May by the Numbers

Once upon a time, this blog was just a place to direct potential editors to see a fairly recent example of my writing. If I posted monthly, it seemed like enough. Over time, I built up a few followers anyway (thanks!) and began to enjoy the occasions when something I wrote sparked someone’s interest. As I contemplated the shift to freelancing full-time, I began to research potential income streams and avenues of writerly activity, and discovered a whole world of people who live off their blogs. Some of them are delightful and I read them every day. Many of them are awful, and I can’t imagine how gaming the SEO system to drive unsuspecting browsers to these ugly, ad-laden, content-sparse pages could benefit anyone.

I still think of this blog as a place to explore ideas without an assignment and introduce myself to potential editors, but since quitting my day job, my blog stats have begun to take on a new urgency.

Most popular posts in May:

1. Finding the PATH

I am so excited that one of the first posts I’ve written about a serious issue not related to the arts was my top post for the month. I know from my friend who works at PATH that the post was included in their weekly media roundup, and any communications staff who worked on that event or on any of the projects mentioned in the blog would immediately click through and probably share in some way, which basically guarantees a top post for a blog as small as this one, where there are still days that the whole site receives fewer than 10 views. I don’t care, I am excited anyway.

2. Tales of Hoffmann

My review of Seattle Opera’s Tales of Hoffmann was the second most read post of the month, and this makes me happy, too. Opera is more niche than most of the music I write about, and it’s fans tend to like reading about it on paper (I generalize, but the cutoff for the Seattle Opera’s youth membership is 40 years old). So I consider this a win. Now that I don’t have a steady salary to pay for season tickets (the last year I’m eligible for the youth rate, too!) maybe I can build up enough of a following to legitimately request press tickets. Yeah, probably not, but … call me.

3. Stalking Asgeir Trausti

Sigh. At least I’m not still mostly known for the Great Panty Caper promo.

4. Children’s Book Coincidence

Another post from the heart that extended a bit outside my usual reviewer wheelhouse. And no media professionals to explain its success. Yay!

Another thing that pleases me is having 3 out of 4 top posts be current. It’s nice to be actively growing and not just coasting on the successes of a music festival in 2012.

Most Common Searches in May:

1. asgeir [trausti] girlfriend
Yes, the top search was for the girlfriend of the artist formerly known as Asgeir Trausti. The next most common search was for the girlfriend of the artist currently known as Asgeir. One of them even used Google Translate Portuguese to find the answer.

2. gemma alexander blog

Yay!

3. evaporation in solution image

Clearly because of this, and whatever their purpose was, I hope they liked Ruri’s art as much as I did.

4. actress gemma alexander

Pretty sure they meant to search for Gemma Arterton. So I’m in good company at least.

Most Interesting Searches in May:

  • India Stench – Obviously this brought them here. For the record, I’m pretty sure the specific smell they had in mind was humanure.
  • sabbath-keeping in Iceland – Sorry to disappoint.
  • turandot and existentialism – Yay! Opera again. Now about those tickets…
  • adult choose your own adventure sex – “choose your own adventure sex” and variations thereof are always among the top searches that lead here because I’ve written so much about Tawna Fenske’s Getting Dumped e-book series (which for the record are actually romantic comedies, and not erotica [not that there’s anything wrong with that] but I used “sex” in the title and it worked). I included this particular search in my “most interesting” list because the felt the need to specify “adult.” As opposed to “kids’ choose your own adventure sex”? Oh god, I hope I didn’t just SEO for that search term.

May Visitors:

Readers were overwhelmingly American in May, with over 517 views. Canada was a distant second with perhaps some of my new friends from Iceland Writers Retreat stopping by. The UK and Switzerland were nearly a tie for third, with Iceland dropping down to the fourth highest readership. Readers from over a dozen other countries stopped by once or twice, with some representation from the Southern hemisphere. It’s odd to think of someone in Australia or Brazil reading about the final opera performance of the season as they head into autumn. I wonder if opera singers fly south for the summer?

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