So I started blogging last summer and I had no idea that WordPress sends you a helpful end of year summary.
It’s a review of the numbers that all bloggers keep an eye on in the “Site Stats” section, such as the number of views a post gets, where your “traffic” is coming from (my top referral sites were Facebook and Twitter) and the search terms that lead people to you.
That last one, the search terms, never ceases to amaze me. Sure lots of people search for “Conor Cullen” (I know, I’m surprised too!) and a lot more don’t bother with their browser’s address bar for this site and instead stick the URL (conorcullen.com) into Google.
I thank you all for visiting, reading and sharing!
Then there are the more slightly curious search terms. Take the two photos above. They appeared in this post about my love of photography and the popular iPhone app Instagram, which I had lots of fun with last summer.
The first is a photograph I took of a poster for the film “Hanna”, starring Saoirse Ronan, which was stuck on a phone box in Ranelagh. The second photo I captured in Seville. I thought it made a striking image, but I cautioned against taking photos of people’s underwear in most circumstances!
The combination of “Saoirse Ronan” and “underwear” has subsequently become one of the most frequent search terms that has led (and still leads) people to that post and this blog. I can only imagine their disappointment!
I noticed this trend shortly after the post went up on July 21 and it was confirmed by my “2011 in blogging” report from WordPress.
You’d be amazed how people arrive here though. Some of today’s search terms that have brought people here are: “people who had rickets”, “people walking unusually” and “weird bar counter”.
Search terms more obviously related to my posts that brought people here today were “Eoin Colfer history of Hook Lighthouse” and “why does animal cruelty continue”.
Other search terms that have caused me to raise an eyebrow since I started blogging have generally been carefully crafted by my friend and colleague Peter Henry to strike a fine balance of insulted/amused on this end!
I posted a total of 29 times in 2011 , from June, when I started blogging, to December. The only month I missed was September and that was due to a long holiday here.
I blogged about a lot of different things last year, from local festivals to the London riots, but my most popular post – by some distance – was 10 Things I Like About Dublin Bikes, which I posted back in August.
Here’s second, third, fourth and fifth in the popularity (number of views) stakes. My “busiest day” was August 11, when traffic peaked thanks to combination of the posts about Dublin Bikes and the London Riots.
Unsurprisingly, most of my readers came from Ireland, followed by the United States and United Kingdom. I’m doing okay in Australia, but have a lot of work to do before I “break” Asia and South America!
I hope to keep blogging on a regular basis in 2012. It’s not easy to find the time and often the inspiration, but it’s an enjoyable thing to do and I’d urge anyone who is thinking about it to give it a go.
I’d like to offer my sincere thanks to everyone who “follows” this blog and those who check in regularly or irregularly to see what I’m up to. Comments and feedback are always welcome. Thanks for reading!
Finally, to anyone who came here looking for Saoirse Ronan’s underwear, I’m truly sorry.