2018’s greatest hits

14 comments on 2018’s greatest hits
2 minutes

Every year at this time I look back at how this blog performed: raw stats and popular posts.

Down the Road stats as of a few days ago

Visits to my blog were down by 10-15% compared to last year. My October blog sabbatical hurt: visits dropped by a third, and recovered only weakly after I returned to blogging.

The biggest loss was in search-driven visits, which are down a quarter to a third. A handful of my posts answer common questions for film-photography newbies. Tens of thousands of visits each year used to come from people Googling for those answers. Competing articles have appeared on other better-known sites, and disappointingly Google quickly ranked them ahead of my posts. Search-driven visits fell further after I updated and republished those posts this year. Google surely downranked my older posts because the newer ones were too similar.

I’d rather have your engagement with my stories and photographs than fat pageviews from people who never comment, never click Like, never share on social media. That’s why I republished those useful evergreen posts, and plan to do so annually henceforth. It’s also why I’ve been focusing more on great new posts lately. It’s made a difference: new posts get two or three times more views in the first few days than they did just two years ago. That hasn’t made up for the loss of search-driven visits, but it’s helped. I hope this growth trend continues.

My efforts to build a more vibrant community here are paying off: comments were up 30% in 2017, and another 5% this year.

My five personal favorite posts in 2018:

Five most visited posts of 2018:

Five most commented posts of 2018:

Five most Liked posts of 2018:

I look forward to an even more engaged community in 2019!


14 responses to “2018’s greatest hits”

  1. Kosmo Foto Avatar

    Hey Jim. This pretty much chimes with what I’ve found. Despite publishing more than twice as many blog posts in 2018, my traffic fell nearly 25%. I too am trying the republishing of old posts, mostly the early camera reviews. My aim for next year is to get to 500,000 views, which is about double where I am today. It’s doable with another 100 news posts on the site I reckon. Part of my issue might have been ditching Zorki Photo and not backlinking – there were posts getting 40 or 50 views every day before I changed the name. That will take a while to replace, even though those posts are still on KF and gradually climbing up the Google rankings.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Do you attribute all of that drop to changing to the new domain, or do you suspect other factors? Good luck on the path to 500k!

      1. Kosmo Foto Avatar

        The name change will be a big part of it. The blog had been going 4.5 years when I had to change the name, so there would have been a fair amount of links… it’s annoying but not a reason to throw in the towel. I know for a fact that some of the other blogs are getting what i got this year a month (and I’m not talking Petapixel, I mean enthusiast blogs) so there’s definitely room for growth.

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          Whatever those other enthusiast blogs’ secrets are to getting 500k in a month, I’d sure like to know.

  2. brandib1977 Avatar

    I mainly lurk here but you should know that you set a good example for the rest of us aspiring bloggers and amateur photographers. I hope that my blog someday is half as good as yours. Thanks for your hard work!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Why thank you! I’ve been at this for going on 12 years…it’s built slowly.

      1. brandib1977 Avatar

        I started this summer and don’t have a lot of WordPress followers but have enjoyed great results promoting on Facebook. The interactions I’ve had with people I know have been incredibly rewarding and make it all worthwhile. Happy New Year!!

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          Promoting on Facebook is a good way to go! It’s great fun when people share your post and then you get a lot of views in one day.

          1. brandib1977 Avatar

            Lol. That is a lot of fun! Something else I love is when someone messages me or walks up to me in the grocery to say they read a story. I wrote something kind of personal for today and illustrated with pictures. There aren’t a lot of post likes but the personal messages on Facebook have been heartwarming. :)

  3. davisr66 Avatar

    Jim, Do email readings count toward your blogging statistics? I am a faithful follower of Down the Road, but rarely actually visit the blog itself. Dick Davis

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Probably not. The stats count only views on this site, I’m pretty sure.

  4. […] design mais plaisants à lire reçoivent bien plus de visites que mon modeste journal. Le blog de Jim Grey comptabilise entre 200 000 et 300 000 visites mensuelles. Ses posts sont sympas et toujours axés […]

  5. Mike Eckman Avatar
    Mike Eckman

    Hey Jim I love your site. Its one of my film related blogs out there. I love the clean design of your theme, and that you talk about things other than camera reviews. I actually have more views than you, but only a fraction of the engagement. I’m lucky to get 2-3 comments on a review or an article, yet yours regularly are in the double digits. People even comment on your “Recommended Reading” posts. I’m certainly not complaining as your site and mine serve very different purposes, but on the unlikely chance the numbers got you down, theres no need to be. Keep doing what you’re doing, your site is great! :)

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Mike, thank you very much for your encouragement! This is ultimately a personal blog that happens to be 75% about my film-photography hobby. I have deliberately tried to build community here rather than go after giant pageviews — though I’ll admit, I’m jealous of blogs that get those giant pageviews. I’ll reflect more on this in a few weeks when my blog hits its 12th anniversary.

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