State of the Blog 2^7

Here we are at my 128th post!

Back when I started this blog, I mentioned that I didn’t do so until I had 128 pre-written entries.  How many have I blown through?  Well, despite having pulled from those occasionally, the number of drafted posts in that file is now up around 150.  I guess I’m not having trouble keeping up this blog.

I did, however, decide to start updating slightly less frequently, because in discussions I’ve had recently about blogging most people expressed a preference for the blogs they follow not to update every day.  So, as you may have noticed, I moved to every-other-day-ish, or 3-4 times per week.

November saw this site start to take off quite a bit more.  (Hello new readers!  Thank you for being here!  I love you!)  Thanks to some of my articles getting linked/tweeted around, in the month of November I had over 4,500 pageviews according to WordPress, which is almost three times as many as I had in October.  And then halfway through December, I had a nice order-of-magnitude milestone and hit 10,000 views.  Yay!

This makes me nervous and excited all at the same time, because now that you’re all here, I have to produce decent stuff for you to read.  Aaa!

Specific points at which I saw large spikes in traffic and followers were when I was crossposted to Racialicious and when Jim Hines tweeted a post of mine and then linked to a different one.  It turns out that Jim Hines has a lot of readers. ;)  I also get a decent number of pageviews from my contributions at Ars Marginal and from people popping over from Absolute Write via the link in my sig there.

Search engines refer a good chunk of my referrer-based site traffic, though links and social media send a lot more people my way, and regular readers account for the largest chunk of my audience (hi!).

As my site gets more popular, I’ve noticed a strong disparity in which types of posts attract which types of traffic:

My posts about fandom, rants about institutional racism/sexism/homophobia/etc., and thoughts on real life seem to be ones most consistently linked to / tweeted / Facebooked / etc. and also appear to be the ones that gain me followers.  On the other hand, my posts about math, language, and firearms don’t get any social media attention but are the ones that attract the most search engine traffic.  This suggests that I could specifically engineer this site towards being one that people like to follow versus one that people end up finding as a reference.  I find this fascinating.  Though I prefer the regular-reader type of traffic over the stop-by-for-a-post type of traffic, it’s nice to have both!

Surprisingly, if you discount unknown search terms, variations on a search for “.44 magnum” account for 20% of all of my search engine-based visits.  (The funniest part is I’ve never even written about a .44 magnum; I just use a picture of one in a post to show a random revolver.)  And I was shocked by how much love my post on hating Christmas gifts got.  I had a lot of search engine hits on it and one reader even asked permission to translate part of it into Portuguese for his blog!

The weirdest search term that has brought someone to my site is “how can i get white hispanic friends.”  I’m . . . not really sure what that person was looking for.  Presumably some white Hispanic friends.

Searches that were obviously for my site in particular have risen a lot, and now account for a good chunk of the traffic referred by search engines.  It’s rather flattering.  And nerve-wracking (you all expect me to be thought-provoking, don’t you?  Help!).

The six most popular posts so far (since the inception of the blog) are:

  1. Oh, Fandom and Your “Inclusiveness”
  2. An Open Letter to John Scalzi
  3. Why Is the “Normal Television Family” Always White?
  4. Gun Basics for Writers: Types of Firearms – Basic Civilian Small Arms, Part 1 of 2: Handguns
  5. A Personal Tale of United States Health Insurance
  6. Why Women In Refrigerators Isn’t a Bad Thing

The only one that’s gained its popularity from search engine hits is #4; the other ones are entries that have been linked to a lot.

My personal favorites (since the last State of the Blog, i.e., in the last 64 entries):


4 thoughts on “State of the Blog 2^7

  1. the failed poet livejournal com

    I actually googled you this morning because I wanted to show your post on the penny to a friend of mine (it was relevant to conversation) and the 2nd thing to come up on google with the search term slhuang after was your post on why is the normal family always white.


  2. slhuang Post author

    ::tries to get past how flattering it is that you looked me up in the middle of a RL conversation:: Thank you!

    I’m not surprised the “television family” one is pretty high in search rankings, as that one got linked around a lot. It’s fascinating to me which topics get the link love . . .

  3. Layla Lawlor

    Congratulations on 2^7 posts! I don’t comment much (though I’m trying to be, er, commentier in the new year) but I do find your blog interesting and insightful; it’s become one of my favorite blogs to drop by. And it’s been fun chatting with you this past year — hard to believe the first time we had an actual conversation was when I went fishing for weapons help in, what, August or something? Anyway, <3 <3 <3

  4. slhuang Post author

    Oh, thank you! That’s very flattering. :) And I really don’t mind people lurking and not commenting, though I do very much enjoy your comments — they’re always so insightful! :-D

    And I’m so glad we got to know each other too! YAY INTERNETS. \o/

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