Hello all and thanks for coming to The Real Mid Card. Over the past year I’ve been trying my hand at blogging for the first time. As a young would-be journalist with a useless degree and some irrelevant radio experience, I thought maybe a venture into the online world could be fruitful. I set myself a target of 10,000 views for the year. It may sound small (and indeed my first two What Culture articles received over 35,000 between them within days) but it was something I wanted to achieve for myself.
I’ve spent countless hours at my laptop writing articles (mostly about wrestling), while exploring the works of many other great writers on this website. My monthly stats have gone up and down. There have been highs and lows. But I’m pleased to say it’s been a success from my perspective. Another target I set was to upload at least one post every single day from July 1st to and including December 31st. I’ve done that, without fail. Trips across Europe, working a day job and celebrating national holidays hasn’t stopped that. It was all made easier by my phone. Over the next few days, I will be polishing that off and then making changes to the blog.
The site will be much more freestyle going into the new year. I’ll be adding the writing team to the site officially so they can post and edit as and when they wish. With the pressure of uploading every day gone, and the target achieved, I’ll be posting a lot more infrequently myself but hopefully with more depth and quality. I am optimistic about the effect that this can have on the viewing statistics, and hopefully it will be a good opportunity for the writers to have a better handle on the presentation of their own work, and for that work to be seen by more people.
So at the end of a challenging but rewarding year, I am now able to post online and make money with What Culture. I will need to improve a lot and attract a much bigger readership to make any real money, but it’s a start. In that regard, the blog has definitely been a success. This new opportunity is a small stepping stone, but hopefully it will only get better for me. However, it’s been the stats themselves on this site that have pleased me the most. They make the ridiculous amount of hours spent writing seem much more worthwhile. Here are the figures as we approach the end of the year.
It’s Friday 27th December (when writing), and my year target of 10,000 views has been achieved, but only just. It stands at 10,033 at the moment. I’m more than happy with that. The overall average views per day is at 29, having peaked in October at 51. Not surprisingly October also had the highest monthly views number with 1,568. I’m struggling to think what happened in that month which got so much traffic. There were two pay-per-views I guess, but they were Battleground and Hell in a Cell! Whatever it was, I’m pleased.
The numbers couldn’t keep up with that momentum and petered off a little in the final two months, with monthly averages going down to 45, and then 42. It still hasn’t gone below a 40 average since September though so that’s good. Despite having only a monthly average of 38, September did see my highest ever daily view count of 110 on Sept 10th. It took half the year for the views to start reaching the kind of standard required to reach the 10k overall target but once they were established, they were consistently good.
When it comes to popular articles, an interesting statistic offers hope for the future of the site. Stephen “Fozzy” Forrester wrote three of the five most viewed posts of the whole year. You should definitely come back and check out the work he will be doing on pro wrestling, video games and more. One of the most fun parts of writing on WordPress is seeing the different nations from which your views emanate in the analytics. All of the little flags next to them are so cool. Anyone who writes on here will know what I mean there.
To this point, for the whole year, the United Kingdom(3,990) unsurprisingly has the most views, with the United States(3,085) in second and Germany(336) in third. Notice the big jump there? Other nations with more than 100 views are France(306), Canada(238), Australia(227) and India(190). I got views from around 100 different countries. Some of the most interesting and pleasing to me were Suriname, Palestine, Guyana, Seychelles and Kazakhstan.
In the first few months of running the blog, I was uncomfortable with the amount of my views that were coming from Facebook. I seemed to be relying too heavily on sharing through social media. Don’t get me wrong. It still helps me to get views to this day, but it is no longer a crutch to be leaned on. Organic search engine views took control mid way through the year and have been the main source of traffic ever since.
Overall, search engines attracted 4,628 of my views for the year, with Facebook(1,079) in second and the WordPress Reader(178) in third. That’s a very pleasing statistic, and a trend which has now been entrenched and should continue. Almost all of the search engine terms are unique and different so I have thousands of statements with 1 view each. There was one particular search term that brought viewers to my site 32 times over the year and that was ‘Curtis Axel’ – I’m serious.
As the year is about to end, the blog has 129 followers. I had to fight tooth and nail for each and every one of those. They are not hard to come by! 289 comments were left, so I guess it’s not the most social blog ever, but that’s still good. As for awards, I got one for 100 followers on September 23rd, so there has been 29 more since then. Hopefully that number can start growing quicker. I also got one award for 500 likes on December 1st. I don’t know the exact number I have got so far, but I therefore know it’s more than 500.
Without getting too bogged down in statistics, I’d like to post here (for my own viewing in a few years probably) that the blogging experience has been a positive one. I achieved the targets I wanted to, got a freelance writing position and hopefully improved my writing abilities some. I know I learned a lot more about wrestling this year, because I had to, and that’s always good.
Thanks for reading, and a big thank you to anyone who regularly reads this blog or shares our articles. I hope you will enjoy what’s to come in 2014 as myself and my writing team get a lot more freedom to write whatever and whenever. An even bigger thanks to Joe, Fozzy, Arun and Neutral Dave for their appreciated (and hopefully continuing) contributions.