The Best and Worst of 2014

On a purely blogging level, 2014 was an awesome success.  I cracked the 10,000 views per month mark for three months running, hit 200,00 views total on my blog with 96,000 of those coming this year alone.  My reading and reviewing challenge had so many people sign up that I couldn’t believe it and I’m getting people who took that challenge coming back in 2015.  You guys, my readers, have also been amazingly supportive and very understanding about my health and why I haven’t exactly been posting as consistently as I used to.

On a personal level, 2014 was one of my worst years.  My pain has been getting so bad that I’m barely able to exercise anymore even though I try so hard to do the few exercises I can.  My boss/mentor/substitute grandfather died, leaving a gaping hole behind at work, where everything reminds me of just how awesome he was.  I’m lonelier than ever as my only friend moved away from my town but luckily I too can finally get out of here this summer.  So while 2014 sucked on a personal level, I’m thinking that 2015 is going to be so much better.

So on to the stats analysis!

In 2014, I received a total of 97,154 views with 66,917 of those being unique views.  That’s a marked improvement from 2013, where I received 59,613 views total and 34,765 unique views.  So now my unique views outnumber my total views from the previous year.  I’m definitely hoping that 2015 will continue the trend.

The 5 Best Posts (Traffic)

1.  Why Girls Hate Game of Thrones—A Rebuttal  (43,174 hits)

2.  How to Read 100 Pages in an Hour  (3,790 hits)

3.  The Hunger Games and Ancient Rome  (3,466 hits)

4.  An Apology to Self-Published Writers  (1,096 hits)

5.  The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton  (910 hits)

These are just the views for 2014, mind you.  And considering that I received 97,154 views in total, the fact that 41,174 views (or 44% of my total views) were from just my Game of Thrones article is incredible.  It was a fairly decent article, but it’s not the best I ever wrote but since it has those buzzwords “game of thrones”, “game of thrones women” and “nude” I get so much search engine traffic from it it’s not even funny.  Even when the TV show is off the air, it’s still the best article pretty much every day.  That’s kind of awesome and kind of sad because there are other articles here on The Mad Reviewer.  I guess they just don’t have the same great keywords.

The 5 Worst Posts (Traffic)

1.  Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception by Eoin Colfer  (17 hits)

2.  The Lacemaker and the Princess by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (17 hits)

3.  My Day Off (17 hits)

4.  And the Winner of the 1,000 Follower Giveaway is… (17 hits)

5.  The Transhumanist Wager by Zoltan Istvan (17 hits)

The thing about these posts, especially numbers 3 and 4 is that they’re dated.  Those events are over now, so there’s no reason for them to really garner many hits.  As for the other posts, they’re reviews from books that aren’t popular anymore or were never popular anyway.  That’s one of the reasons why I really love it when authors actually put effort into promoting my reviews of their work: otherwise no one sees them.  I promote reviews to the best of my ability, but it’s a two-way street.  If you want reviews and you want people to actually see those reviews, you do have to promote them yourself as well.

The 5 Most Commented on Posts (Total)

1.  The Mad Reviewer Reading and Reviewing Challenge 2014 Sign Up

2.  An Apology to Self-Published Writers

3.  The Day an Author Suggested I Kill Myself

4.  Why Girls Hate Game of Thrones—A Rebuttal

5.  The Mad Reviewer Reading Challenge

I decided to include older posts that received comments because some of them were posted a couple of years ago but only really got comments this year.  So I did the most commented on posts in total.  What made me happy and slightly surprised was that last year’s challenge sign up was the most commented on of all.  I did have a fair number of people sign up; right now it’s a matter of seeing how many people return to verify their entries.  So far, it’s not the number I expected but I really can’t complain all that much.  Most of the other posts were either controversial articles or articles that people could directly relate to so it’s no wonder that while the top viewed post is on the most commented list, it didn’t receive the most comments.

The 5 Most Shared Posts in (Total)

1.  Best Seller by Martha Reynolds  (102 shares)

2.  An Apology to Self-Published Writers  (61 shares)

3.  Things Authors Should Know About Bad Reviews  (23 shares)

4.  Why Girls Hate Game of Thrones—A Rebuttal  (20 shares)

5.  Deadline by Mira Grant  (20 shares)

Out of all my statistics listed here, this list of 5 has to be the most shocking to me.  The controversial articles like my Game of Thrones article aren’t the most shared.  It’s a book review that gave the author a mediocre review that she decided to share anyway because she appreciated the time I took to review it and the fact that I offered both criticism and praise.  The reason ‘An Apology to Self-Published Writers’ is so popular is the fact that I had help promoting it, but also because authors who found it decided to share it on their sites and social media profiles.  That’s also why it got so many views this year.

