2020 – Year in review for the blog

2020 marked my eighth year of blogging. Through the end of last year, I’ve published 511 posts for an average of ~65 posts/year, which I’m happy with.

As I like to do at the start of each year, here’s a look back on the year that was and a look forward to goals for 2021. In the meantime, here are the links to past editions of the annual review:

Let’s dig in with a look at traffic.

Blog traffic

Two significant milestones were passed during 2020:

  1. Total sessions broke the 200K mark and finished the year at nearly 205,000.
  2. Total pageviews broke the 250K mark and finished the year at 264,000
Graph of website traffic from 2013-2020

The traffic has a few peaks and valleys in it over the last couple of years, but it’s been generally consistent from 2019 to 2020. One interesting trend I’ve noticed is that the pages/session, average session duration, and bounce rates continue to get progressively worse through the years. My hypothesis is that most visitors enter the site through a Google search, view that page, and then return to their search results. Just like I don’t stress over my traffic numbers, I don’t stress over the engagement numbers either. I simply find the trends in these statistics interesting.

Taking a closer look at 2020 shows a similar traffic pattern to 2019 with a peak in traffic during the summer months. The peak in 2020 was larger than 2019 resulting in 15% more traffic this year when compared to last.

Website traffic during 2020

The traffic lessons I mentioned last year haven’t changed. They are:

  1. Original content matters
  2. Depth (i.e. quantity) of content matters
  3. The long tail (of search) generates most of the traffic

Again, I’m not focused on driving traffic. It’s not one of the reasons I blog, so I don’t plan to make any changes based on the numbers. It’s just interesting to see the statistics over time.

Blog posts

My annual goal is 100 posts. 2019 was the closest I came to hitting my goal when I published 93. I did slightly better in 2020 but still came up short of my goal. I published 96 posts for the year.

Blog posts: 2013-2020

201371
201473
201559
201657
201736
201824
201993
202096

The year started strong. I had 50 posted published by end of May. Unfortunately, I couldn’t keep up the pace but did manage to post consistently the rest of the year.

2020 by month

January16
February6
March14
April8
May6
June8
July5
August6
September5
October7
November7
December8

Popular posts

One of my favorite parts of reflecting on the past year is seeing which posts got the most traffic. I break it into 3 categories – posts published in 2020, most viewed posts during 2020, and most viewed since inception.

Most viewed – published in 2020

  1. Migrating from WampServer to WSL on Windows
  2. Book review: The Last Conversation
  3. Book review: The Manual – A Philosopher’s Guide to Life
  4. Book review: Count Zero
  5. Book review: Post-Human (Omnibus Edition)
  6. Book review: The Bootstrapper’s Bible
  7. Book review: The Big Leap
  8. What’s Bad for the Hive
  9. Book review: Get A Grip – An Entrepreneurial Fable
  10. Book review: Winter World

Most viewed posts during 2020

  1. Lessons from fasting for 48 hours
  2. Installing DD-WRT on the TP-LINK TL-WR841N
  3. Upgrading WampServer from version 2.2 to version 3.0
  4. How to Setup and Connect to an Amazon Aurora Serverless MySQL Database
  5. Pacific Coast Bike Route – Ventura to Carpinteria
  6. Book review: The Power of Positive Thinking
  7. Amazon EC2: Upgrading from PHP 5.3 to PHP 5.6
  8. Custom (aka Lambda) Authorizer for Verifying Client Authorization Tokens Generated by Firebase
  9. Book Review: Illusions – The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah
  10. Migrating from WampServer to WSL on Windows

Most viewed posts since starting blog

  1. Installing DD-WRT on the TP-LINK TL-WR841N
  2. Lessons from fasting for 48 hours
  3. Pacific Coast Bike Route – Ventura to Carpinteria
  4. Upgrading WampServer from version 2.2 to version 3.0
  5. Amazon EC2: Upgrading from PHP 5.3 to PHP 5.6
  6. How to Setup and Connect to an Amazon Aurora Serverless MySQL Database
  7. The Tree of Life Trail: Hiking the Hollywood Hills
  8. Bike ride No. 4 – Marvin Braude Bike Trail
  9. Book review: The Power of Positive Thinking
  10. Bike ride No. 3 – Pacific Coast Bike Route, Ventura County

2020 goal results

I had two goals for this past year:

  1. Write 100 posts
  2. Catch up on book reviews

Well, I managed 96 posts, so I nearly completed #1. I caught up on the book reviews by March and have stayed current since. So #2 was done.

2021 goals

For this upcoming year, I have one simple goal – post 100 times. It will be a challenge, as it is every year. Maybe this will be the year that I finally break through.


And that puts a wrap on 2020 for the blog. We’ll see what 2021 has in store. Who knows, I may choose to start a new category, like I did last year with the Test Kitchen. Or I might get back into Startup Lessons, or just keep writing random observations and rants.

In any case, I treat this as my personal space. It’s a fun side project, and one that I’m looking to continue into my 9th year in the blogosphere.