Category: Meta

2015 Year in Review

The previous years in review are here:
2014
2013
2012

You may have noticed that I’m not posting 5 days a week anymore. I might start again, but the truth is that the blog was a creative outlet in a world where I had no creative agency, or at least I felt like I didn’t. Since I started blogging, I started my own business, moved to Oregon, and have been doing a lot of creative work in my daily life, leaving very little time or imagination for anything else. In December the business turned three, and in May I’ll have been working at it full time for three years. I have plans in place, and fully expect to be more management than creative by that time, and I already have more free time to make long-term decisions and planning than I ever have before.

In the midst of making that transition from lone freelancer to manager, I basically scooped my entire brain out and documented every piece of it for our standard operating procedures, and I’m not totally done yet. As long as the business is mine, I will never be. Everything grows and changes, although I’m entering a period of less intensity than I have ever known, and it feels really good.

Does that mean I’ll come back to 5 days a week? I have no idea. I do know myself, and I know that I can’t stay dormant for very long. But I also feel really tired. Not just because the end of our “start up” phase is maybe not near, but at least conceivable, but also because I got in a car accident at right about the bottom of my recovery arc from writing the SOP and enacting those policies and processes. That was two weeks ago, and my back still hurts. Not excruciatingly, but enough to distract, and I’m still dealing with recovery, and insurance, and everything else. I went from tired to barely being able to function. It takes all my energy to do the bare minimum to keep my company running right now, and I am completely surprised at how much this has taken out of me.

I always wondered what would happen if I were to get sick or suffer some kind of physical issue, and this is just a tiny picture of what that must be like. The discipline with which a person has to budget out their energy and ability is baffling, and it’s really helping to highlight how I overwork and how tenuous a skill that really is. It’s more clear now than ever that I have to build a stable system that can operate largely without me if I ever want to be successful at this business.

I’ve also been having some intense dreams that are doing all that much more to hammer on the point that if I don’t stop working night and day, my life will be gone and I’ll have nothing to show for it. I dreampt the other day that I died, and instead of actually dying, I cut my skin off with a linoleum knife and went back to work. In the dream, I wasn’t really human, but my insides were made of clay, which would break off and stick in the keyboard while I typed. In the last part of the dream before I woke up, Ben was trying to get me to put my skin back on so we could go to my funeral and all I could think was that I had so many deadlines I needed to wrap up before I was really dead.

So what does this mean for the blog? I can tell you that the posts I wrote this year were a combination of the best and worst yet. The best because my writing has finally gotten to a place where I feel proud of my ability as an essayist and a commentator. I am definitely still completely terrified to try and write fiction and what I write in that regard is completely off the mark of what I want it to be, but that’s not what I would consider to be the worst. The worst posts were the ones I made myself write while half out of my mind with exhaustion, wasting the time and energy of everyone involved in order to make a piece of shit filler post that wasn’t good. All because I had an arbitrary and no longer useful mandate to publish 5 times a week. Whatever happens with the blog going forward, I’m definitely not going to do that again. If I ever publish 5 times a week again, it’ll be because I have something to say 5 times a week, and for no reason else.

As a result of me having nothing to say and blogging about it anyway, we had 72,000 pageviews this year. Down 7,000 from 79,000 last year. My most popular month was March, with 4,300 page views, followed by July with 2,900. February and April tied for third most popular month with 2,600 views each.

My most viewed day was Tuesday, March 24, when I got 1,800 pageviews. This is an increase of 400 pageviews from Monday, June 9, 2014, my most viewed day in 2014, which only received 1,400 views.

Unlike 2014, 2015 had less spikes in visits, which I attribute to me not posting the blog on Reddit after May. This is backed up in the fact that 40% of my social traffic (which was 26% of my total traffic) came from Reddit in 2014, and only 36% of social traffic (24% of my overall traffic this year) came from them in 2015, with almost no clicks happening after May. Both this year’s and last year’s most viewed days were blogs I linked to relevant Reddit threads, which is why they performed so well.

2016 won’t have any Reddit traffic unless someone else links to the blog for me, seeing as I was shadow-banned for self promotion, and only allowed back if I promised never to post my own blog again. Something I took a lot of exception to, since I did more writing on Reddit in those days than I did on my own site, in addition to moderating two subs, and posting a lot of other relevant information. Since then, and their subsequent firing of Victoria, the AMA manager that everyone has pretty much forgotten about, I couldn’t see clear to give them any more of my time, and have largely ignored Reddit. Especially as the company has been taking more and more of my time and energy.

Anyway.

