Four Years Have Flown By.

Every September 9th, I write a blog post that is different from anything else during the year.  You see, it was on September 9, 2009, that I launched this blog.  Four years have flown by.  So, every September 9th, I write a little bit about blogging (it's the only time I really blog on blogging), my analytics, and just sort of general thoughts on this blog.  (When I refer to the "year" in this article, I am referring to the time period September 9, 2012 through September 8, 2013.) First off, I will start with a few stats.  The most popular blog article this year (clocking in with about 57,000 page views), without a shadow of a doubt, was this article on the Starbucks Refill Policy:

The sad thing about that being the most-viewed article is that it demonstrates the enormous angst and confusion regarding the refill policy, evident on both sides of the counter.  You are welcome to talk about the refill policy, but please do not do so in THIS article.  Please refer back to the Refill Policy article.

When I started this website four years ago, I just wanted to create a (mostly) fun, uplifting fan site with a bit of the stamp of my personality on it - for better or for worse.  To this day, I still continuously think of this as my "little blog."  In some ways, it is no different than when I started.  I am still just writing about my world of Starbucks.  Thank you for bearing with me through all these ups and downs.

I owe a thank you to every single reader.  I owe a thank you to everyone who leaves comments.  And a huge, huge, thank you to those who subscribed.  If you haven't said "hello" to me in the comments in a while, I do hope you'll drop by and say hi.

Here are a few of this year's numbers:

  • In the past year, 601,190 absolute unique visitors visited this website.
  • Those 600k visitors viewed 1,140,016 pages on this blog over the past year.
  • About 73% of this site's visitors are in the United States.
  • Another 8% of the visitors are in Canada.
  • And about 3% are in the United Kingdom.
  • Following the United Kingdom, Malaysia is the next country visiting this site - they come in at almost exactly 1% of the site's visits.
  • For those readers visiting this site from the United States, the state that visits my blog the most, by far, is California.  After that, comes Washington, and then New York.
  • The state that has the fewest people reading this site is South Dakota.  All 50 states are represented.
  • The number one traffic referrer to this site is a near tie between Google and Facebook.
  • Over the four-year lifetime of this blog, this site has had over one million visitors, and over two million page views.

So thank you again.  I mean it.  The blog is indeed hard work.  But it makes it so much more worthwhile knowing that I'm sharing some Starbucks fun with thousands of people all over the world.

I am going to switch gears for a moment and talk about Facebook. This is my blog's Facebook page:

I invite you to check it out.  I want to write about Facebook a moment because I have been happy with how many people are liking, viewing, commenting and joining in on Facebook - it has experienced a lot of growth and activity this year.  It represents its own community.

For those who do not know, Facebook is a double-edged sword to bloggers.  On the downside, Facebook badly wants people to spend money "promoting" (something called "boosting") their posts.  It doesn't matter if you are a huge corporation like Starbucks or one little person in Seattle, they want your advertising dollars.  Facebooks uses an algorithm called "EdgeRank" to filter what your fans see of your status updates.  It's fairly well documented that there is almost no way to reach 100% of your Facebook likes.  Lots of sites state that the average status updates reaches about 17% of the fans of a page.

For me, I notice that my links have the lowest reach.  It would make sense that the "EdgeRank" algorithm would discount links going to external websites: it invites the opportunity to leave the Facebook ecosystem.  I can only say that I have seen a lot of anecdotal evidence that pure text and images status updates do better than status updates with links to an website.  I think I do a little better than the 17% organic number mentioned.

And that leaves paying Facebook money to boost your posts.  I have done that.  Facebook is wonderful in that people can find your blog articles.  And at the same time, it is  frustrating because "EdgeRank" makes your reach much lower than you think it's going to be absent paying Facebook money.  (I have definitely given Facebook more money than I would like to admit to "boost" my posts.)  The best I can hope for is perhaps fans who will periodically come back and then your Facebook page on some kind of regular basis, asking themselves, 'what's new?'

Despite the controversy over promoting posts (paying money to 'boost' your article), I can say that this past year I have looked my Facebook page fondly because of the interesting conversations and overall positive vibe.

It brings a huge smile to my face to see that people are writing their own status updates, leaving comments too, and engaging with other Facebook fans.  At times I have felt some frustration because I would like Facebook fans to comment here too, but at the end of the day, I am just happy that it is one more space to connect over coffee. I am okay with that.

I would invite you to join in on Facebook too.

This year, I attempted to continue to write content for multiple blogs.  This is too much!  This site is the only one where I am always here updating, on a regular basis.  But if you should want to check out some of my other blogging endeavors, here you are - I hope you'll like them, and follow them too:

  • Seattle's Best Melody - This is a fan site for Seattle's Best Coffee.  I only update it about once every four to six weeks.
  • MelodyEats.com - This is kind of a fast food review blog.  I realized after I started this that I am better equipped to write about coffee and tea than any actual food. Nonetheless, I have a lot of fun with this site.  I hope you'll check it out.
  • StarbucksMelody.com - You know this blog!

I've mentioned that the refill policy article is the most-read on this site over the past year.  I do have a personal favorite article from the past year.  This one was so great.  I interviewed Chad Moore, who is the store manager of 1912 Pike Place Starbucks.  He just has one of those great personalities where you easily feel inspired by him.  I owe a thank you to the PR department for assisting me in my request to interview Chad Moore.

Thank you for bearing with me.  I know this is a long, and an out of character blog article.  But, I only do this kind of post once a year, at my "blog anniversary."

Finally, if you like what I do here, I hope you'll consider saying thank you with a Paypal donation.

And, I hope you will join me in the next year's Starbucks adventure.  I hope to share more of Seattle with you, keep you up-to-date on news, share sneak previews where I can, and continue to raise my cup of coffee with you.  I have always joked that I will keep blogging until I run out of things to write about.  Hasn't happened quite yet.

 

 

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