and they perform much better and are so much easier to use than my paid blog which I have ignored for the past two months. Great to see you getting so many follows and likes.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Jim, I hope you continue to keep this ol’ blog going. I had a pretty good streak going until last summer when my travels out West interrupted the flow of my writing. I try to write something each and every day, and let life take it from there.

    Liked by 1 person

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