Year in review – 2011: Blogging

If my fiction-writing in 2011 was something of a disappointment, my blogging turned out to be something of a surprise. In my goals for 2011, I made mention of only one item relating to blogging:

Triple the traffic to my website by providing more relevant content, more frequently. This means more content about science fiction and writing. It means getting some external recognition of the stuff that I post, either through science fiction news sites or Twitter retweets, or word of mouth. I’m not looking to become John Scalzi’s Whatever, but if I can go from an average of 35 hits/day to an average of 100 hits/day, I think that will be a good sign of success in this endeavor.

In December 2010, I averaged about 35 hits/day to this blog. (For the entire year in 2010, my average was 15/day.) I figured that tripling those hits to get to 100 hits/day would be good growth for the year. But I did far better than I imagined.

As of this moment, my blog averages 258 hits/day taken over the course of all of 2011. If you look at just the month of December, that number is closer to 1,000 hits/day. Instead of tripling my hits, now have something like 7 times the hits I had back in December of 2010. These numbers don’t include RSS feeds. I haven’t even started to look at this year’s Feedburner data. How did I manage this?

  1. More relevant content. I like to think I’ve been posting more about things like science fiction and writing science fiction. I still post about other topics, but I’ve deliberately tried to do these less frequently than I used to. Given that the numbers have gone up, I like to think that has something to do with it.
  2. Vacation in the Golden Age. I started my Vacation posts in January 2011 and to date there have been 29 of these posts. They are still not as popular as I wish they were, but they have certainly gained some attention and that makes me very happy.
  3. SF Signal and my Wayward Time Traveler column. Earlier this year, the good folks at SF Signal asked me to write a column on science fiction for them and thus, the Wayward Time Traveler was born. I think this helped enormously in getting my name out in the science fiction blogsphere.  They have also been extraordinarily kind in signal-boosting my posts here, and including me, from time-to-time in Mind Melds and  podcasts.
  4. How-to posts on software I like to use. I’ve written fairly extensively about how I use Scrivener and Evernote and these posts also seems to be very popular and have gotten me followers outside of the realm of science fiction.
  5. Guest posts and reprints. For the first time, I’ve been asked to write a number of guest posts this year. I’ve also been asked to reprint some of my blog posts, including a reprint over at io9 and reprinting my Vacation posts over at

Here are some raw numbers for folks interested in the stats on my blog in 2011:

  • I posted 416,000 words of content in 2011
  • My average post was 543 words long
  • I made roughly 770 posts in 2011 (almost 2/day)
  • My busiest month was July, with nearly 50,000 words alone in that month
  • My slowest month was August, with just under 28,000 words. That’s when the Little Miss was born.
  • I had almost 2,700 hits on my blog in January 2011. So far, in December, I’ve had just about 25,000 hits.
  • In terms of visitors, my busiest day was December 6, when I had an incredible 11,043 hits (thanks to the TARDIS that was parked across from my house).

I’m not winning any awards as a blogger, but I can’t complain. I enjoy doing this and have enough readers to make it even more fun. But the truth is I suspect I’d do it even without readers. It’s just in my nature. I don’t expect much will change next year. I’ll post more details on my blogging goals for 2012 in the coming days.

Thanks to everyone who has visited the blog this year, everyone who has commented here, everyone who has signal-boosted a post. I’ve made many friends–some of whom I’ve not yet met in person, and that is the real gift this blog has given me. I look forward to making more next year.

Tomorrow: my review of short fiction reading in 2011.

5 thoughts on “Year in review – 2011: Blogging

  1. Just wanted to say “Thank You, Jamie” for the posts you’ve made through 2011. I love the “Vacation” posts, so thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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