So 2014 is in the books. First of all I want to apologize for how the end of December went as the postings were pretty infrequent. Also, I’m sorry for the lack of replies to some comments everyone has left over the last week or so. I intend to reply to each one as soon as I have the time. The reason for the delays can be chalked up to multiple points. First off it was the Christmas holidays and spending time with friends and family took a big chunk of the days. Secondly, I helped my local Comic Book Store move from their current location to a brand-new and even larger one. It was a three day project that left me and them pretty exhausted. Thirdly, I’ve been doing a lot of research. Research into what you ask? More on that later. First of all, let’s look at the stats for December:
I’m happy to report that December 2014 was my most successful December ever in terms of total views and managed to take 2nd Place overall in regards to the entire lifetime of this blog. My Top 5 articles for the month in terms of total views were as follows:
In other areas my Top 5 referrers were Reddit, WordPress Reader, Arousing Grammar, The Old Reader, and Twitter. Finally, My Top 5 Search Terms were “film logo”, “spotlights”, “foto superman n mom”, “cosplay speech”, and “sharon carter.” Overall, I was extremely happy with the month despite the awful ending in terms of content and I really didn’t expect the amount of views I got for a month a lot of bloggers talk about being a slow one. With that said, let’s look at a quick breakdown of the year as well starting with my Top 15 most viewed features of the year:
In other areas my Top 5 referrers were Reddit, Twitter, WordPress Reader, Arousing Grammar, and The Old Reader. Finally, My Top 5 Search Terms were “star lord”, “movie logo”, “drax”, “deathstroke arrow”, and “supergirl logo.”
Comparing 2014 to 2013 is quite remarkable. The first half of the year was a rollercoaster with my monthly comparisons fluctuating up and down. Then from July onwards, the Speech Bubble encountered a surge in popularity that saw 2014 show some real growth. Of the 12 months only three were lower than 2013 (January, February, and April). January saw a 20% decline while February and April both had a 22% decline. On the positive side: March had a 16% increase, May had a 11% increase, June had a 6% increase, July had a 57% increase, August had a 115% increase, September had a 71% increase, October had a 18% increase, November had a 50% increase, and December had a 85% increase. Comparing 2013 to 2014, the Speech Bubble had an overall viewership increase of 28% which is something I’m really proud of. If the growth I experienced in the later half of the year can continue on, let alone get higher, 2015 will be the best one yet.
Looking at my Top 15 posts of 2014, one-third of them were Retroactive, six were Character Spotlight, and the final four were a mixture of a spotlight on the Artifice, two guest posts, and a really old review. Again, if I had time, Character Spotlights would return as is evident by their longevity and I am always up for more guest posts. In order to continue the success I experienced this year changes need to happen…but first let’s look how I did with 2014’s Resolutions:
Daily Posts: I resolved it last year and succeeded. This year I’m going to do it all over again.
RESULT: There were quite a few more hiccups this year compared to last. While I still averaged more than one post per day overall, having every single day have a posting did not happen a few times over 2014 due to several factors.
A More Consistent Schedule: It’s good to have an article out every day but what I’d really like is to have the right article out on the right day. I’m currently on Christmas vacation so this past week and next are quite a struggle to accomplish this as I actually have less time for the blog on vacation then when I have work. Regardless, I’ve got a bit of catching up to do on some features but it is my aim to actually see features come out on the days that they are supposed to come out on.
RESULT: I’m also retooling the schedule and will continue to adapt. Coming into December I felt I had a schedule that worked but this month put a real wrench into it. Regardless, I call this:
Increased Traffic: By this time next year I want to proudly state that 2014 was even more successful than 2013. One of the ways I’m going to accomplish that will be more promotion on Twitter and other sites.
RESULT: As I mentioned above, not only was this my best year ever but it also contained my all-time highest month and one day viewage ever.
Guest Features: Around the time I made the decision months ago that I wanted to rename my blog from GothamRogue’s Comic Blog to something else there was a big reason why, besides not being happy with the uncreative name. That reason? I wanted this blog to grow beyond one individual posting his thoughts. The way to do that was opening up the door and having a new name that isn’t named after one person was a necessity. Funny enough that first guest post is coming sooner rather than later as tomorrow I’m be featuring Sidekick Reviews who is going to be doing an Off The Shelf entry for an Image comic series called Velvet. This will be the first of many I hope and maybe one of those guests will want to make our working relationship turn into something a little more permanent. If you want to be featured on my site the door is always open. You never know what the future holds…
RESULT: Including Sidekick Reviews’ guest post, I had four in total this past year.
New & Returning Features: I resolve to resurrect some old features (Character Spotlight, The Time Capsule) while bringing in some new ones.
