Happy birthday, dear blog

Happy Birthday to my blog

For my blog’s first birthday, I thought I’d look back over my first year blogging and spout wisdom. But then I drank tea and wrote random stuff instead.

Yesterday my blog turned a year old.

Yes, despite the constant concern that I would wake up one day with absolutely nothing to say, I’ve somehow managed to post twice a week for 52 weeks.

(To be fair, I often don’t say anything.)

The one year mark seems like the appropriate time to say certain things. Here they are.

Stats (because there are more numbers than stars)

In case you’re curious, or even if you’re not, here are the magic numbers that came out of my first year in the blogosphere.

Number of posts: 110 (all but one of them mine)

Page views according to Google Analytics: 12,600 (I wonder how many of these are mine)

Users according to Google Analytics: 3,365

Sessions according to Google Analytics: 7,402

Comments: 1,836 (I expect half of these are mine)

Trolls: 0, plus or minus

Numbers are good if you like them and bad if you don’t. I like my numbers, so I guess that makes them good. I’m especially happy to have met minimal unpleasantness and a great deal of delightfulness in the comments.

Things I’ve learned

I’ve learned all kinds of things in my first year blogging, including the riches to be gained from blogging and the true value of this blog to me.

I’ve also learned I don’t need to have anything to say in order to post, I can write a post in an hour and a half (but should really allow at least two hours), and some people think I’m funny. (Weirdos.)

Things I’m grateful for

You guys!

Whether you’re one of my close friends, or a curious visitor who just happens to have stumbled across my cabin in the (internet) woods, I’m grateful you chose to spend some of your valuable time reading my ramblings. I hope you got as much out of reading them as I got out of writing them.

Where next?

When I started this journey, I told myself I was going to blog twice a week for a year and then decide whether to reduce to once a week.

I’d read in all sorts of places that twice a week is the minimum frequency that will build momentum for a blog, and three times a week is better. I knew three times a week was too big an ask, so I settled on twice.

Once I had a good collection of posts up, the logic ran, a decrease in posting frequency might not cause too much harm.

Am I going to reduce to posting once a week?

It would free up more time for editing my book, but I also suspect it would drop me below the critical frequency required to keep posting not a big deal.

If I were to post only once a week–four times a month–so much more would ride on each post. And every time I sat down to blog it would have been a week since my previous post and I would have forgotten how.

That seems like a bad plan.

So, no. Twice a week works for me and I’m going to stick at it.

Revisiting my first post

I know someone tagged me in a blog game where you have to reblog your first post, but somewhere along the line I lost track of who it was. (Sorry!)

Still, my blog’s first birthday seems like the perfect time to look back and laugh at how ignorant I was, so here, for your viewing pleasure, is my first post.

Since this is my first post, I thought I’d introduce myself. Hello, I’m A.S. Akkalon and I write fantasy novels.

You can read all about my life on my bio page. Yes, I have a bio and it has its own page, because it makes me sound a bit more like an author and a bit less like some idiot who’s managed to figure out WordPress (and I can’t lay claim to that distinction just yet).

My bio is almost entirely true, and only some of it is metaphorical.

I hear blog posts are better with pictures, so here’s a picture for you. It’s not me. It’s a squirrel.

squirrel

I could tell you what kind of blog this is going to be, but first I’d have to know. It’s not going to be a blog of writing advice. Not that I have anything against writing advice blogs. In fact, they’re one of my favourite kinds of blogs. I just think anything I could say on that front has already been said elsewhere and much better than I could manage.

If you have a writing blog and you happen to be reading this then, first, yay, I have a reader! And second, please say hi and point me to your blog in the comments so I can check it out.

If you have any other kind of blog, point me to that too.

I’m also not going to (primarily) talk about my writing life because, frankly, I don’t think anyone other than me cares, and even I’m borderline. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m not a super famous author. If you think I am, bad news, sorry. You’re on the wrong site.

So if I’m not going to write about writing, what am I going to write about? Life. I don’t expect everyone who reads this to be a writer, but probably everyone who reads it will be alive, so we have that in common.

I should warn you, I’m not funny and any humour in this blog is probably entirely accidental. Sort of like the humour in my novels. At least there I can edit and re-edit until the humour dies. I have to, because it usually occurrs at entirely inappropriate times, like when the heroine is being chased by fifteen priests and a dragon.

You might be curious what kind of books I write. You already know some of them have priests and dragons.

I write the kind of books I enjoy reading. No one’s ever going to analyse anything I write in English class at school, but if someone reads a book I wrote and it takes them on a journey and makes them feel, if it makes them forget a meal or stay up half the night reading, then I’ve succeeded in what I’m trying to do.

My stories might have themes and morals and symbol webs, but, like any humour, they’re probably entirely accidental.

My plan is to update this blog on Wednesdays (nearly always) and Sundays (sometimes). I live in New Zealand, so that might be Tuesdays and Saturdays for you. You’re smart. I’m sure you can figure it out.

If you’ve made it this far and you want to hear more that I’ve got to say, enter your email below to grab a horse and join my posse of special friends. You’ll get a monthly summary of my new posts, and maybe even special gifts because I like you so much.

Don’t forget to say hi in the comments.

That wasn’t so bad for a first post, was it?

A year later, I don’t think I’ve changed my mind about anything I said, and I’m still not famous.

On reflection, I’m fine with that. I’m not a big people person, and I’d prefer not to be recognised on those unfortunate occasions when I have to go out in public. I would like to be closer than I am to publishing my first book, but some things will take as long as they take. I can wait.

Happy birthday balloons
Happy birthday, dear blog.

Nope, I still can’t believe I made it through a year of blogging. Now, cake…

Get my updates right in your inbox. They’ve been coming for a year, so there’s a good chance they’ll be around a while yet.

Author: A.S. Akkalon

By day, A.S. Akkalon works in an office where the computers outnumber the suits of armour more than two-to-one. By night, she puts dreams of medieval castles, swords, and dragons onto paper.

22 thoughts on “Happy birthday, dear blog”

  1. Yay! Happy blog birthday! And well done on doing so many interesting, fun blogs. I’m glad you’re going to keep posting twice a week, because I’d miss them otherwise. 🙂

  2. I’m so happy for you, that you’ve enjoyed a year of blogging! You deserve much congratulations for managing two posts a week. OMG. I’ve had a blog for several years and if I post once a month it’s a tremendous month. Oh, I write many posts. I just end up thinking they’re stupid & don’t pub them. LOL You’ve inspired me to try and post more frequently.

    Your blog itself is very enjoyable and I can see why you have lots of readers. Keep up the great work!

    1. So glad I could inspire you! 🙂 I think there’s a certain momentum thing with blogging. I know I have to post twice a week, so I just do it. I don’t always feel like it, but I can’t miss a day and let down my readers… even if some of my posts are stupid. 🙂 I’m sure yours aren’t nearly as stupid as you think.

  3. Enormous cheers and good wishes — even though I live on the other side of the world, so relative to you I dwell in the past. The good news is that back here, it’s STILL your blog’s birthday, so you have every reason to eat more cake!

Comments are like jellybeans. Sweet and greatly appreciated.