Somehow, I’ve been at WordPress for nine years. According to a notification I received, yesterday marked my nine-year anniversary. That makes sense since my first year on WordPress was 2013. Phew, 2013 feels both extremely recent and far away.
When I started the blog in 2013, it was years in the making, which is to say, years of nothing happening, but really wanting to start a blog. Once I got the blog rolling, my first step was to populate it with content. That allowed me the opportunity to digitize a lot of my writings over the prior years, whether that was school papers I did in college, or even poems I did as a 12-year-old. All of them were uploaded to the blog.
If for some reason you’re a masochist who likes my writings just that much, I do have an archives column on the right-hand side of the front page of the blog, where you can find those old papers, poems, and other miscellaneous musings.
Even outside of generating content, and helping to digitize my own writings, uploading that older content also provided opportunities for strong SEO, or search engine optimization, to attract people to my blog. For example, one of my most popular posts for years ever since I first posted it in 2013, is a psychology paper I did, “Masculinity as Homophobia: Considering Michael S. Kimmel’s article and gender roles in society.” Another popular one was a round-up of the 10 Most Controversial and Disturbing Films Ever (I miss those days, for the record; I used to be a fiend about seeking out controversial films to see what all the fuss was about)
In my first year doing the blog, which I didn’t start apparently until May 2013 (so I’d already lost the four prior months), I had 18,246 views, which isn’t too shabby, I think at least, for a new blog! I published 416 posts, which again, a good chunk of those were the ones for digitizing purposes.
By 2014, I cut my posts in half (to 287), but my views and visitors jumped considerably to 41,893, and 33,678, respectively. That is still my high watermark for the blog. In the years that followed, especially 2016-to-mid-2020, I dropped off in my blogging efforts considerably. I even took it “private” at one point, worried about working at a newspaper while blatantly blogging my opinion. For an example of how far I dropped off, between 2017 and 2019, I only published 18 posts. Yup.
However, as I’ve written about on the blog previously, the blog is what pulled me out of the bog I was in in the middle of 2020. I was in the deepest depression I’ve ever experienced, knee-deep in suicidal ideation, and it was through the blog that I first began to crawl out of that hole, to find some measure of purpose and catharsis. Despite starting six months into the year, I published 619 posts by the end of the year, and increased my year-over-year views of the blog by 14,245.
I kept that momentum up by being relatively consistent in 2021 as well, nearly reaching my 2014 peak, with 38,907 views (and I halved my output again, going down to 323 posts).
And I was also happy that, I think, by the end of 2021, I finally crossed 1,000 followers on the blog. That’s one of those nice round numbers that I arbitrarily wanted to climb over.
Beginning in late 2021, and into this year, I’ve stopped being focused so much on trying to push out a lot of content each day and instead, I do one blog post per day (unless something interesting happens, I occasionally do more than one). WordPress even started doing a cool notification after you publish where it’ll tell you, “You’re on a three-day streak!” That keeps it fun. I’m up to a 152-day streak. Today’s post will make 153-days.
I didn’t start trying to actually “monetize” the blog until I re-started it in the summer of 2020 by adding ads to the site. I still haven’t generated enough “ad clicks” to make any money, but it’s a start! I think you have to make $100 in earnings for it to actually “pay out,” so I’m at $45.36 right now. Each month, I serve anywhere between 5,000 and 7,000 ads.
Overall, in nine years, I’ve posted 2,116 times, garnered 234,209 views, and 181,642 visitors from all over the world (which is especially neat to consider). For some reason, Jan. 4, 2016 remains my single day of views ever, with 850 views. I still haven’t topped that, or gotten close. I’m not sure what specifically contributed to that, as I posted a number of items that day (a book review, reacting to Mark Zuckerberg, and a few posts about Making a Murderer on Netflix; it was probably the latter).
And how about the wildest stat to me? In nine years, my total word count on the blog is 1,231,551. By a large margin, 2020, my savior year, was the most “productive” at 416,264 words (up from 8,195 the previous year!).
From its inception, I’ve always thought of the blog as my one-stop-shop to muse about literally anything and everything because that reflects my tastes: I like to talk about books, movies, music, politics, social issues, culture, psychology, philosophy, food, drinks, dogs, mental illness, and whatever else strikes my fancy. Sometimes I like to try to write more seriously, and other times, I like to keep it loose. The blog was also a repository of my poems, fiction writings, and creative nonfiction writings. Again, to keep them all in one spot.
So, thank you to anyone who has followed along with my journey, whether that was in those early days, in prior years, or currently. I appreciate you! Here’s to more posting, more catharsis, and more fun.