I wasn’t planning on writing anything today until I saw a notification from WordPress congratulating me on the blog’s anniversary. I had realized a few days ago the one year mark was approaching, but had completely forgotten. I certainly can’t let today go by without posting something.
I must say, when I started Wild American Gooner a year ago, I had no idea what it would become. I certainly didn’t think it would last a full year, or frankly even a month. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I could develop any sort of readership. This was purely for me – a vehicle to improve my writing skills and allow me to watch every single World Cup match without feeling too guilty.
A year later, more than 200,000 words have been written for the blog. And while there have been many ups and downs in the number of hits the site has gotten on a day to day basis, I’ve totaled more than 14,000 visitors this year. But most astoundingly, they have come from all across the globe in around 120 different countries. To me, that is the most humbling and inspiring thing of all. That in that many countries, even one person has spent time reading what I have written keeps me going.
I owe a great deal of debt to my readers, particularly my frequent likers and commenters from Ecuador, Colombia and Trindad & Tobago. The positive feedback in the beginning was invaluable towards my wanting to return to the keyboard. And that goes to everyone I know personally too, especially to my family members and friends around the country who continue to read. Thanks for reading, thanks for being supportive, and thanks for bearing with me through countless Arsenal articles I know you couldn’t be bothered to care about.
Recent changes to WordPress have made keeping track of site stats harder on a grander level – that’s why I no longer know exactly how many countries are represented in my readers among other things. But I always find it interesting to see which articles get the most hits. Davidson basketball articles are generally well read – six of my top ten are Davidson related, with my recap on the scene in Seattle of the NCAA Tournament game being the most viewed. But those stats are largely boosted from the articles being posted on the Facebook page of The Davidsonian.
Of non-Davidson posts, the most viewed by far is my piece on the How I Met Your Mother finale. I spent more time on that than any other post, but I wasn’t expecting my first and, with the exception of one other, only non sports post to be so popular – the other being my other Himym post on the alternate ending, which also was well read. I need to thank Himym Creator Craig Thomas and lead actor Josh Radnor once again for giving me positive feedback on that piece. Their words and actions on Twitter meant more than they could ever know.
Of the rest of them, some of the most popular pieces were my post immediately after the trading deadline when I said goodbye to Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes, my reaction to Arsenal’s new kits, and my Premier League predictions. And of course there was the day last June when I wrote four 1,000+ word posts. Thinking back to that day certainly helped me believe I could write a couple five-page papers right before exams last month.
If I could do it all over again, I might have chosen a different name for the site, but there isn’t a whole lot else I would have done differently. It was tricky figuring out how to find time to write at school, but I think I found a good balance. Somehow or other, this is post #173. So now, at the risk of boring you and driving you away, I’ll wrap this up.
Thanks to the athletes I’ve written about for giving me such great material. Thanks to my readers across every continent and at home for reading. And thanks to everyone for inspiring me to write. I’m excited for year two.
If you have any ideas for content or improvements that could be made to the site, please comment below or reach me on Twitter (@Klaus_Faust)