Monday, 17 April 2017

St Andrews Wargaming- Two Years On

Last week, the blog turned two years old. Once again, a big thanks to everyone who takes the time to read, comment and contribute to make St Andrews Wargaming what it had become. I thought I would once again take a look at some of the interesting figures from the blog over the past year and give some of my own thoughts on how it is going. 

For those that are interested, you can check out the interesting figures from last year, along with my thoughts on blogging for my first year. 

Blog Figures
We will start off with viewing figures, because as I have said previously, I am a vain, vain man. Sorry if this seems a big egotistical for anyone, I just thought it might be of interest for those that read the blog or for those just starting with their own hobby blogs.

At the time of writing, the blog is about to hit 412,000 views. After my first year, I was sitting at around 120,000 views, so getting almost 300,000 views in a single year is mind blowing to me. 
I think a lot of this has been down to the sheer number of 40k releases that have occurred in the past year and my reviews of those releases. Codex and supplement reviews remain amongst the most popular articles on the blog and among the most popular Google searches that bring in traffic. 

A break down of the figures each month are shown below:

Looking at the graph, October 2016, December 2016 and January 2017 were amongst the most popular months for the blog. 
October saw my reviews for the new Genestealer Cults codex go up on the blog. This was a hugely popular release and saw a lot of traffic come in as people were keen to read more about this highly unusual army. December was the most popular month by far, bringing in almost 38,000 views. This is surprising, as it did not feature any codex reviews. It did feature a lot of Deathwatch hobby postings and battle reports. As a relatively new army, I guess a lot of people were looking for Deathwatch stuff. January also saw more Deathwatch posts, as well as the Fall of Cadia review. 


Looking at the number of views for number of posts:
  • April 2015-March 2016 saw 122,567 views for 179 posts, giving an average of 685 views per post. 
  • April 2016-March 2017 saw 289.291 views for 255 posts, giving an average of 1134 views per post. 
As you can see, average readership per post has almost doubled in my second year. I think one of the reasons for this is that I have been more active on social media promoting the blog. I frequently post links on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Reddit to try and bring in readers. Also, I hope that my writing for Frontline Gaming has also helped to bring more readers to the blog. 


As you can see above, google brings in the most traffic, with Reddit being a close second. Other sites include the awesome Faeit212, as well as the various facebook groups that I am a member of. 

Again, this is not to sound egotistical, but hopefully shows those of you starting out to not be disheartened with your own viewing figures. For a long time, I spent a lot of effort growing and promoting the blog (I still do!) and it took me over 9 months to break 10,000 views in a single month. There are still blogs that I read on a regular basis that pull in way higher numbers and give me something to aspire to. 

Blog Posts
In the last 12 months, I have posted 260 times on the blog. Add that to the 76 unique articles that I have written for Frontline Gaming, and that is almost a post every single day. 

How I have managed that, I have no idea! It doesn't seem like I am constantly working on the blog, and it honestly hasn't started to feel like a chore to keep new content coming, as well as working on my own projects. In fact, I have really missed not playing games and writing posts over the past few weeks as I have been recovering from my broken wrist. 

I think one of my best achievements from the last year has been the introduction of the Better Know a Blogger series. The first post in this series was on 4th April last year, so this articles series has also just turned a year old. 
As I said in that first post, the series was inspired by Rob at 30Kplus40K, who started doing his own series on Blog Recomendations that I was fortunate enough to feature on. 

What I love about this series is that it gives me an opportunity to find out more about the bloggers whose work I love to read- how they got started in the hobby, what they do in their real life, why they incorrectly thing that Coke is better than Pepsi. One of the best things that I can read in the comments of each article is that the series has helped someone find a great new blog that they have not discovered before. There are so many great gaming blogs out there that even I have only seen a fraction of. I am always on the lookout for new blogs to feature, so if you have a gaming blog or think that there are any glaring omissions that I have not featured yet, get in touch (corrm83@gmail.com).

While we are on the subject, I want to give a shout out to other great blogs out there that help promote different blogs and bring the community together:
  • Faeit 212 is the place for THE blog network (at least, in my opinion). This is where I stumble across the vast majority of the blog that I currently follow. If you have a blog and you are not currently on the blog network, do yourself a favour and join. 
  • Joe at Broken Paintbrush is a huge proponent of encouraging the blogging community. His regular Good Reads articles are brilliant for pulling together some fantastic blog posts that you may not have seen. 
  • Nick (the Burning Eye) has his own Spotlight on Blogging series that also highlights some of the great blogs you should be reading. 
  • Some bloggers run some great month-long hobby challenges. These are great for pushing you to finish a project and find great new blogs to read. Some of these include Dreadtober (run by Joe and Greg), Squaduary (recently run by Rory) and Monster March (run by Swordmaster). 
Another series of articles that I was quite happy with were the Army Review series that I did for Frontline Gaming. These are a series of spoof articles that take a tongue in cheek look at various competitive army builds in 7th edition 40k. You can find links to the articles in the Frontline Gaming Articles tab if you want to check them out. 

