Blogiversary the Second

This week marks the second anniversary of this blog. I know, I know, I’m a toddler in the world of blogging, but I’m still excited. So here are some things I’ve learned from being a toddler:

Blogging regularly is good discipline. I’ve managed a regular schedule for pretty much two years now. Given how my fiction writing schedule goes (or doesn’t), that’s not peanuts.

I can’t think short. Blogging is time-consuming, and depending on who you listen to, it might be time better spent working on fiction. I’ve tried to write shorter posts to decrease the time commitment while maintaining the same schedule, and it just doesn’t work. I think long, and that’s all there is to it.

Comments make all the difference. Blogging can sometimes feel like shouting into the ether. It’s a relief when someone steps up to say “Hey, I hear you!” — either in so many words, or with a simple “like”. Thank you all for being here!

This blog is all over the place. Travel blog? Geekery, feminism, and the intersection of the two? Personal journey and mental health? Writing? Yes! (And more.) It may not be the best for platform or building a coherent audience, but it does keep me entertained.

Just to reinforce that last point, here are the ten most popular posts from the last two years:

10. Book Nostalgia: Trixie Belden. Trixie was one of my favourite characters growing up, but I worried when I wrote this post that she would be too niche to garner any interest. Guess I was wrong!

9. Into the Jungle at Taman Negara. A travel post about Malaysia. In this case, I think the popularity stems from the relative lack of other posts on the topic…but I hope the enthusiasm of the writing (it was my first time in a jungle!) and photography encourage readers to look around a bit while they’re here.

8. If You Liked…A Game of Thrones. TV series + bestselling fantasy author + algorithm from online retail giant = win! But more than that, I put a lot of thought into not just “if you liked…” but “if you liked X aspect of…”, and I think it shows. I’ve also done “If You Liked…Temeraire.”

7. Book Nostalgia: The Time Quartet by Madeleine L’Engle. Here’s another “book nostalgia” post about a series that was one of my very favourites growing up.

6. Book Nostalgia: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. And another one! I haven’t done any Nostalgia posts lately because I haven’t been rereading, and it’s difficult to blog coherently about books I haven’t read in years. But their popularity has me thinking maybe I should revisit the topic….

5. Pacific Rim Analysis: Is Mako a Strong Female Character? Like I said, feminism and geekery are topics that fascinate me, and clearly I’m far from the only one. This is the most recent post on the Top 10 list, from August 2013.

4. Exploring the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia. This is my only other travel post to have hit the Top 10 so far (though “Guide to Train Travel in India” is sitting at #11), which is funny because I feel like the travel posts are often my strongest. If you liked this one and/or #9, have a peek at some of the others!

3. Defining Steampunk. Clearly a lot of people are not sure what steampunk is all about. Or at least, they weren’t when this was written two years ago — it doesn’t get a lot of hits these days. Regardless, I love steampunk, so I’m happy to be a resource. (I’ve written more about it here.)

2. Book vs. Movie: The Hunger Games. Again, super-popular film and super-popular book made for a lot of hits…which made me happy because I really enjoyed unleashing my (not-so-inner) geek to write this. I wrote one for Catching Fire too, but for whatever reason, not as many people are Googling that.

And the number one blog post, with over twice as many hits as #2…

1. 7 Writing Lessons from George R.R. Martin. To be fair, this one gets a fair number of false positives — hits from people looking for writing advice from GRRM, or writing lessons given by GRRM. Be that as it may, I’m still pretty proud of how it turned out.

The first two years have been a journey for sure. Hope you’ll join me as we enter the Terrible Twos and beyond!

Your turn! If you track your blog stats, what have you learned from them? Or do you deliberately avoid looking at them?

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6 responses to “Blogiversary the Second

  1. Congrats on the second anniversary! I can’t believe it’s been that long either… I know exactly what you mean about comments and likes; it does make all the difference, doesn’t it?

    I find it fascinating which posts get top hits on my blog too. (I also have an Anne of Green Gables related post — in which I share one of my favourite quotes — that consistently gets hits.) It’s interesting to see which ones stand the test of time with Google. I guess posts with GRRM and HG in the title are bound to rank well. 😀

    As to theme… I’ve found myself gradually spiral in towards a theme in the two years since wana112. From a writing focused blog in 2011, I exploded outwards to explore heaps of topics after wana112, and have gradually pulled it in to themes of fantasy, journeys of wonder (see how I get my travel posts in there? – heh) and inspiration.

    I actually think our blogs have similar themes, which makes it nice to come hang out here. Here’s to another two years!

  2. Thank you, Ellen! “Journeys of wonder” — oh, I love it. You’re right, we do overlap quite a bit! I enoy your blog for the same reason. 🙂

    The other topic I’m passionate about, self-care / mental health, doesn’t show up in my Top 10 and barely in my top 20, so it seems to be a non-starter…whereas the travel posts have been more popular than I expected when I started doing them. Too bad my store of travel-related material is finite….

    I’ll admit to spending way too much time looking at my blog stats. Some of the top posts get hits from people looking for movie posters or book covers. I think it helps to include images for that reason. But some topics, like Anne (and GRRM and HG, as you said), are just going to be perennially popular.

    Thanks again!

  3. You’re an inspiration! I guess I didn’t realize you started this blog with the WANA112 class – it seems so established. Strong work, Siri!

  4. Congrats on two years of successful blogging! I totally agree, comments and likes are so helpful and gives us a chance to interact with our readers. Cheers!

  5. HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY! Here’s to lots of fun as a Terrible Two!

  6. Liv – Aww, thanks…you made my day! *blushes* Guess that’s the WANA112 lessons coming through. I did a lot of thinking during the class about how I wanted to blog, and started it near the end of the session with all those lessons in mind.

    Tami – Thank you! And thanks for taking the time to stop by and share the comment love. 😉

    Suzanne – Hehe, thanks!

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