My Year: 2015

I’d initially wanted to write a series of posts this week discussing my favorite things from different categories, but now I’m just going to write one review for everything. Even though I know everyone else already has. But eh. Let’s get started.

Blogging

At the start of 2015 I set some pretty ridiculous goals for the blog that I thought were attainable. They were, but I missed the mark. Here are some side-by-side stats comparing 2014 to 2015.

Posts

282 (2014) – 363 (2015)

Views

30,102 (2014) – 33,469 (2015)

Visitors

12,195 (2014) – 17,097 (2015)

Likes

5,302 (2014) – 8,386 (2015)

Comments

10,159 (2014) – 9,685 (2015)

I’m sure some might look at the numbers and think of how great the year was. It wasn’t. It was okay. About a thousand new followers and it didn’t translate into anything meaningful. No surge in views, comments, or much of anything. But it’s fine. Maybe my content was to blame. I don’t know.

But my original goals for the year were to reach 40,000 site views, to reach 5,000 followers, and to post 25 poems. I didn’t achieve any of those goals. So I won’t set any goals for the blog in 2016. Because it can only be as good as I can make it. And that’s it.

The top three posts published in 2015 were:

Ursula Le Guin is Clueless

Little Free Libraries Have Come Under Fire

On False Claims From Bloggers

Social Media

I’ve all but stopped using other social media. My Facebook app has been deleted but there’s something wrong with my phone and it randomly restarts and re-downloads the app. Not even kidding. I rarely use Twitter. My blog posts go there automatically, but I just don’t tweet hardly at all. I’ve only recently really started using my Instagram account a bit more. But I see people posting multiple terrible photos a day and I’m just baffled. Eh.

Reading

Y’all already know I only read 10 books in 2015. There’s nothing satisfying about that number. I did manage to read some good books, including the best book I’ve ever read. But this has got to stop. From 2010-2012 I read a total of 106 books. Which is nothing compared to some people on WordPress, but at least it’s something. From 2013-2015 I read a total of 32 books. It’s just stupid. What the hell am I even doing? *slaps myself*

BookTube

I know my channel has something like 16 subscribers, but this is probably what I’m most excited about in 2016. Because I’ll be making videos for two different things going on. I’ll still be reading from Amazon’s 100 Books Everyone Should Read list, which means videos for each one of those. And I’ll also be making videos for every book I read from my challenge. The first will be coming tomorrow for The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which I finished last night. So if you’re still working on your first book of the year and you’re doing my challenge, you’re officially in the rear view mirror! I WILL set a goal for my channel in 2016. 25 videos. Easy enough. I released seven videos on my channel in 2015. My most viewed was my first video, An Intro to Johnny Reads!. It was also my shortest in length. Welp.

Hometown Teams

What a year for Houston sports. The Rockets had one of the most improbable playoff series wins in history by overcoming a 3-1 deficit to the LA Clippers and reaching the conference finals for the first time in almost 20 years. The Astros continued their improvement by snagging a playoff spot and having the eventual World Series champions within six outs of elimination. And the Texans just won their third division title in team history. Playoff game this Saturday! Everyone jokes at work that I don’t know anything except sports and books. Not that far from the truth.

Half Price Books

In August I started working at Half Price Books. It”s been great from day one. The people are great to work with and be around (even if they poke fun sometimes) and I’m literally paid to work in a bookstore. Heaven does exist! It’s already been five months and I’m still loving every single day there.

Trip of a Lifetime

My first. I’ve been saving as much of my little bit of money as I can. And I’m rewarding myself by taking the first trip of my life. I’ve been to Disney World. I’ve been to Michigan. But Disney World happened in the 90s and Michigan wasn’t a vacation type trip. But I’ll finally get to experience what it’s like to really travel. And I’ll be able to see the capital city of my country. I think during those four days I’ll be able to learn even more about what it means to be an American. Heck, I might even cry when I see some things. I can’t tell you how excited I am, and how glad I am to have made the decision to go. I’m hoping this becomes my first trip of many trips of a lifetime. Fingers crossed!

