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.
- Fort Lauderdale, FL
- Ann Arbor, MI
- Wheaton, IL
- Zurich, CH
- Stafa, CH
- Basel, CH
- Chicago, IL
- New York City
- Plantation, FL
- Davie, FL
- Dubendorf, CH
- Grand Rapids, MI
- Pune, India
- Glen Ellyn, IL
- Sky Lake, FL
- Lagos, Nigeria
- Pompano Beach, FL
- Eau Clair, WI
- Coral Springs, FL
- 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.
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Here’s to the terrible twos!