A little more than two years ago I posed a question to my friends on Facebook. I stated that I planned to begin a writing project online via a wordpress blog. What should I call it? Quickly the folks who responded rallied around a particular name. I provided a suitable photo befitting an alleged writer who had just escaped the newspaper business relatively unscathed. And the logo and name looked like this:
Now as I head to year three on this journey down Madison’s Avenue, this is still the way it appears to those who decide to take the plunge and read, despite their better judgment. When I updated the progress of this site last year on the Jan. 8 anniversary of its birth, I called it “Entering the terrible twos.” It appears that I have survived it. This site is still not widely followed and the interest in it remains hit or miss — note to self, write more about Elon Musk and less about open government — but once again I am encouraged enough to keep going.
Even if I have no idea what the destination might be.
When I began this venture, one that is free of charge by the way, it was as I began a new career as a development writer at Elon University. I hoped this site would provide a place to exercise writing that is more in my voice to possibly stay in shape for other writing projects that might earn a few extra dollars. I wanted to remain sharp just in case I do decide to, well, write a book perhaps. I’ll get more into this subject later. But I also wanted to reach a few readers. If I received no feedback or growth, then I would abandon it.
The first year, 2017, I was encouraged. This site generated 33,000 page views and more than 24,000 unique viewers. In 2018 I showed some growth, going to more than 36,000 page views and 25,000 unique viewers. The gains came via fewer posts. In 2017 I had 153 posts but just 111 in 2018. Obviously less can certainly be more.
The most popular post of 2018 was the one about Elon Musk’s April Fool’s Day joke via Twitter in which he also wore an Elon University T-shirt. The least popular was about Sunshine Week, a time set aside to celebrate open government — a time that also coincides with the birthday of founding father James Madison. The most popular post all time on my site is about current (2018) basketball player Luke Maye and his father. It was written in 2017 and still gets traffic. Another post from 2017 about the late Jerome Evans, a former coach at Williams High School in Burlington, N.C., and one of the first black coaches at a newly integrated high school in the South, probably get the most consistent traffic, owing I think to the mention of the Denzel Washington film, “Remember the Titans.”
The following screen shots from my analytics page lists some of the top posts from 2018 and all time.
Again, the numbers aren’t great but also not too bad for a small town retired newspaper writer. So I’ll press on for another year. I hope to keep readers entertained, informed and occasionally somewhat irritated. And always, I’m thankful for all who take the time to click on the link. I appreciate it.