How my blogging went in 2012
For the past two years, I’ve written a short post on how I’ve gone in blogging and tweeting for the past twelve months (read 2010 and 2011). The past twelve months have seen a continued steady increase in my blog readership, although the middle of the year, as with the past two years seem to have been the peak readership times — in part due to events and circumstance.
Comparing my 2011 stats with 2012, there has been a substantial increase month on month. My best month in 2011 was comfortably beaten every month in 2012 except for January and December. In July, I had a record number of visits with a single day accounting for just under a sixth of that month’s total views. I’ve also been helped by some “solid” posts that seem to perform well in search traffic as they bring in a few people almost every day. December, as usual is down due to fewer posts this month.
This year, I think I managed to blog once a week most weeks and often several times. In fact, I had 99 blog posts in 2012, adding to the total of 468 (not including this one).
So, what were my most read posts of 2012?
- Quick Book Review: Hardball – How Politics Is Played Told By One Who Knows The Game by Chris Matthews
- Performance pay for teachers is a terrible idea and here’s why
- Greens Strategy: “Attack the ALP, allow the Liberal vote to be preserved”
- What union members want from their union’s communications
- Twelve well designed non-profit websites
- The term “queue jumping” encourages people smugglers
- Digital campaigning and real world impact
- Three world-class union campaign websites
- Social media infographic: how different age groups interact online
- Gas should be included in carbon price
As in 2011 and 2010, these posts are a fairly diverse bunch. The Hardball review for example seems to rank well in Google, and seems to be a university study text, so there are regular searches that bring people here. Similarly, the teacher performance pay blog post gets a regular run (on twitter and Facebook) whenever some state government proposes merit pay for teachers. Both of these posts were written in 2011.
The Greens “Attack the ALP” post is my most read blog post on a single day. This one post alone made up just under a sixth of an entire month’s viewers. I believe it is also my most commented post, with around 95 comments.
Surprisingly, none of my Obama-related posts made the top ten for 2012 — although the “digital campaigning and real world impact” post, which I wrote for Challenge Magazine, does foreshadow a lot of what I would later write on. This makes the top ten due to a surprising link from none other than Andrew Bolt, who was writing scathingly of Simon Sheik of Get Up fame running with the Greens for an ACT senate spot.
The remainder are “long-tail” posts. For example, I believe the “gas carbon price” post ranks well in some Google image searches. The Social media infographic seems to have caught some attention on Pintrest.
My top referrers for 2012 were:
- Email (my enewsletter)
- Google (e.g. images, reader, feedburner)
- Facebook (mobile)
- Andrew Bolt (!)
Something strange happened this year that did not happen in the past few. My bounce rate has sky-rocketed, from around 3% to an average of 16.3%. This seems to have occurred in the last quarter of the year, possibly around the time that Andrew Bolt linked to my blog. Certainly, the percentage of new visitors (people who have never read my blog before) has also jumped, from 64% last year to 71% this year. The average time on the site has also fallen slightly, from 2:31 minutes to 2:24 minutes.
This year has seen a relatively good growth in twitter followers for me. From 2011 when I started with 510 followers and started 2012 with 775, I am now sitting on 1168 followers.
Apparently, on average I have around 11 tweets per day. I certainly tweet a lot, almost entirely about politics and links to articles. This year I started using an app call Buffer to better space out my tweets rather than bunch them up. Buffer lets you easily schedule updates for Twitter and Facebook. I’ve found it quite useful.
My Klout score is now around 59, which is higher than the previous two years. However, as most people now recognise, Klout and other forms of social influence measurements are basically bunk, especially since they so regularly change the algorithm that you can make no “over time” comparisons.
This year I did nothing special to boost my number of email subscribers. In 2010 and 2011, I made attempts to release e-books for unions and digital campaigning (e.g. on email campaigning, social media, etc). This year however, my steady growth in subscribers reflects the ongoing value of these e-books.
In the image above, I show my list growth from 2010 when I first created my e-newsletter, until now. The red line shows the start of 2012. As you can see, I achieved modest, sustained growth, especially around June.
For a very niche blog, I’m happy with both the number of subscribers and the kinds of people who subscribe, who are a mix of union communicators, elected officials and organisers, and political types of various stripes.
End of year wrap
Looking back at my 2012 blog posts, if there’s a theme, it’s trying to write about campaigning and “marketing for good”. This year I have done a lot, professionally, in the marketing arena — for non-profits and within the labour movement — and also through studying at the Melbourne Business School. I have tried to bring insights from my professional work, and from my study, to bear for the use of unions and progressive causes. Similarly, from September to November almost all of my blogging was about my work with the Obama for America campaign. This was definitely a highlight for the year, but I should also mention my trip in February to the Global Zero conference at Yale, which opened my eyes (wider) to the absolute dangers that nuclear weapons have for all life on earth. 2012 was also the year where I made some important political choices about my time and activism, and decided to join and be active with The Wilderness Society.
But, by and large, the year’s blogging was taken up by Obama, politics and campaigning.