Scent of a Gamer

From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.

The blog in 2020

You’ve no doubt seen my shorter review of the blog in 2020, this article is more to look a bit deeper at the stats, what they might mean, and more important what I will do (or avoid doing) thanks to this information.

Starting with the headline, views were up this year, by a lot.

Which is nice. I had slightly more visitors in 2020 than in 2017, the previous high for visitors. What made the difference here is that each visitor now looks at more pages than in past years. This is thanks to a greater depth of content, since I have written more articles, but also I think I have made an effort to make it easier for readers to move from one article to the next. Relying on WordPress to serve up the most relevant article is only okay to a point.

Another point driving views this year is simply that I wrote many more articles:

Almost one article for every day of the year, which is honestly something I hadn’t realised until I looked at this chart. 73,301 words could have been a novel, except of course it couldn’t as those are two completely different forms of writing.

Engagement continues at a pace I’m happy with, with people choosing to stop by, like, and comment on articles.

WordPress provides a chart to compare 2020 to other years:

Average words per post is dropping, average likes and comments is rising, and so is total words, with 2020 besting the previous record year for word count (2016) by over 10,000 words. What makes me happiest is the number of comments and likes coming in. Even just looking at a per post basis rather than total (since I published so many more articles) the numbers are ticking up, which is nice to see.

if I look at what articles got the most views, as with 2019 the top 20 articles are all classic game walkthroughs.

These articles are responsible for views but not really for the engagements I value. However I wrote them as a labour of nostalgic love, and if remakes of some of my other favourites appear in 2021 I’ll be sure to repeat the exercise. These articles will doubtless taper off in terms of views in 2021, at least that’s my expectation. The two blue bars are next to the articles published in 2020, the others were published in late 2018 or early 2019.

So now what?

I’m not planning any radical changes in 2021. The blog will be focused around my efforts to paint my collection of miniatures, and my general appreciation of fantasy art. Computer games and tabletop games are likely to feature, along with industry news, interesting crowdfunding projects, YouTube videos, and so on.

Probably if there’s one thing I want to do differently in 2021 it is to take more time to read, like, and comment on other blogs.

Regardless of what you’re blogging about, I hope you all have a great 2021!

16 comments on “The blog in 2020

  1. Bookstooge
    January 9, 2021

    Ahhh, those are some really nice numbers!
    You get my stamp of approval 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. John@justneedsvarnish
    January 9, 2021

    Sounds like it’s all heading in a direction you’re happy with Dave, you’ve got a plan and you’ve got your tray sorted for 2021! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • davekay
      January 9, 2021

      I just have to turn plans into actions!

      Like

  3. Pete S/ SP
    January 10, 2021

    Have a great ’21 too.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. daggerandbrush
    January 10, 2021

    Congratulations! Great increase in visits. I am also thinking of reorganising my blog. Kind of hard to find things if you don’t go via Google.

    Liked by 1 person

    • davekay
      January 10, 2021

      Thanks! I have been thinking along similar lines, and now try and have clear links between my articles to make the site easier to navigate.

      Like

      • daggerandbrush
        January 10, 2021

        I may finally go self-hosted too. I really hate how WP advertising breaks up articles if you access them on mobile without the reader.

        Liked by 1 person

      • davekay
        January 11, 2021

        That’s true, I have had a couple of people comment that ads make the classic game walkthroughs harder to follow.

        Like

      • daggerandbrush
        January 12, 2021

        As a follow-up, the new feature of promoted posts is highly annoying. I get they have to fund the free service, but it doesn’t seem very targeted content.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Peter Holland
    December 1, 2021

    This is a fascinating read! Being a bit of a stat man myself I’ve keep looking at my own numbers and wondering if I should publish something like this to show my first year on WordPress.

    Liked by 1 person

    • davekay
      December 1, 2021

      I hesitated before publishing a year review for the first time. I thought it was too self indulgent but the articles have turned out to be interesting for many others, which is great.

      As for publishing your own – I say go for it!

      Like

      • Peter Holland
        December 1, 2021

        If I may be so bold as to ask how did you originally start out and how did you try and drum up more views? At the minute I’m relying on sharing through Facebook and Reddit which feels like spamming a lot of the time.

        Liked by 1 person

      • davekay
        December 1, 2021

        For the first couple of years I was definitely chasing views through Reddit. Overall though I think it’s a terrible method of trying to build an audience for the blog. You can get thousands of views for an article but not one of those viewers will come back again of their own accord.

        What has worked for me was taking the time to follow and post on other WordPress blogs. Of course this is fun in an of itself so it’s not exactly chasing views but if you want more people to like and comment on your blog I think it is the way to go.

        Like

      • Peter Holland
        December 1, 2021

        Excellent, thank you! I have found that the posts do well but it doesn’t give many subscribers. I will definitely follow your advice!

        Liked by 1 person

      • davekay
        December 1, 2021

        My best day in terms of views is still from a day in 2014 when an article of mine got almost 9,000 hits from Reddit. That article did not get a single comment or like and is basically irrelevant to the growth of this blog. Plus the bonus of following, liking, and commenting on other blogs is that you get to meet your fellow travelers!

        Like

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