RESULT: Bring in new features? Check. Resurrecting old ones? Not so much. I did expand Retoractive though to more editions but alas I would say:
More Reviews: I resolve to actually do some reviews on comics, something that has been lacking on this site. What form they will take is another matter entirely.
RESULT: This did not happen at all…
So I was 50/50 with meeting my resolutions. I’m sure if most people could say that they would be happy but not me. With that in mind, let’s take a look at my new Resolutions:
Daily Posts: I may have technically failed in 2014 but I’ll continue to live up to this motto in 2015. How I will do it may change though…
Increased Blog Traffic: 2014 was the best one yet. Why should I not want bigger and better things in 2015?
A Bigger Social Media Presence: Reddit and Twitter were my biggest referrers this past year and I aim to strengthen my standing on both. I want to engage more on Twitter and comment and share more on Reddit. The key to an even bigger year lies in Reddit for sure. I also started a Facebook page but the amount of time and effort that would go into growing that seems somewhat unattainable for me.
Get Up-To-Date on Covers: I resolve to actually get on track with my Covers of the Week and Covers of the Month postings. This will be certainly a number one priority for me over other areas.
New/Expanded/Returning Features: I want to bring back old favourites, introduce new ones, and make the ones I have even better. How will I do this? More on that below.
So those are my minor Resolutions. Now here comes my Top 3 big ones. These resolutions are the ones that deep down I want to see happen:
The Future of the Speech Bubble and Myself
Finish A Comic Book: I’ve previously mentioned that I was working on a comic with a friend of mine. That progress is not going anywhere very fast. We are both so busy and I really don’t know how it is going to work out as his heart just doesn’t seem truly in it and he gets easily distracted. Still, I’m going to make one last go of it and see where it takes us. Meanwhile, I’m going to start seeking other artists. This to me will be the hardest part but if I can find someone like-minded and passionate it would be a big help. Connecting with unknown people will be a big hurdle and I’ll be spending a lot of time trying to grow relationships on DeviantArt. If anyone else knows of a real good way to get aspiring comic writers and aspiring comic artists together, please let me know. A real shot in the arm will be the eventual release of ComiXwriter which is a program that will make the writing process easier and which I supported on Kickstarter. My journey will continue with new Creatively Speaking features featured here on the Speech Bubble!
Find Another Means of Employment: I’ve also previously mentioned that my job is getting worse and worse and making me more and more miserable. Just before Christmas they introduced a new wrinkle to my job that will make things even less enjoyable so I’ve mentally made a promise to myself that enough is enough and it is time for a change. Earlier in this lengthy post, I let it be known that I was doing some research. This research is connected to that very subject. I believe that you have a job you enjoy, something you take joy in, and something that leaves you with a real sense of accomplishment. For the longest time I’ve wanted to run my own business, to be the one making the decisions, to shape my own future. So what I’ve been doing over my Christmas Vacation is studying up, crunching the numbers, and seeing if it was practical. I have more than enough starting capital but it is the uncertainty that cripples me, an uncertainty of if I will succeed. What type of business do I want to operate you ask? Well…it has been my dream for years now to own and operate my own Comic Shop. This is where the big uncertainty comes in. I’ve read through numerous other discussions on the net that someone would have to be crazy to want to open a new Comic Shop due to the increasing rise of digital. I’m stuck at a crossroads: I don’t want to stay at my job and I don’t want to really work for another company. Is the Comic business the right way to go or should I think of some other sector? Could I perhaps both open and operate a Comic Store and stay on with my current job until I get a better outlook? Can I find an employee I trust to look after the store if I go that route? Questions, questions, questions and unfortunately I do not have the answers right now. Regardless, my time at my current job is coming to an end one way or the other and by the time 2016 hits I vow to not be working there anymore.
Opening The Doors Wide: I’m only one man and a big way I’m going to accomplish everything I’ve set out to do is to create more time. How am I going to do this? It is simple: I need HELP. So, I’m happy to announce that I am seeking a team, that I want the writing staff on the Speech Bubble to include more than just me. Now this is an open invitation to anyone but especially those who want to blog but don’t want to keep the grind of a personal blog that updates three or more times a week. All I ask is for one posting a week to qualify. Now it can be a review, an article, a discussion of the biggest weekly comic news, a new edition of Retroactive, or even something else I haven’t listed. If anyone reading this is interested then drop me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss it in more detail. I’m also going to go more into this and do more promotion next week here and on Twitter. Exciting times are ahead!
2014 was good, 2015 should be even better. Thanks for the continued support of this blog and the excellent discussions as they mean quite a lot to me. To be able to share my love of comics with you is all I can ask for. In conclusion, if anyone else has some New Year’s resolutions I’d love to hear it in the comments below. Otherwise, have an excellent day and thanks for reading this rather lengthy end of year wrap-up!