I was considering doing a wrap up post for 2012, getting my thoughts down, not about comics for once but about blogging. Inspired by fascinating posts on Longbox Graveyard and Mars Will Send No More on the actual nuts and bolts of their blogging practices I thought I would do something similar.
I started the blog to practice my writing, to dig down and examine what it is I enjoy about comics so much, and hopefully help promote some of the amazing comic books that are out there. I am not really about generating hits per se but I won’t say they aren’t appreciated. I was planning on digging into the years stats and using them in this post.
But then the WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for my blog and saved me the trouble of sifting through my own numbers.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 5 years to get that many views.
Statistics: I have no idea how people climbing Everest is of any relevance to Joe Blogs Comics but thanks for the statistical analysis WordPress.
And now to celebrate the apparent popularity of Iron Fist here he is kicking a Hydra goon through a train.
Most popular posts: Iron Fist getting the most hits is a happy surprise (and for those of you who like comics of the facekicking variety you should really be checking out Infinite Kung Fu) especially since he doesn’t have his own ongoing title. Batman coming second is understandable but Locke and Key and then Elephantmen ranking so high is a delight. What does sadden me is that the excellent Northlanders by writing superstar Brian Wood got so little love and Wasteland only got a bit more. I blame my poor reviewing and lack of SEO knowledge rather than the books themselves.
Search Engine Optimisation: I know very little of optimising my blog for search engines but I do tag all my posts and images and push each weeks post out through Twitter. I also joined the Graphic Novels Challenge which was fun and pushed a few readers my way, (big thanks to Nicola for keeping the show running over there).
My Avengers post didn’t get too many hits after the movie came out. I should have put up more pictures of Thor smashing stuff.
Comments: Something I would like to get more of in 2013. Wwayne was my best commenter and he has a great blog which with the help of the all-knowing Google I can translate from Italian.
And here to break the monotony of statistical analysis here’s Batman kicking a dude in the face. WHAK!
Search Terms: My favourite nuggets amongst the stats are the different search terms that have led people to the blog. “Superhero Beefcake” might be related to “Green Arrow having sex” but not to anything I wrote about. “Rain-soaked fedora” is something I actually did write but sadly not “Bruce Lee jumps over a bus.”
The Reviews: I still haven’t produced a review that I’m completely happy with. I tend to re-read the book, take a few notes, scour the Internet for the right art and then beat my face against the keyboard until some semi-coherent words come out. When my face can’t take it any more I press publish. That’s what it feels like anyway.
I try to focus on the art as much as possible and to explain what about it I find appealing. This is tough, you can only get away with saying ‘the art is awesome’ for so long.
Goals for 2013:
- More posts, more regularly. I published 27 posts in 2012, the goal is 52 this year. Ideally I would post twice a week, but until I can get on a regular weekly schedule that is too high a hurdle.
- Interact with other blogs more and hopefully engage with more people here on the blog.
- Greater variety. There are a ton of great comics that I have not been able to review yet. Most due to time but some that I hold in such high regard that I don’t feel my words can do them justice. Also all the books I’ve written about have featured guys as the leads. Time to break the dude exclusive with a look at Batwoman, Wonderwoman or the arse-kicking brutality of Glory.
- Quarterly updates. I have enjoyed looking over how the blog has gone so far and plan on doing it again at the end of March.
- Write better. The only one that really matters. Keep practising, and hopefully consistency will lead into better reviews. I want to examine plot and character more this year while expanding my focus (and hopefully vocabulary) on the art.
Many thanks to everyone for reading and feel free to leave any comments on how you think I can improve things. All the best for a wicked 2013!
Next Time: Some actual comics. Warren Ellis, a bunch of amazing artists and the Secret Avengers.