Reading Challenge

I said I’m most excited about my BookTube channel, but I’m also very excited about my reading challenge. Mostly because I’ve gotten tons of feedback and support since I first mentioned it a week ago. I have a feeling the post is going to be one of the top two or three posts of THIS year. It’s getting that much traffic. But I’m also excited to see what other people read and say about something I came up with fully on my own. I overhear my co-workers talking about it just about everyday. It’s great because I know others are also talking about it in various places on the Internet.

In a nutshell, I became more and less active on social media. I started working at a bookstore, My loyalty to my hometown teams finally paid off. And I saved up enough money to start my traveling. Sounds like an alright year to me.

Thanks for always coming back, guys. I know I write things you won’t always agree with and I’ll probably push your buttons without even knowing it, but it’s never too serious. And no one is aiming to be disrespectful. This is my little piece of cyberspace, and you’re always welcome.


On this day in 2015 I published Mark Zuckerberg’s “A Year of Books”.

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Another Month Gone

2015 is rapidly coming to a close. And the bloggity here is going with it. I barely started reading posts on here again within the last two or three days. It isn’t that I’m not interested, it’s that in the mornings I’m either sleeping or getting ready for work. And at night I’m usually watching a TV show or basketball game. But I’m just making excuses. I read a bunch of posts last night. And hopefully I will before bed tonight too. All I can do is try. Anyway, let’s talk about November stats.

Posts: 30

Likes: 458

Comments: 418

Followers: 3255

Books Read: 0

Poems: 0

YouTube Videos: 0

Welp. Lows across the board. Of course. Basically what I’ve come to expect at this point. My girlfriend says it best. I’m still on WordPress quite a bit, but I’m not really into it. *sad face* I’m trying, guys.

The one interesting thing that came out of November is that I’m thinking of doing one of two things. Maybe both. I’m thinking of reviving my sports blog OR turning that into a YouTube channel. Probably doesn’t make much sense, but the reason I don’t make more videos on my current channel is because I need to be reading something in order to make a video. Whereas in sports there is ALWAYS something for me to talk about. Always. I guess we’ll see.  Now for some posts.

Top Post

A NaNo Alternative

Favorite Post

What I Learned From Katniss Everdeen

Post you may Have Missed

Saturday Selects #21: My problem with football

No surprise about the top post this month. NaNo is something people are always interested in reading about, and I think I wrote a handful of posts against it in November. Yikes. I’m crazy. Hm. What else? The Hunger Games movies ended for me, which means the series is officially over. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t just a little saddened by this. I love Katniss and that series so much. More than I’ll likely enjoy any series ever again. And it’s over. Maybe one day I’ll go against my rereading rule and reread those three books. Wouldn’t hurt to relive the rebellion with Katniss once again. Wouldn’t hurt at all.

So that’s it. My month in a tiny nutshell. How was your November?

Floptober October

The title of this post is misleading. October turned out to be just fine. Well, relative to recent months.

In October I had even fewer site views than I did in September, which had easily been the low for the year. But eh, that’s not so bad. The number of unique visitors and comments were about the same or increased from last month. Now let’s look at the numbers.

Posts: 31

Likes: 576

Comments: 641

Followers: 3241

Books Read: 0

Poems: 0

YouTube Videos: 1

Pretty standard stuff for the current run of things. The first half of the year would have seen higher numbers across the board, but that’s okay. 2015 is still going to be a pretty damn good year on the blog. I still haven’t been reading even though I posted a new video showing y’all all the books I bought in September. And still no more poems posted here. Oh well.

Now for some posts.

Top Post

Saturday Selects #20: Gun Violence in America

Favorite Post:

No, These Book Series are not the Same

Post you may Have Missed

Books and Chill

I’d have to go back to verify it, but I think this may have been the first month in which a Saturday Selects post took the top spot. And it isn’t surprising. I knew the day I posted it that it would make something of a splash. And it did. With the presidential election here in the US coming in 12 months, I imagine it won’t be the last time I bring up a political or social issue on the blog. Heck, Saturday Selects will be here again this week. And the topic has already been decided upon.

