1 YEAR WITH WORDPRESS

Dang. I can hardly believe it’s already been a year since I switched my blog from Blogger to WordPress. 300 posts and 21,000 views later, it’s time to look back over the last year and evaluate:

Design

My main reason for switching from Blogger to WordPress a year ago was the well-designed page. Having seen so many great-looking sites over the last two years with the WordPress ‘W’ at the bottom of the page, I was convinced that it was time to make a change. I wanted a blog that looked good and was simple and easy to use. The sites I had seen showed WordPress as sleek and professional and they made Blogger look cheap and cluttered. The ‘template’ was too obvious with Blogger, whereas WordPress made things look custom and individually designed.

It’s 2012, and all of that has changed now. It’s amazing what can happen in a year – Blogger has adopted many of the WordPress functions and formats (where WordPress has widgets Blogger has ‘gadgets’, both have a wide selection of pre-made designer templates, both have customizable html and the ability to be easily shared on other sites, etc) and more of the WordPress templates that I’d like to use for my own blog cost around $65 – $75.

My whole purpose in having a blog is to share my work and my passions, and to connect with readers and other artists and writers. In the interest of transparency (for anyone that’s interested), here are a few statistics that WordPress has provided me from my own posts over the last year.

300 Posts

In the course of one year, I’ve managed to create 300 posts, averaging a new post every 1.216 days. Posts have included everything from showcasing my own work and interviews, to videos with artists and writers, quotes, comics, tutorials, thoughts on creativity, drawings, and working methods for artists and writers. I was worried that I might have a hard time keeping this blog focused, but I think it’s working out all right.

Where Visitors Come From

As of this very second, there have been 21,164 viewers in the last year (70.5 visitors per post), with the majority of visitors coming from the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Canada, Indonesia and Brazil.

Visitors in those and other countries have been referred to my blog by over 300 different sites, the top five being:

1) Google image search,

2) Facebook,

3) Twitter,

4) jess-smiley.com, and

5) WordPress itself.

I also got a significant amount of traffic from the official Conan O’Brien site for my 75 drawings of Coco.

Top Posts and Search Terms

The five most visited posts from the last year are:

1) “Full-Scale Carpet Drawn by Hand“,

2) “Habibi is Out!“,

3) “My Library Card Won!”,

4) “Quentin Blake Drawing & Interview“, and

5) “Anya’s Ghost Preview“.

Top search terms include: “habibi craig thompson”, “quentin blake”, “jess smart smiley”, “craig thompson habibi” and “wedding invitation.”

It’s interesting, looking at the list of several hundred search terms, to see how people have come across my blog. While I focus on sharing my own work and working methods, as well as other artist’s and writer’s approaches to creating, people have managed to find my blog by searching for “ankle cast”, “design your own success”, “boy scout comics”, and “death metal gig flyers.” I’m happy to say that I have posts relating to each of those search terms 🙂

Top Clicks

Once on my blog, visitors are able to click on links and photos to take them to other images or sites.

The top three clicks include:

1) The Doodler’s Anonymous website, featuring Jonathan Bréchignac‘s hand-drawn carpet.

2) My “Will Draw for Coco” group on Facebook, including all 75 drawings of Conan O’Brien

3) The Top Shelf Comics website, featuring my graphic novel, Upside Down: A Vampire Tale (out this October!)

THANK YOU!

Thank you, each and every one of you, for making my first year with WordPress a good one! It’s been really fun getting to know those of you who have commented and participated in the posts.

As I said before, my goal with this blog is to share what I’m doing, and what my fellow artists and writers are doing, and to connect with readers. Thank you for reading, for sharing these posts, for commenting, and for letting me know what you are working on.

Will you do me a favor and let me know what you like about the blog? Leave a comment below about some of your favorite parts of the blog, or things you’d like to see changed.

Thanks again, and here’s to another year with WordPress!

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