Blogging highlights for 2022

As is my tradition, I have separated out my annual Reading highlights from my Blogging highlights, mainly because combining them would result in one very long post.

Top posts for 2022

In recent years my top posts gradually shifted to contain more posts on current Australian books. However, this year’s list has reverted to the “old look”, with one exception, which is that, unusually, two posts that were published during the year have made the Top Ten. This is rare because, mostly, they have not had the time to build up a following. It’s also a bit curious, because on those occasions that a this-year post has reached the Top Ten, the reason has been obvious – it’s been a runaway hit of a book, like Trent Dalton’s Boy swallows universe. That’s not the case here, as you can see.

Merlinda Bobis Fish-hair woman

Here is my 2022 Top Ten, in popularity order:

Observations:

  • Four of these (London, Ordering food in a restaurant, Twain and Bobis) were Top Tens last year. These, along with Barbara Baynton, who just missed out last year, are now serial Top Tenners (with some occasionally dropping into the Top Twenty, only to reappear again in the Ten.) All are related, I think, to assignments.
  • Five of this year’s Top Tens are debuts, including, curiously, my post on epiphany in Elizabeth Harrower’s “The fun of the fair” from Belinda Castles’ book. Perhaps the word “epiphany” has been the drawcard here?
  • Last year, six of the Top Ten posts were for full-length books, but that was clearly an aberration, as this year we returned to my more usual motley mix of mainly short stories/essays.
  • Five, versus last year’s seven, of the Top Ten posts were published over 5 years ago, which tells us that blog posts have staying power!

Just three Australian posts appear in the next ten: Barbara Baynton’s “Squeaker’s mate” (16), my post on the Canberra Writers Festival’s session with Germaine Greer (17), and Red Dog (19). Only Red Dog featured in this group last year, but a different Baynton did also. Red Dog was a Top Ten regular for years until 2020 when it moved to the Top Twenty, where it still remains.

Regarding posts actually written in 2022, this year saw two appearing in the Top Ten, whereas last year the first one appeared at no. 32.

Here are the Top Ten 2022-published posts (excluding Monday Musings and meme posts), with their ranking, month published, and relevant nationality:

One of last year’s 2021-published Top Ten, Shirley Jackson’s “The lottery”, jumped to this year’s “actual” Top Ten. Will any of the above achieve that this year? What surprises me most here is Wallace’s essay on Tracy Austin. Que?

My most popular Monday Musings posts were:

Random blogging stats

The searches

Help Books Clker.com
(Courtesy OCAL, via clker.com)

I love sharing some of the search terms used to reach my blog, although search term visibility is no longer what it used to be, which spoils my fun. However, some still get through.

  • this year there were a couple of very long searches … “i mean there is this guy who aparently is using me as his muse to do some form of story telling and writing and pass it off as satire… hmmm… i wonder who the person in the satire could be?…” (this found my Satire tag I think)
  • and this one that seems to have been copied from an assignment question, “dialogue about you at the restaurent you place an order but everything goes wrong the service is poor the food when it comes isnt what you order its poorly prepared even plates and cutlery were not good write your responsetothewaiter andthewaitercomplain” (no prizes for which post this one found)
  • there are always some that mystify me, like “virtuallightexperiments” and ‘“ashfield tamil” wardrobe‘, though repeating the search does reveal what they found (though not whether it was what they were looking for!)
  • as always, several searches seemed to be for assignments, like “writing a war story irony” (which found Wharton, presumably) and “everything good will come. settings” (which found who knows what?)

Other stats

Overall, 2022 was a challenging year for me blog-wise and it shows in the stats. I only wrote 138 posts, which is well under my long term average of 155. However, I wrote significantly more words per post this year, and my overall hits for the year increased by 8% on last year. Clearly my posts weren’t too long!

The top countries visiting my blog are the same as last year: Australia, the USA, Britain, India, the Philippines, Canada, Germany, France, Mexico and China, in that order.

Challenges, memes and other things

I only do one regular meme, Kate’s (booksaremyfavouriteandbest) #sixdegreesofseparation, and occasionally do others, which you can find on my “memes” category link. And, of course, as mentioned in a recent post I continue to be part of the Australian Women Writers blog.

