Ten Years of Blogging
Ten years ago today, I started this blog. I can't believe it's been a decade already! Here's some stats from the last 10 years, as well as some lessons I've learned along the way...
When I started drafting up this post, I thought it would be a good idea to have some stats, so I went away and typed up some liquid (as this blog is based on Jekyll) to show those stats.
Then, I decided it would be cool to have ongoing stats as the blog grows, so I've
added a stats page (I've now removed this page) for us all to enjoy. To save you the trouble of navigating away from this page, here's some high level stats...
If you're running a Jekyll based blog and want similar stats on your site, you can find my source code here.
Please note: These stats are a point-in-time snapshot from when this post was published in January 2023.
Total posts: 300
Total words: 250,312 (that’s approximately 5 novels)
Average words per post: 834
Total categories: 15
Posts by year:
- 2023 - 4
- 2022 - 60
- 2021 - 60
- 2020 - 86
- 2019 - 23
- 2018 - 20
- 2017 - 12
- 2016 - 2
- 2015 - 8
- 2014 - 8
- 2013 - 17
So I've written over a quarter of a million words so far, which is the equivalent of 5 novels apparently. Ironically, this is also my 300th post - I didn't plan that.
I'm disappointed that my output was so low between 2014 - 2016. I had a lot going on in my personal life around that time though, so I'm not really surprised. It's still a shame, though.
It seems my most active year was 2020, with 83 posts, but I've continued to keep the tempo to a similar level in 2021 and 2022, where I averaged 5 posts a month.
I think 5 posts per month is pretty good, but it's also the reason why I've never been able to complete the 100 Days to Offload challenge. Who knows, maybe I'll do it this year?
Overall, I think maintaining a regular cadence of posting, and managing to produce 300 posts in a 10 year period is pretty darn good.
What I've learned
The last 10 years has taught me a lot. I think my writing style has improved somewhat, as has my written English (something I was always really bad at). But I've also learned a lot about managing a blog.
Before I removed all analytics from this website, I was getting around 500,000 visits a month. In my opinion that's a lot of visits. Even if that number has dropped since then, it's still way more successful than I'd ever hoped.
If you read a lot of the "how to start a blog in 2023" type posts (please don't ever use that title in a post) the advice will often boil down to something like:
- Choose a niche
- Start collecting email addresses immediately (newsletter)
- Write on a regular schedule
I don't do any of those things. 😂
I write about tech, opinions, fish keeping, web design; I even tell stories. I think the only niche I have, is not having a bloody niche!
I don't collect email addresses -- although I did do it for a while, it became too much of a headache to manage -- and I write whenever I feel like writing.
The biggest lesson I've learned from 10 years of blogging is this...
Enjoy what you write about, otherwise, what's the point?
Write a post when the feeling takes you; sometimes I don't write for weeks, other times I'll write multiple posts in a few days.
Don't limit yourself to a single niche. Write about what interests you. When I read blogs, especially personal blogs, I like to learn about the person as whole, not just one particular skill they have.
It's been a fantastic 10 years of writing/blogging. This blog has gone from strength to strength and I'm still enjoying it today, just as much as I did on day one.
The above isn't the perfect formula to running a blog, far from it. Had I followed some of the advice in those "how to start a blog..." posts, maybe this site would be far more successful now, who knows?
But who cares. I've had fun along the way, I have lots of engagement, and I'll continue write while it's still fun.
Here's to the next 10 years, folks!
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