While the world itself has been pretty wild and wacky in 2020, I haven’t had any major course changes with my blog’s direction this year. I’ve stuck with publishing a post a day, or sometimes two if there’s a guest blogger or a quick awareness day post. I managed to stick with the weekly book reviews, which I’m actually surprised by; I had figured I’d probably end up taking a few weeks off.
One major change that impact some of us bloggers who’ve been around for a while was WordPress’s decision to retire their older editor and push everyone onto the block editor (which newer bloggers have been using all along). In some ways, I’m quite content with the block editor, but I’ve noticed that it’s a lot buggier than the older one, which has wasted a fair bit of time. Part of the problem is that I regularly go back and update older posts, and it seems to be in that context that glitches are more likely to occur.
It’s kind of fun to look back at stats for the year. I’m not talking follows, views, likes, and that kind of competitive, comparison-y stuff. I’m talking about the stats that actually give interesting insights.
By the time this post goes live, I’ll have published about 460 posts in 2020, with an average word count of 672 and a total word count of a little over 300,000.
The #1 WordPress search term by far was “Amazon”. I’m not sure why that is, but ok. In the top 10, there are 6 variations of psychiatric terminology, and the post associated with that did quite well. Also in the top 10 were spoon theory, complex PTSD, and “pathologifizint anxiety”. While that last one looks like a typo, there were 29 views for that specific search term, so I’m not sure what’s up with that.
I had visitors from 194 “countries,” although WP’s definition of a country is pretty loose.
I did not get visitors from North Korea, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan (unfortunately, my husband’s yurt doesn’t get wifi), Turkmenistan, Sierra Leone, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Togo, Niger, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Angola, Mozambique, Madagascar, Greenland, and probably a few other countries that are too small to pick out on the map.
I think 2021 calls for some African blogger outreach, and some bribes to be paid to get hubby’s yurt online. And I need to find a friendly Greenlander, because that’s a big chunk o’ map right there.
My top four country visitors were 1) US, 2) UK, 3) Canada, and 4) India.
Search engines as lumped together by WP were the #1 referrer to my blog, followed fairly closely by the WP Reader. Google on its own is less than the WP Reader, although by the end of 2020, Google was sending me more traffic than WP was. Coming in at #3 was Pinterest. Next was Facebook, which is a bit odd since I don’t have a Facebook account, and then came Twitter.
Speaking of Pinterest, I got a bunch of comments on a pin I did related to a post comparing and contrasting social anxiety, shyness, and introversion. Who the hell comments on Pinterest? And I get notifications of people wanting to send me a message on Pinterest—I have no idea how one would even go about doing that. Despite using the platform a lot, I do feel like a bit of a clueless dinosaur.
Top posts & pages
- Identifying emotions: this is an older post, and all of this traffic comes from Pinterest
- my home page
- Free mental health workbooks: this comes from both Pinterest and Google
- my archives
- Are Chakras Real or Pseudoscience?: this exploded on Google in the later part of the year
- A Glossary of Psychiatric Terms: a combination of WP and Google
- Applying Spoon Theory to Mental Illness: traffic from a mix of different places
- Cell Phones on Psych Wards – Yea or Nay?: mostly from Google
- Do Thoughts Vibrate?: a lot from Google
- COVID-19/Mental Health Coping Toolkit: mostly Pinterest, I think
This year has been the year of the Google for my blog. This graph from Google Search Console shows a surge in both clicks and impressions starting in September 2020. I’m not sure exactly what changed at that point in time. I’ve cropped out the actual numbers, because they’re less relevant than the pattern. What looks to be the baseline from this time frame also represents a significant boost from my Google activity before I upgraded to the business plan n 2019 and started doing a lot more SEO work.
The top 5 posts that got traffic from Google in 2020 were about:
- using cell phones on psych wards
- mental health workbooks
- do thoughts vibrate
- book review of The Body Keeps the Score (this surprised me, but I think it’s because Google included a snippet from my post as part of the “People also ask” search result feature)
There’s info on how to set up Google Search Console and other webmaster tools here in case you’re interested. You don’t need a paid WP plan to be able to set this up.
Plans for 2021
I don’t really have any plans other than just keep on going. I care more about the process than outcomes or milestones, plus my capacity to function is sufficiently variable that predicting what I can or can’t do is an exercise in futility. So I’ll keep on doing my thing, and if new ideas come, I’ll explore them as they come up.
Have you taken any time to reflect back on your blogging year? Do you have anything planned for the upcoming year?