Today I’m posting images that have accumulated and not found their spot in a proper blog, so, as I do periodically, I offer them as a group. Some of them I quite like and just couldn’t bear seeing them filed away without seeing the light of day.
I’m also noting a couple of milestones for the blog. First, the blog turned three years old on Saturday, June 1. In my first blog post I laid out what I would be about with this blog and I think I’ve held pretty true to that. Some of the early posts are painful to read, now. Some of the pictures came unlinked when I moved to WordPress. Many of them aren’t great quality and the formatting is often a mess. Still, I gained readers.
The first month I blogged I averaged 37 readers a day. Actually, the old joke is that most blogs have two readers: the author and his mother, so 37 isn’t really that bad. I averaged over 100 a day in August of 2010 and thought I was on my way. I had no idea the ups and downs that would follow. It was nearly two years later that a single month averaged 200 a day. That’s a lot of blog posts later.
This article is the 814th published post. So, three years and 814 published posts later, how is it going? Well, I’ve managed to accumulate quite a few readers and, I think, the very best combination of people interested in downtown Knoxville and urban living that you’ll find. I appreciate you being part of that.
The numbers are pretty exciting to me after this long journey: Last June I finally crossed 10,000 page views for a month. In November I had nearly 14,000. By January it was 19,000 and in the month that just ended I finally crossed 20,000, with 21,280 page views according to Google Analytics. May 22nd over 1,000 people read about the advent of the Hot Bagel Company. I never thought anything would rival my readership for beer articles, but bagels apparently is the thing.
Beer and business are the topics that most often draw the greatest attention. Sometimes I’m surprised to see how high – or how low – readership is for one article or another. I imagine that sometimes it may depend on what else is going on in each of our lives that determines readership to some extent. When we are very busy blogs aren’t likely atop our list of priorities. You guys also read more when you are at work than not. I won’t tell your boss.
The thing that has kept me going so far is my love for and joy in the city and all the relationships that have sprung from the blog. As a pretty reserved guy, this blog has forced me to be a bit more assertive, introduce myself to people and generally put myself out there. It’s been a rewarding personal journey. I’ve met some of the best people I would otherwise have never known. And through me, you’ve got to meet some of them, as well.
So, what’s next? What does a four-year-old blog do? There aren’t many examples to follow: most blogs only last a few weeks or months. I’m just enough of a glutton for punishment to persist despite the lack of monetary return. Of course, I don’t do it for the money – and that’s a good thing since I earn about a dollar a day with 20,000 pageviews a month. Not much.
My plans for the next few months include continuing to improve my photographs. Those of you who followed through the spring know that I took Photography I through the UT Evening School. I’ll take photography II this fall unless something prevents me. This summer I’m learning Lightroom and Photoshop.
I also plan to examine ads on my blog. I use Google Ads (the source of my $1 a day) and I’m not completely crazy about them. Some people have reported seeing ads that run counter to my political philosophy, for example, and I’m not crazy about that. I have no control over the ad choices I get. So, I hope to investigate whether those ads might be tailored more to directly address Knoxville businesses, etc. If not, I may abandon Google Ads and move to paid, local ads. (If you are reading this and are interested, contact me! :-))
I’m also considering adding a page of paid ads for property for sale or rent in the city. I’m pretty constantly asked what’s available. I’ve taken people on walking tours to look at the condos and apartments in the city. This weekend I got a playfully accusatory message on Facebook from a reader who said she is moving downtown (“hi,” Desola :-)) and it’s at least partially my fault. So, if you have downtown property and you’d like to see it listed here, let me know.
Otherwise, I plan to keep writing about this awesome, frustrating, interesting, challenging, amazing place to live and play. About a year ago I heard someone say in a public meeting that nothing was happening in downtown Knoxville. That must make me the most talented writer in history to write 814 articles about nothing. Here’s hoping I’m up for 814 more and that you and your friends remain interested in tagging along. Pass the word, “friend” me on Facebook (to your right), “like” Stuck Inside of Knoxville – we’re almost 500! (to your right) and subscribe to the blog (guess where).