2019 – By the Numbers (Part 2)
Social Media Year in Review
Last week I wrote what is essentially the “first half” of an overview of last year. I may still write a “top ten” list of the most read posts from last year, but while last week’s post was mostly about the church, this week’s is more personal. While I did include some blog statistics in last week’s post, it was only those that related to the weekly posts of the Sunday sermon and, although that is probably the bright spot of this report as well, this post will cover more ground than that.
First, and most strangely, my old blog on Blogger, which I no longer maintain, and which I have clearly labelled as having moved to my new address on WordPress, still gets regular traffic. It seems that, at some point, I might be forced to either edit every single post with a note about moving or delete that account entirely. In any case, even though no new content has been posted there in almost four years, it still had considerably more traffic (5814 views) than my new one (3994 views). This is both humbling, and an illustration of how well Google can push traffic toward its own properties.
Obviously, the traffic on my blog is pitifully small, especially when you read that you can begin to “monetize” your webpage or blog once you reach a benchmark of something like 10,000 visitors per month. Even so, while the number of visitors to my old page is about half of what it was the year before, the number visitors to the new page nearly doubled. Specifically, there was an 85 percent increase in visitors from 2018 to 2019 which was only slightly better than the 84 percent increase that we saw from 2017 to 2018. So, while traffic to this blog is still small, its growth has almost doubled in each of the last two years. And that, is both encouraging and humbling.
Some of that growth is reflected in the increase in subscribers. At the beginning of 2019, 70 people subscribed to my blog on WordPress, and at the end of 2019 that number increased to 120. Separate from that group, there are also two lists of folks who subscribe to blog notifications. The first receives each week’s Sunday sermon, in its entirety, by email. That list grew from 141 to 213. The second list receives email notifications every time that I post a blog (like this one) that is not a Sunday sermon. That email is usually just a notification that there is a new post and includes a link to that post. Less impressively, his second subscription list increased from 18 to 24. I’m not sure which of these is “cause” and which is “effect.” Did increasing blog traffic drive increased subscriptions, or vice-versa, or did they feed one another?
On Facebook, I have, so far, resisted the call to create a new profile and separate my “public” and my “private” or “personal” life, but I do try to be careful not to accept too many friend requests from total strangers. As of now, I have 812 Facebook “friends”, but I have no idea how much that might have grown since last year. Neither do I track the growth of my network on LinkedIn, but again I do try, somewhat, to limit that platform to people that I’ve met in person. Theoretically, Twitter should be the place where I gather “fans” that I haven’t met, but I probably don’t expend enough effort or focus there, so over the course of the year my follower count dropped from 389 to 371. The number of people who subscribe to paper copies via snail mail decreased from 7 to 5, and although we haven’t been able to get into a routine of getting videos posted, a few things did and the number of people subscribing to my YouTube channel somehow managed to increase from 3 to 7.
Again, even though what I do online is not anything close to my “main” ministry, we are reaching people through this medium and the results are encouraging. I hope that your New Year is a bright one.
For all of you you’ve been here all year, and for those of you who are new this year, thank you. Feel free to comment below and let me know how these messages might have helped you this year, or what topics you might like to see addressed in 2020. As usual, I’m sure there will be more ideas than time, but even if I don’t get to yours, your suggestions and comments are always welcome.
To read the first installment of this year-end review, click here: 2019 By the Numbers (Part 1).
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