Doug’s Blog turns two today

The_Sun_Sets_on_Château_de_Chillon

Two years ago I started out on my church website, and five months later – after buying the totally awesome domain name dougsblog.org and teaming up with the Web Designers in Australia for my totally-cool, super-sleek, now somewhat-dated design – I moved to my own site.

Months of surprisingly steady growth later, I reached more than 6,000 “unique visitors” for the first time in April – nearly 6,500 to be exact, without posting at all the last week of the month.

That’s pretty good – better than I expected, to be honest – but then I had no idea when I started where this thing was going.

To put the 6,000 “unique visitors” in perspective, Andrew Sullivan writes one of the most popular blogs in the world today (he’s listed down there on the right side of the page under “favorite blogs”), he has a full-time staff of 4-5, he posts maybe 20 times per day (more if he’s live blogging something like a presidential debate in the U.S.), and he has more than 800,000 “unique visitors” per month. And that was after he put up a pay wall, meaning that you have to pay to have access to all of his content.

Anyone who knows me knows that I set impossibly high standards for myself – like Andrew Sullivan, for example. If I compared myself to “Glen’s real estate blog serving metro Dubuque, Iowa,” I’d look really good. But I’ve never been able to do that. So, look out, Andrew! I’m right on your heels.

Google Analytics continues to tell me more about my readers than I can possibly absorb. Here’s a list of the top 20 cities where my readers come from, but – just so you know – I know more about you than where you come from. I know what device you use to access the site, how long you stay on a page, and where you click to after you leave my site. Frankly, I would be more concerned about Google’s reach right now than the National Security Administration’s, but that’s just me.

  1. Fort Lauderdale, FL
  2. Ann Arbor, MI
  3. Wheaton, IL
  4. Zurich, CH
  5. Stafa, CH
  6. Basel, CH
  7. Chicago, IL
  8. New York City
  9. Plantation, FL
  10. Davie, FL
  11. Dubendorf, CH
  12. Grand Rapids, MI
  13. Pune, India
  14. Glen Ellyn, IL
  15. Sky Lake, FL
  16. Lagos, Nigeria
  17. Pompano Beach, FL
  18. Eau Clair, WI
  19. Coral Springs, FL
  20. Frauenfeld, CH

And just for fun, London ranks 24, Los Angeles 27, and Malaga (Spain) 45. Am not sure who my readers in Nigeria and India are, but I’d like to meet you.

My most-read posts for the last six months or so have been those with spiritual content, but blogging about the move to Switzerland has clearly bumped up the number of readers. And then, being listed on the Expat Bloggers website has also added a few readers I wouldn’t otherwise have reached. So, those are the topics I will continue to focus my attention on – musings about faith, but also comments about this interesting culture where I now live.

I have political opinions, like most people, and occasionally have the urge to express them here. Earlier this week, for example, I wasn’t happy when former U.S. vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin spoke to the annual convention of the National Rifle Association and made a sort of equivalence between torture and the sacrament of baptism.  I vented for about 200 words before deleting what I had written.

I’ll continue to keep my political viewpoints to myself. I’ll leave Sarah Palin to Andrew Sullivan and stick to what I know. Besides, he’s better at outrage than I am.

Thanks for your support. Don’t forget to subscribe (posts are delivered to your inbox within seconds of being posted). And please keep leaving those comments – public and private. I read them all.

Here’s to the terrible twos!

happy-2nd-birthday

About Doug

I have been a writer ever since fifth grade when I won second prize in a “prose and poetry” contest. I am also a Presbyterian pastor, and for several years toward the end of my career I lived and worked in Zürich, Switzerland. I am now retired and live just north of Holland, Michigan, along the lake.

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9 Responses to Doug’s Blog turns two today

  1. Kathy Smith April 30, 2014 at 1:00 am #

    Happy Twosday, Doug!

    • Doug April 30, 2014 at 1:14 am #

      I think you’re up late, or I’m up early. Thanks, anyway!

  2. Sue Brandon April 30, 2014 at 7:51 am #

    Don’t always have time to read them all but I do enjoy your blog Doug. Happy 2 years!

  3. Susan Arch April 30, 2014 at 8:37 am #

    Miss you! Love your blog. Two years went way too fast!

    • Doug May 1, 2014 at 12:08 am #

      Miss you too, Susan. Please say hi to Allan.

  4. karen parkinson April 30, 2014 at 11:52 am #

    Doug,
    Thank you for all the Blogs. My favorite one was the habits Spiritually Healthy people. I try to work hard to make those habits part of my life.
    Karen Parkinson, Glen Ellyn, IL

    • Doug May 1, 2014 at 12:10 am #

      Karen, thanks for the feedback. My interpretation of the Google Analytics data is that people enjoy the Swiss culture observations, but they come to the site for the spiritual reflections. And that’s what got me started! All the best to you. Love reading Ericka’s blog and keeping up with her busy life.

  5. mike April 30, 2014 at 6:01 pm #

    Hey Doug –

    Far be it from me to say that you “missed your calling” but I think- after 2 years of looking over your shoulder – you’re ready for prime time blogging for Entertainment Tonight.

    I’ve got a blog title for you; call it “Dougie Fresh the Blogging Cleric on ET Tonight”. I think E.T. is ready for 21st century, digital evangelism. Well….maybe not. But, 6,500 knocks on your door is not too shabby.

    Congrats!

    • Doug May 1, 2014 at 12:13 am #

      My blogging hero Andrew Sullivan appears regularly on Anderson 360, so maybe the next move for me is TV. Might be a problem with the time difference. But thanks for thinking that I’m ready, Mike!

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