Right, so as of yesterday, Unusual Things has been online for a whole year. You likely knew that. After all, it’s the reason for the big sale I’ve got going on this week. You know, the one where all my books are super cheap?
Yes, that was a shameless plug. It’s my site.
And yes, I know it’s not the only place I post online. Being a Better Writer is, actually, three years old this month. But since I initially ran that on another site before moving over here … semantics!
Anyway, I figured for the fun of it, now that one year has expired, a look back on Unusual Things‘ stats in that time would be amusing and insightful. I’ve got numbers! Let’s look at them! For fun! And maybe some sort of science!
So, where to start? How about with the number of views Unusual Things has landed in its first year of operation? A quick look at the site’s stats board and some simple addition says …
Hey, you know what? That’s not bad. Not bad at all. Ten thousand views, while nothing to those with heavy advertising budgets and ten thousand fans, is pretty good for a one-year blog on writing, a subject not a lot of people care about.
Actually, let’s dig into that one a bit more. What’s been the post with the highest number of views, the one that’s caught the most attention?
I’m Not a Fan of Science-Fiction and Fantasy? from May 30th, 2015, with 741 views.
You might remember that post. That was the post where I reacted to a number of statements from the Insular crowd during last year’s Hugo insanity, statements that, well, in line with their given moniker of “Insulars,” was all about how certain “casual” fans needed to be kept out of the Hugos, suggesting that they weren’t “real” fans of Sci-Fi and Fantasy because they hadn’t passed some invisible, societal conscientious litmus test that made them a “real fan.”
Anyway, it was followed a few months later by a follow-up, Casual Readers Not Welcome, in which GRRM (of Thrones fame) openly supporting the idea that “casual readers,” as he called them, were not welcome at conventions like the Hugo Awards, where only true fans matter.
Anyway, I can’t say I’m surprised by the post’s popularity (nor that of its follow-up, which also appeared on the top list). It’s got controversy, and everyone loves controversy.
Being a Better Writer
But what about something not controversial? What about Being a Better Writer? How’s that fairing? Well, a quick check shows that while they don’t have the draw of GRRM saying crazy, isolationist things, BaBW still does pretty well. Top post?
Reader Comprehension, with 252 views. I’ll admit, this one comes as a bit of a surprise to me. Of all the now hundred+ topics out there, reader comprehension isn’t one I’d expected to be the go-to top post on my site. And yet it is. by a healthy margin.
Which isn’t to say that the rest of the BaBW posts are being left out in the cold. Quite the contrary. In fact, many of them are starting to pick up daily hits from search engines and moving to the top of those lists (several search topics on writing, in fact, list BaBW on the first page of results, which is most likely contributing to those daily hits).
Another fun thing to look at is the nationality of my varied audience. One of the great things about the internet is the global accessibility of information (well, unless you’re in China or using Twitter these days), and it’s fun to see where and when a lot of my audience comes from.
It’s not too surprising that the majority of my views come from the US, seeing as my work spreads mostly by word of mouth, and the US has a very large compliment of people who spend a lot of time online. 7,266 of my views last year came from the United States.
But what about the other 2,500 or so?
Turns out, the United Kingdom grabs a good 500 or so of those. Australia grabs a surprising 200, as do Finland, Germany, and Sweden.
But then we’ve also got some surprising but fun hits, like Brazil, New Zealand, and with about 150 hits, the Philippines!
Rad. Even Egypt, South Africa, and Mozambique stop by from time to time. That’s pretty cool.
Followers and Other Stats
So, a few last numbers to throw out. Since its inception, Unusual Things has picked up 60 followers. Not a titanic number, but still cool nonetheless. It has picked up 148 comments across 177 total posts. The most popular tag is Fun Stuff, followed by Writing Tips. The top three referrers to the site are (in order) Facebook, File 770, and Fimfiction. The most amusing search term that led someone to my site (and granted, most search terms are blocked, so I don’t see many of these) is the question “Why would a writer intentionally misdirect their audience?” I hope they found their answer.
Another Year Ahead
All in all, I think it was a pretty good year, especially for what essentially was a near-zero start. Looking at the numbers for the last few months, this year is going to be in good hands.
So, I need to get back you work, and you need to pick up a copy of Unusual Events if you haven’t already, so we’ve both got work to do!
See you through the rest of this year!