In April of 2019, I knew I needed to change my life. I was extremely unhappy in a toxic workplace, had no involvement in my community, and the only tech people I knew in my area worked at the same place and none of us talked to each other. I decided to join Twitter to network and figure out what was going on in the tech world. (Side note: I've gained 1,800 followers since!)
Then, I discovered DEV Community. It seemed like a great place to start writing. I needed to do something with all of the emotions I was feeling at the time. So, I wrote about my process for looking for a new job: How to Identify Your Knowledge Gaps in Under an Hour. It got 187 views, 8 reactions, and 1 comment.
I'd never gotten so many views on one post before! So, I decided to write another one the next day: It's OK to be Scared (204 views and 6 reactions). Then I wrote my first "hit" the following day: Neither You nor Your Work Has to be Perfect (1234 views, 82 reactions, 24 comments). I think that was my first post that DEV Community (@ThePracticalDev) tweeted out. It felt so validating having my post shared by an account with hundreds of thousands of followers.
I think it was at this time that I decided to do a 30-day blogging challenge. I've always loved to write, but never succeeded in making it a habit. My goal was to write regularly. This is something I'm still trying to figure out, and I think most other people are too. Life is unpredictable and very hard to plan for. Habits and hobbies are hard to keep up with.
So, I did my challenge, and I was hooked. Some posts did really well, some got less than 100 views. It helped me gauage what I really wanted to write about and what people liked reading about. If you want to read about the results of the challenge, I wrote about it: After 30 Days of Writing on DEV.to.
The challenge did exactly what I wanted it to. I felt confident in what I had to say and decided to spend some time to work on my own blog site. I'd cross-post everything and keep track of stats with Google Analytics. I started recording stats on my personal site on August 11, 2019. I'll spend the rest of this post sharing some of those stats and also the ones I can get on DEV.
Personal Blog Stats
- Users: 2,157
- New Users: 2,153
- Sessions: 2,558
- Countries: 100 (unset is not counted here)
- Top 3 days: September 3rd (186 users), September 17th (106 users), August 27th (105 users)
- Pageviews: 3,720
- Unique Pageviews: 3,160
- Top 3 posts: Build a React & Firebase Blog Site: Part 1 (417 views), How I Keep Coding When I'm Low on Spoons (364 views), Re-Create an Image with Colorful Text (281 views)
- Social: 991 users (45.3%)
- Referral: 858 users (29.2%)
- Direct: 301 users (13.8%)
- Organic search: 27 users
- Other: 10
- 9,500 Followers
- 3,186 Total Post Reactions
- 70,700 Post Views
Top Posts By Views
- 7,650: I Tried the Top 5 Coding Challenge Websites
- 5,326: The Perfect First Project for Exploring Any JS Framework
- 3,433: Yes, You Should Have Hobbies Outside of Code
Top Posts By Reactions
- 225: Build a React & Firebase Blog Site: Part 1
- 224: Why and How You Should Use Twitter for Networking
- 163: How to Dynamically Create Many Similar CSS Classes with Sass
Top Posts By Comments
- 54: I am a web developer, hard of hearing, and an a11y advocate, Ask Me Anything!
- 51: Yes, You Should Have Hobbies Outside of Code
- 47: Why and How You Should Use Twitter for Networking
2019 was an excellent year for me both professionally and personally. I'm so glad I decided to make a change 9 months ago. Thank you all for hanging out with me and helping me make this a great year. Here's to 2020! 🎉