My Top 5 Personal Favourite Posts

1.  Forgotten Figures: Aurelian

2.  Sempre Libera

3.  Aranya by Marc Secchia

4.  The Return of the Weird Search Terms

5. The Hunger Games and The Third Servile War

Numbers 1 and 5 are on this list because I put so much effort into them (both in research and writing) and because I enjoyed actually writing them.  Piecing history together into a coherent narrative isn’t always the easiest thing, but it is pretty darn fun.  ‘Sempre Libera’ was my usual off-topic birthday article and is on this list because it came from the heart.  The weird search term post is on because of the fact that the search terms contained within are hilarious.  People search for the weirdest things!  And, as a departure from my usual list, I included my review of Aranya by Marc Secchia because I absolutely loved that book.  It was extremely well written with characters so vivid it was as if they came alive right off the page.  I had so much fun writing that review and reading the book that I had to include it this year.


I end 2014 with 1,156 followers and in 2015 I’m hoping to at least reach 1,500.  Follower, share and comment statistics have always been more important to me than views so I’m really quite content with how my blog has done this year.  As for views, maybe next year I’ll hit 100,000 views in a single year and consistently keep my traffic above 6,000 views per month.  That’s my goal and one of the ways I’m going to achieve it is to finally get back on a regular posting schedule.  My posting was erratic because I just didn’t have any motivation about my boss’ death but I’m done mourning; he’d want me to move on and go back to my life.  This year my resolution is to post something every day, even if it’s just a little note about my activities or a cat picture.  I really do need to get back to posting every day, mostly for my own sanity.

I’m almost at 600 reviews so I’m hoping that this year I can reach at least 700, despite my hectic life post-move.  Of course I’ll be participating in my own challenge (which will be announced either this evening or tomorrow morning) so I’m going to have to do at least 102 but we’ll see how many more I can do.  My Kindle has made it way more convenient to read books in places I wouldn’t normally read but it’s just a matter of making time to review them.  That’s another thing to work on this year.

So, that was my 2014 year.  How was yours?  How were your statistics this year (if you feel comfortable sharing them)?  What was your best post in terms of traffic this year?  What was your favourite post to write?  (Feel free to link to them in the comments.)

6 comments

  1. patricksponaugle

    Congratulations Carrie!

    2014 was a pretty good year for me, but I had an one artificially inflated month that super-boosted my stats.

    This year I contributed to a Kickstarter for the A Cast of Kings podcast (I love them) and they graciously praised my Game of Thronesy blog. I got an enormous boost in views for that month. (Of course it tapered off and eventually got back down to usual levels, but I was pretty happy.)

    My most-viewed post in 2014 was my defense of Theon getting endlessly abused in Season 3 Game of Thrones ( http://patricksponaugle.com/2013/11/09/in-defense-of-theon-greyjoy-what/ )

    Since the Theon one was written in 2013, my most-viewed post that was written in 2014 was my defense of Robb Stark’s bad decisions ( http://patricksponaugle.com/2014/02/11/in-defense-of-robb-stark/ )

    (My Stannis post, which used to be #1, is probably gnashing its teeth.)

    My favorite post of the year was probably my article speculating on the scythe stuck in the Wall, revealed in Season 9. I just love that post. ( http://patricksponaugle.com/2014/07/02/defending-the-wall-the-scythe/ ) but it didn’t crack the top ten.

    Glad your blog is doing so well. You’re one of my inspirations.

    • Carrie Slager

      Yes, I love artificial stat boosts I get from mentions. I once had a review of mine featured on Anne Rice’s Facebook page and that blew my stats out of proportion for about a month back in 2012. I need more artificial boosts. 🙂

      I definitely liked your defense of Theon’s torture. It’s well-reasoned and it certainly makes sense that we see just how much Theon suffers in order to understand the characterization of Reek later on (particularly at the siege of Moat Cailin). As for Robb Stark, you can’t really blame someone who was 15 years old in the books for not being perfect. Another one I heartily agree with!

      I hadn’t seen your post on the scythe but I just went and read it and it’s definitely one of my favourite articles over on your site. Especially since I just saw that episode last night and was speculating about it myself. It makes sense that the Builders would have put it there because from what I saw it was reasonably close to the gate but not too close. If someone were to try to scale the wall they’d do it close to the gate but probably not directly beside it for fear of falling missiles, counting on the men banging on the gate as a distraction.

      It sort of makes sense, but from an overall strategic sense I don’t think it would be effective enough to warrant the cost of building it. (All of that metal? Yeah, that’s insanely expensive when all the links had to be hand-forged.) So if the Builders made it a thousand years ago when they had the resources, I’d buy that, but not that the Night’s Watch had it made semi-recently. They just would not have had the money. It’s interesting and I wish there was more of an explanation for that. But I guess we can only speculate at this point. 🙂

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