Search Terms
Occasionally, I get some unusual search terms appearing in the stats section of the blog. Some of the more unusual ones for this year were:
  • "Some points about wars makes scars"- I can see how they got to the blog using these words, but have no idea what they were after. 
  • "monkey 47 distillers cut 2016"- I have no idea. 
  • "major dundee wargame"
  • "codex of death recenzije"
  • "warhammer sigmar too much zombie"- I hate too much zombie. 
  • "sunday supllement 05/02/17"
  • "content"- I don't want to boast, but I have a ton of content. Some of the best content you could want, really, the greatest content. 
Referring Websites
Along with some unusual search terms, I also occasionally get links from some unusual websites. Not unusual in what is on the site, I'm sure they would think a blog about toy wargames is weird, but in how readers possible got referred from them in the first place. 
  • http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/ - An international catholic blog. 
  • bespoke shoes unlaced- a shoemaker's blog 
  • chevy truck world
  • http://eoccs-girlscouts.blogspot.co.uk/
  • https://epicfireworks.com/
  • http://www.sweatonceaday.com/ - not as creepy a site as the title makes it sound. 
  • find1friend.com - I love the idea of a website that only lets you find a single friend. To be honest, that is enough. Any more would just be greedy. 
  • http://accessoryangels.blogspot.co.uk/ - maybe I am missing a trick here. Maybe what my regular readers are craving is more fashion and beauty advice from me. 
  • http://windgeneratorstoday.com/ - I know I can talk a lot of crap, but this seems harsh, even for me. 
  • https://corpgov.law.harvard.edu/
  • http://www.extrapetite.com/ - Get your minds out of the gutters. It happens to be a very nice Boston style blog. 
  • http://asaltysweetlife.blogspot.co.uk/ - again, no, not dirty!
  • Avocados love hydroponics- for all your avocado news. Also, a surprising amount of cannibis growing content. 
I can't wait to see what next years batch of websites will bring. 

Other Thoughts
Ads on the Blog
I did a very short trial period of having ads on the blog. Very short, I think I lasted less than a month. In that time, I think the ad clicks made about £4 overall. I decided not to bother with them. I know it is essentially money for free, but honestly, it was starting to annoy me when I used the mobile site, so decided to get rid of them. 

Tournaments
In the last year, I have attended 5 tournaments for 40k. 

This year certainly saw my best results for tournament games. In April last year, I managed to place second at Stronghold V in Glasgow. I also managed to secure 1st place at Birthday Bash back in February. This was great for me, as it was an all maelstrom tournament, which is my favourite way to play 40k and one that I think that I can play pretty well. It was also the first tournament outing for my new Deathwatch army. 

Overall
I think it has been a fantastic second year for St Andrews Wargaming. I've continued with my battle reports, augmenting my White Scars and Ravenwing reports with the new Deathwatch, I've also been posting a lot of hobby content, with my Deathwatch being a firm focus in the second half of the year, but also managing to finish off my White Scars army in the first half of the year. 

The plethora of Games Workshop releases and my subsequent reviews have seemed to bring in a number of new readers, which should hopefully continue with the blistering release schedule that GW are currently engaged with. These are exciting times for 40k with the seemingly imminent release of 8th edition and the great Gathering Storm series continuing. 

I hope you have enjoyed the past year on the blog and continue to do so in the coming years. If you have any suggestions for the blog in the coming year or have any questions you would like answered, please comment below. 

18 comments:

  1. Ha ha, a lot of hot air - lmao. Good growing stats for a blog so young. Those figures surpass WeeMen, but then again, I learnt long ago to blog what I want and not chase hits as it drives me to distraction, not that you are. I think you get the hits because you target content that people want which is admirable, well done and keep going mate.

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  2. Some of the referral sites and key word searches in stats makes no sense at all. I've often wondered how they compile them - there must be a glitch in the matrix.

    Well done again on the anniversary and getting your stats up. Theres no way i could devote as much time to a blog as this. Posting everyday, and gaming, and keeping on top of the hobby aspect - thats a full time job!

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    1. I think Referral Sites can just be whatever they had open in that tab before they came to this site. The searches, tho, I just don't know. Like how the webcomic Mac Hall used to get a bunch of traffic from searches for Digimon Porn.

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    2. Thanks Muppet. It sometimes feels like a job, but one that I do enjoy!

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  3. Congrats on the success, hopefully things keep going up and up for you! Its nice to see all the effort your putting in is getting good results.

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  4. Congrats on another wonderful year of blogging! Keep up the good work!

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  5. That's some awesome growth Mike! And some funny search hits 😀
    Thanks for the shout-out, it's fun being a part of this community. Keep up the good work and I look forward to even more awesome posts from you over the next two years!

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    1. Cheers Joe. I'm actually looking forward to returning to regular blogging and gaming once my arm heals.

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  6. Very glad you are blogging away. I have been a fan since I found ye.

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  7. I like the search terms. Thanks for the stats. Some of my more popular posts over the last year has been reviews on Codex Genestealer Cults and Imperial Agents.

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    1. Yeah, reviews always pull in the big numbers.

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  8. Happy birthday and thanks for all the good articles.

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