As last year, I also took part, to different degrees, in Lisa’s (ANZLitLovers) First Nations Reading Week, Bill’s (The Australian Legend) AWW Gen 4, Nonfiction November, Novellas in November (Cathy of 746 books and Rebecca of Bookish Beck), the #YEAR Club (by Kaggsy’s Bookish Rambling and Simon’s Stuck in a Book), and Brona’s Aus Reading Month.

All of these align with my reading practice, with some providing a welcome opportunity to explore outside my blog’s main focus.

And so, 2023 …

As always, thank you to all of you who commented on my blog this year – the regulars who have hung in with me year in year out, and the newbies who have taken the time to visit and comment. I hope you have enjoyed the community here enough to stay. A sadness this year was the death in December of longterm friend Neil who had become a semi-regular commenter here and on other blogs. It is a testament to his lively personality and to the community feeling that blogging creates that his loss was commented on with genuine feeling (it seemed to me) by many. Thank you too to the lurkers. I may not know who you are but I know you are there and appreciate your interest and support too.

I also want to thank all the wonderful bloggers out there. I have done a poor job of keeping up this year, but I do appreciate you and enjoy reading your posts when I can. I wish you all good reading and great book talk in 2023.

Finally, huge thanks to the authors, publishers and booksellers who make it all possible – and who prove again and again that the book is far from dead. Roll on 2023 …

30 thoughts on “Blogging highlights for 2022

  1. Fascinating stuff… and so different to mine!
    Tell me, in the innards of your blog, where do you find the search terms these days? I don’t see mine any more.

    • Yes, it is interesting isn’t it, Lisa – just shows that our special interests do find their audiences?
      You find Search Terms under the Stats – Traffic tab. Scroll down and I get Authors, Search Terms, Clicks. It’s under the Map with list of countries coming to your blog? If you can’t find it I’ll send you screen shots, but this should find it for you.

  2. Jack London is a fascinating person and writer. I used to be a fan in my late teens but then he slipped off the radar. Hopefully we’ll learn a bit more about him when I write up The Iron Heel.
    For whatever reason kids never find my posts, except, perennially, Vance Palmer’s The Rainbird, which seems to be a set text in India.

    • Haha Bill, I’m sure Bobis’ Fish-hair woman is a set text in the Philippines, which is perhaps more understandable than the Palmer in India?

      I look forward to your write up of The iron heel.

  3. Ah, The Librarian emerges ..
    Or do I mean The Researcher ?
    [thinks]
    No, I’m wrong on both counts: it’s The Bloody Excellent Reviewer, just doing some sums.
    [grin]

  4. I’ve been the same as you; quite behind in my blogging as well as at keeping up with those I follow; hope 2023 turns out a year when one can be back on track. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts and our interactions this year and look forward to more in 2023!

  5. At the predominantly tech aggregator “Hacker News” (https://news.ycombinator.com), there were a couple of links to Wallace’s piece about Tracy Austin not that long ago, but in June 2021, so a bit early–I’d think–to influence the popularity of your item.

    • Thanks George. Yes, it sounds like a bit early but maybe that site suggests a quiet ongoing interest in her and the issue. Is it her or Wallace that attracts the hits I wonder. Probably mainly her.

  6. ‘A poor job of keeping up’ you say. Well if you are not keeping up, nobody is. Your posts are one of the wonders of my landscape. I constantly reel in amazement at the number of books you read, the thoughts you have, the places you go, and the depth and reach of the comments you make. Then today you come along with an analysis of your year’s reflections. Bliss! May 2023 bring an ever-growing whisper among your reliable roaring eucalypts. Some fierce editors might demand a comma between those adjectives, but I feel you could be more sensitive to rhythm and tone.

    At the end of a writing course, I usually give my best student (I am the judge) an award called ‘The Chinese Egg Cup Award’. I would like to award you a Chinese Egg Cup for blogging in 2022. (If you send me by email your current address, I will forward the Cup to you.

    • 0h Carmel, you are such a wonderful supporter of my blog.

      Commas! Ha ha, yes, I tend to use commas more often than not, but those adjectives are exactly where serious consideration needs be given as to whether to comma or not to comma.

