Year in review: 2016

2016_review

I was concerned because I hadn’t received a 2016 WordPress Year in Review as I did in 2014 and 2015. So I checked the Support forums and found out some bad news–WordPress is not doing those this year.  That makes me sad.  I was really looking forward to that, but it is what it is.

I decided to go ahead and compile my own review which will cover this blog’s most important stats for 2016. I’m following the same format that the automatically-generated annual reports did in the past, so without further ado, here is how Lucky Otters Haven performed in 2016. Of course this post is missing the fun fireworks and other digital doodads the generated reports always had.

Most of these are culled from the WordPress metrics page.

Views and Visitors:

870,190 views

498,114 visitors

1,226,703 views (669,288 visitors) for all time (2014 – 2016)

Likes and Comments:

15,682 Likes
9,545 comments

Busiest Day of the Year:

February 9, 2016 (4,438 views, also my Best Day Ever)

Most Popular Hour:

9:00 PM (5% of views)

Most Popular Day:

Monday (15% of views)

Longest Streak (posting every day without skipping a day):

December 30, 2015 to March 11, 2016

Posting Activity:

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As you can see, I tend to post the most in January and February (lots of time spent indoors!) and taper off in the fall (when my SAD kicks in).   Last year showed pretty much the same pattern.

Total Posts (all time):

2,029

5 most popular posts:

1. Eight Fun Games Narcissists Like to Play (and one they can’t play): 61,659 views

2. 12 Weird Things You Might See a Narcissist Do: 49,779 views

3. Why Family Scapegoats Become Lifelong Victims: 34,916 views

4. The 7 Things Narcissists Are Most Afraid Of: 30,956 views

5. How To Recognize a Covert Narcissist: 26,235 views

As you can see, my narcissism and narcissistic abuse posts (I include posts about HSPs/empaths and the other personality disorders within this category because there’s so much overlap) continue to be the most popular BY FAR, even though lately I’ve been focusing on a lot of other related and unrelated topics.

The most popular non-narcissism (or related) posts in 2016:

Anyone Remember Merrimints? Well , They’re Back (sort of) is my most popular off-topic post.   This post is in 46th place, with 2,646 views, mostly referred here by foodie forums like Roadfood.com.

My second-most popular non-narcissism related post, Terrible Real Estate Agent Photos, is way down in 56th place, with 2,163 views.

Top 5 Referring Sites in 2016:

1. Google Search: 449,765 views

2. Facebook: 32,515 views

3. StumbleUpon: 17,104 views

4. Twitter: 2,836 views

5. Pinterest: 1,487 views

Where Did My Visitors Come From (Top Ten)?

1. United States: 524,255
2. United Kingdom: 90,395
3. Canada: 54,808
4. Australia: 47,509
5. Netherlands: 12,472
6. Germany: 10,751
7. South Africa: 8,248
8. India: 7,933
9. Ireland: 7,534
10. Sweden: 6,163

Views Around the World:

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Total Posts with Comment Followers:

791 posts

Top 5 People Commenting (not including me):

1. Linda Lee: 73 comments
2. nowve666: 31 comments
3. Nyssa The Hobbit: 28 comments
4. Aura Gael: 27 comments
5. Wolfgirl/Bluebird of Bitterness (tie): 21 comments each

Alexa Information:

I have the Alexa toolbar, so I’ll throw this in too (Yeah, I know, Google Analytics is a lot better), but whatevs.

Global Rank:  380,150

Rank in US: 99,801

Bounce Rate:  52.30%

Pageviews (per visitor): 2.90

Daily Time on Site:  10 minutes

Sites Linking In:  28

Lucky Otters Haven’s viewers are almost evenly split between male and female, with males having a slight edge.

The vast majority of Lucky Otters Haven’s readers have some college education, followed by readers with a college degree, and then those with graduate degrees.

*****

That’s it!

Thank you to everyone who has made this blog what it is and continues to visit and comment!

Have a great 2017!

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Not ready to run with the big dogs.

