The Year in Review for 2016

Well, it’s that time where I throw my hat in the ring of blogs doing a year in review. I do enjoy doing these every year, but I realize it’s not all that exciting for readers. Hopefully it won’t bore you too much :)

The Numbers

Let’s start with the numbers, and compare this year to last year.

In 2016 we published 165 articles, which isn’t bad at all. In 2015 we created 150 articles, so it’s an increase. I took on a handful of new authors in 2016, which was a goal of mine that I set. Once upon a time I would write 165 articles a year by myself. Those were the good old days. Now, I don’t have the time to do that, nor the inclination. I would rather put out one great article than ten lousy ones; a lesson I learned the hard way.

Anyway, having a collection of authors has allowed me to do more work managing the blog, promoting it, and trying to grow it. It also creates a diversity of articles here that seems to be slowly gaining traction, and pulling in new readers.

Speaking of visitors, this year saw an increase of visitors to the site by 37%! When I say visitors, I mean actual people, not the site’s traffic. I was pretty surprised to see that. More and more people are finding the blog, which is awesome.

Related, the actual traffic for the site (visits) also saw an increase. You would hope so with more visitors coming here, but you never know. There was a 21% increase in traffic this year compared to last. The best part is that from 2013 on, the blog has seen a slow and steady increase in traffic. In general the blog has always seen a growth, but there was a dip from 2012 to 2013. However, looking at the big picture, it’s always been getting better, and I couldn’t ask for more than that.

Now, my favorite stat to check out. In 2016 the blog received 22% more comments than the previous year. This year may be the biggest increase in comments. I could verify that, but I’m lazy. So, not only did the blog pull in more visitors, and get more traffic, but those people are engaging with the site, and that’s always been my goal. More traffic is meaningless if it’s hollow. Meaning, they show up, read a paragraph, and leave the site never to return. The increase we’ve seen here has been meaningful, and I thank all of you readers for that.

Oh, the articles compared to comments gives an average of every article receiving 14 comments. I’m really happy about that number!

Top 6 Posts of 2016

Below is a list of the top 6 articles based on views. Of those 6, only 2 of them were written in 2016. I’ve done a ton of SEO (search engine optimization) on the blog over the years. The result is that older articles are still getting a ton of traffic many years later. That’s always the goal with an article, to write something that stands the test of time, but only a few will make it to the top.

Related Reading  Top 7 Wargaming Bloggers for 2016

How to Make Your Own Miniature Foam Trays – This was the most viewed article last year as well. It’s my tutorial, first one I ever did in fact, on making foam trays for your miniatures. I wrote this bad boy in 2010. I still make my own trays this way to this day.

How to Play 40K: Choosing the Right Army – This article is part of a series I did in 2015 on how to play 40K. The series covers introducing Warhammer 40K, picking your army, all the way to playing your first game. The series has done well, but the stand out article in that series is this one, at least in terms of traffic.

A Guide on How to Use Liquid Green Stuff – A tutorial I did in 2015 on how to use liquid Green Stuff for gap filling. I’d really like to do more tutorials like this in the future, especially since this one has done so well.

How to Paint Gold – The Sable Warlock Way – What’s impressive with this, in terms of making the top 6 list, is that it was created by Sable Warlock in June. This tutorial on how to paint gold is only 6 months old, yet it made it to #4 on the list of most viewed articles. Nice job, Warlock!

Learn How to Scratch Build Tanks #1 – Gathering Supplies – Another oldie, and this time by Kamui. This is an extensive series on scratch building tanks, which did very well when written, and continues to draw in a crowd more than two years later. This particular article in the series goes over what you’ll need for the scratch building.

Age of Sigmar Review: First Taste  – Good to see another article in the list by another new – well new’ish, author, Eternal Wargamer. Eternal wrote this in 2015, but Age of Sigmar keeps gaining traction in the wargaming community, and this article continues to be found by those searching AoS info.

A Look Ahead

I’m hoping to continue picking up new authors. I would love to cover a wider range of games here. Right now Warhammer 40K is heavily covered, and Age of Sigmar stuff is growing. Now that I’ve gotten in Blood Bowl, that range of articles will grow as well. There’s just so many games though, and I feel like we’re just scratching the surface.

I am also going to try to write-up some more tutorials, I just have to figure out what. The thing with tutorials is that it should be something you know very well, and feel you can pass on some knowledge in covering, and I just don’t know what that would be. Totally open to ideas here.