      I am honoured to be the recipient of a Chinese Egg cup and am very happy for it to be a virtual one! It’s the thought that counts – isn’t it?

  7. I always love your blogging highlights, especially the searches. Sometimes it’s obvious but other times you just have to wonder, what the heck? I hope 2023 is full of all sorts of marvelous bookish (and non-bookish) things!

    • Thanks Stefanie … I like the searches too bit it’s so disappointing that most are now hidden. I don’t really get that because you don’t know who entered the search terms.

      Anyhow, all the very best of the year to you both too.

  8. I always love your blogging highlights, especially the searches. Sometimes it’s obvious but other times you just have to wonder, what the heck? I hope 2023 is full of all sorts of marvelous bookish (and non-bookish) things!

  9. I always enjoy reading your reflections, especially search terms! Sadly I can’t see any searches any more – it’s all just “unknown”. When I could see them it was almost always students completing assignments, and they normally found a very old post on Brighton Rock. For some reason, my runaway most popular post every year ever since I wrote it is the one on Daphne du Maurier’s Frenchman’s Creek. I don’t think that’s a book likely to be set as an assignment, so it mystifies me as to why it’s so popular!

    • Thanks so much Lou. I enjoy doing them but it can feel self centred. That is interesting about Du Maurier.

      BTW, You are WordPress too so you should be able to see the search terms unless your national jurisdiction is tougher? I regularly get unknown too but if I set Traffic to Year I usually see some. If it’s just set to Day I have to be lucky to get one of the days that some are revealed. My guess is that it depends on the search engine people use. I must research this.

        • I’m going to try one more thing… when you see this:

          Search terms
          No search terms recorded
          View details

          Have you clicked on “View details”? When I do that I get the option to see 7 days, 30 days, Quarter, Year, All time.

          Currently, when I click on 7 days, I get nothing, but on 30 days I get 2 terms and on 30 days I get about 7. This is nothing like what we used to get when they were all recorded but it’s something. I’ve tried to research and I don’t get any information about its being different in different places. I think it is primarily Google (and maybe some other search engines) but it’s difficult to research because my searches just keep bringing back SEO hits.

  10. I’m in the process of putting my blogging stats together – my brain a mush of numbers atm!!
    In publishing circles, Wake was one of those books that had the most thrown at it in 2022, so they will be gratified to see it in your top 10 posts from this year.

    You may not have felt that you were doing as much this year, but combine it with all the work you do at the AWW and I am as always in awe of your thoughful, considered output (compared to many of my rambling, cobbled together, last-minute efforts!)

    • Thanks as always for your interest and support Brona. Your posts don’t feel cobbled together … there’s a lot of research and thought behind them which makes them interesting even if not always traditional. Variety is good!

      That’s interesting re Wake. I know the author worked hard at promotion as I’d see her on Instagram. I gave it to my son’s partner and she liked it and passed it on to my daughter who also enjoyed it. Im not an expert but it felt a good example of its genre.

      Anyhow I look forward to seeing your post! You said, as I recollect, that you were in a bit of a slump at the beginning of the year but it feels like you achieved a lot.

  11. I used to get loads of hits for assignments back when the movie Hidden Figures was released. I had a blog post titled something like “Hidden Figures, Comparing the Movie and Book.” LOL, I basically invited trouble with that title.

    And then many years ago I reviewed a quartet of books called the Lesbian Career Girl novels, which were satire about those 1950’s career girls but who were all lesbians. I would get searches like “lesbian sex sexy boobs” or whatever, and that was exhausting.

  12. Search engines love long content so your longer pieces may be generating more traffic for you.
    I’m afraid I have been very neglectful of your wonderful posts on Australian lit these past few months – some family health issues have sucked up a lot of my time and energy. Hope to do better soon though

    • Oh no worries Karen. My life has been very busy and will be again this year with major downsizing happening, so my reading of books and blogs, and my writing of blogs, have taken a dive and will stay that way through most of this year too.

      I hope you and yours are well now? All the best for a great 2023.

      Interesting point re longer content and search engines. I hadn’t thought about that.

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