10 Great Things From Blogging This Year

It was nearly a year ago that my wife and I planned and began to build our blog, still going strong today. We’ve kept with 6 posts a week, 3 each, with the occasional guest post. We’ve used a variety of post types, like I learned about in my class on blogging – though perhaps not as many as we could.

We do a great deal of reviews, talking through the things in our life we’re experiencing – mostly the geeky things. But then, what might one expect from a blog called Comparative Geeks?

From a blogging perspective, we’ve seen some great results, though there’s more that could happen. We are happy with where we are at, not planning on this as a form of income, or necessarily caring about being a big thing. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not nice to get noticed, seen, read, shared, and the community-forming we’ve seen this year has been great. So let me walk you through ten great moments for Comparative Geeks this year!

1. Pingbacks from Peter David

One of my earliest posts was a reading recommendation of one of my favorite authors – Peter David. He had recently had a medical emergency, and while recovering, a lot of people were asking how they could help. I did my review in part to lead people to Peter David’s work, and help lead people to his works – which was the recommendation of how to help. Buy and read his stuff!

But what was great was that, as it turns out, Peter David’s blog has the option set up where mentions of the blog end up on the page as well – and people were clicking through, from his blog, to ours! It was exciting to watch traffic move that direction, and not just the other direction – from me to him. Community building!

2. Getting an Ongoing Commenter

Sure, Holly and I don’t mind feeling like no one is reading our posts – we just keep going anyway, because there’s so much we feel like saying! However, that doesn’t mean that every comment isn’t a joy – finding out that someone has read the post, thought about it, and is interacting with it.

Our top commenter, and one of the earliest, is Michael Allan Leonard over on Public Domain. Give his stuff a read – and comment on his, too! And head on over to his webcomic, as well – DoorMan.

3. Success of Our Guest Posts

When we went on vacation in March, we got some friends to write some blog posts, guest posts to help us out so we could keep the blog going, while also enjoying our vacation. There were four of them, starting with this post. And they were shared a little bit further than a normal post…

The larger network of people that could be reached, by the guest bloggers sharing them, led to great success. These were – and still are – some of our most-read posts. I wonder also if some of it is the fact that these were singular posts – reading a blog on an ongoing basis is a far greater commitment than reading one post. Nonetheless, these were great posts, and a great success for the blog this year.

4. Our Popular Posts for the Year

We’ve had a number of popular posts, ones that show up on Google searches quite well, and have been read quite a bit. And many after the post I have in mind, as well – but still, this was a fun project to undergo. At six months, I did a review of the top 5 posts of the year so far – and there are some interesting lessons there!

For one, we learned that our Character Studies are quite popular, and we really need to write more of those. For another, we learned you have to be careful what you talk about – sometimes, people might find your blog when looking for something altogether different…

5. Nominated for the Liebster Award

liebster-awardAnd then, we were nominated for the Liebster Award. This blogging award is run by bloggers, for bloggers. It functions a little bit like a chain letter, but one that requires work and interaction.

Because while you are supposed to nominate others once you are nominated, you have to nominate people who are deserving – with a small enough follower pool, who need the community-building. So while there were a few that were easy to select, the rest took more digging, through our followers, through the people who had commented on the blog. And we got there. So check them all out!

6. Making it on the Tumblr Debacle Timeline

There was a Debacle Timeline made when a certain controversy reared up the first time, something we had seen at the time, but forgotten of. Until the controversy came up again, we commented on it, and suddenly, we were in the mix.

And while it didn’t necessarily drive a huge amount of views or anything else, just being a part of that larger conversation, being seen for that – was cool. And actually, our ongoing readers had quite a bit to say on that post as well – it’s a hot-button issue, for sure!

7. Shared by Focus Features

One of my favorite moments for the year, my review of The World’s End got shared by Focus Features:

What’s great is they not only linked to the post, they clearly had read it, and figured out a way to turn it around and share. Sure, this was probably just some employee whose job is social media, but still! So exciting. Unfortunately, the views from this only came in for a couple of minutes – before the Twitter-cycle moved on. But that’s Twitter for you.

8. Guest Post – Freshly Pressed

So what’s better than our successful guest posts? How about a guest post that’s Freshly Pressed?

Happily, this was a post not too far off from the sort of content we produce on the blog – because this, of all the things that happened this year, this drove traffic to the blog. A lot of people came to the blog, and a lot of people followed the blog. I imagine when many found that this was a guest post, they were disappointed, but hey, Odorunara has her own blog you can check out too!

9. Someone Wanting to Blog Like Us

To quote the cliche, imitation is the finest form of flattery, and being told that your blog inspired others in their blogging is a nice thing. The folks over at Sourcererhave said just that – and have become very involved in Comparative Geeks!

Comments, shares, Facebook, reblogs… This is community-building at its finest. I think we know where to turn next time we need some guest posts…

10. That We’re Still Going

But really, the best thing is just that we are still going. Not a lot of blogs, in the grand scheme of things, make it this long, keep up their posting schedule as much as we have, and it is a testament to our desire to make this work that it has.

I would say that setting a realistic goal, not going it alone, and not expecting sudden and wild success are all important tips we have for other bloggers based on our experience.

Sure, we could post far more than we do, post randomly, try to add to the news cycle. We could add advertising, or pay to do some of our own… maybe especially through Facebook. We could get our own domain, recruit more bloggers, all sorts of things. All those things may still exist in the future. But starting from a base of quiet success is a good place for a blog to be at. So here’s to another great year!

Do you have a favorite Comparative Geeks post? Let me know in the comments below! And Happy New Year!

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About CompGeeksDavid
Co-founder, editor, podcaster, web comicer, forum moderator, and writer for Comparative Geeks. Father, husband, geek, nerd, gamer, librarian, Christian, Libertarian, Science Fiction philosopher, and probably a number of other descriptors.

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