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I’m not ready to run with the big dogs in the blogging world yet–nowhere near.   This puppy still requires a lot from me just to stay alive from day to day.  If this blog tried to run with the big dogs now, it would probably get trampled and run home whimpering. Could be I’d even have to dress a few wounds caused by Pup’s overeagerness to join the grownups and alpha dogs.

I assumed my blog had reached a point where I could take a break from it for a few days and Google would do my job for me while I did other things.   After all, there are some popular posts on this blog that continue to get a lot of hits months and even a year or more (!) after they were first posted.     I thought these self-generating popular posts would keep my viewcount up without me having to maintain it in any way. I also thought because my Alexa rankings are fairly good (top 450,000 global; top 80,000 US)  and my view count per day ranges between 1,500 and 2,500 (it can go higher on good days, or when a post goes viral), meant I could be lazy for a few days or a week and just sit and do nothing at all and wait for the hits to come.   (I know, I know, Alexa is sort of lame and not the best measure of a blog’s metrics, but I don’t want to pay for Google analytics).

Wrong!   After ONE DAY of not posting, my stats are WAY down.   It was disheartening to open my blog today and find NO likes, NO new followers, NO comments, and an abysmal view count.   I felt like I did the second week of blogging, when I would open my blog and find…nothing.  All that hard work I put slaving over a post for hours to make it perfect in every way, only to wind up having an audience of one–myself.   Granted, these days some people are reading.  I have regular followers who always check for new posts.  So things aren’t as bad as when I was a newbie.   But it’s still disappointing when the only people visiting your posts are your regulars who always visit anyway.

This can only mean that Lucky Otter’s Haven isn’t quite ready to “work” on its own yet without my help.   It’s not The Huffington Post or Amazon or even Cracked.com, and even those sites require regular maintenance and new articles every day.   LOH still needs regular maintenance and lots of TLC from me, and it needs a stream of new posts every day (or at least one or two).    Out of those new posts, a few catch on and a very few even go viral or remain popular over time.  Not all of them do. In fact most of them don’t.

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My other blog, Down The Rabbit Hole (I jokingly refer to it as my “second child”), has very low visibility and has not grown much (if at all) since I started it 11 months ago.  But that’s because DTRH was never intended to be for anyone but myself and any friends who are actually interested in reading about my therapy sessions and learning what goes on inside all those nested boxes stacked inside my mind like a Russian doll or Chinese puzzle.   I have never tried to monetize Rabbit Hole and probably never will.  It wouldn’t qualify for monetization anyway–not enough traffic.    Rabbit Hole has a much more limited audience and I have no desire to make it “popular” because to do so would ruin the far more intimate, personal, introspective feel of that blog, which some readers actually prefer over this one with all its widgets, ads, filler, jokes, pictures, and fluff posts.  So, when I log into DTRH and find I got only 20 views that day and no new Likes or comments,  I don’t worry about it.  I don’t go out of my way to promote that blog either, being that the posts in it are so personal I really don’t like to share too many of them on social media.  It’s really nothing more than a personal journal that I happened to  have made public to anyone who wants to read the minutiae of my therapy sessions and my own healing progress.

Lucky Otter’s Haven is different from The Rabbit Hole–it’s a “I’m-a-victim-of-narcissistic-abuse-and-I-have-mental-problems-and-PTSD-resulting-from-that-abuse” kind of blog but it’s also a general purpose blog, with a little something for everyone.   Like music, all kinds? Check.  Like art and photography?  Check.  Like politics and social issues and want to hear my unasked for opinion on those? Check.  Like movie and book reviews? Check.  Like posts describing all my mundane daily activities, like what I ate for breakfast and how long the line at the DMV was? Check.  Like inspirational memes?  Check.  True confessions?  Check.  A little religion?  You’ll find that here too.  Want to look at photos of my pets? Check.  Care to look at my dilapidated and mismatched furniture and my less than Architectural Digest (or even less than HGTV) quality interior decor in my tragically outdated 1908 half of a farm house which is in dire need of major repairs?  Check.  Have a penchant to read snarky little essays about everyday things?  Check that too.  Curious to see videos of my son’s dance routines? Check.  Itching for a little controversy? Yes, you’ll find that here too.  Haven’t had your daily dose of schadenfreude?  This blog is full of rants and whines and even a little shameless self pity that should fit the bill.   Want to learn how to be a better blogger and while you’re at it, find out how to recognize and handle online trolls, bullies, psychopaths, and narcissists?  Got you covered.

