From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.
I’ve already spoken about the overall performance of this blog in 2019. However stats are little more than wallpaper unless you use them to inform your own decisions.
After taking a deeper dive into the stats, I made a few decisions about how the blog will change – and some of those changes have already been made. I wanted to share my though process here.
When I’m making decisions about the blog, I try to start with the reason why I started this blog. I wanted an online place to track and share my miniatures painting projects, but a space I could control more than a series of forum posts would allow.
This decision was justified early on when a forum I used to post my projects on regularly died
in a fire due to hackers.
Fast forward a few years the blog has done a great job of increasing my painting productivity. The real value though has been the connections I have made with other bloggers doing the same as me. This is what I want to do more of.
Decision: Post more on other blogs, showcase blogs on Scent of a Gamer, seek out new blogs, and participate in monthly challenges and the like wherever possible.
Result: I’ve already started doing mid-week posts, many of which are reblogs of other hobby bloggers. Hopefully this is already working to increase their audience too. Participation in Fembruary 2020 is an example of something I want to do more of.
I took a closer look at where hits were coming from last year:
Search engines were once again the single most important source of incoming views. Whether that turns into regular reader I can’t tell. This is a hobby for me, and so ‘promotion’ is very low on my list of priorities, however, this list drove a couple of changes.
Decision: delete Facebook, promote other blogs. This may seen strange given Facebook’s position on the list above. I started an experiment in January 2019 – for the entire year I posted on the Scent of a Gamer Facebook page every day, and responded to every comment made. The result was one additional like for the Facebook page, and not that many more views from Facebook compared with Pinterest and YouTube, sites where I had made zero efforts in terms of promotion. Facebook can go, it’s not worth the effort.
Result: In place of the Facebook I used the ‘posts’ I like widget, which displays the last 10 WordPress posts I have clicked the like button on. Clicks out of Scent of a Gamer have already shifted to show people clicking something in that list they think looks interesting. That’s a plus in my book.
It’s undeniable that the single most popular series of articles last year (and ever) was my walkthrough series of the Bard’s Tale trilogy remaster.
In many ways this shouldn’t be surprising as these are the articles most likely to be useful to others, and most likely to be searched for online – remember how search engines were the major inward source of views? It’s often people searching for solutions to these games.
Decision: More walkthroughs in 2020, but only for classic games I have enjoyed in the past. This will keep the content genuine, based around me replaying old games I like.
Result: Nothing yet, since I haven’t posted or written any new walkthroughs as yet. I am currently playing the Wasteland remaster, and there will be a walkthrough coming in due course.
Decision: a different approach to art articles. In the past articles on fantasy art and especially Magic: the Gathering art, have been popular. For 2020 I have decided to write fewer of these articles, but go into more depth on each one.
2020 will be the eighth year of Scent of a Gamer, and I have a back catalogue of over 1,000 articles. Some of these would benefit from their own remaster, or simply being highlighted again.
Decision: make better use of old blog content
Result: Nothing yet. I haven’t decided how best to re-use my older content. I like how fellow blogger The Imperfect Modeller does his Memory Mondays to showcase some of his own older work. Perhaps I should do something similar, like… Once Upon a Wednesday, or something.
When I first started this blog, I made sure the phrase ‘updated each week-end’ appeared on the front page. It’s still there now, and over the past 7 years, come what may, I have added at least one post each week-end.
I’ve used a self-imposed maximum of 4 posts per week-end, since I don’t want to overwhelm any readers with a deluge.
What this has meant though is that I’ve not posted outside of that week-end commitment.
Decision: Use mid-week posts for anything extra as a result of other decisions
Result: Adding mid-week posts has allowed me space to reblog, and also to respond to emerging new or interesting events without waiting for the next week-end slot.
Overall, WordPress stats are useful to guide or inform decisions, but I would never let them drive the blog’s direction.
Stats can show where other people’s interest is, but blogging is personal and ultimately you have to follow your own path.