The Best and Worst of 2013

It’s 2014 already!  Which means it’s a new start for everyone, a time to improve a little bit.  And I certainly intend to improve my blogging.  That brings me to the point of this article: analyzing my 2013 stats.

But my yearly round-up isn’t just about stats!  No, I’ve always thought this blog is more than just stats so I want to share with you posts I thought were particularly good/enjoyed writing as well.  Yet in keeping with my tradition I’ll introduce the posts based on statistics first.

The 5 Best Posts (Traffic)

1.  The Hunger Games and Ancient Rome  (5,076 hits)

2.  Why Girls Hate Game of Thrones—A Rebuttal  (3,287 hits)

3.  The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton  (1,646 hits)

4.  The Day an Author Suggested I Kill Myself  (1,642 hits)

5.  The Giver by Lois Lowry  (823 hits)

(These are just the views for 2013, not all time.)

The thing I find so interesting about the top 5 posts is that if you look to The Best and Worst of 2012 it turns out my review of The Outsiders had more hits when I had fewer followers than it has this year.  It only has 1,646 hits compared to 2,615 throughout all of 2012.  I’m happy my old posts are still getting decent traffic but it’s interesting how that’s gone down.  Another interesting thing is that The Outsiders was my top post last year with just 2,615 hits.  This year my top post has over 5000 hits.  I think it’s due in part to my “Best and Worst of…” series but also because the post has simply been shared lots and I’ve had more traffic overall this year.

The 5 Worst Posts (Traffic)

1.  Ready Player One by Ernest Cline  (16 hits)

2.  Cover Reveal: Starlet’s Light by Carla J. Hanna  (16 hits)

3.  Spotlight: The Song of Troy by Colleen McCullough  (16 hits)

4.  Echo Prophecy by Lindsey Fairleigh  (16 hits)

5.  The Art and Craft of Writing Historical Fiction by James Alexander Thom (16 hits)

None of the posts that did the worst traffic-wise really surprise me.  They make me feel a little sad, though, because all of the reviews on here are of awesome books.  Just not popular books, I suppose.  The one thing that makes me happy about my ‘worst’ list is that it’s up from last year.  Last year my worst posts had only 1 hit each whereas this year my worst posts have 16 hits.  It’s a little bit of a silver lining.

The 5 Most Commented on Posts

1.  The Day an Author Suggested I Kill Myself

2.  The Mad Reviewer Reading Challenge

3.  Calling all Authors!

4.  About

5.  Why Girls Hate Game of Thrones—A Rebuttal

The only two posts the same as last year were my ‘About’ page and my reading challenge call in 2012.  The Day an Author Suggested I Kill Myself makes me sad because of the content (sad at what a horrible guy he is, not that he told me to kill myself) but happy because at least now people are warned about this guy.  He was involved in another recent incident far more vicious than the one I experienced so his name is at least out there as an author you shouldn’t work with.  But for me it’s time to move on and forget this guy.

The 5 Most Shared Posts

1.  The Hunger Games and Ancient Rome

2.  An Apology to Self-Published Writers

3.  The Maze Runner by James Dashner

4.  The Day an Author Suggested I Kill Myself

5.  Why Girls Hate Game of Thrones—A Rebuttal

Two of these were from last year (which is unsurprising considering the content) but I’m glad to see that people are also sharing new stuff.  ‘Shares’ here on WordPress are only counted when people click on the little buttons below my post so it’s not really an accurate indicator of how many times people read, say, tweets about the post.  But it’s good enough for my purposes.  Again seeing the badly behaving author post here makes me sad, but it’s nice to get the word out.

My Top 5 Personal Favourite Posts

1.  I am More Than Just a Chronic Pain Statistic

2.  The Kindness of Strangers (True Stories to Inspire you this Christmas)

3.  Why Girls Hate Game of Thrones—A Rebuttal

4.  4 Lessons Writers Can Learn from Opera

5.  The Mad Reviewer’s 2013 Holiday Book Buying Guide (Part One) (Part Two)

These are what I think are the best posts of the blog this year.  They’re not the most clicked on, most commented on or even most ‘shared’ but they’re important to me.  In the first two cases because of the personal nature of the posts.  In the other 3 cases because I believe I wrote some pretty darn good articles there.  I’m proud of these posts and they’re some of my best work.

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I didn’t reach the goal of having a total of 500 books reviewed over 2 years but I did get up to 451 reviews as my final count for 2013.  I’ll easily be able to reach my goal of 500 book reviews written next year.  What’s after that?  Well, I hope to someday reach 1000 reviews so there’s that.

The most important statistic of the year is followers for me.  It always has been, more so than comments, likes, shares or hits.  Following a blog through either email or WordPress shows that you truly love a blog and want to read pretty much all of the blogger’s posts.  That’s why I was so shocked to learn that at the end of 2012 I had 178 followers.  At the end of 2013 I have 633 followers, meaning that I’ve averaged 1.2 followers per day all year.  Now that, my friends is growth.  And it’s why instead of the 47,000 hits I had last year I received 59,000 hits and hit that important 100,000 total hits milestone.

So here’s to an awesome 2013 and an even better 2014!  If you’re an old follower of my blog, please stick around for more exciting stuff in the new year.  If you’re just new to The Mad Reviewer I hope you’ll stick around, read some interesting stuff and leave the occasional comment.  I like to think there’s something here on this blog for everyone.

Happy new year!

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