The top 5 posts of 2015 were:

1. The Prices of Organic Food at Three Major Supermarkets

2. How to Sync Samsung Note 3 with Evernote

3. The Joy of Storytelling, an Interview with Justin Lazaro

4. Female Masturbation Techniques (for the fourth year running)

5. Hickey Cover Up Tutorial

Only one of the most popular posts of 2015 was written in 2015. The other four most popular post of 2015 written in that year would be:

2. Dove Chooses Obnoxious

3. 5 Movies You Need to Netflix Before They’re Gone

4. The Fuckable Butch: An Commentary on Ruby Rose Fever

5. Sweet Bro Things: The latest chapter in Jake and Jessica

Last year, my goals were to write more commentary and I did, although not as much more as I’d have liked. I counted 44 entries in the category commentary for 2014 and 50, only six mroe in 2015, but I’ll take what I can get. I’m hoping for even more commentary going forward since I really enjoy that.

I also said that I wanted to separate the erotica reviews from the main part of the blog, which I did, but I also stopped writing them. I’m on the fence as to whether or not I want to start that up again. I haven’t even had time to read lately, and to be honest, now that my life is going a lot better and I feel happier and more secure in my career, I don’t have the impulse to hide inside books like I used to. They were an escape from a stressed out place where I was barely making enough money to live on, and that’s not my reality anymore.

I also said I wanted more professional security and an opportunity to work with communities again, which have both happened for me. The local business community has been amazing in providing meaningful relationships, and opportunities to feel connected and involved again.

Next year, I want the company to earn enough money to justify us becoming a true corporation, and I want to be able to hire and pay a living wage to at least one staff person. I have a pretty solid plan for at least one of my contractors to transition to full time employee, and I feel confident that we can get there. It’s going to be a lot more hard work on a level I haven’t worked at in a long time, if ever really, but I’m looking forward to this next phase of the business.

For the blog, I want more quality posts and less filler shit.

Why Patreon, Why Now?

If you’re a Facebook or a Twitter friend, you know that I launched a Patreon campaign yesterday. So here’s why I did it, and what that means for you guys.

First thing’s first: nothing changes on the blog, except that I will be talking about the campaign from time to time, and you’ll see links to Patreon in my posts, and in the sidebar. You’re also going to see the Brought to You By section in the footer once we start getting $15 patrons.

I’m just happy you guys read my posts. That you decide to spend a portion of your day with me is humbling, and it makes me so happy that I can do shit like write a blog five days a week. When I say in the video that I want to use Patreon to increase community buy-in, I don’t mean money. You can give me money through Patreon, and I will be happy if you do, but what I really want is more reader participation.

In the beginning, this was just a place for me to process my thoughts, and it was great at that. Now I’m writing content with you guys and for you guys more and more, which is awesome. I get blog suggestions, I get feedback and comments on Facebook, and twitter, and in the comments section and I love it. I’ve had more participation lately, but I’ve noticed that a lot of my social media friends, on Twitter especially, aren’t regular readers. So when I want to talk shop on there, the majority of my followers aren’t about it. And that’s cool, but Patreon seems like it will be a good place for us to hang out and talk about the blog with each other, which is what I’ve been missing lately.

Another reason I want more community buy-in is because I tend to expend every drop of my energy and creativity on the business, and then there’s nothing left for the blog. I hate that. I want to make things with my name on it, and I want to make things for you guys, but it can be hard to say yes to blogging when that means saying no to potential income for the consultancy. Even when I know that, in the long run blogging is good for my mental health, and actually keeps the creative juices flowing in order to do even better work during the day. Which, again, is where Patreon comes in. I want a closer relationship with the readership. Knowing you guys are on the other end of this keyboard means more than numbers on an analytics report.

I’m alone most of the time. I work alone, and I blog alone. I like knowing you guys are out there. So, please follow me on Patreon. Following is completely free, and I will be making posts that followers can read and participate in. Mostly about meta stuff like numbers, and blogging in general. If you become a $1 a month patron, you have complete access to all my Patreon posts, which will be about this blog specifically, as well as story ideas, topic suggestions, and all that stuff. $5 a month patrons get access as well as a “Thank You” sketch. $15 a month Patrons get access, a “Thank You” sketch, and they get listed in the Brought to You By section. There are only 25 slots, and patrons will only be listed in the section for as long as they’re patrons, so when they unsubscribe, they’ll get taken out.

As you can see, I don’t intend for this to support me, or anything like that. I just want a place for those of us who want to be more involved to be able to do so.

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As a promotion for the launch, I’ll be posting every 3 hours starting at 8am today, Wednesday, April 8, 2015 on here, on Facebook, and on Twitter. The posts may not have anything to do with Patreon, or they might, you’ll have to wait and see!