I went a little crazy experimenting with a lot of different channels in 2014, and it ended up being the quietest year around here since 2010. I suspect these two things may be related. I’m not going to lie: a 67% drop in traffic incites a little panic in me, but I have to remind myself that I blog for my own enjoyment, and not for commercial gain.
My Top 5 Posts
- Breaking Bad Outside the US
- The Myth of the Brown Recluse Spider Bite
- True Detective Finale / Will the Yellow King Return?
- The demons within the walls
- In case you’d like to debate about yesterday’s cartoon
Of my top five posts in 2014, only two were written in 2014. Two are tied in with the Breaking Bad cartoon that went viral last September, and one (the fourth) is my perennial traffic-driver. This is the first year it’s been overtaken by anything other than the Breaking Bad cartoon, which is interesting (to me, at least).
I had a little over 28,000 visitors in 2014, or about 77 folks a day who stopped by this site. Last year, that number was closer to 234 visitors per day, or about 85,000 visitors in total.
In truth, my blog traffic has generally been dropping over the last seven years. I think this is a general trend across blogs as an “industry,” as online communication moves more toward centralized services like Tumblr, Facebook, etc. I’ve also made decisions in the last few years that have cost me traffic–removing my early attempts to mimic Gawker and Perez with photos of half-naked celebrities (which were great for traffic, incidentally) and then purging my site of photos whose copyrights were questionable.
2013 was my biggest year, thanks to that Breaking Bad comic that went viral. Before that, my biggest year was 2009, before I moved from WordPress.com to a self-hosted blog, and before I decided to commit myself to quality content and a sense of basic decency. Last year, 77% of my traffic came in September, the month I published that cartoon. Take out the top month of each year (September 2013 and March 2014) and 2014 was actually a bigger by almost 20 percent.
Is there a bottom line here, or any kind of theme? Not really. As I said, this blog is something I keep because I want to, not because I’m looking for traffic. Ultimately, my hope is this becomes a place to connect with people who are interested in my writing. We made some progress on that front in 2014… but that’s for another post.