My 2021 in Blogging on WordPress, or How I Finally Unseated Plato

Do you guys like this graphic?

The year 2021 was another interesting one for me blogging-wise. In 2020, I “re-started” my blog in earnest about six months into the year. Doing so became my salvation from the grips of severe depression, unrelenting grief and pestering suicidal ideation. I was posting sometimes up to 10 blog posts per day to catharsis my way out of that onslaught.

And the result was indeed good, both for that catharsis (although it wouldn’t be enough, of course; as someone once told me, catharsis is not therapy) and for returning my blog to the level of eyeballs I hadn’t seen since my peak in 2014 (I started the blog the year prior to that).

So, in 2014, I had 41,889 total views; 33,678 total visitors; and I published a whopping 287 posts. Compare that to the last six months of 2020, however: 24,429 total views; 17,186 visitors; and I published a ridiculous 619 times.

Considering the latter is six months instead of a full 12 months, I was quite happy with that!

My goal since starting the blog, as far as me being a person who has goals goes, was to grow the blog. To reach more people. I’ve never thought I’m going to become rich or anything from blogging, but I figure, if I’m going to do it, I might as well try to make an effort that goes even beyond my own personal fulfillment and catharsis, right?

However, 2021 ended up repeating the pattern of 2020: I basically was ghosting my blog for much of the first six months again. I mean, I think after 619 posts the last six months of 2020, I was a little burned out, to say the least. For the most part then, any views and visitors for those first six months was primarily coasting upon the work I had done in 2020 (and prior years; I have quite a few articles that consistently remain my top posts of each year).

But like 2020, over the last six months of the year, I got back into the game and this time, perhaps in a more healthy and sustainable way. Instead of feeling like I had to blog three to 10 times a day, I was perfectly content blogging once per day. And that’s partly because — and I’m not sure if this is a new function WordPress introduced last year or I was only now noticing it — WordPress was encouraging me! If I did three posts in back-to-back-to-back days, WordPress would send me a notification, “You’re on a three-day streak on Milam’s Musings!”

That made it fun to keep rolling! To see it reach a 21-day streak or I believe my highest streak became 34-days. I’m currently on a 22-day streak and this post will mark 23 days.

I was actually a bit sad with my slow start in 2021. I felt I did a lot of work to re-start the blog and that I was letting all of that work go back to square one. But lo and behold, my 2021 in stats actually far surpassed 2020 and even gave 2014 a run for its money (and again, when you consider a six-month span vs. 12-months …).

For 2021, I had 38,904 views; 29,941 visitors; and 323 posts. Heck, I still ended up posting more than I did in 2014, but still a far cry from the 619 in 2020. That represents a nearly 63 percent increase year-over-year. I’m proud of that!

There’s some staying power in older posts, though as incidentally, I only had one post that I did in 2021 that made the top 10 posts for 2021, but it was also the top post of 2021 at 3,700 views: True Crime: The Case of Brandon Embry. People really care about that case.

What’s interesting is that in 2015, I uploaded one of my college philosophy papers to the blog entitled, “The Fatal Flaw in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave,” and by 2017, it was the top post of the year; same in 2018 and 2019, both years I largely ghosted the blog; and in 2020, it actually increased from averaging nearly 3,000 views to hitting 3,583 views.

For 2021? It was the second top post, bested by the aforementioned Embry case. So, I finally unseated you, Plato! It still came in at 3,112 views, though.

I’m happy to see that my Home page/Archives came in at the fourth slot, with 2,689 views. At least people are looking at the overview of the blog.

People mostly discover my blog through search engines and the WordPress Reader (a distant second) and 2021 was no different, but I’m also fascinated by the fact that Facebook beat Twitter for referrals at 601 to 541. I almost always link to my blog on Twitter, but rarely do on Facebook, so that’s interesting.

Also interesting is that there’s 25 referrals for and specifically for Did someone teach one of my blog posts? Hopefully positively and not, “Here’s what not to do,” ha. I can’t see the link, so I don’t know. But 25 seems about the normal class size. Interesting.

One of the coolest things about the internet and blogging is that I can reach people all over the world with my nonsense. Obviously, the United States remains my top country at 25,620 views and the UK and Canada are a distant second and third, but it’s neat that I have a reach into India, Australia, the Philippines, Germany, Israel, China, France and so on, even if minimal. Hello, global friends!

Perhaps what I’m most excited by in my 2021 blogging is that I finally got over the hump of 1,000 followers directly through WordPress. Thank you everyone for following! I hope you’re enjoying my random musings.

And to those who don’t follow, what the heck?! But thank you, too, for stopping by.

I hope whether you found me looking for a movie or book review or a goofy food review or a true crime dealio or my musings on writing or my poetry or my darker posts about my depression, that you’ve taken away something from this blog meaningful for yourself.

Here’s to 2022 and more growth!

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