After my narcissism posts, my blogging and writing articles are my second most popular kinds of posts.   I don’t think of LOH  as a “blogging advice blog,” but I suppose for some, it could serve that purpose if they wanted it to.   It’s a versatile blog and I think that’s a good thing.  No one has complained about that yet.

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LOH didn’t become “general purpose” to get popular; I made it that way because lots of things interest me and there’s always some interesting and random thing going on, if you just are paying attention.   I also am opinionated and have opinions about many things, and this is my platform for spewing those opinions to the world.  I also get burned out sometimes on writing about narcissism and need a break to focus on things that are less dark and deadly-serious.

But I digress.  Those of you who follow this blog know I write about lots of things and from one day to the next, you won’t really know what to expect.   I think that’s a good thing and I think it keeps my regulars around.  But I realized after today that I can’t afford to get lazy and just let this blog float on its own, because chances are good it sink like a leaden rowboat to the bottom of Internet ocean, where algae, seaweed, barnacles, and general rot will take up residence on its rusting carcass.   It’s not famous like the ill fated Titanic (or as big), so no one’s likely in 100 years or so, to dredge it up from its sedimentary place of rest at the bottom of the Cyber-sea to explore its hidden treasures.

It’s only fate would be Just Another Dead Blog.

RIP

So maintaining activity on this blog is still something I have to keep working at.  I can’t take extended “vacations” unless I’m willing to watch my blog capsize and sink into the Underworld of the Dead Blogs.

Moral:  If you’re not a Big Dog yet, you can’t afford to be a lazy blogger.

The dirty dozen.

These are my 12 most popular posts for 2016 so far.    I wish I could show a list for ALL TIME, but WordPress doesn’t seem to have a function for that.  Anyway, without further ado, here they are!  (If you want to read these posts, use the search bar.)

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I also thought it was interesting comparing views/visitors for the years I’ve had this blog.   2014 is low because I only started this blog in September of that year, but it would have been a lot lower anyway, because I hadn’t built much of a following yet.   I’ve already surpassed 2015 though, which is awesome.

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A nice surprise.

I just got this WordPress notification. Thank you!

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Why I blog.

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I read a very interesting article today called Pimping for Likes (thanks again to Opinionated Man, I found another great new blog to follow).  The post addresses the all too common frustrations we bloggers experience when our Likes, views or followers aren’t growing as fast as we’d all like them to and asks the question, would you give up blogging if no one read your blog?  

If you’re only blogging to be popular or attain a web presence, I think people can tell.  Your heart won’t be in it.  It won’t be honest and it won’t be engaging.   People are smart.  They will pick up on your lack of passion for your chosen topics and go elsewhere if all you care about is gaining a web presence without actually caring about what you blog about.

There are lots of wonderful bloggers who don’t have many followers or views.   That’s not because their blogs are bad.  It’s because either they haven’t been blogging long enough to attain a web presence, or because the blogger is mostly writing for themselves and isn’t actively trying to promote their blog.  Some people don’t care about popularity.   And there’s nothing wrong with that.  They’re blogging for the best of reasons–because they love to write and blogging gives them a voice and a way to express themselves. .

It’s the reason I blog.   I really can’t think of anything I love doing more.   It’s also been very healing for me.  I’d keep writing and blogging even if I was the only person in the world reading my posts.  But I’m only human and it can be very discouraging when you feel like your online voice is falling on deaf ears.  At first, it was frustrating when I’d spend a couple of hours perfecting a post, choosing the perfect picture for it, editing it and re-editing it, and then post it, only to get no likes and only a few views.

Here is a post I wrote when this blog was less than two weeks old, when I had a whopping 12 followers and hardly any views. It makes me laugh to read this now, but I’m sure most new bloggers can relate to these feelings of frustation:

https://luckyottershaven.com/2014/09/18/im-frustrated/

It was the first time Opinionated Man reblogged a post of mine.  With his 50K plus followers (at the time; now he has nearly 60K), he seemed like a blogging God to me. Because of his generous nature and willingness to help new bloggers succeed, this post (which sounds very whiny to me now) wound up getting a ton of views, Likes, and comments, and I got my first sizeable batch of new followers.  What a great way to start your blogging career!

