Unfortunately, Google Analytics was breaking the blog, so my statistics on this aren’t as good as I’d want them to be. Anyway, my impression was that the Blotter Paper’s growth wasn’t nearly as aggressive in 2013 as it was in previous years. But upon viewing the final stats, I see that I was wrong. In 2012, I got 2.8x as many pageviews as I did in 2011. In 2013, the year-to-date total is 2.45x what it was in 2011. My statistics on total visitors are less good (since WordPress didn’t start giving those to me until December of last year), but it’s looking like that has increased by a similar proportion as well. Right now, my monthly pageview count hovers between 4,000 and 5,000. And the blog gets between 2,100 and 2,800 monthly unique visitors. Since I don’t have Google Analytics, I have no idea who y’all are and where you came from, but I am pleased to have you.
Not exactly taking the internet by storm, but I am happier to have more readers. It takes exactly as much effort to write for three readers as it does to write for three thousand readers (although I guess it is possible for a blog to reach a size where comment-moderation becomes a headache).
Anyway, the focus of the blog is too diffuse for it to ever become one of those really huge hit blogs (like Raptitude or Captain Awkward or something), but I would like to continue to grow and to eventually become (in my wildest dreams) one of the world’s more heavily-trafficked author blogs. Of course, that seems a lot more likely to happen if I ever actually publish a book.
This year has contained a number of blogging milestones. It was the first year where I started writing about more personal topics, like my recovery from alcoholism and my recent weight loss. And it was the first year to have a post catch on and attract a number of hits that was far in excess of what I normally get. And I also switched to posting every day.
Keeping this thing up is not easy. It’s definitely something I have to force myself to do. And, like most things in my life, it took an absurdly long time to get going. The blog is more than five years old and I’ve been posting in it at least three times a week for the past two years. But I also derive a lot of satisfaction from it. I’ve always wanted to be in a position where I could communicate my thoughts to a large number of people, and this seems like my easiest way of doing that. And the blog does provide me with concrete personal gain. It allows me to maintain friendships with less effort and to rekindle friendships with people I haven’t spoken to in years. It’s raised my profile in the literary world and it’s provided me with a few financial opportunities. It also gives me a chance to win arguments against people who aren’t present and able to argue back. So, all in all, it’s been pretty worthwhile.