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