Although being popular isn’t my primary reason for blogging, I have to admit I’ve come to care about this blog’s growth too.    There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as it doesn’t become your main reason for blogging.  I’ve been blogging for a year and a half now.    During that time, my stats have grown steadily, to the point where I’m averaging 50K views a month.  A year ago I never would have believed it.

Source: http://luckyottershaven.com.webstatsdomain.org/

I’ve been fortunate enough to have had a little help along the way,  thanks to other, more popular and established bloggers reblogging or linking to my posts.   I learned about sharing to social media (something I was reluctant to do at first) and linking to other blogs.   I’ve made a lot of friends among other bloggers and we’re like a big community who help each other get seen.  Yes, of course there is envy among bloggers, but fortunately I haven’t seen too much of it and for the most part, there’s more of a desire to see your fellow bloggers do well than to see them fail.

There are blogs far more popular and successful than mine.   This blog is really pretty small potatoes, but watching it grow is still incredibly encouraging and exciting, like watching your baby grow up.    It’s a heady feeling when you type a few words into Google and see your own blog come up at or near the top.    Although I would still blog even if I only had 10 views a month, these incremental rewards have a way of motivating you to keep writing even more.  It’s also very cool being in a position now where I can begin to help other bloggers the way I was helped when I was new.   It’s wonderful to be able to pay it forward and help others get more of a web presence.

I’ve been accused of caring too much about my stats.    Maybe it’s true.  Watching my stats has become one of my favorite hobbies, but maybe that’s because I’ve always been a numbers junkie.   The growth of this blog didn’t just happen on its own though. I had to work hard at it, and the hardest part for me was getting over my fear of sharing posts to social media.  I don’t have enough of a Google presence to just sit back and let things take off on their own.   I have to keep working at it, keep sharing, keep connecting.   It’s almost a full time job.   Even so, while watching my views  and web presence increase is a nice side benefit of blogging, it’s not the reason I blog.

If you only blog to see your stats grow, and care nothing about what you write, not only will people be able to tell your heart isn’t in it, but chances are you’ll get discouraged and give up the minute your stats take a downturn.  I’ve had slow months and a few with no growth at all. It hasn’t all been a smooth ride uphill.    Some of my posts that are personal favorites just don’t seem to resonate with others that well, while other posts that I could care less about, seem to take on a life of their own. It’s always a surprise seeing what others like and what they don’t.  You can certainly try to concentrate on writing more of the types of posts that seem to resonate more with others, if being popular is your thing.

My other blog, which documents my journey in therapy, is nowhere near as popular as this one. It hasn’t really grown at all since I started it in August, and that’s okay.     I don’t share most of the posts on that blog to my social media and I don’t promote it at all.  I only write about 1 – 2 posts a week for it, while I write every day on this blog.    It also has a much narrower topic focus, while this one covers a much wider range of topics.  I figure, if people want to read the posts on my other blog, they will find them, but I don’t worry about it too much or try to call attention to it.   I mostly write it for myself.

In summary, I blog for four reasons, in the following order.

  1.  Enjoyment, love of writing/blogging
  2.  Self-therapy and healing; giving myself a voice.
  3.  Community with my readers and other bloggers; helping others
  4.  The thrill of increasing web presence.

So.  Why do you blog?

Two kind of incredible things that happened to me yesterday!

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1. I got a new car! It’s a 1999 Toyota Corolla, great condition, runs like a dream. A little low to the ground, but I’ll get used to it. I got it at a low price through a guy through my church (much more trustworthy than relying on Craigslist) who is taking the old Taurus off my hands too. Everyone tells me these cars run forever if you keep them maintained. I know someone who has a Toyota Corolla that has over 400,000 miles on it.

I’d post a photo, but it was dark when I got it, and the car is a dark charcoal gray, and it’s raining. I’ll post one later today though! I’m taking the day off to go take care of things at the tag office. Yay! No more driving around doing free advertising in the company car.

