Freestyle Friday: I See You!

I can’t believe that a year has gone by since I started writing at this site. It’s really flown by. I was supposed to be writing more than just Freestyle Friday. I intended to write something more serious at least once a week, and then Friday was going to be a post with me just writing whatever was on my mind that morning. The midweek posts have, unfortunately, been crowded out, but I’ve never regretted waking up at 4:30 on Friday mornings to come sit at the breakfast counter and write in this space.

Dave Ramsey made a comment on his radio show last week that the internet is full of bloggers writing because they think they know something that other people don’t. I’m not sure that I fit his definition of a blogger. I don’t know that I know anything that you don’t know. I just like for you to know that you’re not alone when you yell at your kids for not wanting to practice a sport that they said they wanted to play.  And you’re not alone when you’re sad when that child gets on the bus for another year of school.

The truth is – and I’ve said this before – I’d write whether anyone else read it or not, but it’s a lot more fun to have you here with me.

Since we’ve reached this milestone, I thought that it would be fun to take a look at Google Analytics and see what it tells us about this site.

First, let’s look at how you guys get to the site.

Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 6.52.09 PMOver 75% of you get here via some form of social media.  Of those of you that get here via some form of social media, 77% of you visit by way of Facebook. That means that over 58% of my total readers come from Facebook. That’s incredible!

Coming in a distant second on the social media list is Twitter, which generates about 22% of the social media traffic (17% overall). Disqus, which honestly I know nothing about, comes in third. The percentage of traffic is insignificant, but what’s funny if that Disqus generated more site traffic that Google+ and Pinterest combined.

Okay, so chances are that you got here this morning by way of Facebook. Google also says that over 70% of you are reading this on some type of mobile device. Only 29% of you are reading this on a good old-fashion desktop (or laptop) computer. Of the 70% of you that are reading on some type of smart phone or tablet, there’s a 62% chance that you’re using an iPhone and a 27% chance that you’re using an iPad. 89% of the mobile readers use one of those two Apple devices. That’s astounding!

It also, maybe, explains why ad revenue is still in single digits. The ads appear best on desktop monitors. In fact, unless you scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on your iPhone, you probably don’t even see the ads. I’ll have to think about that. I write and preview on a laptop, so I see all the great offerings from Amazon. I rarely look at the site on an iPhone because, honestly, I’m still not happy with the site theme, and I think it looks even worse on a mobile device. If I don’t look at it on an iPhone, then I’m not reminded of how bad it looks. Apparently a lot of you look at it on an iPhone, so I suppose I should do something to clean up that delivery method.

Okay, you’re getting here via Facebook on some type of Apple device. What are you reading? The five posts that received the most traffic were:

The Kiffin Hire: I Like It!
(the only non-Freestyle Friday post on the list, and the only post shared extensively on Facebook)
It’s Real and It’s Spectacular
(the diamond ring story)
Why You Need To Find a Small Group
Grateful Expectations
Your Response, Or Else!
(It concerns me a little that this one garnered so much attention)

Those posts were really the exceptions. The Kiffin post received about 10 times the traffic of an average post, primarily because it was shared on Facebook by a childhood friend who has about 436,896 Facebook friends. Thanks Craig!

I know the readership isn’t huge, but traffic has steadily increased over the past year. Average views have about quintupled since the fall of 2013. The early posts – some of the better ones in my opinion – struggled to break double-digit visit counts. My favorite posts that received little traffic:

I’m Only Introverted On The Outside
(I know! But it was right after I started this site.)
Start Already!
Angels In The Outfield and, Maybe, In Chick-fil-A Too
The 6-Minute Mile
Be Strong and Courageous!

Okay, so you get here via Facebook on your Apple device and you don’t click on ads because you never see them and you’re either a big ol’ Bama fan or a big ol’ fan of the #HUNHBOOMKAAAABOOM. Now, for the last little piece of Big Brother analytics.

Less than half of you live in the Birmingham metro. That percentage may be a little low because Google was unable to determine the location of approximately 18% of the visitors, but I expected 90% or more of the visits to be from in and around Birmingham. About 8% of the visits come from the Atlanta area, and then it’s around 2% for the other metros across the country and Brazil (yeah, I don’t know).

In all, the site has seen visitors from 410 different cities in 40 different countries. From South Africa to Japan, Australia to Switzerland, and Uganda to Jamaica. Were some of those people looking for reggae star King Jammy? Nope. Not a misstep in the bunch!

So, that’s pretty interesting. It’s been a fun year, and I hope that you’ve enjoyed it also. I’ve got a couple more years on the domain registration and site hosting, so I’ll keep working to try an make this something that you can be proud to say that you read.

Thanks again for stopping by. Go be kind – if you miss, it won’t be by much.