The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog, as they do each year. Click here to see the complete report.
My total views were up less than 3% from last year—I’ve probably reached a steady state with people giving up on reading my blog at about the same rate that new readers come in. My number of readers may have gone up a bit more more than 3%, as I think that I’ve not been posting as much in 2013: only 289 new posts (but today’s posts were not included, so it is probably 291).
Most popular is still my home page (29,814 views out of 112,064), but that is under 27% of views. Only 4 of my top 10 most-viewed posts this year were written this year:
|post||year||views in 2013|
|2011 AP Exam Score Distribution||2011||6,996|
|Installing gnuplot—a nightmare||2012||4,203|
|How many AP courses are too many?||2012||3,305|
|West Point Bridge Designer 2011||2011||1,806|
|Difficulties with the new Common Application||2013||1,775|
|Why no digital oscilloscope for Macbooks and iPads?||2010||1,759|
|2013 AP Exam Score Distribution||2013||1,595|
|Instrumentation amp lab||2012||1,592|
|Essay prompts for college applications||2013||1,154|
|Making WAV files from C programs||2011||1,104|
None of those are particularly good posts, but they have good links to other information sources, so come up high in search engine algorithms. Some of my most popular posts from this year are obsolete—I should probably add links in them to newer posts, especially the 2011 AP exam score distribution and West Point Bridge Designer posts. The instrumentation amp lab post is a strange one of the 202 posts on the Applied Circuits course to be the most popular—this is probably Google’s fault.
I should probably thank Google for keeping old posts alive—57,090 views or about 51% of my total came from search engines, and 54,104 or 48% of my views were referrals by Google. Bing contributed only 1,120, Yahoo only 1,413, and all other search engine referrals were under 100 each.
Social media contributed more than I expected, since I don’t use Twitter or Facebook. Twitter referrals were 574, Facebook 470. Email lists probably contributed more, but they are harder to count, as only yahoo mail referrals are counted (564, plus 198 from the groups.yahoo.com/group/hs2coll/ homeschool to college list). I wonder why WordPress.com doesn’t count gmail referrals—I’m sure that gmail tracks the links. My being part of the Santa Cruz Sentinel Media Lab helped a little (405 referrals).
Commenting on other people’s blogs got me a number of referrals also. I think that many of my regular readers have come to my blog from some other blog or from e-mail lists, rather than from search-engine referrals, but I have no way of knowing that for sure. Some of the largest referral counts from blogs are from comments that I’d forgotten about making, and that are niche blogs for which only a few of my posts are relevant. Having another blogger point to my blog in a post is more valuable than just comments,
One piece of advice I’ve heard for maximizing readership is to focus narrowly on one niche, so that everyone who comes to the blog knows what to expect after seeing one or two posts. That works for some bloggers, but I have eclectic interests and can’t really limit myself in that way—I don’t want to start dozens of blogs on different topics. So for the next year, I’ll continue posting whatever I feel like writing about.
I expect that there will be a number of posts about my new freshman design seminar, because new courses always occupy a lot of my mental space. Home school and college application stuff will probably disappear after this spring, as my son will be graduating from high school in June. I may revive one of my old hobbies over the summer, in which case I’ll blog about it. The question is—what old hobby should I bring back, or what new one should I pick up? Probably it should either involve exercise (which I need more of) or making something (I feel attached to the Maker movement, but I’ve not really made much beyond stuff for the Applied Circuits or freshman design courses in the past year).