Related, I would also like to create more resources here. I have a small list of custom Maelstrom of War missions, so more stuff like that. Not missions necessarily, just things of value that continue to bring people back.

Growing the blog will continue to be a goal. Reaching out more on social media is an area I need to improve on. There’s a lot of potential readers on social networks, and I just need to take the time to work that angle more.

Related Reading  Dark Angels Week 3

  • Congrats on all that growth! And 14 comments per post is fantastic and really shows how you and your authors really try to engage the conversation. Great work on 2016 and looking forward to the awesomeness that is to come in 2017!

    • Thank you.

      Some day the blog will be where I envisioned it, but it’s been a long slow road.

      • It’s hard to do when it’s only a part time thing – especially when we all make these grand plans or see other hobbyists/bloggers doing something amazing we want to do ourselves. But it’s also why these kinds of posts are important to do, because it allows us to look back on what we did accomplish.

  • Hey great results, quite expected, this blog is great! I’ll gladly read more step by step of your, imho it is not so important that you know something perfectly, but that you feel it your, it is slightly different and it is what make interesting a tutorial id est sharing another (your) point of view.

    • Thanks.

      Good point about tutorials.

  • Great to see the site grow and it is truly deserved. Looking forward to the coming year.

  • It has been a pleasure reading all the different variety of articles and games systems you oi and your fellow authors have covered over the year. Congrats on your success, it is well deserved :).

    Here’s to a successful 2017 too! :)

    • Much appreciated.

  • Looking forward to another great year!

  • Nice to see that the site is growing. I think you have really taken a big step forward this year with more and better content by you and your co-writers, it’s always interesting to read new posts even if it’s for a game I don’t play.

    I hope this year goes even better!

    • Thanks.

      The new authors have been a huge help, and I have a few more starting this year as well. Like I’ve said before, I’d like to see this site become what Bell of Lost Souls used to be. Some day.

      • It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if you manage to achieve that goal and tbh , the community needs something like that in my opinion, a well run site with interesting content, a hub for the community so to say.

        • Agreed. We used to have that with BoLS, but that was a very long time ago now. Unfortunately, a lot of people still go there, but mostly it’s just to troll in the comments. You’d think those people would just find better sites to visit, but they just keep going back. People are weird.

          • Very true, people are weird as hell when it comes to that.

  • jack shrapnel

    Congrats on the site growth! I’m very happy to be one of your new authors and hopefully someday one of my articles can hit the top six too!

    • Glad to have you on board.

      I just checked, you did have the 34th most popular article in 2016 with the Greased Lightning one. That puts you in the top 20% :)

      It’s articles like that one which do very well over time. It’s what’s called evergreen content. Meaning, something that has value for a long period of time. It’s the type of stuff people will search for year after year. Things like list building, tutorials, and hobby showcases tend to perform very well. The things like battle reports, and news related stuff, tends to be more of a flash in the pan. Lots of traffic up front, but not typically something someone will search for 3 years later.

      • jack shrapnel

        Thanks! I hope to have some more for you soon!

  • Turkadactyl

    Thanks for posting. I missed most of those posts. Congratulations on the expanding empire.

    • Thank you.

      Many of those posts are over a year old. That’s why I like listing the top posts, because nobody is bound to see everything.

  • Congrats on another great year. I enjoyed nearly everything here. Excellent quality throughout the year.

    • Tack så mycket.

      Did Google translate do that right? :)

  • Nice look back, Thor! That’s a nice mix of older and newer articles in the top six. It’s great to know that we’ve produced articles that people continue to find valuable in the long term. I find it rewarding to know that something I put my effort into is still paying off for people. It’s also great to see newer articles in there as evidence that the blog is still generating fresh, high value content.

    You deserve a lot of credit for this! You’ve generated a lot of great content yourself but just as importantly you’ve established the blog as a solid platform for other authors, and you’ve developed an engaged community of readers. The behind the scenes technical work of refining and maintaining the site makes it easy for the rest of us to generate content. Your constant work to improve the blog’s exposure has built an engaged community that makes it more rewarding to post content.

    Congratulations, and thanks for all of your hard work!

    • Very good point on the old and new. I had not looked at it that way.

      I appreciate it. Running this blog is something I oddly find fun. I also love writing, but I do as well enjoy giving a space for others to share their work.

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