One year of blogging done, and what a year it has been!

It’s been a year already?

I initially started blogging for what I believe is the most common reason: to have a place to keep all my thoughts and ideas about gaming in one place. What originally started as just ‘something to do’ has slowly grown into a very enjoyable hobby and craft. Over the course of the last year, I’ve been rather heavily involved in the MMO blogosphere, be it commenting, linking, or podcasting. Through it all, I’ve had a great time and gained a huge amount of insight into not only MMO games, but my own approach to them as well. Not to mention all the great bloggers and podcasters I’ve gone back and forth with, something that would likely not have happened without the blog.

I figured the best (easiest?) way to break down my first year as a blogger was just to go over the great statistics that WordPress provides, and comment on anything I found interesting or surprising.

First up, the very top-level stuff.

Blog Stats

Total views: 104,123

Busiest day: 11,852 – Thursday, September 6, 2007

Posts: 253

Comments: 1,658

As I recently posted here, the blog hit 100k views not too long ago, a nice round number. I never gave traffic much thought when I started, but I must say I’m very happy hitting 100k in my first year.

The busiest day, way back in September, is the result of getting linked by the BBC tech page, a quote from a somewhat random post I made about WoW and the future expansion. That was an exciting day, especially since it came so early in this blog’s life. Sadly the retention rate from all that traffic was rather low, although it certainly helped. As the stats below will show, no other day/post has really come close to that huge, single hit boost from the BBC, although if the current traffic trend continues, it will happen eventually.

The total posts number, 253, is overall rather decent considering I generally don’t post on Saturday or Sunday. If my math is correct (odds are low), that means out of the remaining 261 days, I posted on average almost every single day. Clearly days with multiple posts help offset days I posted nothing, but even so, a near post-a-day average not counting the weekend is fine by me. Now to keep it up in year two!

The 1658 comments stat is what I think I’m most proud of, as to me it means people actually cared enough about what was posted here to say something about it. Comments are what really drive a blogger to continue and to stay active, and they are a great source of motivation, so thank you to everyone who has taken the time to write something. (yes, even you random troll)

Top Posts for all days ending 2008-06-25

The love and hate game, WoW style. – 16,875

Screen shot comparison. – 2,636

Looking in the mirror; the sickness that was WoW raiding – 1,918

EQ2, trial of the never-ending download. – 1,632

Throwing down the gauntlet, the great MMO challenge – 1,414

Ebolt anyone? – 1,230

Funcom to AoC players, GTFO! – 1,176

Can my toaster run AoC? – Concerned Walmart Shopper -1,143

Stuck in easy mode. – 1,059

Ghost town, population you. – 704

As mentioned above, the first post is the one linked by the BBC, and as you can see, it’s far and away the top post. The next post is somewhat interesting, in that the concept was rather simple, and it was also one of the few posts with pictures. Also of interest is that the post was about EQ2, a game that I overall spent a limited amount of time with. This trend continues in a few more examples, showing that the EQ2 community is very active, and that EQ2 itself drives a lot of MMO traffic. Top post three is one of my favorites, as it was a very personal retrospective look of my time in WoW, and in particular the endgame raiding grind. In addition to the post itself, a lot of really great comments have been left by others sharing their own experiences and methods of escaping that trap. I won’t go into detail about the rest, other than to say a few more recent posts have snuck into the top ten, and that my original post, ‘Ebolt anyone?’, is holding on strong despite originally getting very little traffic due to the blog being new. UO reminiscing still gets peoples attention, a clear sign that you never really forget your first MMO, as UO was for so many.

Referrers for all days ending 2008-06-25

news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/default – 11,015

news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/default – 3,159

wowinsider.com – 2,922

virginworlds.com/home.php – 1,831

google.com/reader/view – 1,288

tobolds.blogspot.com – 1,055

eq2-daily.com – 838

keenandgraev.com – 650

killtenrats.com – 499

crazykinux.com – 398

Again the BBC dominates the top spot, and even spot number two, despite that link being on the back page. WoWInsider, being the huge a site that it is, is not a very surprising number three, followed by the ever awesome VirginWorlds news feed. Tobold, the blog overlord himself, is not surprisingly the first blog on the list, along with Keen and Graev, KTR and the link-happy man himself, Crazy Kinux. Thank you to everyone who has linked me, it drives traffic, which leads to comments, which leads to happy blogging!

Search Terms for all days ending 2008-06-25

Syncaine – 334

vanguard trial – 312

hardcore casual – 267

eq2 – 259

wow progress – 219

hardcore – 195

warhammer podcast – 132

eq2 trial – 119

sotnw – 92

switch mmo – 77

shadowbane reset – 70

This list is a little surprising. Spots one and three are all about me, and you know, I’m kind of a big deal on Google (clearly kidding). The big surprise is spot number two, people looking for a Vanguard trial. How does that game NOT have a trial? Seriously, I’ve been looking to try Vanguard for a long time now, if just to see what all the fuss is about, and yet without a trial it’s never going to happen. It’s silly that SOE has not gotten around to this yet. Another random surprise is the amount of searches that lead people here about Sword of the New World (sotnw). I only briefly posted about the game, and generally concluded that while pretty, the game was an afk-grind with little point. Maybe that’s what people are looking for though, who knows…

Finally here are two charts (remember, people like pictures) showing overall traffic flow. On the monthly chart, you can clearly see the spike from the BBC link, followed by a return to the more normal, steady growth. Hopefully the trend continues, and one day that BBC spike won’t look quite as dominant.

The weekly chart shows that while monthly traffic might be fairly steady, week to week traffic is very sporadic. This is due no doubt to a combination of who linked me, what exactly I posted that week, and how active I was commenting on other blogs and generating hits from that. The one thing I have learned after a year of blogging is you can never really predict what will drive traffic. A well-crafted post (imo of course) may get little attention, while a quick post about something random will start a firestorm. The important thing to remember is to post about what YOU want to talk about, and not worry about posting the next ‘major hit’ blog post. If you write honestly and with passion, people will pick up on it and drop by.

To sum it all up, it’s been a crazy first year for me in regards to this blog. It’s been a huge learning experience, and hopefully I continue to improve and provide interesting reading for everyone. I’m very much looking forward to year two, especially since the ‘next big think’ in Warhammer will hit, and no doubt spur some good debate in our corner of the Internet. I can’t wait!

Thanks again to all the reader!

8 Responses to One year of blogging done, and what a year it has been!

  1. Adam Tiler says:

    Wow, you hit the jackpot with that WoW burnout post. Grats on your first year!

  2. Bonedead says:

    Good job dude, keep it up, I come here almost every day.

  3. Hexx says:

    Nice job, Syncaine. I hope in a few more months my numbers will start to crawl upwards. Right now I’m happy with 50 views a day that aren’t me :)

  4. Keen says:

    Cool, glad to see we’re sending you some readers. :)

    Grats on the anniversary.

  5. Wilhelm2451 says:

    Congratulations on one year!

  6. Snafzg says:

    Happy anniversary man! Congratz on breaking the 100k mark and getting so many comments! Without comments, I know I wouldn’t be blogging.

  7. Crazykinux says:

    May the next year be as prolific and interesting as the first one was.

    Congrats again mates!

    CK

  8. [...] going to try and follow the format I used in my previous yearly review in order to make the comparison a bit easier. Like last year, the overall ‘Blog Stats” are up [...]

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