A Year in Blogging
I did not manage to maintain my writing schedule this year and have not posted everyday as I would’ve liked. I have produced over two hundred and seventy posts but still feel I could have done more. Blaugust was a welcome burst of enthusiasm that I managed to sustain for September and October, but I lost momentum in the run up to Christmas. At least I know what the root cause is which puts me a step nearer to resolving it. Having written several posts in the past about “writers block” and the other perennial excuse of not having anything to write about, I seem to have squarely fallen into both those traps. At present I find that motivating myself is the key problem. If I haven’t started writing something by midday, then it more than often gets left for the day. If I intend to escape this malaise, then I shall have to establish a far stricter writing schedule for 2019 and endeavour to do my writing first thing in the morning, when I am most focused.
However, despite the reduction in output, I have enjoyed writing this year. I feel that my style and content continues to improve. The Blaugust writing event was a great way to discover several new blogs and it is heartening to see many of the participants are still producing regular posts. However, the ongoing decline of long-form writing is still evident online. Many still see Twitch TV and You Tube as the easiest means to establish an online presence and gain an audience. This is especially true with respect to gaming and its associated fandom. There are good streamers out there that frequently produce quality output, but it seems to become increasingly harder to find them among all the competing white noise. I still maintain that the written word is a subtler and more flexible medium for self-expression and discourse so I’ll continue to advocate for it. Perhaps further planned writing events in 2019 that encourage and nurture potential bloggers, would be beneficial.
It has also been pleasing to see a growth in website traffic over the last twelve months. Contains Moderate Peril seems to be increasing it reach globally as the stats show that a third of the traffic now comes from outside of Europe and the US. Google also brings a lot of readers to the site. The film reviews are a major contributor to this, as they are not as transient as some of the gaming posts. 2018 has once again shown that referrals via social media are not as important as one would surmise, unless you have hundreds of thousands of followers. My tweets promoting new posts do attract some traffic but not as much as a link from a fellow blogger or mainstream website such as Massively Overpowered. The statistical analysis also shows that due to the international nature of its audience, Contains Moderate Peril sees the most traffic between 11:00 PM and 3:00 AM GMT.
The posts that received the most views this year are once again a rather eclectic mix. My thoughts on a proposed Silmarillion movie adaptation that I wrote back in May 2017 proved the most popular. Similarly, my short return to The Elder Scrolls Online led to two posts that have gained substantial traction. Alik’r Desert Dolmen Farming and Levelling and Gear Progression in ESO were the second and third most read posts. The fourth article which continues to garner a regular amount of traffic is a review for a fan edit of the iconic George Romero movie, Dawn of the Dead. As this version is a reconstruction of the original work print it is a subject of interest among movie fans. And the fifth most read blog post of 2018 were my initial thoughts on Update 23 for LOTRO, which I wrote when it became available on the Bullroarer Test Server. In fact, posts about The Lord of the Rings Online tend to gain traction, especially in recent months as the MMORPG has enjoyed a renaissance among both old and new players.
I’d like to thank all those who have continued to support Contains Moderate Peril over the last twelve months by reading posts and linking to my work. As a writer it is rewarding to know that one’s content is enjoyed and well received. 2018 was certainly the year that I made peace with “the death of website comments”. It seems to be something that people no longer feel disposed towards. Feedback usually comes directly from the links I post on social media, so I guess it’s not so much a loss of reader input, but merely a change in the means of providing it. I shall naturally continue to write as often as I can in 2019 and will more than likely motivate myself to ensure that January is at least well represented. I shall also continue my “Thoughts on Blogging” series of posts and continue to encourage others to do so. I also look forward to reading my fellow bloggers content over the year ahead. May they all be prolific.