2. I’m always hesitant to post stats-related info, but I told Opinionated Man about it and he told me to go ahead and brag about this so I will. On the 20th, this blog finally entered the Alexa top million website. As of today, it’s ranked at 993,830 globally and at 125,582 in the United States. I know these ranks don’t matter a whole lot until you get into the top 100K or so, but it’s still very encouraging.

I know this is one of the things I said a blogger shouldn’t do, but…

 

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I just can’t keep this to myself.   This blog is about to hit a major milestone, probably sometime tomorrow: 50K views this month!   Thanks so much to all of you who have helped this to happen!  I’m over the moon. 🌕 🌖 🌗 🌘 🌑 🌒 🌓 🌔

It makes me laugh when I read this old post, one of the first I ever wrote.  It was written when this blog was a week old and I had 12 followers.  I’m not known for my patience!

https://luckyottershaven.com/2014/09/18/im-frustrated/

 

 

 

Lucky Otter’s Haven is growing up!

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Graph showing how this blog has grown since October 2014 (September 2014 is not available but was even lower than October). I remember thinking 50 views a day was a big deal (that’s about where “Down The Rabbit Hole” is at right now, but I don’t ever expect that blog to ever have the same draw as LOH, because it has a much narrower focus than this one and a much more limited audience.)

The abnormally high views for May were due to a controversial article that attracted an undue amount of negative attention. Controversial articles do get you seen! (But I hate having haters).

The numbers at the bottom are for September 2015, highlighted in orange on the graph.
Click image to enlarge.

I’ve been reluctant to post the good news about my stats, because it might make me seem too narcissistic, but hell, I’m proud of this, and I want to brag! I think anyone would want to crow a little.

This month, I probably won’t quite reach 40K views, but it will be close enough.
This blog now averages well over 1,000 views a day and is creeping up into the neighborhood of 1200-1300 per day in the past few weeks.

I can actually afford to get a bit lazy sometimes now. I’ve reached the point, after a little over a year of blogging, where I need not even post new stuff every day for LOH to continue to get hits and new viewers. That’s because a few of my articles have become self-perpetuating magnets to this blog. In other words, several articles (some posted quite a long time ago–many of them are listed under “Most Popular Posts” in the sidebar) are now appearing at the top of Google for related search terms, so whenever people use those search terms in Google my articles are the first ones they see. The continued views keep them at the top of Google so they continue to get hits every day.
That’s why using appropriate search terms (tags, categories, and making sure the term is somewhere in your title) is so important. I’m learning all this stuff as I go along.

This is good, because it’s a motivator, and those of you who follow LOH know I haven’t been feeling particularly motivated lately. So this helps!

Now I can set some goals. WP’s November challenge (Nano Poblano or whatever it was called last year) is looming on the horizon and that will motivate me to post every day, the way I have been until recently. It’s my hope that by the end of this year (where did this year GO, anyway???), LOH will be getting 50K or more views per month.

It also is great that the views/viewer ratio is about 2:1. That means that for the 32.4K views I have for September so far, there have only been 16K viewers, which means viewers are looking at more than the one article they found by searching on Google (and other search engines). They are finding reason to stick around and look at other things too.

This kind of made my day. 😀

Well, I just have to say it.

May 18, 2015: 2,597 views.

My October 3 article, A Match Made in Hell: Narcissists and HSPs, has exceeded 1K Facebook shares. I can’t believe this. Obviously it hit a nerve out there.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! ❤

Holy fettucini! Has this article gone VIRAL?

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What the f*ck? 😮

Seriously, what the actual f*ck?

I noticed my views were WAY up, and opened my stats page to see what was going on.
Here is what I saw.

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On investigation, it has something to do with this very old article I posted back in early October, which seems to be going VIRAL?!?
A Match Made in Hell: Narcissists and HSPs.

I just looked. 518 Facebook shares. WHAT??????
I refreshed — now it’s 523.

I can’t even wrap my brain around this.
But whoever made this go viral, thank you so very much! It made my day.

ETA: Total views for today (my clock is off 4 hours): 2,123! I’ve never even come CLOSE to that!