So take a look at those posts if you happened to miss any of the three, and don’t forget to tell me about your month on WordPress. We’re all nice around here. Mostly. How was your month and Halloween?

September was one big Fail

Welp. In my August recap I declared that I’d be better at blogging regularly and reading posts. Turns out I lied. I’m pretty sure I read posts from only one blogger all month. I took forever to reply to comments at times. And I just barely managed to keep my streak of posting everyday alive. There were multiple days on which I posted just minutes before midnight. Oh well. Now let’s look at some stats. Previous record in parenthesis.

Posts: 30 (31)

Likes: 566 (837)

Comments: 516 (2121)

Followers: 3220

Books Read: 0 (4)

Poems: 0 (2)

YouTube Videos: 0 (3)

Lows across the board. This month ended up being very similar to January. Which had been the worst month of the year. I didn’t post everyday. And I struggled to find any kind of rhythm. I didn’t read a single page in September. I didn’t post any new poems on here. But I did write a few. And it just wasn’t the kind of month that I’ve grown used to. My plan is to write multiple posts at once so I’m not having to worry about them each night. Now for some posts.

Top Post

I’m Scared to do This

Favorite Post

Saturday Selects: It’s all about control

Post you may Have Missed

Here we go Again

I wish I could tell you for certain that I’ll get back into the swing of things here, but I have no idea if that’ll really happen. I still like blogging okay. I still like interacting with y’all about a variety of things. But I just have no motivation at the moment to stick to my regular schedule. Before it took power outages to get me to write posts outside of my regular time, and now I do it every week for no reason at all.

In other news, I’m about to finish up my probation period at Half Price Books. So that’s exciting. I think I’m doing just fine over there. And I think I’ll be getting to work on some new YouTube videos soon. Today or tomorrow, perhaps?

But who cares what I’m doing? How was your month?

August is Over, Fall is Near

Whew. August is over. Can’t say it was better or worse than any other recent August, but it wasn’t so bad. And some rather interesting things happened along the way. But as always, first with some stats. Previous record in parenthesis.

Posts: 31 (31)

Likes: 793 (837)

Comments: 936 (2121)

Followers: 3205

Books Read: 1 (4)

Poems: 0 (2)

YouTube Videos: 1 (3)

Nothing too spectacular to discuss here. It wasn’t really too bad at all. But it could have been much better. But there were some days that I just didn’t feel like getting on WordPress. I actually did not read a single blog post all last week, I just didn’t feel like it. And I was sleepy. But I’m not going to “catch up” as other bloggers might do. No one writes posts specifically for me to read. I’m sure everyone is just fine with or without me reading their stuff. But I’ll be better this week. I already have been.

The one thing I will say is that I did actually write a poem for the first time in months. And I think it was pretty decent. But it’s not for the blog and I won’t be revealing why I wrote it in the first place, just that I did.

Last thing before I get into some posts. I made the decision about halfway through the month not to make any more videos until September. It was mostly a time thing. I’m not stopping completely. Making videos is actually pretty fun for me.

Now for some posts.

Top Post

Killing Main Characters

Favorite Post

Day 1 at Half Price Books is Done!

Post you may Have Missed

Auto buy Authors

There aren’t too many firsts once you’ve been blogging steadily for more than two years, but something happened for the first time this month that hasn’t happened before. The top post of the month wasn’t written by me. It was written by Amy. I’m calling it luck. Her top post had only four more views than mine. Oh well. I guess it’s finally happened. Someone has posted on my blog and become more popular than me. *sigh* It actually very nearly happened earlier this year when I had my week of guest posts, but I was able to come out victorious. Ha!

And I haven’t forgotten that I started working at Half Price Books about halfway through the month! It’s been fun. And I think I’ll be getting a few more books tomorrow after my shift. I think. I’ve learned plenty and still have more than half of my training left.

So that’s it. My August in a nutshell. Plenty of sleep. New job. And the seventh consecutive month of blogging everyday. Oh, and I made an Instagram account! How was yours?


On this day in 2014 I published The Reader in Me Part II.

