Since then, it’s been a wild ride. By monetising my content and reaching out to key influencers, I’ve grown my brand beyond my wildest dreams. Drilling down into my data, I’ve been able to build a robust picture of my audience and develop strategies to tap those target markets. I’ve engaged in some real blue-sky thinking and I’m now very excited to reveal my compelling plan for this blog moving forward . . .
I never expected to join any particular network of bloggers. I thought my subject matter would be too diverse and impersonal to appeal to any niche apart from the good old “people who know me” audience. After all, there aren’t that many people who are really into tea and wild camping and veg*n recipes and walking and local community news from Hastings, East Sussex. But in fact, it turns out the majority of my blog this year has been fairly outdoorsy and there’s a bunch of people who seem to enjoy that. Joining Alastair Humphreys’ Year of Microadventure challenge (wild camping) and coordinating my own themed monthly microadventure challenge (not just wild camping) has also meant that I’ve discovered loads of people who share similar interests. Bonus!
I'm still spying on you
Since I started In Which I, 57% of my visitors (‘new users’ rather than ‘sessions’ for those familiar with Google Analytics) have been from the UK, 13% from the USA and 6% from Australia. I’m surprised there’s more USAn visitors than Australian, given I have a large family/friendship group in Australia. Perhaps this is partly to do with spam referrals - I had to filter a couple of USA locations early in 2015. But while the number of Australian visitors (new users) is quite a bit lower, the number of visits (sessions) from Australia and the USA are fairly similar, demonstrating that my trusty band of Australian friends is much more likely to visit this blog repeatedly.
In terms of referrals, 31% of visits (sessions) came via Twitter and 43% via Facebook (this includes m.facebook, lm.facebook and l.facebook traffic, for those playing at home). Other major referrers were this Alastair Humphreys post and Martin Black’s microadventure round-ups.
Speaking of spam referrals, I currently have something like 36 filters set up and no doubt after I publish this post I’ll get even more faux traffic. So annoying.
What you like
- Fifteen first lines - a short review of the Start Writing Fiction MOOC, run through FutureLearn and the Open University - popular because I used the #FLfiction hashtags to promote it and (because it was a positive review) it was shared by the course organisers.
- Issuing the microadventure challenge - this is not that popular as a ‘landing page’ but it still has a lot of views, which means that a lot of visitors find the page as a result of internal links (from other posts on my blog).
- How to make hedgerow jam - pleasingly, this has seen a big uptick in organic traffic over the last month because it’s seasonally relevant again and must be ranking well on Google.
- A walk from Hastings Pier to Eastbourne Pier and exploring the River Cuckmere. These are both visited mostly by people around Sussex.
- Walk across Wales (Part 1). It’s interesting that it’s so high up despite being a fairly recent addition to the blog - definitely something people like to read about!
- The first tea post and our Cuckoo Trail microadventure have quite a lot of pageviews. Neither of them feature in the top 15 landing pages, so people must be clicking through from other posts on this site.
- My Big Pathwatch article. The opposite is true of this one, as it’s one of my top 10 landing pages, but it isn’t that high in overall visits.
- Adventures in moth trapping. I’m really just adding this as an honourable mention because I loved doing it so much! Look at those moths!
What's in store
So, is there something I’ve touched on before that you’d like me to revisit? Something you are especially interested in reading about? A new hobby you think I should take up (lacemaking, campanology, kitesurfing)? An old hobby you think I should knuckle down and do something with (music, creative writing, filmmaking, media criticism)? I can’t promise I’ll get around to it, but I promise I will consider your suggestions. Even the outlandish ones.
There is one other change afoot. Up until now, all of my post titles have been an extension of the blog name, so they can all be read as “In which I [x]” (e.g. In which I sleep in a ruin in Suffolk, In which I make room for nature with #30DaysWild, In which I forage for and cook with Alexanders). Did you notice? While it’s kind of fun, I’m growing tired of the formula. So, I hereby give myself permission to mix it up a bit, starting with this post.