Archive for December, 2019


2019 blog statistics

December 31, 2019

In January 2019, this blog hit 13 million views then 14 million some months ago, and had just over 14.5 million views by 31 Dec 2019 (30 Dec US time when I wrote this). This is the total since I started blogging very late in 2007. Some 1.56 million views occurred just in 2019 (about 300,000 less than in 2018). These figures don’t include any visits I made to my own blog (yes, I use my own blog for stuff I can’t remember—I consider it my memory bank).

I only wrote 60 blog posts in 2019, so many of these visits were to posts I’ve written in previous years. I’ve written 1860 posts since 2008, with an average word count per post of 540.

Despite those large numbers of views, only about 740 people subscribe to this blog (you can subscribe by clicking the ‘Sign me up!’ button on the right sidebar and entering your email address to receive an email alert each time I post a new article), and I have 915 Twitter followers for @cybertext. From these figures, I have to assume most readers are ‘hit and run’ readers — those who have a problem with Word or whatever, find one of my posts via Google etc., read the post, get what they came for (or not), and leave without checking out anything else.

Where do these readers come from? Not surprisingly, because this is an English language blog, most of my visitors are from English-speaking countries, with a heavy dominance from the US (>566,000), followed by the UK, India, Australia, and Canada (all between 100,000 and 170,000). (Data and map is from WordPress-generated statistics, and based on all years they have been recording this information, not necessarily since 2008.)

Frequency map of countries and the readers from them

Below are some graphs and tables for the 2019 statistics for this blog, as well as some comparative ones for ‘all time’ (‘all time’ is actually 2008 to 2019 — I started this blog very late in 2007, but didn’t really start posting until January 2008, so the 2007 statistics are too low to be significant).

Total views by month/year

Table of total view by months and years, with totals for each year (rows) and month (columns), and a grand total

Total views for all years from 2008 to 2019, charted as a bar graph with each year represented by a bar

Average daily views

Bar graph of average number of view per day for all years from 2008 to 2019

The average views per day decreased in 2019 (4280 per day) compared to 2018 (5164 per day). The graphs above and below are for the full seven days per week, though most views occur during the five business days of the working week, probably reflecting the need to find answers to Word questions and the like when people are stuck with a problem at work. Weekends and major public holidays (particularly in the US) see a noticeable drop in views, as does the December/January holiday period and the northern hemisphere summer (July).

Bar graph of the average view per day, by month, for 2019

Top 20 posts

List of 20 most-viewed posts of all time compared to the 20 most-viewed posts in 2019. 14 posts are listed in both columns (all time, and 2019)

Some posts are just more popular than others! Those highlighted in blue appear in both lists — the top 20 posts of all time (2008–2019) on the left, and 2019-only on the right. Those without highlighting only appear in one of the top 20 lists. The numbers to the right of each title are the number of total views for that post in the time period.

Long tail

As expected, there’s a significant ‘long tail’ for this blog’s views. The top 20 posts (each has more than 21,000 views) in 2019 garnered the most views, with the top 6 clearly ahead of the others (>50,000 views). Everything else was a poor cousin to these top posts.

Line graph of the top 20 posts for 2019 (based on number of times viewed)

When I extracted out the views just for the top posts for 2008–2019 (using 50,000 views as the lower limit), the long tail was very evident. The top 10 posts for all time garnered the most views, with posts 10 to 69 tailing off and flattening out. Remember, I’ve written some 1860 posts, and this graph only represents the 69 posts that have had more than 50,000 views since 2008—most posts have far fewer than that and aren’t represented in this graph. (For perspective, the least-viewed posts have had about 850 views, while the single most-viewed post has had nearly 900,000 views.)

Line graph showing the number of views received by the top 69 posts (all those with more than 50,000 views between 2008 and 2019)

So, there you have it. Twelve years of blogging, 1860 blog posts published, and almost 14.5 million views (with 1.56 million of those in the past 12 months).

I guess I must be doing something right, even though the monetary return is close to zero. I pay an annual fee to WordPress to NOT show advertisements on this blog (I wouldn’t get any return from these even if I allowed them), and I refuse to try to ‘monetize’ my blog posts by hosting them elsewhere and running ads—I don’t like ads cluttering up and getting in the way of good content and potentially trapping readers into clicking on them, and I suspect my readers don’t like them either. Instead of ads, I have an option for readers to donate to this blog’s expenses if anything I’ve written has got them out of a bind, saved them time (and therefore money), or helped them be more efficient. In 2019 I received perhaps the equivalent of one week’s worth of groceries in donations… I use that money to pay my annual bill to WordPress to keep this blog free of ads and to have the convenience of adjusting the style (CSS) of this blog.

As for 2020, I’ll continue to write posts sporadically—I still have a day job that I’m committed to, and paid work always comes before unpaid work.

See also:

[Links last checked December 2019]


And my work here is done!

December 11, 2019

One of the environmental scientist authors I work with emailed me this earlier this week:

I’m reading the book ‘Sapiens’. It is written by a scientist and littered with ‘in order to’. Great book but I feel like putting a pen through the unnecessary words. You’ve ruined it for me :-)

My work here is done!