The Year in Review: A Look Back at Thebenbacon

Happy last day of 2016 everybody! Well, they said it couldn't be done (and by "they" I mean me, and often times my wife) but I was able to write and share 25 blog posts over the year. Full list and links below in case you missed any.

Whenever you spend a ton of time on any personal or professional project like this, it's always good to do a post-mortem. So here are a few questions I asked myself this morning, starting with:

Did people actually read this thing? :) 

Let's take a look at some of the website traffic numbers courtesy of Google Analytics. 

Over the course of the year, the blog had 5,985 unique visitors from all 51 states and several dozen countries and in total there were 11,046 page views on the website

In the back of my head I was hoping for about 100 views per blog post so the fact that it was over 400 views per blog post was pretty cool. 

I also looked at average time on page which will tell you if people actually took the time to read the whole post or just clicked on it and abandoned after the first paragraph or two. The rule of thumb is that it takes the average person 1 minute to read 300 words. 

Again, the Google Analytics were helpful here. For instance, one of my longer posts "Happy Pills" was 2,400 words and the average time on that page was 7 minutes and 34 seconds. So, again people were actually reading it which is always a good thing! 

Which blog post was the most popular?

There was one post that was far and away the most viewed and that one is "Make Someone's Day Today: Remembering Steve Mayer" with over 3,000 people reading it.  Which honestly, of any of the blogs that I wrote this year, I'm glad it was that one. In this post, I shared some memories and thoughts on the very sudden and tragic death of my sixth grade teacher and basketball coach from New Jersey, Steve Mayer. If you haven't read it yet, please do. 

Ironically, it was also the blog that took the shortest amount of time to write (~20 min) so the lesson there is that effort doesn't always equate to results. The best performing posts can often be the ones that flow naturally and come from the heart. And speaking of...

What blog post did I get the most reaction from?

This one would definitely be "Party of Six" where Brooke and I shared our loooong journey towards building a family. I was super nervous to hit the publish button on that one, but the outpouring of love we got from friends and families online and in real life meant so much to us. It was also the blog post that made the most people cry, although that was definitely not the intent :)

What was the worst performing blog post?

That would have to be "The Thing About Dreams" which was barely read, liked or mentioned among any of my friends that week. Hey, they can't all be winners folks!

What was the blog post I enjoyed writing the most?

That would actually be the whole series I wrote on Happiness. I researched quite a bit in preparation for each one and learned a lot about happiness along the way. And I was also quite happy (pun intended) with how they all turned out. 

What was the most difficult thing about blogging?

For me, it was two things. Finding the time to actually blog (which after a baby and new job came along this summer was pretty much nonexistent) and also the quality bar I had set for myself. 

In fact, there's about 7-8 additional blog posts that I wrote this year but scrapped because in the end as I read them back they just weren't very good. Or they were too inflammatory- there was one post about Trump that I wrote that I knew would somehow offend all Democrats, Republicans and 99% of Christians. So, off they went to Recycle Bin heaven :)

What's going to happen to the blog in 2017?

Well, I just paid to renew it on Squarespace (which has been a great website platform btw) so it's there. But the frequency will probably be way less as I find a new challenge for 2017 :(

It might help if you all told me which types of blog posts you enjoyed the most because frankly this thing was all over the place. So in the comments either here or on FB can you let me know what types of blogs you'd like to see more of in 2017?

  • Workplace/productivity blogs
  • Family/parenting related blogs
  • Health/fitness blogs
  • Recommendation blogs (products, music, articles, etc.)
  • All the above (e.g. The hodgepodge blog)

A Huge Thank You!

I can't stress this enough but I am so grateful to all of you who took the time to read my stuff this year. I hope you learned not only more about me but picked up a few life tips along the way. 
Happy New Year everyone!
-Ben
 

  1. My personal goal for 2016 and why you should have one too
  2. The quest to be a better boss
  3. About time
  4. Party of six
  5. What makes you happy? Part 1: Genetics and worldviews
  6. What makes you happy? Part 2: Money and work
  7. What makes you happy? Part 3: Vitamins and supplements
  8. Make Someone's Day Today: Remembering Steve Mayer
  9. Parenting hacks for working parents
  10. Do you have change blindness?
  11. Introducing Vaughn Bacon
  12. Bring on the 40s
  13. Hello FlapJacked
  14. The upside of getting annoyed
  15. Feeling bee-trayed
  16. The thing about dreams
  17. 4 things to try with your family this week
  18. Holiday gift ideas for bros
  19. Holiday gift ideas for ladies
  20. The year according to random photos on my iPhone
  21. The one question I ask in every job interview
  22. My favorite albums, bands and songs from 2016
  23. 5 easy-ish ways to lose weight in 2017: Part 1
  24. 5 easy-ish ways to lose weight in 2017: Part 2
  25. The year in review: a look back at thebenbacon