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State of the blog 2016

This article was been published more than 6months ago. The information contained herein may be outdated.

State of the blog is a new segment that I’m trying out. It’s meant to be the summer counterpart to my end-of-year roundup series, and some information will be presented both places.

I’ve held to my weekly posting schedule, while continuing to endeavour to put a buffer of pre-loaded blog posts in place. At most, I have had a six-week buffer, though some weeks (or more accurately weekends) have seen me scrambling to add new material. I have been good about collecting ideas for posts, so that I can churn out a few quick ones at a time, or one long one. This practice also reflects that, with very few exceptions, the material on this blog is not breaking news. Whether they are published this week, the next, or in a month, is irrelevant.

On the analytics side, my readership has gone down since I last reviewed the numbers, from 8’400 monthly visitors in January, to 5’200 monthly visitors this month. The biggest dip came in March, when I changed the theme of the site. Naturally, this has made me consider changing back to my old theme, but I have decided against it. I like the new theme, and I feel it features the text in a far superior way. I will continue to look for a theme that better suits my needs, but for now, Alchem is it.

Another reason is that my main metric is whether or not I keep it up, which has little to do with my readership, and a lot to do with my motivation. I have been, and continue to be, motivated to write these posts. As long as I am, and as long as I do, the blog will remain. Without further ado, here are the numbers:

Analytics:

  • Monthly readership: 5’200
  • Return visitor rate: 6%
  • Feedburner subscribers: 74

As for geography, that data looks as follows:

  1. United States (30%)
  2. India (10%)
  3. United Kingdom (9%)
  4. Australia (6%)
  5. Canada (5%)

The first half of 2016 has been good from a blogging point of view. I have gotten a number of pieces out that I have enjoyed writing, and the blog has turned from the more clean-cut technical focus it once had, to a more diverse platform. This makes keeping motivated easier, and I think that it will also be positive in the long term, as not everyone wants to read the same thing. The variety may very well help increase my readership in time to come, and even if it doesn’t, it will continue to reflect my shifting interests.

One change that I made since my last round-up (though with significantly less fanfare than the theme-change), is renaming the blog. It has been called “STFU && RTFM”, with a tagline of “Rants and ramblings of a support technician” for longer than I can remember, and frankly; I felt that I had long outgrown the flippant title. The site is no longer TFM, but rather a collection of my thoughts, hence the name “Thoughts on many things”. The tagline, “Ramblings, ideas, problems, and solutions.” is likewise siginificantly more descriptive than the old one, and doesn’t box me in to the support technician role the way it did before.

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