 

July, oh, July

July was an odd month. It was my worst month in terms of views in about a year and easily my worst of 2015. But the comments and Likes were only slightly below what I’ve come to expect. At first I thought my views were down because of it being summer over here, but the reasoning behind a bit of a slow month isn’t relevant. It happened and I kind of gave up about midway through the month because it was just not happening. Now for some stats. Previous record is in parenthesis.

Posts: 31 (31)

Likes: 782 (837)

Comments: 855 (2121)

Followers: 3152

Books Read: 1 (4)

Poems: 0 (2)

YouTube Videos: 2 (3)

The numbers aren’t bad overall. I still wish I knew why the views were way down for the month. Hopefully August can be a bit of a rebound. I am disappointed that I only managed to read the one book. I kind of attribute that to the book I’m reading now. It hasn’t sucked me in and makes me not want to read. But eh. I’m finishing it today and I’ll have my first book of August out of the way.

Also, my goal for the rest of the year is to read at least eight books a month. It sounds like a lot when I’ve only read three in the past two months combined, but I need to really go after my personal record and goal for the year. Reading eight each month would put me right there on the doorstep. And it’d give me an opportunity to keep making videos. I’m not worried about views on YouTube. I’ve already grown to enjoy the video making process.

Now for some posts.

Top Post

How Many Books Have you Bought This Year?

Favorite Post

Why you Need Half Price Books in Your Life

Post you may Have Missed

If you Could | Book Tag

I’m just a little bit surprised by the top post of the month. On the second of the month I wrote a post about acquiring the rest of the Harry Potter series and it had been the leader in the clubhouse for the entire month, but it was ultimately beaten by one view.

I think that’s all. As always, feel free to tell me about your month in the comments. My only real goal for August is that it be better than July.


On this day in 2014 I published Saturday Selects: How do you perceive law enforcement?.

 

New Beginnings Start in May

I’m obviously great at coming up with titles for my posts, huh? Anyway, this title is actually relevant to the month of May and there were some nice surprises that occurred along the way. I’m just going to jump right in with some numbers. As always, previous record will be in parenthesis.

Posts: 31 (31)

Likes: 829 (837)

Comments: 1366 (2121)

Followers: 2876

Books Read: 0 (4) *record for month in 2015

Poems: 0 (2) *record for month in 2015

An overall solid month, but it didn’t always look that way. The first half of May was dreadful. I’m pretty sure I actually scratched my head a time or ten because I had no idea what was going on. There are things that I fully expect to happen every month, no matter what I’m talking about on this blog. I expect to get new followers everyday. I expect to have between 800-1500 comments a month. I expect certain bloggers to return over and over again. These are all pretty constant, and I expect all of these things to combine to generate a specific number of views at the minimum. In the first half of May everything I just pointed out was happening just like any other month, but the views weren’t there. It would have been my worst month since December, which isn’t the worst thing in the world. You see I kept posting everyday and I kept interacting with y’all, but it was just a head scratcher.

The second half of the month was great. My best day of views in 2015 happened on Saturday, and last week was my best week of the year. I know y’all don’t care about this stuff, but it’s just a little weird sometimes. May was the fourth consecutive month that I posted everyday. And it was at least my seventh consecutive month of increasing comments. Now for some posts.

Top Post

What’s a Book Hangover?

Favorite Post

Stick With it

Post you may Have Missed

Not all Writers are the Same

My top post came at the end of the month! It will soon become the top post of 2015. I knew when I decided to write it that almost no one would agree with me, but I didn’t realize there would be such a reaction from several bloggers. But eh, I’m not apologizing for being honest.

Lastly, I announced that I’m starting a YouTube channel! I’m actually pretty excited about this. My intention is to record my first video tomorrow and hopefully have it released by Wednesday. Then I’ll just record them when I have something new to talk about.

I think that’s all for me. May could very well be the start of something fun.

How was your month?

PS: I’ve now sent out all of the guest post invites. It’s more than just five, which means two things…first, just because you write a post doesn’t mean I’ll post it. Second, the sooner you get your post to me the faster I can make a decision as to whether or not to post it.