My blog sucks. WordPress made me well aware of this fact when they sent out the Your 2012 in Blogging email. Like a dog getting spanked with a newspaper after shitting on the floor only to then have his nose rubbed in the shit like he didn’t know why his ass just got beat (he knew), I was reminded how abysmal my readership is.
I had 7,700 hits in the past year across 77 postings. That’s averaging 100 hits per post and 21 hits per day. Now let’s factor out my most popular post, Road Food – Neato Burrito, which garnered 654 hits and far surpasses my second, third and fourth most popular posts by about 400 hits. The average hit per post drops to 90 and hits per day drops to 19. If I further deduct hits to my home page, which come from unlucky schmucks accidentally clicking on the wrong link, my family proudly looking on, or me manically admiring my site multiple times per day, the averages spiral further downward – 66 hits per post and 14 hits per day.
The statistics only become bleaker from there. I am failing to drive audience participation with comments. Since the blog started, 193 comments have been registered. 72 of those comments were replies from me leaving 121 comments across 112 posts. That’s 1.08 comments per post. My first and second largest commenter is my neighbor Dee. Number 3 for comments is my father (At least he’s proud of me). As for followers, WordPress may list 669 but that is a farce and they know it. 62 of those in the calculation are Twitter followers and 468 are Facebook friends. I have 139 actual faithful followers of my blog – not enough to win the attention of publishers.
Like an obedient dog, I learn from my mistakes. Admittedly, I started this blog with very little focus and competing goals. Sure, I had the precepts of Food, Travel, and Drink. But those are broad topics providing a multitude of directions. I posted on vacations, cooking experiments, drink recipes, meal recipes, beer reviews, wine reviews, and restaurant reviews. Each topic has the ability to grab readers, but when combined, the variety doesn’t keep them coming back. Instead of cowering in the corner with my tail between my legs, The Wandering Gourmand deserves a refresh for 2013. Much like my friend Leslie over at Bucket List Productions, I work best with goals. Here are The Wandering Gourmand’s goals for 2013:
- Increased Followers – I want to see my “real” followers grow from 139 to a stretch goal of (gasp!) 10,000… I think this is possible with perhaps a larger embrace of social media and more conversation with my readers.
- Better Visual Appeal – The Blogrum theme does nothing for my blog. It’s ugly, hard to read, and difficult to maneuver. This post will accompany the beginning of a new look. I sought a theme that was simple and focused attention on my content. The coming year will also witness the addition of a logo and better photos (I see a DSLR camera in my future).
- Refocused Content – I plan to move my focus from Quantity to Quality. No more wine or beer reviews!!! Who gives a flip what I think anyway, right? From here on out, all posting will tell a story around food, drink, and travel. And not all posts may come from me either. Look for more guest bloggers like the one I had on Summer Olympics London 2012.
Here’s to a prosperous 2013 for all!